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2024 GP14 World Championship at Plas Heli, Pwllheli - Runners and Riders

by Vanessa Devereux, Curly Morris & Andy Johnson 20 Jun 07:02 PDT 10-16 August 2024
Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe win the Progressive Credit Union GP14 Worlds 2022 © SSC

The GP14 Worlds at Plas Heli, Pwllheli is once again five championships in one event. Following changes by World Sailing, the GP14 Association able to crown five World Champions from one event, subject to meeting criteria of number of entries.

Sailing on the same course, start line and competing against all competitors The chance to be a double World Champion in 2024 as the plan is to crown the overall World Champions, Male Champions, Mixed Champions, Female Champions and Youth Champions.

Runners and Riders

Male Championship contenders

Matt Mee and Chris Robinson Fleetwood and Blackpool SC, second at Skerries on countback and the current British National Champions are the only sailors from the Male Champions' podium currently entered for the Worlds! The runners up from Skerries who got back together in a boat that they both know as they were struggling to find the time to learn and fine tune sailing in another fleet together.

Fergus and Jasper Barnham from Snettisham Beach SC, Fergus has been a regular fixture of the GP14 fleet has recently teamed up with his father, Jasper. These runners up at the 2023 Nationals and third at the 2022 Nationals are looking to improve on these positions. Ferg has been rumoured to be looking to borrow a boat for the Irish Nationals, to get in some practise and check out the Irish fleet.

Sean Craig and Stephen Boyle, a new Irish pairing; with ILCA 6 and RS Aero sailor; who has recently finished 6th in the Grand Masters ILCA 6 at the World Masters Championships in Adelaide, Australia, in February of this year. Sean is reported to have said "the GP14 is the most competitive double handed fleet sailing in Ireland at the moment". Stephen sailing with son Peter came 7th in the 2019 Nationals sailing on the same water as this year's Worlds. Sean is taking the training extremely seriously having asked to practise the triangle sausage courses and gate starts where feasible in the Irish events which lead up to the Worlds!

Tom Gillard and Shandy, a frequent visitor to the GP14 fleet. Fresh from being crowned World Champions (with a race to spare!) at the 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia. Tom will be looking to improve on his and Shandy's 10th place at the Mounts Bay Wolrd's in 2018. Tom couldn't fit the 2022 Worlds into his racing schedule and has only managed one GP event this year- the Northern Area Championship which he and Shandy won. Tom has recently won the Lark UK Nationals on his first venture into the fleet.

John and Jack Telford, another father and son pairing this time from Bassenthwaite SC, 14th at the 2023 Nationals. A pair to keep an eye on.

Sam Watson and Darren Roach Nantwich and Borders SC and Plymouth YC; Sam our 2019 National Champion, when sailing with Shandy, paired up last season with Darren from Plymouth SC coming 4th in their first Nationals are looking to improve on this. Rumour has it that they are going to Ireland for the Irish Nationals to check out the competition.

Neil Marsden and Derek Hill 2003 World Champions and 4th in 2022 at Skerries from Fleetwood and Blackpool SC.

Andy Smith and Ali Rimmer. Andy is returning to sailing GP's, in a new pairing with youngster Ali. They are rumoured to be in the brand new Impact Marine, Duffin! From Bassenthwaite SC.

Ross Kearney, 7th at Skerries, sailing with Daniel Nelson Royal Northern Ireland YC. Ross is well know both sides of the Irish sea having sailed at South Staffs SC for many years. He was second at Mounts Bay in 2018 and has won the Mirror Europeans and Worlds.

Colman Grimes and Ross Gringles 5th at Skerries and rumoured to having their eyes on a medal. From Skerries SC.

Tim Jones and Dale Knowles 8th in 2022 at Skerries. Tim, Holyhead Boat Club, only competes on the sea has paired with Dale from Bolton SC.

Rob Robinson 6th at Skerries and Youth World Champions 2022 sailing with Ollie Hawkins, Royal Windermere YC.

Mixed Championship contenders

Ger Owens and Mel Morris, The Mixed World Champions from 2022 and winners of the Irish equivalent to the Endeavour trophy.

Adam McGovern and Ellie Wheeldon, Hollingworth Lake SC and South Staffs SC, RYA North's RDO; Adam has paired up once again with Ellie. This pair were 20th at the Mounts Bay Worlds in 2018. Ellie sailing with Ollie Goodhead was the first mixed boat at the 2023 Nationals coming 7th overall.

Russ and Ali Cormack from Budworth SC are contenders for this title. Winners of the first race of the 2019 National Championship.

