GP14 Ireland
GP14 Ireland

Day 6 - Final Day with All to Race For

Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe reclaim Title on count-back

On the water with Andy Johnston

Friday and final race day. 2 races schedule which would enable all crews to utilize a second discard. At the top of the fleet, only 2 points separated Ian Dobson and Matt Mee and with Neil Marsden, Nick Craig, local sailor Colman Grimes, Ger Owens, Hugh Gill, Alan Blay all capable of top 5 finishes, this title was still very much up for grabs. Local bragging rights going into day 2 looked secure with Skerries Colman Grimes in 4th but he had an outside chance of taking 3rd but the gap to 5th was also very small.


In the Silver Fleet, Sutton Dinghy Clubs Conor Twohig led and barring a disaster looked secure but behind him there was a good battle for remaining podium places with Blessington's youngster Sam Street, vying with Skerries Doire Shiels, Newtownards Steven Nelson and another youngster Greystones Ciaran Keogh. In the Bronze Fleet Darwin Sailing Clubs and former Skerries man Conor Byrne looked secure but again all to play for between Meg Tyrrel, Kerri-Ann Boylan, Darach Dineen, Eoghan Duffy and Frankie Browne.


Race 1 got underway clean and on time, with Peter Boyle as pathfinder. With majority of fleet heading out right, pathfinder looked good. Approaching the weather mark, pathfinder Peter Boyle capsizes when in 4th, with Ross Kearney first at the weather mark. Then Neil Marsden. Ian Dobson 4th around behind bronze fleet leader Conor Byrne. Alan Blay in top 5 closely followed by Mat Mee. After the spreader mark, Ian Dobson and Matt Mee engage in little luffing match. The close engagement between the pair will extend through to the end of the days racing.


By the top mark second time round, Ross Kearney still just leads Neil Marsden. Matt Mee has escaped clutches of Ian Dobson and lies 3rd and closing in on the leaders. Alan Blay 5th. Ian Dobson now lies 7th. This competition is far from being over. Wind has been up steady now at 18 knots but has taken it toll on the fleet with quite a few retirees.

Up the last beat Matt Mee has really put the squeeze on the the leading pair and takes the gun by 3 boat lengths from Neil Marsden with Ross Kearney in 3rd. A fast finishing Ian Dobson recovers well to take 4th and that leaves things very tight now at the top of the leader-board. Nick Craig 5th, leading Youth Robert Richardson 6th, Alan Blay 7th with leading Irish contender Colman Grimes in 8th. The fallen pathfinder Peter Boyle having slipped back to late 30s after the capsize has made an excellent recovery to take 10th.

A couple of big finishes sees Blessington's Sam Street & Josh Lloyd post a 16th and the Boylan sisters from Skerries take a 25th which put both pairs now in contention for podium places in Silver and Bronze respectively.


Race 8 was now of major significance in where the World Championship would go. Matt Mee a British National champions on 2 occasions but who had been out of the GP14 fleet for a few years lead by one point from 4 time World Champions Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe who was were very keen to reclaim a title they had relinquished in 2016.


The top mark leader is Neil Marsden, then Nick Craig, Ian Dobson and Ross Kearney. Our pathfinder Jane Kearney is 8th. Silver Fleet leader is up in Conor Twohig 13th. With wind now up over 20knots, the reaches are fast and a cracking spectacle. Bottom of the reach Neil Marsden has stretched out a very healthy lead. Ian Dobson is next. Matt Mee in 4th behind Nick Craig. Rosa Ross Kearney 5th. Colman Grimes in now up to 9th behind Jane Kearney.


By the leeward mark. All changed. Neil Marsden and majority of the fleet come down right hand side. Ross Kearney has gone left with Matt Mee and Ian Dobson in the middle. Left side seems to have paid with Ian Dobson now leading Matt Mee with Neil Marsden in 3rd ahead of Nick Craig and Ross Keaney in close order. That makes it very tight. Last beat will be interesting. Jane Kearney 7th, then John Hayes, Colman Grimes 10th. Silver fleet leader Conor Twohig holding his 13th with Sam Street 14th, the pair making a real contest. Peter Boyle 15th. Bronze fleet Eoghan Duffy in a superb 16th, Hugh Gill 17th. And Kerri Ann & Megan Boylan now in 20th.


