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Sutton's Boyle Duo Back in Action for GP14 Nationals at Skerries on Friday

15th August 2019
The top performing Irish Fleet crew in Abersoch last week were Peter & Stephen Boyle. Apart from taking top Youth Helm, the Family Trophy and being part of the victorious Sutton Dinghy Club Club Trophy winning combination, Peter & Stephen finished 7th and won the Silver Fleet. An exceptional event for Peter and if the winds blow in Skerries, this pair should be well to the fore The top performing Irish Fleet crew in Abersoch last week were Peter & Stephen Boyle. Apart from taking top Youth Helm, the Family Trophy and being part of the victorious Sutton Dinghy Club Club Trophy winning combination, Peter & Stephen finished 7th and won the Silver Fleet. An exceptional event for Peter and if the winds blow in Skerries, this pair should be well to the fore Photo: Sailpix

Peter and Stephen Boyle, the top ranked GP14 Irish pair are back in action on home waters this weekend when the Championship of Ireland kicks off this Friday in Skerries Sailing Club. This will be the first year where the class will race a Friday, Saturday and Sunday format. The championships will feature running gate starts over the course of the weekend as practice for next years 2020 Worlds in Skerries.

This event follows on from the GP14 Leinsters which were held as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta almost a month ago. The GP14 were out in force in Dun Laoghaire and with 32 boats on the water, we were the 2nd largest fleet represented at the Regatta. The Class Prize-giving for the GP14 Leinsters will take place in Skerries this weekend.

As Afloat reported previously, for 10 Irish crews, however, last week saw them travel across for the GP14 UK Nationals sailed in Abersoch. A very windy regatta was won by a regular visitor to Irish shores Sam Watson crewed by East Antrim's Andy Thompson. This followed on from their GP14 Leinsters success. The pair will be back in Skerries this week. Ross Kearney (RNIYC) but based in the UK will also be across to defend his title won last year in Sligo. See below to see how the Irish crews fared across in Abersoch.

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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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