Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe reclaim Title on count-back
Thursday dawned with well over a hundred pairs of fingers crossed. Racing lost on Wednesday meant with only 3 races completed the PRO was under pressure. An Thursday morning didnt disappoint. With breeze from south or south west and steady things looked good from the start. The changed direction also provided a flat sea which was another pleasure for the sailors after Tuesday confused seas state.
Race 1 got off on time, with a beautiful 12 knot breeze. From the get go Ger Owens was to the fore on the left side. Others showing early were Jane Kearney, Peter Boyle with Ian Dobson and Matt Mee not far away. Curly Morris had a cracking start and was probably in top 10 as they neared the weather mark. By the time they reached the gybe mark, Ger Owens had 3 or 4 boat length lead from Matt Mee with Neil Marsden now up in contention.
This quartet then battled it to the finish. With a tacking duel all the way up the last leg between Ger Owens and Matt Mee with Ger Owens just holding on to take the gun. A similar battle was ensuing behind with Neil Marsden just pipping Ian Dobson for the 3rd spot. Nick Devereux in 5th with one of the older boats 12654. The next best Irish boat was Ross Kearney in 8th and Adrian Lee in 10th. Colman Grimes the leading Irish boat in the event coming in 18th. Silver fleet leader Conor Twohig added another strong finish when he came across the line in 24th.
Race 2 got underway with the breeze freshening up to 14knots. The Pathfinder for this race was Youghals Adrian Lee. First to show were Matt Mee, Colman Grimes, Hugh Gill, all gone early out of the gate and started up left. At the weather mark it was Matt Mee followed a few boat lengths by Ruan O’Tiarnaigh, Ian Dobson and Hugh Gill. As the wind increased Matt Mee had extended his lead over Ruan O Tiarnaigh 2nd and Hugh Gill in 3rd at the gybe mark. The reaching legs were super fast, with a few capsizes through the fleet including Ger Owens winner of the first race of the day.
By the end of the sausage, Matt Mee had extended his lead quite considerably Ruan O’Tiarnaigh was still holding onto 2nd but Colman Grimes had made huge inroads and now putting Ian Dobson under pressure for 3rd on the water. Hugh Gill was in 5th with Jane Kearney up into 8th spot. Ger Owens showed how to recover from a capzise and was back up into 13th spot.
Matt Mee took the gun under no pressure. However a thrilling finish was unfolding with local sailor and event coordinator Colman Grimes just taking 2nd from Ian Dobson on the line. Hugh Gill made another good Irish finish with 4th, John Hayes 5th and Ruan O Tiarnaigh in 6th, Nick Devereux 7th, Jane Kearney 8th and Peter Boyle in 9th.
Having lost 3 race days, PRO Bill O’Hara had scheduled 3 races to try and catch up. A 3rd race on Thursday meant 2 races on Friday would give him 8 races and the fleet would have 2 discards.
Race 3 got underway with Pathfinder Graham Flynn leading around the weather mark. Followed by Tim Jones, Jane Kearney, Alan Blay. Ian Dobso and Peter Boyle. At this stage leading Irish contender Colman Grimes was in 15th just behind Matt Mee the event leader.
Wind was still 15 to 18 knots but with a grey sky and some rain. The reaches were again fast with a few capsizes through the fleet. At the top mark second time around Jane Kearney (RNIYC) had moved into the lead from Alan Blay with a small gap to Ian Dobson in 3rd. Matt Mee had recovered somewhat and was now up into 6th with Peter Boyle 7th and Colman Grimes up to 10th. The local man is having a storming event in all respects.
Showing his class under pressure, Ian Dobson worked himself into contention with a couple of hundred meters to the finish. Tack for tack he diced with Alan Blay with Ian Dobson taking the gun by less than a boat length. Jane Kearney finished a superb day by holding off the title contender Matt Mee. Peter Boyle took 10th and will be pathfinder for Race 7 on Friday morning. Leading Irish contender Colman Grimes finished 11th.
A great days racing, meant the event was very much back on track and with no clear leader, Fridays racing will be intense. Ian Dobson leads Matt Mee by 2 points with Nick Craig and Colman Grimes battling for 3rd spot. Beyond Colman, Hugh Gill is the next Irish boat in 9th with Ger Owens in 10th. Conor Twohig retains his lead in Silver Fleet ahead of Ciaran Keogh and Skerries sailor Doire Shiels in 3rd. In Bronze fleet Conor Byrne leads Frankie Browne and Meg Tyrrell .
After 2 days with no racing, day 3 arrived and the fleet knew they were in for a busy day. The fleet launched early off the sand in the harbour into a northerly breeze that picked up and settled at 15-20 knots for race 1. The wind direction also made for a very big sea which as they day went on being even more confused sea state. Considering the strong breeze, the gate starts were well behaved with few incidents across the day.