Heading to the top mark and the finish. Its still very close between Ian Dobson and Matt Mee and might well go to a count back. Ian Dobson take the gun from Matt Mee. There is clearly a bit of cheer in background and Ian & Andy believe its theirs. That recovery on the last beat to take 4th in Race 7 may well be the key moment.


Long time race leader Neil Marsden & Derek Hill pips Nick Craig & Toby Lewis for 3rd with Ross Keaney & Andrew Vaughan in 5th. 2 good races for Ross on the final day may well be enough to get him into the Overall Top 10 after a slow start to the Championship. Leading Irish contender has finished 9th to cap a superb event for the local sailor who is also the Event Coordinator. Robert Richardson & Steven Wilson take 10th to copper-fasten an overall top 10 for a very impressive Youth showing. Moville John & Donal McGuinness take 11th with Conor Twohig & Mattheew Cotter from Sutton Dinghy Club capping a super event with a 12th in the final race. Blessington Sam Street & Josh Lloyd finish a great final day with and 18th.


That 4th in Race 7 meant Ian Dobson/Andy Tunnicliffe and Matt Mee/ Chris Robinson tied on Total (17) and Net (9) scores with both discarding two 4th places. An event beset by 2 year covid delay and impacted by the loss of 3 days racing, saw the 2022 GP14 World Championship go all the way to the wire and decided on count-back in favor of Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe on basis they of 4 race victories to 3 by Matt & Chris. It really couldn't have been closer and a super end to what has been a superbly run event by Skerries Sailing Club.


The Overall result saw Ian & Andy 1st, Matt & Chris 2nd Nick Craig & Toby Lewis 3rd. Top Irish boat was Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles (Skerries SC) who finished 5th. . There were 3 Irish in Top 10 with Ross Kearney & Andrew Vaughan ( RNIYC) finishing in 7th and Hugh & Dan Gill (Sutton Dinghy Club) 10th. Another 8 Irish crews in Top 20 made for a strong showing and highlights the strength of the Irish fleet.


Conor Twohig & Matthew Cotter finished 21st Overall and took Silver Fleet from Doire Shiels & Lewis Coppinger in 23rd and Sam Street & Josh Lloyd (Blessington) in 27th. Conor Byrne & Emer McNally (Darwin SC) and 22nd overall took Bronze Fleet from Kerri-Ann & Megan Boylan (Skerries SC) in 34th and Frankie Brown & Dave Lappin (Skerries SC) in 40th.


Curly Morris, the outgoing GP14 International President and a great supporter and facilitator for Youth and Female engagement and involvement in the Irish GP14 Class announced a major surprise when additional World Sailing Championship medals were to be presented possibly for the first time at a World Championship in Ireland. The GP14 International organisation would normally present trophies at the GP14 World Championships to categories such as leading Female Helm, leading all-Female crew and leading Youth, but this was the first year that World Sailing has permitted World Sailing medals be presented to these categories as well as the Overall World Championship top 3.


To major cheers and emotional scenes the prize-giving ceremony concluded with the following presentations:

World Sailing Youth Championship Medals:

Gold) Robert Richardson & Steven Wilson (Royal Windemere SC)

Silver) Sam Stree & Josh Lloyd (Blessington Sailing Club)

Bronze) Ciaran Keogh & Adam Leddy (Greystones Sailing Club)


World Sailing All Female Championship Medals:

Gold) Kerri-Ann & Megan Boylan (Skerries Sailing Club)

Silver) Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley (Sutton Dinghy Club)

Bronze) Meg Tyrrell & Sorcha Donnelly (Royal Irish YC/ Skerries SC)


World Sailing Mixed-Crews Championship Medals:

Gold) Ger Owens & Mel Morris (RoyalSt. George YC & East Antrim Boat Club

Silver) Jane Kearney & Ollie Goodhead (Royal North of Ireland C & )

Bronze) Ruan & Rebekkah O’Tiarnaigh (Ballyholme YC & Sutton Dinghy Club)

Day 5 - Playing Catchup - 3 More Races

On the water with Andy Johnston

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 .

