South Staffs Sailors triumph at GP Masters
This year`s GP14 Masters promised something different, with an open sea venue, useful as a warm up for the World Championship in Looe in six weeks time. A highly competitive fleet took to the water on Saturday in fairly hostile conditions, with strong gusty winds and a lumpy sea plus a swell running at an angle to the wind and smaller waves, making interesting sailing.
Although the first race was abandoned seconds before the start the boats starting at the pin end could not hear the sound signals and did not pick up the small AP flag being flown. Sufficient boats were in trouble to make the few boats who did spot the abandonment look like more non-starters , and with all rescue boats extremely busy the competing group were on the second reach before they found their forty minutes efforts were in vain With winds increasing significantly mid-afternoon the decision to go ashore and stay there looked wise.
On Sunday with a poor forecast the Race Officer decided to race inside the reef giving flatter water but shiftier winds and a much smaller course. The first reach was tight enough to be a challenge to all but the heaviest and most skilful crews. Coming out of a twenty year retirement former World Champion Ian Willis, reunited with crew Keith Dutton and sailing Carl Jeff's` boat proved that while form is temporary, class is permanent. Opting to sail the reaches on the second triangle without spinnaker at the last mark he was a close second and challenging Neil Davies and Adam Froggatt who felt the need to luff with spinnaker allowing John Billington crewed by Mike Senior in Mikes boat to take advantage of the gust and plane into 1st place to leeward on the short reach to the finish.
This was a foretaste of what was to come in the next two races. A group of six boats took the first six places in all three races with Billington/Senior winning the next two races as well. Willis and Dutton sailed steadily for two thirds and a second giving them second overall, the Grand Master, over 60 and ton-up trophies. Dave Young with emergency crew Sarah Davis took third overall followed by Davies and Froggatt, then Paul Owen and Andy Hateley and Irish team of Curly Morris and Laura McFarlane.
Given the forecast for the Sunday we were lucky to get even three races. New Quay lived up to its great reputation for hospitality off the water in the style one might expect of a Masters Championship. Now for Looe - if you`re lucky enough to have one of the 130 entries available for this event.
NEW QUAY YACHT CLUB 2012
|1st||(A) GP14||14082||Billington J||Senior M||1126||1||1||1||3|
|2nd||(A) GP14||14062||Willis I||Dutton K||1126||3||3||2||8|
|3rd||(A) GP14||14097||Young D||Davies S||1126||5||2||3||10|
|4th||(A) GP14||14032||Davies N||Froggatt A||1126||2||5||5||12|
|5th||(A) GP14||13803||Owen Paul||Hateley Andy||1126||4||6||4||14|
|6th||(A) GP14||14077||Morris Curly||McFarland L||1126||6||4||6||16|
|7th||(A) GP14||14043||Eaves N||Prosser D||1126||9||7||7||23|
|8th||(A) GP14||13812||Simes Paul||Simes Tom||1126||10||8||8||26|
|9th||(A) GP14||14063||Brennan M||Knott A||1126||8||9||9||26|
|10th||(A) GP14||13316||Ward James||Whitehall Richard||1126||7||10||10||27|
|11th||(A) GP14||14051||Beddow C||Cook C||1126||11||11||11||33|
|12th||(A) GP14||13656||Wilson Karen||Weibe Nauta||1126||14||13||13||40|
|13th||(A) GP14||13423||Ashworth J||Fitzpatrick A||1126||15||14||14||43|
|14th||(A) GP14||13705||Brandon N||Evans M||1126||12||21 DNF||12||45|
|15th||(A) GP14||13787||Wadsworth A||Morley Mike||1126||13||12||21 DNC||46|
|16th||(A) GP14||13421||Allen Helen||Kalmeijer Yvon||1126||16||21 DNF||21 DNC||58|
|17th||(A) GP14||13727||Davies Tim||Collingwood Mark||1126||21 DNF||21 DNC||21 DNC||63|
|17th||(A) GP14||13287||Sinclair Stuart||Sinclair Jonathon||1126||21 DNF||21 DNC||21 DNC||63|
|DNQ||(A) GP14||14028||Edge J||Edge K||1126||21 DNC||21 DNC||21 DNC||63|
|DNQ||(A) GP14||13931||Instone R||Toothill J||1126||21 DNC||21 DNC||21 DNC||63|
GP Class Association - 04th July 2012