GP14 Open Meeting at Midland Sailing Club 3rd June 2018

GP14 Open Meeting at Midland Sailing Club 3rd June 2018

Launching in light winds

Light, variable and challenging winds, along with good sunshine, greeted the 17 GP14s (including nine visitors) to Midland Sailing Club at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Reservoir on Sunday 3rd June 2018 - a GP14 Midland Bell starred event.

Race 1:

After a short postponement and one general recall, the first race got underway. Ian Willis, crewed by Keith Dutton (Chase SC) rounded the first mark in the lead, followed by Chris Martin and Samuel Bailey (Midland SC) in second, with Matt Smith and Freya Mason (Midland SC) in third place.  On the second lap, Mark McKeever crewed by Kevin Hopkins (Midland SC) pulled up to second, followed by Chris and Samuel third, and Matt and Freya fourth. The ever-changing wind direction saw the leading boats beating all the way around the second lap.  On the last lap, Paul Owen crewed by Michelle Evans (South Staffs SC) showed amazing light wind skills to move up to third place, which they held to the finish behind Mark and Kevin second, and Ian and Keith first. Chris and Sam finished in 4th place. 

Race 2:

The second race started after an excellent lunch of either curry or a ploughmans with strawberries and cream for dessert. By now the wind had dropped to almost nothing, causing a headache for the race officer, Steve Watson. After a short delay the race was eventually started on a new course. Mike Homer crewed by Megan Ward (Midland SC) together with Mark and Kevin (Midland SC) made good starts at the pin end whilst Ian and Keith (Chase SC) started at the committee boat end. Ian and Keith rounded the windward mark first, ahead of Mark and Kevin in second, with Paul and Michelle (South staffs SC) third, and Chris and Sam (Midlands SC) fourth.  At the start of the second lap, the wind swung 180 degrees, turning the first beat into a run, seeing spinnakers hoisted for the first time in this race. Chris and Samuel went right, Ian and Keith and also Mark and Kevin both went left. Chris and Samuel rounded the next mark ahead of Ian and Keith with Mark and Kevin third. Chris and Samuel continued to lead as the wind now filled in from the NE. They held onto the lead to finish first, Ian and Keith were second, Simon Fletcher crewed by John Lookson (Trimpley SC) were third, and Mark and Kevin fourth.  

Race 3:

The meeting was now nicely balanced, with the outcome of the open resting on the results of the 3rd and final race. The 3rd race was held in slightly stronger and more consistent wind and again was started at the second attempt following a general recall. The U flag now came into operation, catching out Paul and Michelle (South staffs SC) and Chris and Samuel (Midland SC) with both being over the start line and therefore disqualified from the race. Ian and Keith (Chase SC) led at the first mark ahead of Mark and Kevin (Midlands SC), but places were swapped on the run and Mark and Kevin were leading by the third mark. Ian and Keith re-took the lead by the beginning of the second lap.  However, on the last leg, Mark and Kevin overtook Ian and Keith once more to win by a boat length at the finish to take both this, the final race, and the meeting



  • First:Mark McKeever and Kevin Hopkins, GP14 14208, Midland SC
  • Second: Ian Willis and Keith Dutton, GP14 14021, Chase SC
  • Third: Chris Martin and Samuel Bailey, GP14 13326, Midland SC


The second overall helm, Ian Willis, thanked Midland SC on behalf of the visitors for a challenging but enjoyable day’s racing.