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GP14 Inland Championship at Frensham Pond Sailing Club

by David Innes and Neil & Cath Holden 28 Sep 2023 23:25 PDT 23-24 September 2023

Sponsors: SM Composites, Creation Covers, Wessex Gin, FPSC and Rooster

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.

With 24 boats from all over the UK and a guest entrant from Sweden, crews took advantage of the late start to have some boat bimbling before a first race at 1.30.

Race 1

A clean start by all with Hugh Devereux/Malcolm Bird (Budworth SC) getting away very smartly, closely followed by Tomasz Szakola/Charlie Cotter (Welsh Harp SC). Setting the scene for the weekend it took only 26 seconds for the first shout of protest to waft across the pond as Tony Perkins/ Silas Caie (FrenshamPSC) did their turns.

It was a fast beat to the first mark with John and Jack Telford (Bassenthwaite) leading round the first mark followed by Richard Burton/ Jonny Stevenson (South Cerney); who then tested the water temperature with an over enthusiastic gybe on the run. The second beat led to a left right split in the fleet with Sharon and Paul Freeland (Llandegfedd SC), David Innes/John Mcguinness (Frensham PSC) and Adeel Khan/Roger Jeffs (Welsh Harp SC) joining the leaders in a tight rounding.

The lead boat finished first after a tight spinnaker reach and were a leg ahead of Sharon and Paul with Hugh and Grumpy Malcolm coming through to take third. With the fleet spread out Race Officer Jeremy Hudson used the Whiskey protocol to finish the tailenders- it doesn't involve a wee dram.

Race 2

There was a chaotic look to the pre-start line up in lighter winds and at the gun two boats were over. After a great start Bryan and Daniel Taylor (Frensham PSC) was first around the windward mark closely followed by Keith Street/Hannah Liptrot (Welsh Harp SC) followed by a large group converging on the mark with a lot of noise and waving of freshly minted protest flags At the bottom of the lake Tony/Silas and David/ John emerged emerged in 3rd and 4th from the fracas and with Keith and Hannah heading in completely in the wrong direction, the three Frensham boats headed the pack for a short time. Coming to the end of the final run Bryan and Daniel touched the mark with their mainsheet allowing Tony/ Silas through to first with Keith and Hannah second with Richard and Jonny close behind.

Race 3

With the breeze dropping Race Officer Jeremy Hudson spent quite a while standing up in the committee boat waving his magic wand with a bit of string on the end. Hopefully this was to determine the wind direction? Despite his magical manipulations the course remained the same and the race got going after a fisherman was asked to remove his remote-controlled bait boat!

It was a tight start line with two boats over the line. Half the fleet tacked immediately after the start and soon boats were across the width of the lake. Locals Tony and Silas were revelling in the light airs and were first to the mark with Maurice Cleal/Romek Kowalewski (Welsh Harp/Wembley) second and Keith/ Hannah third as another noisy scrummage evolved around the mark behind them. These boats held position to the finish as the wind dropped and thoughts turned to the evening meal and local band Shantyhead. There were slow motion battles through the fleet as drift conditions took over with Andy Shrimpton / Maria Kireeva (Welsh Harp) just finishing before sailing backwards for 100 metres while newbies Bruce Whitfield and Ilse Howling (Frensham) finally finished after three attempts with much cheering!!!

Race 4

The fleet woke up to a stronger southerly wind gusting up to 26 knots on Sunday with the locals muttering that it was going to be a tricky day. With a big gust hitting the start four boats were over the line with only two of them returning leaving James Ward/ Richard Whitehill (Papercourt SC) and John and Jack OCS.

Locals Bryan and David again led up to the windward mark but got caught in a header approaching the mark allowing Tomasz and Charlie to round first. The wind picked up and the fleet split into two halves on the second lap with Tomasz and Charlie increasing their lead. Locals concerns about the difficulty of beating into the dreaded buoy 8 tucked under the trees was coming true with one visitor heard to shout 'why am I here?' Was it a practical or an existential question - one can guess! Adeel Khan/Roger Jeffs (Welsh Harp), showing consistency through all the races, kept wide of the chaos while Paul Trubridge/ Matt Hall (Frensham) missed hitting the buoy by a knat's whisker.

On the third lap the wind strengthened again but the lead was being challenged by Maurice and Romek and Richard and Jonny from South Cerney who, revelling in the heavy conditions, came through to take the win just ahead of 14 year old Tris Harding crewed by dad, Richard, competing in their first GP14 event.

Race 5

With the wind rising only 20 boats started the fifth race with two over the line. The wind was blustery and there was a lot of shouting as the boats spread out on their way to 8 once again. Paul and Matt lead to the mark with John and Jack close behind as spinnakers were set for the run. Tony and Silas had a big collision leading to damage and their retirement to watch the rest of the day from the shore.

