The annual GP14 Riocard O Tiarnaigh Challenge took place at Swords Sailing Club on the 14th & 15th of April.
This was the first of SSBC's headline events. The event was run over Saturday and Sunday with a total of 12 races completed on a variety of courses including trapezoid, windward leeward and Olympic style courses.
Race officer Peter Smith and team took to the water at 11.00 am along with the rib fleet and set up a triangle course with a diagonal run back to a port rounding and then reaching to the leeward mark but a short delay ensued due to wind shifting so race 1 finally got under way at 12.00. The 22 boat fleet was divided in to 3 groups, gold, silver and bronze. On race 3 the course changed to triangle sausage and the wind began to blow giving rise to some spectacular looking reaches under full sail from the fleet. A half time lunch saw the boat crews in to the club for a feed and then out again.
The bitter cold northerly breeze did not hinder the hardy GP14 sailors as they completed a total of 6 races on day one leaving Peter Fallow & James Hockey leading the bronze fleet on 5 points, Gerard OSullivan & Hugh McNally and Daniel & Gareth Gallagher tied on 7 points each in the silver fleet and Niall Henry & Ossian Geraghty leading the gold fleet on 8 points.
So boats put away and in to the club house for a barbecue and Alan Grays famous cheese melter burgers followed by drinks and a viewing of the days action on the video screen.
Day two with lighter airs and still quite a cold day on this 100th year rememberance of the Titanics sinking saw first gun sounded at 10.30. The last three races in the group rounds produced fleet winners and the 12 boats to compete in a 3 race final for overall winner.
After a break ashore the boats returned to the water and a windward leeward course with a short loop inside was set.
Race 1 saw Shane McCarthy and D Bracken take the line.
Race 2 Clive Goodwin and Stan Shepherd crossed in pole position.
In race 3 Niall Henry and Oiseen Geraghty finished first and coming second Clive (Swords)and Stan (Skerries) which together with a 3rd from race one clinched them the gold and Riocard O’Tiarnaigh trophy for 2012.
Bronze winners were Peter Fallon & James Hockey, Lough Foyle.
Silver winners were Gerard OSullivan & Hugh McNally, HYC.
At the prize giving GP 14 Association chairman Richard Street formally requested Swords Sailing Club to host the event again in 2013 and commodore Donal Brennan accepted.
Full results can be viewed on Swords Sailing Club website
HD Video of the event will be available on request from Swords