Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe from Burwain SC and Royal Windermere YC produced a composed performance on the final day of the GP14 World Championships 2008, to win their second consecutive title. Their first and second places in the first two races sailed were enough for them to take the Championship with a race to spare.
The elated pair told us just after they crossed the line, ‘Thank heavens for that! We are absolutely delighted’.
The reigning champions stamped their authority on the regatta from day one, winning both races and going on to produce a stunning 1 ,1 , 1, 2, 1, 2 , counting scoreline.
Second overall in the championship is the 2003 World Champions Neil Marsden and Derek Hill whose 2, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1, counting scoreline would surely have been good enough to win most championships. Ian Platt and Matt Johnson’s steadily improving performances throughout the regatta earned them a well deserved third overall.
Having lost yesterday’s second race to a massive wind shift, Principal Race Officer Barry McGill brought this morning’s start time forward to give the competitors the best chance of getting three races in. Fortunately the weather gods smiled and for the first time the sun shone and the fleet were able to complete all three races in ten to twelve knot breezes.
In Race One, Pathfinders Ian Platt & Matt Johnson led the race from the windward mark until the very last buoy where a late, slow spinnaker drop allowed Ian Dobson to sneak past on the short hitch to the finish. Tim Jones & Dale Knowles had their best result of the week so far finishing in third place.
In the second race of the day Neil Marsden led from start to finish.
Behind him Ian Dobson made an impressive comeback from rounding the windward mark in eighth place to claw his way back to second at the finish. Richard Estaugh & Simon Potts finished third to keep their hope of a podium finish alive.
With the new champions heading for the beach, the final race of the championship got under way in around ten knots of breeze. At the first windward mark GP14 President Hugh Gill was battling with Neil Marsden for the lead. As the boats converged, Gill on port, chose discretion over valour and rather than try to lead the fleet around by barging in, bore away to go behind Marsden.
Unfortunately he misjudged his duck and clipped the back of Marsden’s boat and the ensuing penalty turns put him back into the pack. Marsden went on to claim a comfortable win ahead of Ian Platt in second and Neil Platt in fourth.
Racing for the Silver and Bronze fleet trophies was just as hotly contested as at the front of fleet. In the Silver Fleet, Mark Greenhalgh & Paul O’Neill took overall victory from Gerard O’Sullivan & Ben Saunders in second and Ian Sinclair & Alan Jones in third.
The Bronze Fleet title went to Mike Butler & Steve Caladine. Jeremy Shinton & Austin Jackson claimed second and Nicola Sinclair & Stuart Sinclair took third overall.
GP14 - Leading Overall Results
1st Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe – Burwain SC/Royal Windermere YC, 8 points
2nd Neil Marsden & Derek Hill – Blackpool & Fleetwood SC, 10 points
3rd Ian Platt & Matt Johnson – Bolton SC, 10 points
1st Mark Greenhalgh & Paul O’Neill – Castle Semple SC, 127 points
2nd Gerard O’Sullivan & Ben Saunders – Sutton DC, 133 points
3rd Ian Sinclair & Alan Jones – Bolton SC/Natwich CSC, 134 points
1st Mike Butler & Steve Caladine – Hollingworth SC, 259 points
2nd Jeremy Shinton & Austin Jackson – Bartley SC, 283 points
3rd Nicola Sinclair & Stuart Sinclair – South Caenarvonshire YC, 331 points
Overall results and all the daily press releases have been posted on the GP14 Website at www.gp14.org