Day 3 - First Races

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)

Progressive Credit Union GP14 World Championship 2022 Update and More Ones to Watch

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.

  • Neil Marsden & Derek Hill - The 2003 Champions and 3rd in Mounts Bay in 2018, Neil and Derek are back to contest another Worlds. Their victory in 2003 was in a 171 boat fleet and they pipped the legendary Richard Estaugh for the title. Not sure when was the last GP14 event they sailed, but we shouldn't be surprised if they are there or thereabouts next Friday evening.


  • Adrian Lee & Gareth Gallagher - A Youghal and Moville combination and one that has been on fire this season. Adrian has been a regular race winner in the last few season and they have race victories in pretty much all events this year, but the pair have now added consistency to their obvious speed. They have demonstrated at the Nationals at Royal North and the Skerries Pre-Worlds that they can deliver in both light and windy conditions.


  • John Hayes & Joel James - Another team in good form coming into the Worlds following 5th place that included a race win at the British Nationals and victory in the Scottish Championship earlier in the season. John has been a regular visitor to Ireland and will certainly be in the mix most days. Word on the street is his boat is on its way to an emerging GP14 Club in Northern Ireland.


  • Alan Blay & Hugh McNally - This is a strong team and getting stronger and finished last season with victory in the Munster Championship in November. They have shown patches of form in events so far and did well last November. strong team, won the last event of the year in 2021 and have shown showed good form early in the season. Have served their time in the class, is this year the year for them?


  • Ruan & Rebekah O'Tiarnaigh - The father and daughter team jumped into the class at the start of the season and have taken off very quickly. No surprise really with Ruan's vast experience and success, former National & Helmsmans Champion and 4th in the Durban World Championships back in 2000. They have been showing some great pace, took a podium in the Spring Open in Sligo and will be looking to have a good event.


  • Keith & Matteo Louden - Keith teaming up with his youngest son has been great to see, a very light pairing who could cause some serious trouble if the conditions go in their favour. One of the youngest in the fleet at 14, Matteo has taken to the front of the boat like a duck to water and despite their weight have shown they can handle windy conditions as well. The pair have race wins and a no. of top 3 finishes in races throughout this seasons events.


  • Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghy - Recent winners of the Pre-Worlds, which followed a 7th at a very competitive Nationals in July. The pair have not sailed much for a year or two but seem to be quickly getting back to their usual competitive selves. Get a good run going and they would certainly be hoping to be in top 3 Irish boats this week and always capable of a race win.


  • Chris Clayton & Rory Higgins - Newcomers to the Irish fleet this season and part of an emerging fleet at Royal North of Ireland. Chris, a Mirror World Champion back in 2003 had been out of sailing for quite a while but with Rory Higgins they have not taken long to find their feet in the fleet and have gone from strength to strength since their first event in Sligo back in April. Expect them to have a good event.

Progressive Credit Union GP14 World Championship 2022 Opening Cermony and One to Watch

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.

  • Ger Owens and Mel Morris - Ger and Mel will be favourites within the Irish fleet to pressure the podium. The current weather would suit them as they favour the lighter winds, however the fast becoming the ultimate all-rounders as evidenced in breezy conditions at the recent Irish Championships where they managed a superb second place behind Shane MacCarthy.


  • Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan - A new pairing since Ross returned to Ireland and showed some early form with victory at the Ulster's back in May. Followed that with a consistent set of results at the Championship of Ireland to take 2nd. Was also to the fore in the Pre-Worlds in Skerries a few weeks ago. 2nd at the Mounts Bay Worlds, Ross will be looking to go one better here in Skerries.


