#gp14 – The ideal number of six GP14 dinghies with 12 keen sailors ranging in age from 14 to 20 and from four different clubs participated in Easter Training organised under the burgee of Youghal Sailing Club (formed only 4 months) on Sat, Sun and Mon. Spring had arrived on call only two days before and provided sunshine and light breezes, pretty much ideal for Troy Mc Namara our lead coach to set things up ashore at out temporary campervan club house on Ferry Point, an ideal location in the centre of this beautiful natural harbour.
Saturday's on the water exercises was done inside the wide inner bay where the Blackwater estuary sweeps east after the road bridge and before the gravel/sandy spit which is Ferrypoint, with a break in the middle for hot chocolate and fresh cut sambos provided by Una and Ruth Lee [Greystones and Youghal] and tips and entertainment from Troy. The evening featured Pizza and soft drinks in an activities hall and debrief from Troy armed with lots of film shot during the days action.
Sunday morning's sailing was done in sand ballast bay just to seaward of Ferrypoint and the sunny afternoon was spent tacking in a restricted channel between safety boats and towed buoys and doing starts and triangles out in the main bay off the beach. Evenings debrief once more featured film from the day and pizza that went down very well once more.
Monday dawned very foggy and down at base on Ferrypoint after a few halyards were restrung Troy gave an extended briefing and meteorological explanation while facing a thick fog bank to seaward until eventually he realised the fog had lifted sufficiently in the inner bay behind him to allow launching. Enthusiasm was so high that what was to be just a morning session on the water got extended to coming in for a quick lunch and getting out for another hour of starts and beats. To see everybody cross the line on the gun and get to the weather mark and back in a tight bunch with smiles on their faces and lots of friendly banter so many times, was proof of success and was just what is needed to give the feel good feeling that will keep this gang sailing and hopefully help Youghal focus again on the sea.
Without an existing sailing club or training centre, sailing in this historic sailing ship port is making a comeback spearheaded by schoolboy Adrian Lee who's passion for the sea led him to an old GP14 he kept moored in the harbour Moby Dick was filmed in and from there, to growing a fleet of 12 GPs in 3 years and travelling to GP circuit events as far away as Sligo and Donaghadee to gain experience. GP's have proved ideal for the kind of adventure sailing and racing done by the hardy youngsters of Youghal with their great seafaring tradition and can do attitude.