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With the Skerries GP14 dinghy World Championships scheduled for this August, Irish crews will be starting to dust down their boats and start their Worlds preparation in earnest.

To help try and kick start the process and to make this Thursday's (Feb 17) association AGM via zoom will include guest helmsman Ross Kearney for a Q&A session.

Kearney, a runner up at the last Worlds in Mounts Bay in Cornwall and GP14 Ireland National Champion in 2018 is also a former World and European Mirror dinghy Champion.

The Northern Ireland ace will run through some of the technical, physical and mental preparations that should be considered in 'Preparing for a Major Championship'.

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A ready to go vintage GP14 dinghy restoration project has gone online that might be suitable for a Dublin-based renovation.

Facebook poster Tim McAuley asks on the GP14 Facebook page "Is anyone here based in Ireland (Dublin better) and interested in antique GP14 revival?"

McAuley says he has boat number 5458 "sitting in dry storage, in reasonable condition and what seems to be all original attachments, including wooden mast (probably not serviceable) and boom"

He adds the boat is 'Looking for a new loving home".

There is no road trolley, just a basic trolley. 

McAuley says the boat built in 1960 has been in the family since it was built. It hasn't been sailed properly since 1970. It was built by Blackburn in Dunbarton. 

It won't be the only antique GP14 restoration of the pandemic, however. 1955 built Belfast built Ventura was brought back to life last year as Afloat reports here

See his Facebook post here

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The interest in the GP14 Frostbite Series on Dublin Bay continued with seven taking to the water last Sunday morning for some very close and competitive races.

Curly Morris with Josh Porter upfront joined Sam Street and Josh Lloyd and Colman Grimes and Meg Tyrrell in making the journey to Sutton Dinghy Club.

Add in the home Clubs Hugh and Dan Gill, Peter and Stephen Boyle, Alan Blay and Hugh McNally and Kerri-Ann Boylan & David Johnston and the build-up to the World Championships for Irish crews had some cracking racing under PRO Jim Lambkin with Safety and Mark Laying managed by Club Commodore Ian McCormack.

Despite it being low water, the racing was underway by ten past 11 in 15kts of breeze. Before the end of the morning, it had reached 20kts with a few gusts to 26kts. Aside from a broken toe-strap on the Blessington boat and a visit to the drink for Kerri-Ann and David during a spinnaker gybe, two superbly competitive races were completed.

On the day Alan Blay/Hugh McNally won both races.

Race 1: Alan Blay (1), Peter Boyle (2), Colman Grimes (3), Hugh Gill (4), Sam Street (5), Curly Morris (6), Kerri-Ann (7)
Race 2: Alan Blay (1), Peter Boyle (2), Hugh Gill (3), Kerri-Ann (4), Colman Grimes (5), Curly Morris (6), Sam Street (7)

Racing continues this Sunday.

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The Irish GP14 fleet will visit three coasts of Ireland in the build-up to the World Championships on the east coast at Skerries next August.

Although there is no trip to the south coast scheduled, the packed eight-event calendar sees the first regatta in the west at Sligo on April 30th. It is followed by two Northern events; the Ulsters (May 21-22) at Lough Foyle YC and the National Championships (July 2-3)at RNIYC on Belfast Lough. 

The fleet then bases itself at Skerries in North Dublin for August's World Championships from August 14-19) with a pre worlds training camp at the venue from July 30-31. 

"the packed eight-event calendar sees the first regatta in the west at Sligo on April 30th"

But training for the 'Big One' is already underway at Skerries this month where a recently concluded short Frostbite series had a couple of boats from Sutton, RStGYC and Blessington boats joining the Skerries sailors.

With its conclusion, Hugh Gill and Stephen Boyle in Sutton Dinghy Club on Dublin Bay has kick-started a five-week series that is open to all comers. Last weekend saw three boats get on the water, with six boats expected from now on.

The first gun is 11 am each Sunday through to December 19th at Sutton Dinghy Club.

