GP's have the largest and most active two person senior dinghy racing fleet in Ireland and we can prove it, by counting active boats and fleets. The GP is a one-design 14ft dinghy, raced by a crew of two. It is a three sailed 'mid-performance' boat which can be sailed safely in a wide range of sea and weather conditions, by moderately competent crew or it can be enjoyed while racing on the edge with spinnaker up in force 5 and 6 winds or tactically gaining inches, in a large championship fleet in a flat calm. It is a forgiving boat, easy to learn in and tolerant of a wide range of crew weight or experience.
There are seven national sailing events organised each year by the Class in Ireland. Each month from May to October there is at least one Open Meeting or Championship with attendances varying from 20 to 60 boats, depending on time of year, venue etc. On the water places are hotly contested by crews of the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets from all around the country and off the water yarns and tips are just as hotly traded and good humored banter is the currency. Anyone who is even a little competitive soon gets hooked on the circuit and quickly makes new friends right across the spectrum of sailors both male and female. The GP14 has been popular here for 40 years and currently has fleets in 17 clubs around the country, where crews of all ages enjoy racing in brand new or older fibreglass or wooden boats costing from €1000 to €12000. The International Class Association keeps the GP14 up to date by continuous development and improvements, carefully designed not to prejudice older boats, while at the same time improving its appeal and ease of maintenance. Cost of ownership is kept down by a special class insurance scheme and restriction on the prices of major items such as sails and spars.
The GP14 Class Association of Ireland
There are about 400 GP's in Ireland with nearly 200 Association members and a strong organisation that looks after their interests with the help of the International Class Association, based in England. Our association provides a lot of help and guidance for members in areas such as Insurance, boat buying, boat tuning, race training, boat building, clubs where GP14s are sailed, World, National and Area Championships and Open Meetings etc.
In Ireland each year there are seven sailing meetings organised around the country including a Junior and Youth Championship, with entries ranging from 30 to 80 boats, most clubs are represented together with frequent visitors from the UK. There is a high standard of competition in the Class in Ireland, which has produced two World Champions and many ISA Champion of Champions and Irish boats regularly feature at the top of British Championships.
The Gp14 Class association of Ireland is organised on a regional basis by a volunteer committee who give of their time to ensure quality racing for all GP14 sailors.
(Above details courtesy of the GP14 Class Association of Ireland)
There is a space for Irish boating clubs and racing classes to use as their own bulletin board and forum for announcements and discussion. If you want to see a dedicated forum slot for your club or class, click here
Afloat's Graham Smith wrote, on March 2009: "If 2007 had been a good one for Sligo’s Tim Corcoran and Brendan Brogan, 2008 was even better as the Western crew dominated the GP14 class, winning everything in sight.
They won the Leinsters at Blessington and then the Ulsters at home in Sligo before going on to retain their National Championship title with success at Newtownards. These results saw them win the Traveller’s Trophy and they also won the Speed Sail League, one of the class’s special annual awards.
Gerard Healy won the Youth Championship while Curly Morris headed the Master’s Championship.
Four new additions brought the national fleet up to 87 this year, with 60 of them racing regularly at the 17 established GP clubs, while turnouts at open events averaged the mid-20s. National Champions 2009: Tim Corcoran and Brendan Brogan, Sligo YC"