Please select your home edition
September 2023

GP14 Leinster Championships at the Volvo Dun Laoghiare Regatta

by Conor Twohig 13 Jul 06:16 BST 6-9 July 2023

Despite ominous weather predictions, the GP14 Ireland Class managed to muster 24 brave GP14 sailors to the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (Leinster Championship) this past weekend. These predictions were not without substance, the fleet was buffeted with 20+ knot winds while sailing off the coast Salthill.

Our first race saw the fleet racing on a trapezoid course for a change. Winds were well and truly on the limit of racing and small errors saw boats up and down the fleet heading for swims. Sam Wray and Luke Henderson took the gun in this race after a strong performance in challenging conditions.

The PRO decided to switch to the simpler (but no less interesting) windward leeward format for the remainder of the day, probably on account of the shifting winds. Alan Blay and Hugh McNally stretched their legs race two to take home a bullet. Despite the strong winds, Dublin bay would bring its signature dose of jeopardy to the last race of the day. Winds dropped to only a few knots at times and jib backing shifts bounced boats up the second beat. Ger Owens and Melanie Morris expertly navigated the tricky conditions and put their first win on the board.

Day two was variable in both wind strength and direction. The more manageable wind and oscillating breeze created superb racing conditions with plenty to be gained and lost on each leg. Sam Street and Josh Llyod came good in race four to take yet another championship race win, a new habit of theirs it seems. The start line was being tested all weekend by the fleet.

The race committee won't expect a Christmas card from the Lee's this year, with both father and son being shown the U-flag among others at the start of race five. Ger Owens and Melanie Morris showed their experience again and picked up another race win. Persisting shifts were the name of the game in race six. Sam Wray and Luke Henderson led the fleet to the finish line securing their second win of the competition. Day three wrapped up with three boats of Ger & Mel, Alan & Hugh, and Conor & Matthew sharing 14 points apiece after one discard.

Our third and final day began in lashing rain with breeze building to a forecasted peak around midday. Eager to get racing under way for the day, the PRO started the fireballs at 10:55 with military like timekeeping. The earlier start caught some boats off guard, not least of which the two Sutton boats of Alan & Hugh and Conor & Matthew. These two championship contenders became overzealous in their morning speed testing, leading to a wild dash to the line and two hook starts at the committee boat. A suitably dramatic start to the days racing! The top three boats sailed out of their skin in the first race of the day. Ger & Mel took the gun hotly pursued by Alan & Hugh in second with Conor & Matthew taking third, leaving everything to play for in the final race.

Race six saw Alan and Ger fighting for the championship until the very end. Ger & Mel managed to come off best in the end with a third place to Alan & Hugh's fourth. Conor & Matthew struggled to make their way through a strong pack and had to make use of their second discard in the end. Rob Lee and Stephen Lynch finished the event on a high by securing a win in the final race. A compromised committee boat start saw them tacking off early, but a steady right hand shift and some great boatspeed gave them chance at glory which they took in earnest and secured the win.

Overall, three great days sailing completing a full schedule of eight races. Five different boats took race wins, with many more getting on the podium. A sure sign of a healthy fleet with tight racing.

Congratulations to Sam Wray & Luke Henderson for 1st silver fleet and Max Cully & Tadgh Wardell for 1 st Bronze. Special mentions to Meg Tyrrell and Cormac Murphy for braving the blustery conditions not once but twice on Friday when they went back out to assist in the recovery of Lara & Jennifer's boat. A mention also to Richard Street for his slick and speedy repair of the damage to their boat, allowing them to get out and put in a strong performance on Sunday.

Related Articles

The Bushmills GP14 Hot Toddy at RNIYC
27 boats on the startline prove the event is gaining in popularlity The weekend saw the Bushmills GP14 Hot Toddy hosted this year by Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. This annual event is gaining in popularity, with 27 GP14s on the start line for the six races. Posted on 6 Oct
GP14 Inlands at Frensham Pond
24 boats from all over the UK and a guest entrant from Sweden With their first major GP14 championship since 1957 Frensham were keen to put on a show and the weather forecast played ball promising light to medium winds on Saturday strengthening overnight to make Sunday more spicy. Posted on 29 Sep
GP14 Hot Toddy Weekend Preview
Taking place at the Royal North of Ireland YC this weekend The Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club is delighted to be hosting this year's GP14 Hot Toddy Weekend, sponsored by Bushmills. Posted on 26 Sep
GP14 Scottish & Borders Bell at Loch Lomond
The locals reassured racers that the wind would come, and it did What a great event at the beautiful Loch Lomond SC, for the final Scottish & Borders Bell Travellers. There were many different starts for the mixed fleet of 75 boats, with 14 boats in our slow handicap fleet. Posted on 15 Sep
2023 GP14 Championship of Ireland
37 boats take part at the thriving Sutton Dinghy Club Sutton Dinghy Club was the host club for the GP14 Championship of Ireland, a thriving GP14 club, certainly putting on a show for the Class this year. Posted on 9 Sep
GP14 Nationals at Looe overall
Matt Mee and Chris Robinson win the title by 10 points The fleet left the beach on Thursday refreshed but on reaching the race area the wind dropped and the fog rolled in. Whilst they waited, they were entertained by dolphins coming to see what they were up to. Posted on 21 Aug
Craftinsure Bass Week 2023
230 entries, the biggest in the last 10 years Craftinsure Bass Week 2023 was a big one, with 230 entries, the biggest in the last 10 years. The club grounds were expertly prepared for the onslaught when the gates opened at 9am on Friday 5th August. Posted on 15 Aug
GP14 Nationals 2023 at Looe Crews' Race
Rekindled after not being raced for a decade Following Races 2 and 3, two-thirds of the fleet headed back to shore for ice creams, pasties, sand castle building or a lie down if required. However, 11 hardy boats remained out at sea to battle for the Crews' Race. Posted on 15 Aug
GP14 Nationals 2023 at Looe Part 1
A roller-coaster of events set the stage at the event The GP14 Nationals kicked off with a roller-coaster of events, setting the stage for an exhilarating competition. Battling against unexpected road obstacles and the wrath of Storm Anthoni, the journey to Looe proved to be an adventure in itself. Posted on 13 Aug
GP14 UK Nationals runners and riders
Back to Looe (third time since 2012) and tight racing is on the cards The GP14s are returning to Looe SC for another Nationals. This popular venue, a quaint Cornish village, with a beautiful beach is a family favourite for sure. This is the third time the GP14 class have visited Looe since 2012. Posted on 31 Jul