JP and Carolyn Maccaldin, Lough Erne YC, 43rd at Mounts Bay in 2018 are also a pair to keep an eye on. They are rumoured to be good in strong winds.

Diane Kissane and Graham Curran, Howth YC, 4th in the Leinster Championship at Howth, June 2nd 2024.

Curly Morris and his crew are also in contention for this title if the conditions are light. East Antrim Boat Club.

Russ and Ali Cormack, Budworth SC, came 19th at their first GP14 Nationals in 2019, with a great start, when they won the first race of the Championship. Russ is hoping that the alternative sailing day moves, and that Thursday has no racing as he has work commitments on that day. All is in the lap of the wind gods!

Female Championship contenders

Female sailors have always been recognised by the GP14 Class. The ability to crown them as World Champions at our Worlds is a fantastic recognition for them. At present we have 6 female pairings including Ann Penny, one of our past presidents, sailing in this event. There is a chance for any of these pairings to step onto the podium.

Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley, Sutton Dinghy Club and Howth YC, runners up in the Female World Championship in 2022.

Lesley Freeman and Sue Webb. The only English female boat; from Trimpley SC.

Paula Carthy and Muriel Carthy from Rush SC.

Jennifer Brice and Vivika Turner from Newtonard SC. Jennifer has spoken about her journey into sailing and the GP14 fleet, and on her experiences travelling to events in a podcast for Ireland's RYA "Crest of the Wave".

Tasmin and Brenda Hoult Hayling Island SC.

Anne Penny and Cat Gringles Derwent Reservoir SC.

Youth Championship contenders

Jude Stanley and Oscar Hoult from Hayling Island SC, the Youth champions from the 2023 Nationals in 19th place; have been homing their skills for the second time, at the weeklong Youth training camp which is unique to the class and is subsidized by the Association.

Fin Waterhouse and Sian Baird from Budworth SC will be hoping to remain as close with Jude and Oscar as the pairing of Fin and his Father in 2023 did in 2023 when they were one place behind in 20th place.

Daithi and Arann Murphy from Tralee Bay SC. This young pair of brothers are fearless on the water.

David Evans and William Draper from Sligo YC are the hot youths to watch. having attended the Howard Davies Week this year this pair jumped from mid fleet winning races in Championships effortlessly back home. They have considerable as they also sometimes sail Fiireballs.

Sam Street and Josh Lloyd, BLSC, 27th and second Youths at the Skerries Worlds.

Adam and Emily Torrens from Newtownards YC are a brother / sister combination from a GP14 sailing family. To get his own boat back dad Bob, has invested in a newer boat for them and they are producing the results in Club and Irish sailing when exams don't get in the way. Another team who has benefited hugely from The EHD training.

Peter Brines and Charlie Valentine, Lough Erne YC. Peter Brines is the son of a GP14 sailor from Lough Erne and his crew, Charlie Valantine is the son of another GP14 sailor, the much-missed Mark Valantine. Keep an eye on this pair for the future as they are both still young.

Daniel O'Hare and Asiling Kelly from Rush SC. Daniel helmed with an adult crew in 2022.

Oliver Gabbitas and Freddie Cosby from York SC. This pair have teamed up in a Youth boat for this event; they have previously crewed with adult helms.

Riaghan Boardman and Maedbth Butterly are another young pairing from Rush SC.

The Irish Youth are very keen with them taking 9 of the 10 boat places at the Howard Davis Youth training week. The Irish sailors are trembling to see how much the youngster improve with some of them returning for a second year of this intensive training week after how much they improved last year. According to the craic on the Irish WhatsApp they managed to beat the oldies in a few races once they returned last year, as well as winning races upon returning this year.

The Youth fleet is subsidized both on entry; youth boats have a 50% discount and Youth helms 25% discount in all Championships with the difference being paid by the Association. The previously mentioned Howard Davis Youth Training Week is also subsidized by the Association as well as having guest coaches from the National and World Champion helms and crews as well as top gold fleet sailors. Added to this are the grants for sailor development and overseas travel. Jack Austin Memorial Fund The fund provides support for junior competitors by way of travel grants to assist financially their participation in World Championships who are overseas from the host country. Details on how to apply for these are on the website under membership, then grants.

Entry is open until midnight on the 7th July


Many thanks to all our sponsors who include Impact Marine, Goacher Sails, Craftinsure, P&B, Rooster, Clamcleats, Wessex Epoxy Solutions, Allen, FM Sailing, Robline, Y&Y, Musto, F&M sailing, swimclub, Sailpics, Paintcraft, Winder Boats.

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