2018 Gul GP14 World Championship – Day 4
Day 4 – Thursday 02 August 2018
Report by Michelle Evans – Photo Gallery Day 4
After the Wednesday lay day, and what turned out to be the best day for sailing, we were all itching to get out into what was forecast to be a sunny F3 all day. The morning race clinic with Matt Burge and Simon Potts was well attended while the rest of us tinkered with settings and taped up battered boats in the dinghy park. With the first ever Platinum Fleet having been designated after the first discard kicked in on the Tuesday, we now had green spots (don’t ask why green!) on the leading boat of Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe (Burwain SC).
Ross Kearney and Ed Bradburn (RNIYC/South Staffs SC) were the pathfinders for Race 6 with Andrew Clewer and Sarah Collingwood (Poole YC) having the best start and almost looking to round windward first before the wind dropped slightly on the right leaving the door open for Andy Smith and Phil Hodgkins (Bassenthwaite SC). The first reach of this race was probably the best of the regatta. Not exactly screaming but you could at least get on the plane. The positions at the top remained the same throughout with the course proving relatively easy to defend.
By Race 7 the wind was starting to drop off a little, going from the F3 in Race 6 down to a F2/3. With pathfinder Steve and Jack Bennett (Shustoke SC) on the move the light wind bandits of Neil Marsden and Derek Hill (Blackpool and Fleetwood SC) won with Mike Senior and Chris White (South Staffs SC) in second.
As there had been an unconfirmed hint of a third race just in case the conditions were not suitable to run two tomorrow we hung around and voted with our boats. Sure enough the flag went up and we were to have a third race of the day (Race 8) which was started by pathfinder Ger Owens and Melanie Morris (Royal St George YC).
Now, the GP14s do have a reputation for close, boat on boat racing however it did seem that the RO and dropping F2 winds were determined that we should get closer! Fortunately for myself and Dodge we manged to get around windward in the top fifteen. A quick look behind upon hearing the shouting revealed that the other 100 odd boats all reached it together and parked up. We made extremely slow but steady progress and then started to hear cries and whistles for the safety boat.
Parked up on the gybe mark, and probably not expecting to be called on, it took a few minutes to alert them. The rescue was required due to an in-boat helm and crew incident. Crew Geoff Edwards had apparently vented his frustration at being rafted on the mark by punching the boom. Unfortunately for helm Nick Deverux, Geoff packs a punch to rival Anthony Joshua and the boom knocked Nick clean out and into the boat. Perhaps it was the fashionable and bushy facial hair the pair have that confused vet Matt Burge into thinking he was back at work but he sailed over to examine the prone Nick. Thankfully for Nick, the emergency vet decided not to take his temperature, possibly owing to the wet suit restricting access. After his short nap Nick was sent to A&E for a check-up and was cleared to sail the next day. The ferocious beast that is Geoff Edwards was rewarded with the daily WOW (Wally of the Worlds) award and sent back to his enclosure to calm down. Matt got redress for his heroics and Mike and Chris won the race.
Thanks must go to our Champagne race sponsors, Creation Covers. Post-race ice creams were provided by Cornish company Callestick Ice Cream, Gibson Sails and Yachts and Yachting Magazine were race sponsors with spot prizes from Optimum Watches and English Braids providing the Buddy Group prize.