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GP14 Spring Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Day 5

by Gerry Reid 21 Mar 02:25 PDT 17 March 2024
RNIYC GP14 Spring Series Day 5 © Zac Dalzell

Nineteen GP14s set sail on St Patrick's Day for the fifth weekend of the Spring Series at Royal North. The sailors were greeted with a light 4-5 knots from the south, with a balmy 12 degrees!

Race Officer Gerry Reid and his team managed the light shifty breeze excellently, setting 3 races away in what was a building offshore breeze.

This series, and in particular this weekend, we had some new faces entering the fleet for the first time; Ross Nolan helming with his daughter Ellie crewing, and Lucy Anderson swapping her Feva for the front of Jane Kearney's GP14. Peter Todd of RNIYC and Craig Troughton are new to the fleet and are showing some great promise. GP14 stalwarts, even though their age would say different, Sam Street/Josh Lloyd and Conor Twohig/Matthew Cotter made the effort to travel from Dublin and have definitely increased the intensity at the pointy end of the fleet. A testament to the great racing during this series we have 4 boats travelling from the West, Keith and Matteo Louden from Lough Foyle Yacht club and 3 boats from Lough Erne Yacht club; Michael and Emma Brines, Peter Brines and Charlie Valentine, and Brian Morrison sailing with local Steven Nelson.

The collective mix of age, experience and personalities is what the GP14 is renowned for and is so fantastic to see, especially so early in the season.

Following a general recall the black flag was out for the remainder of the day. In Race 1 the fleet battled the oscillating wind and bands of pressure with the wind building to 7-10 knots. The fleet stayed very compact throughout the 2 lap windward/leeward course with plenty of place changing and great competitive racing. Ross Kearney and Daniel Nelson came in 1st, closely followed by Keith and Matteo Louden, with Adam and Emily Torrens in 3rd. Robbie Richardson and new to GP14 sailing Nathan Telford coming in a credable 4th having won the award for asking the most questions during our daily tips and tricks sessions pre racing - they must be working!

The wind had increased a little in race 2, now gusting 11 knots, which allowed some crews to stretch their legs. Again a very shifty beat followed by a patchy run saw plenty of place changing. The first leeward gate provided a spectacle for the race team watching from afar with a 10 boat pile up, sailors gently asking for room or so they say, and huge gains and losses to be made. Ross Nolan and Ellie, using Ellie's experience, dropped the spinnaker early and waited for a lovely gap to appear, then glided on in and around for a huge gain!

Ross and Daniel managed to stay out of trouble, and crossed in 1st place, with Sam and Josh coming in 2nd, Josh Porter and Sara Gowdy in 3rd place.

With the wind starting to drop for the third race, the fleet got away cleanly, apart from Jane and Lucy who were black flagged (not part of the training plan!).

Ross and Daniel had a tight battle with Sutton Dinghy Clubs Conor and Matty and East Down's Patrick Hamilton and Hana Stolcova. Having stole the lead up the 2nd beat, Patrick and Hana unfortunately lost out at the windward mark rounding, with Ross and Daniel and Conor and Matty sneaking past to finish in that order.

The overall standings are listed below, with next Sunday being the final day of the series. Rumours of more Dublin based boats set to make the journey up would jump us over the 20 boats mark, which in the 3rd season of the RNIYC GP14 Spring Series is excellent.

Series Results after Day 5:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11Pts
1st14248Ross KearneyDaniel NelsonRNIYC/NSC111111(RET)(DNS)1119
2nd14214Keith LoudenMatteo LoudenLFYC263(9)55612(7)434
3rd14241Patrick HamiltonHana StolcovaEDYC53(12)38346(9)5340
4th1390Adam TorrensEmily TorrensNSC/LEYC775510(11)153(14)851
5th14224Rory HigginsRoss NolanRNIYC42473778(14)(9)951
6th13917Josh PorterSarah GowdyNSC(DNC)(DNC)DNC8242373553
7th14242Jane KearneyLeah McCleaveRNIYC352442(DNC)(DNC)811DNS58
8th14219Curly MorrisRachael StewartEABC/NSC99927952(11)6(14)58
9th14171Robbie RichardsonNathan TelfordEDYC(DNF)116(DNS)68974121073
10th14212Michael CoxClaire CromieNSC6481096(DNC)(DNC)5131374
11th14151David MellorKieran PerrisRNIYCDNF1011(DNC)(DNC)DNC341310790
12th14188Peter ToddCraig TroughtonRNIYCDNS87611101210(16)(17)1592
13th13865Jennifer BryceLara SundayNSC/DSC8OCS1012RETDNS119(17)(16)12103
14th14077Michael BrinesEmma BrinesLEYC(DNC)(DNC)DNC1112RET8BFD15816117
15th14165Conor TwohigMathew CotterSDC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC642126
16th13981Sam StreetJosh LloydBLSC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC1026132
17th14142Peter BrinesCharlie ValentineLEYC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC10BFD121511138

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