GP14 2022 Irish Fixtures 

Spring Open (Apr 30 May 1)
Sligo YC

Ulsters (May 21-22)
Lough Foyle YC

Nationals (Jul 2-3)

O'Tiarnaigh Pre-Worlds (Jul 30-31)
Skerries SC

GP14 Worlds (Aug 14-19)
Skerries SC

Leinsters (Sep 17-18)
Mullingar SC

Hot Toddy/Youth Championship
(Oct 15-16) - Newtownards SC

Munster Championship
(Nov 5-6) - Cullaun Sailing Club

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With the GP14 Worlds 2022 at Skerries from 14th to 19th August now firmly on the horizon, GP14 Ireland has been busy using the current Autumn to stage events that were pandemic-postponed from the Spring and early summer. But while it has been generally a late season of relatively moderate winds, the Geeps managed to hit weekends with more than their fair share of breeze for two of their Majors. has already reported the Hot Toddy series at Larne in late October - won by former World Champion Shane McCarthy and Josh Porter of Greystones – and now we’re obliged to JP & Carolyn McCaldin of Lough Erne for bringing us into November with this account of the Munster Championships at Cullaun SC in County Clare:

Nineteen hardy teams travelled to east Clare in early November for the final event of the 2021 season, the Munsters. Saturday’s forecast did not look promising, and after the battering in Larne two weekends before, there were many nervous competitors in the dinghy park. The first two races were held in shifty, gusty conditions, with the wind maxing out in the high 20mps. Most teams who ventured out on the water took a swim at some stage, with several exploratory visits to the small islands and reed beds.

Lough Erne YC husband and wife team JP & Carolyn McCaldin stayed dry and won the first two races from Colman Grimes/Meg Tyrell of Skerries SC and Alan Blay/Hugh McNally of Sutton DC respectively. Adrian Lee & Connor Flynn, Youghal SC, took third in Race 1, but unfortunately missed the second race with a broken boom. Katie Dwyer (SDC), with guest crew Ger Owens (RStGYC), took third in Race two despite a swim.

The wind slightly moderated for Race 3. Despite having no spinnaker pole, Hugh Gill & Peter Boyle of Sutton DC showed everyone a clean pair of heels to take the race win from clubmates Alan Blay/Hugh McNally and Katie Dwyer/Ger Owens, making for a Sutton sweep.

GP14s in brisk summer sailing at Cullaun. Thanks to its user-friendly characteristics, the East Clare lake proved an ideal location to extend the GP14 Ireland’s Away Season 2021 into November.GP14s in brisk summer sailing at Cullaun. Thanks to its user-friendly characteristics, the East Clare lake proved an ideal location to extend the GP14 Ireland’s Away Season 2021 into November.

The fleet retired tired and weary to Gallagher’s bar in Kilkishen on Saturday evening, where they were entertained by members of the local Hurling club who were celebrating their win. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to get a sing-a-long with Ger Owens or event organiser Des McMahon……….

Sunday was a different day with much lighter and even shiftier winds. Race 4 went to Katie Dwyer & Ger Owens – it was Katie’s first race win at a GP Major, though she does hold a GP14 speed burst title from a wild sprint at the Worlds in Mounts Bay in Cornwall in 2018. Simon Cully & Libby Tierney of Blessington SC led round the first mark and finished in second place, ahead of Richard Street & Lisa Flynn, also from Blessington. After several efforts to start, Race 5 finally got under way. Unfortunately Street & Flynn’s good luck from Race 4 ran out and they were caught out by the black flag. The Gill & Boyle duo won the race, pipping long time leaders Grimes & Tyrell on the line, while Katie Dwyer and Ger Owens kept in touch with third.

With the McCaldin and Blay/McNally teams well down the pack in Race 5, the last race would be a duel between the two Sutton DC teams. Despite leading at almost every mark, Dwyer & Owens were very unlucky when the wind filled in from the opposite side of the course on the final leg, and lost three places. Thus Race 6 and the event was won by Alan Blay & Hugh McNally, while the other top places in the final contest went to Adrian Lee & Conor Flynn of Youghal and Norman Lee & Alan Leddy of Greystones SC, who both stormed through the pack on the final beat.

GP14 Munsters resultsGP14 Munsters results

Sam & Matthew Street of Blessington SC won the Silver Fleet from club mates Simon Cully & Libby Tierney, while the Bronze Fleet was won by Oisin Brown & Max Cully, again from Blessington SC.

In fact, top marks to Blessington SC for bringing so many entries to the event - it is very encouraging to see such a good youth turnout. And a heartfelt thank you to all at Culluan SC for a fabulous event, proving that it is possible to extend the away season until November.

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The next event on the GP14 class calendar is the Munster Championships to be held at Cullaun Sailing Club in County Clare.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the event should have been its first event back in April, but postponed due to Covid precautions.

It's unclear if Shane MacCarthy and Josh Porter who in tough conditions last weekend won the Hot Toddy with some superb heavy weather sailing will travel to Clare but there is a big move on by the class to round out the year with a healthy turnout as the cartoon above depicts.