Matt Mee & Chis Robinson led Race 1 for most of the race, thought he had finished only to discover there was another leg to go. Reacting quickly, he recovered to take 4th behind event favorite Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe, Nick Craig & Toby Lewis and Ciaron Jones & Sam Platt. Best of the Irish boats was Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles in 5th with Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghty 6th and Hugh and Dan Gill in 9th. There were 20+ retirals in Race 1 as the freshening breeze started to take its toll on some of the younger and smaller crews.
Race 2 got away clean , with Mee & Robinson again leading at the weather mark closely followed by Ruan & Rebekkah O’Tiarnaigh. The downwind leg saw Neil Marsden & Derek Hill, Craig & Lewis along with Dobson & Tunnicliffe back in contention. The Irish contingent were there in numbers as well with Grimes & Gingles well to the fore along with Alan Blay & Hugh McNally, Ross Kearney & Andrew Vaughan and Ger Owens and Mel Morris also showing. With gusts now well over 20+ knots and the confused sea there were plenty of capsizes particularly around the gybe mark. Mee & Robinson held and extended their lead, with Dobson & Tunnicliffe and Craig & Lewis completing the top 3. the O’Tiarniagh held on for a great 4th ahead of former World Champions Marsden & Hill. Grimes & Gingles continued their great form with a 7th with Owens & Morris taking 8th. At this stage the sea state had worsened and with stronger gusts only 69 boats finished.
Race 3 again got under way and again it was Mee & Robinson who led to the weather mark ahead of Dobson & Tinnicliffe. Irish pair Grimes & Gingles, Marsden & Hill, Craig & Lewis and the O’Tiarnaigh were all again challenging. With a far smaller fleet still on the water, Dobson & Tunnicliffe came through to take victory ahead of Mee & Robinson and Craig & Lewis. Grimes & Gingle confirmed their palce as top Irish boat with a 4th with Henry & Geraghty in 7th. With only 49 finishers in race 3, the fleet headed ashore exhausted but the event now back on track.
Going into Day 4, with 2 races expected, Ian Dobson leads from Matt Mee & Derek Hill with Nick Craig & Toby Lewis 3rd. Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles (Skerries Sailing Club lead the Irish in 4th with Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghty (Sligo Yacht Club) in th. Ruan & Rebekkah O’Tianaighs (Sutton Dinghy Club) lie 9th with Hugh & Dan Gill (Sutton Dinghy Club) in 10th.
Leading the Silver fleet and 13th overall following with 3 top 20 finishes is Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter (Sutton Dinghy Club) ahead of Ciaran Keogh & Adam Leddy (Greystones Sailing Club) who also had a super day and finished 19th overall. The Bronze fleet is led by Australian entry Conor Byrne & Emer McNally (Darwin Sailing Club)
Report by Andy Johnston
We have waited four years for a GP14 Worlds, so another two days to get the first race is tolerable. Just! Despite the great weather in Skerries the last few days and the obvious delight to be around a large gathering of crews once more, you can sense nervous tension and the desire to get on the water. Sunday was to be a practice race followed by the first race of the Championship proper.
The crew profiles provided the other day were part 1 of 2 sets of introductions I had hoped to present over the initial few days. And as luck would have it, many of the crews that showed first in what was Sunday's practice race were on the second list below.
In the end the best that can be said was the fleet got to practice 2 more gate starts. And with very little wind and an ebb tide, the first attempt was mayhem. With the tide pushing the Pathfinder and the guard boat downwind, many of the 104 boats struggled to keep clear. The PRO had no option only to abandon the race having probably got no more than a quarter way down the fleet.
The second start was far better, with a fraction more breeze. Pathfinder John Hayes & Joel James tacked out to the left and were always looking in contention coming to weather mark. It was hard work however with the tide and quite a light breeze all having its effect. The first 8 or 10 were an even mix of boats that either went well left, well right or up the middle. Best from the right was Keith & Matteo Louden (Lough Foyle) who came around the top mark a boat length or 2 behind the Pathfinder with Ross Kearney & Andrew Vaughan (RNIYC) also from the right. Adrian Lee & Gareth Gallagher (Youghal) were next from up the middle followed by Neil Marsden & Derek HilI who seemed to come out of the left. Alan Blay & Hugh McNally (Sutton Dinghy Club) were next and another who came up the middle.
