GP14 National Inland Championship

This weekend we are hosting the GP14 Inlands. The rain has passed over and there is a forecast for a good southerly breeze all weekend.

There is a fleet list of 42 boats all ready and waiting for some excellent racing, and that is what they got!

Neil Marsden walked away with the first race and Steve Goacher the second, each having broken away by the end of the first beat.

The southerly breeze held steady and the fleet had a 28min beat to the bottom end of the lake for the third and final race of the day. There were various capsizes along the way. This time Shane MacCarthay led the fleet but the reaches and long run back to the finish proved to be testing with various position changes taking place. It was to be Mike Senior that won, and took overnight lead. Steve Goacher was second and lies third overall with Neil Marsden getting third and lying second!

Bass tales include the discovery of a killer shrimp in the lake – must be true because they were nibbling Mike Moore’s backside while he was practising his capsize drill (shouldn’t really do it through a race though!). Word is that the capsize was due to crew Kayla not getting her leg over fast enough! Best Bass boat was Dave Lawson with Toggle crewing – clearly continuing his successes in the Masters at Windermere recently. Sally started the day badly when she broke a crown on the crispy bacon bap! It went further downhill when she was hit in the face (guessing by a spinnaker pole). Tim Knowles unfortunately capsized just after finishing, caught his main on another boat and ripped it, Bad enough in itself, but the fact that the main was new last weekend, and was only on its second outing, exacerbates the situation somewhat!

On Sunday the wind was still a southerly, significantly lighter than Saturday, but it was easing as the fleet prepared for the first start for which there was a general recall. The black flag for the subsequent start kept the competitors back from the line and they had a clean start at 10:45.

As Mike Senior approached the leeward mark it seemed unlikely that he would maintain his lead as he was being blanketed by the fleet in light winds, but he cleared the mark and started beating on what turned out to be the final beat. However, the wind was not as kind to the rest of the fleet as they approached and rounded the leeward mark in drifting conditions as the wind swung through 180 degrees. Spinnakers were hoisted in an attempt to catch the occasional zephyrs of wind which remained unkind. Mike Senior was to have a 17min lead over the next boat, and unfortunately with a 20min finishing time limit on the race there were only three more boats that finished the race. But the 36 DNFs were in the good company of champions such as Steve Goacher and Neil Marsden!

As a result Mike Senior was in an unassailable position and had won the Championship. A disappointed fleet were sent ashore for lunch in the hope that the breeze would settle down for the fifth and final race.

A slight breeze did cause ripples across the lake over lunch and the OD went out to start a race, but it was not settling and racing was cancelled.

Prizes were awarded by the Commodore’s wife Pauline following a few words of thanks by Commodore Dave Nicholson. Mike Senior thanked the club on behalf of the visitors.

Dave Lawson’s finish in the morning race secured his position as best Bass boat (and first amateur!) finishing 4th overall.

Mike and Liz Senior
GP14 National Inland Champions 2010