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GP14 Aces Team Up For Lough Erne 'Hot Toddy'

20th October 2019
GP14s stored in the LEYC boat shed with their sails still up.... GP14s stored in the LEYC boat shed with their sails still up....

The last event of the GP14 calendar saw the fleet returning to Lough Erne Yacht Club this weekend. And what a fleet. 33 boats turned up on the start line for what is turning into a great event.

While Dublin hid from the rain and the cold wind yesterday, the lake was basked in some beautiful sunshine and a challenging 5 to 20-knot breeze. But the fleet had 3 great races with another 3 today.

Shane MacCarthy found an unusual crew today with Ger Owens stepping to the crew slot at the last minute. His own crew Mel Morris was unavailable. 3 races wins ensued but behind them there was some close racing. On their first event and race back this season, Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley from Sutton Dinghy Club took a 2nd and finished the day in 5th of 33. In second going into today's racing is Niall Henry & Oisin Geraghty (Sligo) with Gareth Gallagher in 3rd. Local event organisers JP & Carolyn McCaldin lie in 4th.

The event is also the final event in the GP14 Leagues with some place still to play for. A great turnout for the event will also improve what are very encouraging figures over the season. Average numbers each event have held up and across the season there have been 65+ different helms take part. 20 each in Gold & Silver and 25 in Bronze which includes a good sprinkling of Youth. Let hope today's sees some more great sailing conditions. The end augurs well for next season with the GP14 World's coming to Skerries next July.

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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