The weather played a major hand in proceedings in Sligo Bay last weekend and with forecast for Sunday grim from way back in the week the entries were a little below expectations for this combined Autumn Open & Youth Championship hosted by Sligo Yacht Club.
Stephen Boyle/Eanna Molony Lawless and David Johnston were representing Sutton Dinghy Club in the Autumn Open event, with Eanna and David also down to defend their U23 and U16 Youth titles respectively.
28 GP14’s took to the line Saturday morning in light weather for the Sligo Tourist Development Association sponsored GP14 Autumn Open series. Sailed in a light and shifty south westerly breeze the tide was a big factor on the upwind legs in the morning. Both races were won by the Ger Owens/Melanie Morris (RStGYC) combination with the very close thing between next 4 boats and a single point separating 2nd and 5th. Shane McCarthy/Damian Bracken (Greystones) just took 2nd, with Tim Corcoran/Brendan Brogan (Sligo) taking 3rd ahead of Dan and Mairin O’Connell (Swords) and Paddy O’Connor/Colm O’Flaherty (Sligo).
Best of the Sutton Dinghy Club entries was David Johnston/Kevin Martyn who lay 17th overall and leading Bronze Fleet, with a best race finish of 15th.
Unfortunately the wind went absent altogether on Saturday afternoon. The Youths Championship fleet of 18 boats including our own David Johnston and Eanna Molony Lawless waited 2 hours for the wind to fill in on Saturday afternoon before the PRO eventually called a halt to proceedings.
With gusts of 40mph racing was blown out Sunday and all crews went about dismantling boats ready for journeys home. An early prize giving saw Ger Owens and Melanie Morris take the main prizes. Our own David Johnston won Bronze Fleet and with no Youth Championship races held, the SDC trio of Eanna Lawless (U23), Dan Gill (U18) and David Johnston (U16) are still reigning Champions until next time.
A really great event, a great fleet of boats turned out considering Sunday forecast and with a new fleet in Youghal and the likes of Max Treacy/Robbie Hamilton now joining the GP14 fleet it bodes well for the Class in Ireland especially with GP14 Worlds in East Down next year.
Click for Autumn Open Results 2013