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Noble Marine 2022 SW - LEADERBOARD

GP14 UK National Championships at Looe Sailing Club - Runners and Riders

by Ross Kearney 31 Jul 2023 11:52 UTC 5-11 August 2023
Fergus and Jasper Barnham © Richard Craig /

The GP14s are returning to Looe SC for another Nationals. This popular venue, a quaint Cornish village, with a beautiful beach is a family favourite for sure. This is the third time the GP14 class have visited Looe since 2012, definitely a fleet favourite, providing great racing conditions and a great social calendar to enjoy off the water.

Tight racing is always on the cards with the GP class and fierce competition is ensured throughout the fleet. Here are some names to look out for.

Sam Watson and Darren Roach - Sam the 2019 GP14 National Champion always places highly at the big events. Teaming up with local enterprise National champion Darren for this year's champs, can they come out on top? Rumour has it they have been getting in some sneaky practice. A relatively light weight pairing, but will go well in a range of conditions, will local knowledge combined with GP14 experience pave the way for these two?

Fergus and Jasper Barnham - This son and father pairing have been setting the pace this year, winning the Southern Area championships convincingly. A 3rd place at last year's event, they will be eyeing up a higher placed finish. A fit and muscular pairing, they will relish breeze, however they have shown consistency and ability to compete in whatever the weather throws at them.

Matt Mee and Chris Robinson - Matt a former Fireball world Champion teaming up with his regular GP crew Chris bring with them multiple GP14 national championships and experience from many classes. Runner up at the National and World championships last year, and recent winner of the Northern Area champs, they will be hot favourites to take the 2023 title. Another pairing that should relish a mix of conditions.

John and Jack Telford - The father and son pair from Bassenthwaite Sailing Club, are ones to watch, they have been regular travellers to opens and regional events to gain that all important time on the water. Hailing from the lakes, how will they cope with the potentially epic sea conditions that Looe will provide?

Russ and Ali Cormack - The husband and wife team from Budworth SC return to the Nationals after winning the first race at the 2019 Abersoch Nationals. They are coming hot from the Fireball Nationals in Torquay. Ones to watch for a high placing in light conditions, whilst Ali will be vying for top Female crew.

Tim Jones and Dale Knowles - A huge wealth of GP14 experience in this boat, and plenty of pace too. Tim and Dale have mixed it up at the top of the GP fleet for years, they will relish the Big Looe days and will no doubt be placed well inside the top 10.

Ciaron Jones and Sam Platt - The Holyhead pairing have shown great potential since pairing up last year, they are improving every year, will this be the year for a top 5 position? Have they been teaming up with Dad Tim for plenty of Holyhead training? Could be dark horses for a high placing for sure.

John Hayes and Joel James - Experienced GP14 pairing have a new look this year, trading in their Winder for a Duffin, they will be no doubt a formidable team in the light to medium winds and have scored plenty of race wins in the past. Another regular to the top 10, will they make that step into the top 5 in their new ship?

Mark and Tom Platt - Another Father and Son team, this duo have been seen out and about at many of the early events this year, with a long history of GP14 sailing, they have plenty of GP knowledge to help them tackle the weeks conditions.

Ross Kearney and Ed Bradburn - Ed jumps back in the boat for the nationals. With Ross now living back in Ireland, they haven't sailed together since 2019. Will rustiness get in the way of improving their 4th placed 2019 Nationals and runner up at the 2018 Worlds positions? A mix of conditions will suit this consistent pair.

Connor Twohig and Matthew Cotter - Another Irish pairing making their way to sunny Looe, can they pick up where they left off with a great 3rd place finish at the recent Leinster championships? They have had a great year's training, putting in the hours in Dublin bay, can they transition to the south coast of Cornwall?

Hugh Gill and Richard Street - A regular Irish visitor to the UK nationals, teaming up with Richard, they will have all the tricks of the trade to battle through the young guns and post some impressive results.

With all the traditional on shore socialising guaranteed a great event is surely in store for all. Bring it on!

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