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The annual East Antrim Boat Club's Hot Toddy GP 14 meet was back last weekend after Lockdown, albeit with a vengeance. Thirty-five-knot winds and a nasty chop on Larne Lough on the east coast of County Antrim on Saturday played havoc with the fleet when it was survival of the fittest, with Sunday whilst lively, was more manageable.

Race Officer Richard Doig managed to get two races on the first day and three on Sunday, resulting in a successful event despite the conditions.

Race officer Richard Doig (left) and his team, Nicola Williamson and Kathryn BoyleRace officer Richard Doig (left) and his team, Nicola Williamson and Kathryn Boyle

Eighteen entered but some fell foul of the weather. Greystones Sailing Club's Shane McCarthy and Josh Porter made a worthwhile trip north to dominate the fleet, clocking up four firsts to take the overall prize.

Hot Toddy Shane McCarthy (14203) and Ger Owens (14256) in close combatHot Toddy Shane McCarthy (14203) and Ger Owens (14256) in close combat

Runners – up Ger Owens of Royal St George crewed by East Antrim's Melanie Morris had to use his DNC in Race 2 as a discard. Third overall were Hugh and Dan Gill of Sutton DC just one point behind.

Hugh and Dan Gill of Sutton DCHugh and Dan Gill of Sutton DC

In the Silver fleet, the top place went to Bill and James Johnson from the Lough Foyle club in the northwest followed by Steve and Dan Nelson of Newtownards SC in the north end of Strangford Lough.
Jennifer Bryce and Lara Sunday from Newtownards took Bronze.

There was some 'misbehaving' in Race 3 with two general recalls and the threat of U flag but they reined in and made a clean start at the third attempt.

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As with so many events over the last 18 months, East Antrim Boat Club's annual Hot Toddy GP 14 event suffered the effects of the pandemic but next weekend (23rd/24th October) the class will take to the waters of Larne Lough on the Antrim coast for the end of season 'bash'.

Way back in 1982, East Antrim had been invited by the GP14 International Association to create a new end-of-season event for the class in Ireland. And so, the Hot Toddy was born and while today's event is somewhat different from the original it has remained a well-recognised gathering in the GP 14 calendar. Club historian Tom Jobling remembers; " Sponsored by Howden's, the then major coal importer in NI, presented a brand new silver cup to the Association for the event. As well, several competitors received complimentary bonus of bags of coal – remember; it was October!"

The first winner was Peter Duffy crewed by John Nixon from Ballyholme.

EABC enjoyed a well established and enthusiastic fleet of GP 14 sailors, expressed wholeheartedly by a particular rivalry between Co. Down and Co. Antrim clubs, which resulted in a fleet the envy of clubs north and south.

Ger Owens of Royal St George YC who will be crewed by EABC's Melanie MorrisGer Owens of Royal St George YC who will be crewed by EABC's Melanie Morris

Among the runners and riders for the silverware (no coal this time) are the obvious favourite, the current All Ireland sailing champion Ger Owens of Royal St George YC who will be crewed by EABC's Melanie Morris. Another contender will be the runner-up in that same event, Royal North's Ross Kearney from Belfast Lough, crewed by wife Jane. Then there's Greystones's Shane McCarthy and from Lough Foyle Yacht Club at Culmore the McGuiness brothers.

Royal North's Ross KearneyRoyal North's Ross Kearney from Belfast Lough racing in this month's All Ireland Sailing Championships in a National 18 dinghy Photo: Bob Bateman

Seventy years ago that well known Irish sailor, John McWilliam, introduced the GP14 to fellow EABC members and many of those have their names on the class trophies - Fekkes, Gingles, Morris, Nixon, Rowan and Thompson to name but a few.

Tom Jobling continues "The boat introduced to Larne Lough back the '50s was something of a revolution in plywood crafting but the current GP design whether in wood or fibre reinforced epoxy, is a revelation in modern marine architecture. It continues to ensure the GP14 is placed at the pinnacle of double-handed/multi sail competitive dinghy sailing across Ireland".

The appearance of the class off Curran Point next weekend should be an encouragement to those thinking of entering the club's Winter Series which starts on 31st October and runs to 27th March.

Entry to this event will cover or the Halloween Regatta, Christmas Regatta, early and late Winter Series, as well as boat storage for the period.

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Fresh from victory on Lough Erne, the 2021 GP14 National Champion Ger Owens from the Royal St. George Yacht Club is likely to be back in action on his home waters of Dublin Bay for September's Autumn Open & Youth Championship.

So far this season, the Irish 470 double Olympian has made it a clean sweep of the Geep Irish calendar so he's unlikely to pass the opportunity of a local championship title on the far side of the Bay. 

