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Irish GP14s Travel to Lough Erne Yacht Club for 'Hot Toddy' Event

14th October 2019
GP14s contest a start at July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta GP14s contest a start at July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Photo: Afloat

The final event of the Irish GP14 year sees the national fleet travel to Lough Erne Yacht Club this weekend.

The closing event of 2019 follows Shane MacCarthy & Damien Bracken's emphatic win of August's National Championships at Skerries Sailing Club.

Its been a couple of years since the GP14s visited Enniskillen but it has always been a great venue for both the racing and the social aspect. 

Gp14 dinghy racing 2County Donegal GP14 brothers Donal (left) and John McGuinness from Moville will compete this weekend on Lough Erne Photo: Afloat

Hoping to round out the season on a high are Peter and Stephen Boyle, the top-ranked GP14 Irish pair who featured prominently this season at the UK National Championships raced also in August. The north Dublin duo were part of a Sutton Dinghy Club crew that came home with a haul of trophies from Abersoch in North Wales.

This weekend's 'Hot Toddy' is the final practice of 2019 before next year's 2020 Worlds at Skerries.

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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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