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GP14 Training at Youghal Sailing Club Gives Dinghy Racing A Boost in the South East

23rd April 2015
GP14_Youghal
GP14s training at Youghal
GP14 Training at Youghal Sailing Club Gives Dinghy Racing A Boost in the South East

#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.

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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