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GP14 Championship of Ireland at Newtownards Sailing Club

by Andy Johnston 1 Jul 15:15 BST 28-30 June 2024

The 2024 GP14 Championship of Ireland concluded on Sunday at Newtownards Sailing Club. 8 races across 3 days and a variety of conditions tested the 45 boat fleet. This was the last Irish event before the World Championships in Plas Heli in August.

The Friday saw 3 races in strong conditions with wind up to 25 knots, while Saturday saw the fleet stay ashore with no wind till almost 3:45pm before 2 races in shifty light conditions were completed. Sunday saw an amendment to allow 3 races with PRO team of Sheila Lewis and Michael Tyrrell getting a gate start into the mix as well.

Friday saw Ross Kearney & Daniel Nelson (RNIYC) take a win book-ended by a pair of bullets from Sam Watson & David Johnston (Sutton Dinghy Club). Ross & Daniel and Ger Owens & Mel Morris (WSC/EABC) took the honors in Saturdays 2 races. Sunday saw Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle (RstGYC/SDC) and Chris & Olin Bateman (Monkstown Bay SC) take the first 2 races of the day.

Going into the day Ross & Daniel led from Chris & Olin with Sam Street & Josh Lloyd (Blessington) in 3rd with possibly 9 boats in with chance of a podium spot depending on discards. By the time of the last race, 3 boats still had a chance of taking the title, but with the weather playing tricks and multiple recalls during the day, getting the 3rd race in was never a guarantee and the 2nd discard could be so important.

After a wait and then an abandoned race, the 3rd race was completed with Ross & Daniel making sure of victory with a commanding win. Chris & Olin consistency across the 8 races with nothing greater than a 7th saw them take runner-up spot. A strong finish from Sam & David saw them just pip Sean & Stephen for the final podium spot.

With 7 Youth (U22) crews in the field, the GP14 Ireland focus on encouraging youth involvement is paying dividends. Sam & Josh had to settle for 6th and the Youth Championship trophy. A top 10 finish and the Silver fleet title went to David Evans & William Draper (Sligo) who again showed their promise. They also took the Junior Championship trophy. Definitely ones to watch.

Another up and coming pair were Adam & Emily Torrens (Newtownards Sailing Club) who were 2nd in the last race, a top 20 finish and the Bronze fleet and with it the inaugural Newtownards Perpetual Wheel trophy.

A big shout out to the Commodore, Committee and all the members and volunteers at Newtownards who made it such a memorable weekend. The hospitality and facilities laid on was amazing. Also a big thank you to the GP14 Class captain in Newtownards Jennifer Bryce for your help in organising our premiere event of the year.

As is usual in the Class, a report from our 3rd placed crew will be forthcoming in the coming days Along with more photos and some video footage.

Full results can be found here (PDF format)

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