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East Antrim's Thompson Leads as UK GP14 Nationals Race 7 Abandoned in Abersoch

9th August 2019
 GP14 leaders in Abersoch Sam Watson & Andy Thompson (East Antrim) GP14 leaders in Abersoch Sam Watson & Andy Thompson (East Antrim)

While there was again an early start planned at the GP14 UK National Championships at Abersoch with the First Start Gun scheduled for 10:30, the wind had other ideas and the fleet was kept ashore. Racing cannot start unless there is a minimum of 6kts. 

Report by Sutton Dinghy Club competitor David Johnston

Eventually, a bit of breeze filled in and the PRO called for a launch of the fleet. Ourselves and Club mates Peter Boyle started about 1/4 way down line from the committee boat, knock came so we tacked off to the right-hand side. We opted for pace rather than height and then another knock came at the layline so we tacked. We slightly overlayed it but Peter & Stephen got it spot on and rounded 4th, Mike Senior 5th with us in 6th. We had been 3rd at the weather mark in one race earlier in the week but got squeezed on to the mark and had to do turns. This was quite enjoyable. My new crew Collie in only his second event was a bit confused.

The first reach was very low, Jim Hunt got ahead of us, Mike Seniors boat speed was very good and got ahead of Peter, but no one else. There was a big gap between ourselves and next pack. Back upwind ourselves and Peter and Jim Hunt went back outright, looking good. Tacked back and saw Mike had taken the lead through shifts and boat handling. He was first around the weather before wind shut down and race canned.

Gutted but great to be up the front of the fleet for once this week after a few very very hard days at the office. I am sure our Club mates Peter & Stephen would have loved to get a finish and consolidate a top 10 spot. Weather looks iffy for tomorrow so it may all remain as is.

Results are here

Published in GP14 Team

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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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