One tight competition

...will be had at the GP14 Nationals next week in Pwllheli with the invincible Richard Estaugh not attending

Thursday July 26th 2001, Author: John Greenland, Location: United Kingdom
This year the GP14 Nationals are being held in conjunction with the Scorpion Nationals from Pwllheli. With GP14 legend Richard Estaugh attending the Merlin Nationals the top spot will be wide open to a number of high quality sailors.

Neil Thompson, GP14 boat builder, is one of the favourites to win the event. He is often in the top three at the main events on the circuit, recently finishing third at the GP14 Inlands. However, Thompson will have to be wary of several other top GP14 sailors, including Neil Marsden, Carl Jeffs and Neil Platt.

Marsden managed to beat Estaugh at last year's Nationals and has shown great improvements throughout the year. He will certainly be a serious contender for the championship. Jeffs is also likely to challenge for the championship, having won the Bloody Mary overall and finished second in the Inlands during the first six months of the year. Jeffs has come close to winning these championships before, and so is sure to be one of the top boats in this event.

The third Neil, Neil Platt, has also finished well this season. He has beaten Thompson in the Masters before, and is therefore more than capable of doing it again to secure a top place this year.

With the event being held in North Wales it is likely that some strong competition will make the journey from Ireland. Among the top Irish sailors are Hugh Gill and Damian Bracken. With competition so tight at the top of this fleet there is every chance that these two will also challenge for a podium finish.

Depending on the location of the race course the sailing area may well have very little tide to worry about, opening the competition to both lake and sea sailors.

If you are competing in the Nationals then you may want to take a look at Jim Saltonstall's venue guide for the great master's value tips.

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