Merlin & GP14 Round Up

So far in the Merlin Silver Tiller HD Sails have had a great start. The last five open meetings including the Thames and Midland series, HD Sails have taken the win.

HD Sails had 1st,2nd and 3rd at Wembley which saw Jon Gorringe & Toby Lewis win from Andy Davis & Tom Pygall and Matt Biggs & John Hackett.

After Wembley it was the journey to the Merlin Mecca Salcombe.  Matt Biggs & John Hackett showed great pace on the saturday to take the overnight lead, Sunday unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be for Matt & John, even though leading in the first race they became becalmed and then passed by 6 boats, quite easily done at Salcombe. Going into the last John Gorringe & Toby Lewis held there nerve and powered to victory winning the last race which gave them the open meeting, Matt & John ended up 3rd overall.

Banbury saw a very fresh breeze with gusts up to 36 knots, this was going to be a battle of who could stay upright. Matt Biggs & John Hackett stormed to victory  with two firsts but before that John decided to press the eject button in the first race and miss the toe straps which gave Matt his first swimming lesson of the year. 3rd place went to Chris Martin & Tom White also using HD Sails, Chris & Tom were one of only a few that didn’t capsize, well done lads.

Last weekend two Merlin events took place, the Cookham Shield and Trent Valley. Duncan & Harriet Salmon got in the groove early and won the first two races with their new HD Sails at Cookham, HD Sails also took 3rd with Andy Jones & Jilly Blake and 4th with Alan Braodbent & Russell Hall.

Matt Biggs & John Hackett won all three races at Trent Valley, sadly for Matt  he got T-boned in the first race and suffered  major damage to the port side, thankfully with it being a Winder boat Matt was able to carry on for the rest of the day. Hopefully he will have it fixed for Hayling this weekend.


GP14 Midland Areas were held at Staunton Harold, Mike & Liz Senior showed consistency taking the win over the 6 race series. A special mention must go to Eleanor Davis & James Croxford who won the Silver fleet using HD Sails, not only did they win the Silver fleet but also finished 9th overall, well done!

Next for the GP14 is the Inland Championships, this year they are held by Burton sailing club over the May bank holiday. Will HD Sails be able to retain their Inland title?




HD Sails take 1st and 2nd at GP14 Irish Championships

HD Sails continued their 2012 dominance of GP14 Championship events by taking 1st and 2nd overall at the 2012 Irish Nationals.

Mike Senior and Chris White put in their best performance to date winning all 5 races against 39 boats in conditions ranging from 10 knots in the first race to 25+ knots. Mike and Chris most notably renowned for downwind speed in fresh conditions have recently been working hard with HD’s on their big breeze upwind speed. The results of which were clearly noticeable.

HD Sailors Shane MacCarthy and Andy Thompson had a strong second day to finish second overall. Focus now turns to the World Championships starting on the 12th August in Looe, Cornwall where 130 boats are expected to compete.

HD Sails win GP14 Northern Championships

HD Sails produced another championship winning performance at the GP14 Northern Championships over the 14th/15th July. 29 boats competed at this years event hosted by Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club. 2 races were held on Saturday in light and variable conditions. HD Sailors Mike Senior and Chris White put in a solid performance on the first day to win both races, only to find out later they were found to be OCS in the second. Pressure was then on for Sunday given their discard had already been used.

Motivated by their mistake on Saturday and a good force 5-6 Mike and Chris managed to take the overall win from current GP14 World Champions Ian Dobson and Andy Tunnicliffe posting a 3rd and two 1st’s in testing conditions. For a full report visit the GP14 site here

Mike and Chris have just one more warm-up event for the Worlds at the Irish Nationals over the 21st/22nd July, where they will be looking to fine tune their HD set-up ready for Looe in August. Will keep you updated.

HD Sails dominate GP14 Masters

John Billington and Mike Senior dominated the 2012 GP14 Masters Championship winning all 3 races in breezy conditions held from New Quay Yacht Club, Wales. Mike usually seen at the helm of a GP teamed up with top Lark sailor John Billington for the event. Having never sailed together before, they showed fantastic boat speed which made up for the inevitable odd boat handling error!

The score line doesn’t however paint the full story. In the first race John and Mike capsized during their first tack and rounded the first mark near the back. With just short 30 minute back to back races planned, John and Mike had much to do. A top 5 was the aim, but some nifty downwind speed and upwind tactical decisions they were quickly back in the mix and managed to just grab the race win at the finish line. Races 2 and 3 were a little more straight forward as they led from start to finish winning both by a comfortable margin.

Attention now turns to the 2012 World Championships in Looe, Cornwall. If you are thinking of GP sails for this years Worlds please don’t hesitate and get your order in soon so you don’t miss out, order slots are filling up fast! Mike will also be attending the GP Bolton Open this Saturday, the Northern Championships at Derwent the week after and the Irish Nationals at Ballyholme  on the 21/22 July and will be happy to chat about his HD set-up to help you with your preparations for this years Worlds.

Clean sweep at GP14 Leinster Championships

Current Irish National Champions Shane MacCarthy and Andy Davis won all three races at the Leinster Championships. This year the Leinster’s were held at Greystones. 6 races were scheduled but only three completed, Saturday started off with quite light winds but built later in the afternoon to give superb flat out reaches. Sunday the forecast was not so great, the race officer tried to start a race but with very light wind and tide in the same direction it certainly made it difficult to get over the start line, only a handful of boats managed to make it over line and with that the race officer canned the race and the day.

Shane has now won the Leinster’s 3 years in a row and showing great boat speed is certainly looking forward to the World Championships in August.

If you are thinking of GP sails for this years Worlds please don’t hesitate and get your order in soon so you don’t miss out, order slots are filling up fast!


GP14 Inland Champions

HD Sails Win the GP14 2012 Inland Championships.

Northampton Sailing Club hosted the GP14’s over the May bank holiday, 8 races were sailed in total and HD won 5 of them!

Andy Davis & Andy Hateley topped the podium, Mike Senior & Chris White also using HD Sails finished second. Both boats tied on points and it was the two Andy’s with three race wins that gave them the Title.

Well done to both boats.