  • Matt Mee and Chris Robinson - Matt is back with Goachers Chris Robinson in the front of the boat. An inform pair in recent times with a second place at the recent British Nationals in Llandudno. Twice a British Nationals winner Matt and Chris will certainly be ones to pressure the podium Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe - Probably event favourite, Ian will be keen to take back a crown he has won multiple time but not since 2014 when he won in Ireland in East Down. The pair are in form with victory in the Bristish Nationals in Llandudno a few weeks ago.


  • Nick Craig and Toby Lewis - Nick is a 6 time Endeavour Trophy winner and multiple National Champion across various classes including RS400. Went close in the Worlds in Barbados back in 2016 behind Shane MacCarthy and will be a favourite for the podium here in Skerries.


  • Jane Kearney and Ollie Goodhead - Jane and Ollie had a very encouraging performance in the Nationals at Royal North with a 3rd place and some very consistent sailing. Jane, Ross other half will certainly hope to be in the Top 10 here in Skerries and found the recent Pre-Worlds a very useful exercise.


  • Hugh and Dan Gill - Another father and son team with the right mix of youth and experience, they have got their beautiful new Duffin going great this year, with a few races wins mixed together with black flags they haven't had the results they may be deserved. The recent Pre-Worlds saw them show great speed and only for sickness at the British Nationals in Llandudno they would have bettered 7 place where they took a race win.


  • Colman Grimes and Ross Gingles - Event co-ordinator and another form Irish boat from Skerries, Colman and Ross have been in superb form this year. The pair have had race wins across almost all the seasons events and most recently in the Pre-Worlds. They have shown excellent pace, are known to like the breeze but have also proved they can win in the lighter stuff.


  • Peter and Stephen Boyle - Peter took his first event race win in the recent Pre-Worlds with dad Stephen up the front. This followed some consistent results that gave them 4th at the recent Championship of Ireland. They started the season with two second places in Irish events, showing some great pace in the breeze and will be pushing to get inside the top 10 this week. Stephen will be looking to improve on the 4th place position he had as crew to Ruan O'Tiarnaigh back in Durban in 2022.

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'.


So, who won the O’Tiarnaigh (pre-worlds) challenge?!

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: 


Gold fleet:

Kearney & Vaughn 19 points, Grimes & Gingles 26 points and John & Donal McGuiness on 26 points. 

Silver fleet:

Christopher Clayton & Rory Higgins 52 points, Doire Shiels & Graham Burnes 58 points, Bill & James Johnson 73 points. 

Bronze fleet:

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

Skerries Tidal Info
Skerries Tidal Info
Tide Spreadsheet Revised.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [34.2 KB]

July 2022

Worlds Entry reaches 105 boats


April 2022

Pre-Worlds O'Tiarnaigh Challenge set for July 30/31 in Skerries


October 2021

NOR will be available last week in October 2021


September 2021

Bill O'Hara will be PRO for the 2022 GP14 World Championships to be held in Skerries (Aug 13/19).

More Sponsors Announced

Progressive Credit Union

2022 GP14 World Championship



Notice of Race


Skerries Sailing Club

August 14/19 2022


Now Available Below

NOR 2022 GP14 World Championships
NOR 2022 GP14 World Championships
Edition 2 - NoR GP14 Worlds at Skerries [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [245.4 KB]

GP14 Ireland Dates

Events & Venues


Apr 20/21

Munster Championships

Killaoe Sailing Club


May 18/19

O'Tiarnaigh Trophy

Mullingar Sailing Club


Jun 1/2

Leinster Championships

Howth Yacht Club


Jun 28/29/30

Championship of Ireland

Newtownards Sailing Club


Aug 10/16

World Championships

Plas Heli, Wales


Aug 31/Sep 1

Ulster Championships

Carrickfergus Sailing Club


Sep 14/15

Autumn Open & Youth Championships

Sligo Yacht Club


Oct 19/20

Hot Toddy

Lough Erne Yacht Club

GP14 Fleets and Leagues Guidelines v11 (2023)
Guidance for Operating Fleets and League[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [57.6 KB]
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