Owens pipped former GP14 World Champion Shane MacCarthy of Greystones Harbour by a single point on Lough Erne, so MacCarthy has some unfinished GP14 business to deal with.

Both helms are, of course, working up for a tilt at the world title to be raced next August on Irish waters at Skerries in County Dublin where a 100-boat fleet is expected.

The NOR for the Championship at Sutton Dinghy Club on Sep 11/12 has been published by Sutton Dinghy Club and is available to download below as a PDF.


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In a clean sweep of the GP14 Irish calendar this season, Ger Owens sailing with Brendan Brogan of the Royal St. George Yacht Club won both of today's final races of the Irish Nationals Championships on Lough Erne to take the title. 

Owens pipped former GP14 World Champion Shane MacCarthy and John Port of Greystones Harbour by a single point.

As regular Afloat readers know,  following their success at the Ulsters in June, Ger Owens, sailing then with Mel Morris, were crowned GP14 Leinster Champions at Blessington Sailing Club in early July making Owens for the form boat for the National Championships.

Day three report:  Two races sailed today and hats off to our PRO Derek Bothwell for managing to complete the full schedule.

Ger Owens & Brendan Brogan won both races to just pip Shane MacCarthy & Josh Porter by a point but it was a nail-biter that went right to the wire.

According to the mathematicians in the fleet, only 2 wins would do for Ger & Brendan and he took a clear victory in the morning's first race. Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles were 2nd with Ross and Shane fighting it out for the 3rd spot.

With Ger and the leaders on their way up the last beat, the PRO was left with no choice but to apply the dreaded blue flag and sailing through the line downwind SI which claimed a good portion of the fleet. A harsh lesson for many Silver, Bronze and the odd Gold fleet sailor.

Into the deciding last race and a great start on the left by Ger looked like the Championships was now his to lose as Shane and Ross were buried in the fleet on the other side of the course.

If Ger thought he just needed to sail to the finish he soon realised it wasn't the case, as Katie Dwyer & Michele Rowley paced them all the way around and Ger & Brendan couldn't shake them off. Meanwhile, following the poor start, Shane & Josh came from way back to move into 3rd. No one was quite sure but Ger by holding off Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley on the last beat ensured they clinched the deal.

A superb 4th following his 6th in Race 7 from James Hockley & Alan Thompson (Lough Foyle) gave them 5th Overall and Silver fleet victory from Steven & Daniel Nelson (Newtownards) and fleet newcomer Patrick Hamilton & James Dewhurst (East Down). Gold Fleet next year guys!

Bronze fleet victory went to Sutton Dinghy Club newcomers Matthew Cotter & Tom Mulligan who just held off a late rally from locals Michael & David Brines (LEYC) to take the honours. Class President Michael Collender & Brian Walker ( Mullingar) were 3rd.

A superb 4th Overall including a Race 4 win by Yin Tang helped ensure Hugh and Dan Gill took the Masters Championship.

The new boats under Hugh and Norman Lee were very quick and should mean a few enquiries to Alistair Duffin before next years Worlds.

Ciaran Keogh and Adam Leddy finished 20th Overall and took the Youth Championship.

JP McCaldin along with LEYC Commodore Neil Ireland presented the prizes. The PRO Derek Bothwell was given a great reception and complimented for his efforts in getting a full schedule completed. JP and Michael Collender, Class President thanked everybody, and particularly the Youth sailors for getting up to Lough Erne making it such a great event and encouraged a good turnout for the next event which is the Autumn Open & Youth Championship to be held in Sutton Dinghy Club on Sep 11/12.

GP14 National Champion Ger OwensGP14 National Champion Ger Owens (right) collects his trophies. Scroll down for a photo gallery of prizewinners

Results summary below and full results downloadable as a pdf below. 


1) Ger Owens & Brendan Brogan ( RSt.GSC)
2) Shane MacCarthy & Josh Porter ( Greystones)
3) Ross & Jane Kearney ( RNIYC)

1) James Hockley & Alan Thompson (Lough Foyle)
2) Steven & Daniel Nelson (Newtownards)
3) Patrick Hamton & James Dewhurst (East Down)

1) Matthew Cotter & Tom Mulligan ( Sutton)
2) Michael & Peter Brines (LEYC)
3 ) Michael Collender & Brian Walker (Mullingar)

Masters Champion - Hugh Gill (Sutton)

Youth Champion Ciaran Keogh & Adam Leddy (GSC)

GP14 National Championships Prizegiving at Lough Yacht Club

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