The fleet were belting along the top of the pond with a close three sail reach with Matt and Paul capsizing and John and Jack taking the lead with Tomasz and Charlie and Richard and Jonny close behind. At the rear of the fleet conditions were taking their toll with Quentin Drain/John O'Sullivan (Welsh Harp) capsizing closely followed by Andy and Maria. At the finish John and Jack took the win with Richard and Jonny just beating Tomasz and Charlie.

Race 6

With the casualty rate rising and heavy gusts, all boats were clear at the start but David and John failed to cross the fleet leading to much shouting and turns. Darrell Sleep/ Charles Saunders (Staunton Harold SC) led away from the windward mark but were soon overtaken by John and Jack and Maurice and Romek as these two boats honed-in on an event win. Tris and Richard were close behind.

Coming in to the second windward mark Maurice and Romek missed a tack falling to third and Tris and Richard gave the spinnaker another wash. On the last lap, John and Jack were pulling away to win the Championships ahead of Maurice and Romek and Darrell and Charles with Richard and Jonny taking fourth with Tris and Richard taking their second 5th of the afternoon.

At the prize-giving thanks were given to all the helpers and specifically to sponsors SM Composites, Creation Covers, Wessex Gin, Rooster, The GP14 Association and Frensham Pond SC for all their prizes and assistance. Prizes were managed by Vanessa Deveraux GP14 Championship Coordinator and presented by FPSC Vice Commodore Kate Whyatt.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stGold14261John TelfordJack TelfordBassenthwaite164(OCS)1113
2ndSilver14253Maurice ClealRomek keweskiWelsh harp /Wembley5‑7224215
3rdSilver13862Jonathan StevensonJonny StevensonSouth Cerney Sailing Club‑104512416
4thGold13836Bryan TaylorDaniel TaylorFrensham Pond Sailing Club433106‑1126
5thSilver13237Tomasz szakolaCharlie CotterWelsh Harp Sailing Club‑139943732
6thSilver13611Sharon FreelandPaul FreelandLlandegfedd Lake Sailing Club2‑138681337
7thSilver14275Adeel KhanRoger JeffsWelsh Harp Sailing Club7‑171177840
8thGold1372Hugh DevereuxMalcolm BirdBudworth SC31110314(DNF)41
9thSilver14149Tony PerkinsSilas CaieFrensham Pond Sailing Club8119(DNF)DNC45
10thBronze14072Darrell SleepCharles SaundersStaunton Harold SC‑171061412345
11thBronze13787Keith streetHannah LiptrotWelsh Harp Sailing Club9214813(DNF)46
12thSilver14157Paul TrubridgeMatt HallFrensham Pond Sailing Club‑12871210946
13thSilver14234David InnesJohn McguinnessFrensham Pond Sailing Club6517(DNF)91249
14thBronze14197Tristan HardingRichard HardingFrensham Pond Sailing Club1416‑22511551
15thSilver13316James WardRichard WhitehillPapercourt SC111419(OCS)5655
16thBronze13164Quentin DrainJohn O'SullivanWelsh Harp Sailing Club18‑191311171473
17thSilver14014Andy WadsworthCathy HowardBrixham YC / Wesh Harp SC16‑202013151074
18thBronze14283David YoullDerek DayFrensham Pond Sailing Club15121515(DNC)DNC83
19thBronze14265Kate WhyattLisa SkirrowFrensham Pond Sailing Club19151217(DNF)DNC89
20thBronze13818Andy ShrimptonMaria KireevaWelsh Harp Sailing Club(DNF)221616DNF1595
21stBronze14190Benjy HallChris HallKristenhamns Kanotseglare212323(DNF)161699
22ndBronze14163Bruce CravenTim Farnell‑WatsonFrensham Pond Sailing Club(DNF)1818DNCDNCDNC114
23rdBronze14180Stuart DuckworthChristine DuckworthFrensham Pond Sailing Club202121(DNC)DNCDNC114
24thBronze13835Bruce WhitfieldIlsieFrensham Pond Sailing Club222424(DNC)DNCDNC122
25thGold13811Susan TomkinsTbdWelsh Harp Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC130

1st Silver FleetMaurice Cleal and Romel KowalewskiWembley/WHSC
1st Bronze FleetDarrell Sleep and Charles SaundersStaunton Harold SC
1st Lady HelmSharon and Paul FreelandLlandegfedd Lake SC
1st Youth Helm Tris HardingFrensham Pond SC
1st All female boatKate Whyatt and Lisa SkirrowFrensham Pond SC
Oldest BoatQuentin Drain and John O`SullivanWelsh Harp SC
EndeavourBruce Whitfield and Ilse HowlingFrensham Pond SC
Furthest TravelledBenjy and Chris HallKristenhamms Kanotseglare

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