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Tough Weekend for GP 14s at Skerries

23rd June 2013
GP14leinsters=
G14s racing at Skerries. Photo: Brian Lennon
Tough Weekend for GP 14s at Skerries

#gp14 – Strong winds and rough seas led to the cancellation of the second day's racing of this weekend's GP 14 Leinster Championship at Skerries Sailing Club writes Gerry Byrne. But a win and two seconds in Saturday's three races were sufficient to yield Gold to John McGuinness and his brother Donal from Moville Boat Club, Donegal sailing in a fleet of 21.

Conditions ranged from Force 3 gusting to Force 7 making for big shifts, tricky conditions and many capsizes including that of local combination Stan Shepherd and Andrew Sexton who were leading the fleet in Race 1 when they got ducked. Spinnaker work was sporadic with many boats selecting white sails only in some of the windier legs. Hugh and Dan Gill (Sutton, third overall) were not alone in sometimes electing for chicken gybes.

Apart from the overall champions, race winners were Swords couple Dan and Mairin O'Connell (second overall) and, from the Royal St George Yacht Club, Graham Elmes and Gina O'Reilly (15th overall). Silver fleet winners (4th overall) were Simon Cully and Libby Tierney from Blessington. Second silver went to Shepherd and Sexton (10th overall) and third to Ray and Brian Morrison from Lough Erne YC. Colman Grimes and Ian Fitzpatrick (Skerries SC, 13th overall) won the Bronze.

Published in GP14
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The GP14 is a popular sailing dinghy, with well over 14,000 boats built.

The class is active in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and parts of north-eastern USA, and the GP14 can be used for both racing and cruising. 

Designed by Jack Holt in 1949, with the assistance of the Dovey Yacht Club in Aberdyfi. The idea behind the design was to build a General Purpose (GP) 14-foot dinghy which could be sailed or rowed, capable of also being powered effectively by a small outboard motor, able to be towed behind a small family car and able to be launched and recovered reasonably easily, and stable enough to be able to lie to moorings or anchor when required. Racing soon followed, initially with some degree of opposition from Yachting World, who had commissioned the design, and the boat soon turned out to be an outstanding racing design also.

The boat was initially designed with a main and small jib as a comfortable family dinghy. In a design philosophy that is both practical and highly redolent of social attitudes of the day the intention was that she should accommodate a family comprising parents plus two children, and specifically that the jib should be modest enough for "Mum" or older children to handle, while she should perform well enough to give "Dad" some excitement when not taking the family out. While this rig is still available, and can be useful when using the boat to teach sailing, or for family sailing, and has some popularity for cruising, the boat is more commonly seen with the full modern rig of a mainsail, genoa and spinnaker. Australian boats also routinely use trapezes.

At A Glance – GP14 Dinghy Specifications

Crew 2
Draft 1,200 mm (47 in)
Hull weight 132.9 kg
LOA 4.27 m (14 ft)
Beam 1.54 m
Spinnaker area 8.4 m2
Upwind sail area 12.85 m2

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