By the gybe mark Kearney & Vaughan had overtaken the Loudens with Lee & Gallagher closing in. Marsden & Bell were in 5th just ahead of Blay & McNally. However Hayes & James were in complete control in the lightening breeze. Others in the top 10 as they made their way to the gybe mark were Sam Street & Josh Lloyd from Blessington and Ruan & Rebekkah O'Tiarnaigh (Sutton Dinghy Club) Back in the fleet big gains were to be made in staying high to the gybe mark and saw Hugh & Dan Gill, Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe amongst others make big moves. However the signs were starting to look ominous as the breeze continued to drop, and as the leader approached the leeward mark, with a couple of boats still to make the weather mark, the PRO sounded horns to abandon the race and very quickly after that racing for the day. It take a bit of time and effort to tow 104 boats home but effectively and efficiently handled by the safety and shore crews from Skerries.
Rarely is the practice race taken as anything more than a practice race, but the post race discussions on the effect of tide, wind shifts and gate boat protocols were fairly animated and extensive. Talk turned to Monday, but even on Sunday there was a sense it might not happen.
With hope if not expectations high, Skerries had arranged a talk on local tides by Gerry Byrne. Having seen the impact of tide on Sunday practice race, the talk was very well attended. However, despite an amendment to start earlier, the wind didn't play ball and Monday morning saw 2 postponements before racing was finally abandoned for the day around midday. Another amendment saw the lay-day lost and racing now scheduled for Wed with an earlier start on Tuesday. Looks like PRO Bill O'Hara will try and get 3 races in on Tuesday and hope to get back on track by end of Wednesday. The forecast does looks promising.
Report by Andy Johnston
With a practice race and the first race this afternoon the 2022 GP14 World Championships kick off today. Last minute registrations are underway here and everyone is looking at the weather.
With a heatwave all week leading into the event, fingers are crossed that we get racing today. Things are looking positive at this point.
With a fleet of 105 boats, here are a number of the local and overseas contenders who we might see to the fore this week.
The event runs from today through to next Friday with an expected layday on Wednesday. 2 races a day with 106 boat entered representing UK, South Africa, Barbados, Australia, USA and Ireland. Last night, the GP14 World Championship was officially opened and the GP14 President Curly Morris, in his short address, captured the essence and mood of the event - 'An event deferred is an event enhanced, let the Championships begin'.
Report by Ross Gingles
The O'Tiarnaigh Challenge has always been a different kind of event. Pioneered by the late great Riocard O’Tiarnaigh, it’s an innovative occasion that encourages sailing and competition throughout the fleet, adding further uncertainty as to what might happen next. In this year’s format both conservatism and daring were to be rewarded, with short courses and overall scores from the first day all due to be counted, leading to knockout rounds and a final race where the top 3 from bronze silver and gold fleets would battle it out for the overall win. With a moderate breeze forecast on Saturday and little wind Sunday, who knew what would happen next? Almost 50 boats had amassed to get their Worlds practice in, gates starts and all, so lets find out how it panned out.
Racing got underway on Saturday with a moderate and shifty offshore breeze. Hugh and Dan Gill led the fleet away as pathfinder, and with everyone successfully away, those sailing through the middle were able to take advantage of some big oscillations, join the dots of pressure and trade tacks. The weather mark rounding was the usual and expected busy affair, with the crew of Coleman Grimes & Ross Gingles squeezing in ahead of Josh Porter & Sara Gowdy closely followed by, Ross Kearney & Andrew Vaughan and Adrian Lee & Gareth Gallagher. The following reaches saw the exchange of places with Lee / Gallagher and Kearney / Vaughan rolling through to weather ahead of the gybe mark. A luffing battle ensued between this pair on the next leg that subsequently allowed Grimes / Gingles back in and close out the positions for the race on the next beat.
Peter & Stephen Boyle took on pathfinder duties for race 2 with great success. Coming in from the right-hand side they were able to round at the top pack and secure a race win from there on. “Stormin’ Norman” Lee & Alan Leddy showed their form and enjoyed bagging the 2nd spot. For some of the fleet, the left looked promising off the start, as they could see additional pressure coming down the course. It was only Jane Kearney & Ollie Goodhead who could convert this strategy into a gain, by getting far enough to the right at the top of the beat. They subsequently took the 3rd spot. Lee & Gallagher had a terrific race to finish first over the line but failed to round the weather mark ahead of the windward finish, this leading to the first of their two DSQs for the same misdemeanour. They weren’t alone by any means, with a bar-full re-reading the race instructions later that evening.
