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News - Latest News
24 Apr 2013

GP14 Midland Area Championships

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GP14 Midland Area Championships 2013 – Staunton Harold Sailing Club.

The weekend of 20th/21st April, saw the second event of the Craft Insure sponsored GP14 Grand Prix circuit. With a reasonable forecast, it was a great sight to see 28 boats on the startline, preparing themselves for the first beat into the slowly building breeze, the fleet having rigged with a maximum of 12mph in mind. Chocks in, the fleet were ready.

As many expected,  the blackflag was needed to keep bows behind the line for all races over the weekend, several boats over the course of the six races being pulled after early starts. The beats were challenging to read every time, the wind coming from the left of the two prongs of Staunton reservoir, resulting in an extremely competitive weekend of racing from 1st to 28th, places gained and lost on almost every beat. Places too were up for grabs as the spinnaker legs took the fleet all over the reservoir on tight reaches, broad legs & runs; certainly not follow my leader courses.

The results of the weekend really tell the story much better than any long winded account of race by race place changes. Six races, six different winning boats - it says a huge amount about the competitiveness of the GP racing at the moment -each had to battle to their race wins, only  one boat leading from start to finish.

Race 1 was won by Andy Tunnicliffe, crewed by Chris Robinson.

Race 2 brought home by Richie Bennett & Emily Cole-Evans

Race 3 victors were Rich Instone & Jim Toothill

Race 4 bullet went to Dave & Seonaid Young

Race 5, a race win for Mike & Liz Senior

Race 6 went to Sam Watson & Andy Hunter

It was consistency that gave Mike & Liz the event, sailing their HD powered Boon hull. All six results in the top 4 taking them to the top of the standings, ahead of Andy Tunnicliffe & Chris Robinson, third taken by Richie Bennett & Emily Cole-Evans, fourth were Dave & Seonaid Young.

Lead Silver fleet boat was helmed by Eleanor Davies, crewed by James Croxford with 3 top seven finishes. Leading the Bronze home were Rich & Nigel Pepperdine, the father and son team also taking first home boat.

As for lead Youths, it was a dominant display from Sam Blocksidge & Mark Fleming coming home in 5thplace overall.  Richard Instone was the winner of the Richard Estaugh trophy, a timely reminder of four years since Richard’s passing.

The month of May sees the GP14  Inlands across at Foremark Reservoir near Burton(DE65 6EJ) on 4th/5th May. Entries are pre-entry only via the GP14 website. Entries on the day are very likely to be refused. The next Midland Bell Event is May 12th at Midland Sailing Club.

Huge thanks to all at Staunton for their most welcoming attention to detail throughout the weekend, the team on the water being matched by the support in the Galley and the bar on the Saturday evening. A great start to the 2013 CraftInsure Grand Prix.