Following a very windy and bumpy crossing early on Saturday morning, the 3 Sutton boats (Hugh & Tim, Peter & Stephen and Alan & David) met up with fellow Irish travellers Curly Morris and Shane MacCarthy. Saturday afternoon was spent unloading and preparing boats with some choosing not to rig with the high winds.
Sunday morning was bright but forecast to get windier and wetter as the day progressed. An initial practice race with Race 1 proper was on the schedule. The start of Race 1 saw 4 boats dominate the early beat with Greystones Shane MacCarthy & Andy Thompson in the mix but beaten to the top mark by new pair Fergus Barnham & Ellie Deveraux with Nick Deveraux and Sam Watson not far behind.
These 3 are the up and coming young crews on the UK GP14 scene and in this first race they were quick. Our own Alan Blay & David Johnston were in 5th battling all the race with former UK National Champion Mike Senior with a gap back to the rest of the fleet. Showing great downwind speed in conditions fluctuating between 19 and 22 knots, Shane MacCarthy made his move on the second last leg and comfortably took the gun.
Sutton’s Alan & David were pipped by Mike Senior at the death and had to settle for 6th. However a protest after the race saw Sam Watson disqualified for an incident at the gybe mark which left everybody mystified. A 5th for Alan & David was not a bad start to the event. Next up for the Irish was Curly Morris with new crew Josh Porter in a super 8th in tough sea conditions. Young Peter Boyle with dad Stephen finished 12th which considering at 15 he is the youngest helm was a standout performance. Despite good speed in the new boat Hugh Gill & Tim Coyne had to settle for 24th following unfortunate tip over and some gear failure.
The tide out, there was a very long troop up the beach. The drag up the slip in Sutton pales in comparison. Why did we get the tractor!!
One down, 8 more races to go. The forecast for Monday particularly early on is very wet with wind up to 25 knots. As the wind drops the seas state is a key consideration for the PRO Chris Honnins as he tries to get 2 more races completed.
[whohit]-2016 GP14 UK Nats D1-[/whohit]