2018 Gul GP14 World Championship - image by Photolounge
The 2018 Gul GP14 World Championship at Mount's Bay SC, near Penzance threw a variety of conditions at the competitors! Day 1 of racing abandoned due to strong winds, but eventually 199 boats launched onto the heaving ocean for race 1...
Day 2 saw three races scheduled for the GP14's. The fleet launched off Marazion Beach full of enthusiasm although with +20kn gusts and a significant swell coming into the Bay, it proved to be a pretty bumpy affair for all. Needless to say, many sailors returned to shore a little later looking a wee bit peeky!
It was Ian Dobson & Andy Tunnicliffe, one of the pre-event favourites who came out on top in Race 1. They were followed home by Irishmen Colman Grimes and Sam Wray. Dobson and Tunnicliffe fell back in race 2 though, opening the door for another Irish boat, Shane McCarthy and Andy Davies to take the win. The final race of the day belonged to Andy Smith and Phil Hodgkins from Bassenthwaite SC in the Lake District.
The wind hung around for day 3 and South Staff SC's Mike Senior & Chris White took full advantage in race 4. This was proving to be a difficult championships to find consistency, and although McCarthy and Davies managed to find their second win in race 5, they were only lying 6th overall after a few difficult races.
Wednesday was a much appreciated rest day for the competitors, and whilst many spent time relaxing and visiting the sites of Cornwall with friends and family, locals Sam and Lianne Thompson went fo a swim around St Michael's Mount... as you do!
Anyway, back to the sailing and day 4 saw three more races take place. The conditions had calmed a fair bit now, which seemed to suit Smith & Hodgkins who clock up another win in race 6. We had yet another winner in race 7 though, with Neil Marsden and Derek Hill coming to the fore. Senior and White finished behind them in 2nd, but in Race 8 they were able to promote themselves to 1st for their second win to take the overall lead. With one race to go, Senior & White were looking good at the top but Ross Kearney & Ed Bradburn were just a single point behind after a run of 7 straight top 10 finishes.
The final day and the final race would decide it. Senior & White showed the class under pressure, finishing with their third race win to take the overall title, whilst the unfortunate Kearney & Bradburn had their worst finish yet in 28th. Their performances in the earlier races was enough though to secure 2nd place overall from Marsden & Hill.
You can watch the races as they unfold from the 28th July, by visiting www.tracace.co.uk and clicking on the GP14 World Championships link. Visit https://www.gp14.org/worlds2018/ for more information, results and reports from the Championships.