Race 3 saw Keith & Mateo Louden lead the fleet away as pathfinder, and like the Boyles in the previous race, they had great success converting their duties into a well-earned 1st. Lee & Gallagher again showed great skill on the water to bag their almost 3rd podium, but subsequent 2nd DSQ. Josh Porter & Sara Gowdy took home 2nd with Alan Blay & Hugh McNally taking the 3rd spot. Race 4 saw Grimes & Gingles take on pathfinder duties, and with the fortune of a lasting lift from the gun, they could convert this into a 2nd, reaching down to a shortened course to finish just behind Steven & Daniel Nelson, with John & Donal McGuiness close behind claiming 3rd.
Having set the fleet away on 4 excellent “World-sized” races with 2 beats in 3 of 4 of them, the Race Officers Liam Dineen and Bill O'Hara called an end to the days proceedings and sent the fleet ashore, to attempt to count up the scores and determine who was fairing the best in each fleet. The final positions and most consistent were:
Kearney & Vaughn 19 points, Grimes & Gingles 26 points and John & Donal McGuiness on 26 points.
Christopher Clayton & Rory Higgins 52 points, Doire Shiels & Graham Burnes 58 points, Bill & James Johnson 73 points.
James & Colm Hackett 97 points, Meg Tyrell & Sorcha Donnelly 107 points, Daniel O’Hare & Muriel Carthy 109 points.
The craic and stories were flowing in the bar as the fleet enjoyed a great meal and additional Worlds’ Preparation, through a rules talk with Czema Pico, an international juror who kindly shared his wisdom and stimulated great discussion on the good, the bad and the ugly. The fleet concluded the “World’s” would be a more civilised place if we could all “be more like Jane” Kearney. With the wind dropping off, the racing format changed that night, and Sunday would now see the slate wiped clean and the whole fleet battle it out for the top spots overall and in their divisions.
After an initial abandoned race, and a competitor-gate boat-pathfinder sandwich, the fleet were off to see if they could complete a race in the now very light onshore flow. Those in phase and able to keep momentum fared well, though either side of the beat could be made to pay. A rare mistake from Kearney & Vaughan saw them unable to gain clear air off the start, a mistake they couldn’t recover from. The pairings of Ruan & Bekka O’Tiarnaigh, Lee & Gallagher, Grimes & Gingles, Blay & McNally and Curly Morris & Abbey Kinsella were going well. Having started early, they could all eek out an initial lead. With a little more pressure coming from the right, the race was then on to get across to it. Niall Henry & Ossain Geraghty showed their vast experience as they calmly glided through the fleet, with the Loudens doing likewise, however Blessingtons Simon Cully and young Lukasz Flynn came through to be first at the weather mark. The gybe mark saw the top 4 boats congregate with Grimes & Gingles having to give mark room to Henry & Gerraghy, then the Loudens. Grimes & Gingles were fortunate that Cully & Flynn were being “more like Jane” and didn’t capitalise on their momentum and the space left to squeeze through on the inside. The wind continued to drop and the positions for the podium held. For the rest of the fleet the clock started once Henry & Geraghty crossed the line, and only 27 of the 49 could cross in time, with Josh Porter & Sara Gowdy picking up an unusual prize for them, in being the last placed boat.
So who won the O’Tiarnaigh challenge? The expert and swan-like crew of Niall Henry & Ossain Geraghty from Sligo Sailing Club, but so many others too. The GP14 class, who continue to attract large numbers and new smiling faces, Skerries Sailing club whose organisation and depth of enthusiasts show what we have to look forward to at the Worlds. Everyone who wanted to practice their fleet sailing and gatestarts, but for me, with four O’Tiarnaighs out on the water, Ruan back in the fleet, and he and Bekka receiving a prize for their creative sailing style, (missing a spreader mark, re-attempting it, missing it again, and for it all to be capture on drone footage…) I think Riocard would be smiling at his lasting legacy.
Skerries we will see you in 2 weeks!
Full Saturday and Sunday (Final Results) HERE
Worlds Entry reaches 105 boats
Pre-Worlds O'Tiarnaigh Challenge set for July 30/31 in Skerries
NOR will be available last week in October 2021
Bill O'Hara will be PRO for the 2022 GP14 World Championships to be held in Skerries (Aug 13/19).
Notice of Race
Skerries Sailing Club
Now Available Below
GP14 Ireland Dates
Events & Venues
Feb 28 - EGM
Apr 22/23 - O'Tiarnaighy Trophy
Blessington Sailing Club
May 20/21 - Ulster Championship
East Antrim Boat Club
Jun 17/18 - Munster Championship
Tralee Bay Sailing Club
Jul 7/9 - Leinster Championship
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Aug 5/11 - British Nationals
Looe Sailing Club, United Kingdon
Aug 19/20 - Summer Open & Youth Champs
Rush Sailing Club
Sep 1/3 - Championship of Ireland
Sutton Dinghy Club
Sep 30 / Oct 1 - Hot Toddy
Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club