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McCarthy & Owens Win GP14 'Hot Toddy' End of Season Event on Lough Erne

23rd October 2019
GP14s racing on Lough Erne at the Hot Toddy event GP14s racing on Lough Erne at the Hot Toddy event

The final GP14 meeting of the season, the “Hot Toddy” took place on 19/20 October in the beautiful setting at Lough Erne Yacht Club writes Katie Dwyer.

As Afloat previously reported, conscious of the interest in the rugby world cup quarter-final, organisers delayed the Saturday start to 13:30 with a big screen in the club for sailors to watch Ireland v New Zealand. Sadly, the rugby result was not in our favour, but spirits weren’t dampened, and sailors eagerly took to the water. With 33 boats, it was the largest turnout of the year.

Lough Erne delivered some very challenging yet enjoyable sailing conditions over the two days. The wind ranged from 5- 20 knots and was shifty throughout with no distinct patterns. As a result, all sailors were kept on their toes with positions consistently changing throughout the races. Race Officer Mickey McCaldin and his team ran a full series of six races over the two days, and kept things moving promptly to avoid too much downtime for the sailors in the chilly October breeze.

"Lough Erne delivered some very challenging yet enjoyable sailing conditions over the two days"

Well deserved “Hot Toddies” were enjoyed by sailors on returning ashore, followed by an evening of food, fun and frolics at the yacht club which was very well attended.

Overnight leaders with three race wins and showing an enviable level of boat speed were Shane McCarthy (GSC) and his very capable substitute crew, Ger Owens. Sligo Yacht Clubs Niall Henry and Ossian Geraghty were in second, with Lough Foyle Yacht Clubs Gareth Gallagher and Ollie Goodhead in third and also leading the silver fleet. Blessington Sailing Club's Sam Street led the bronze fleet.

We took to the water on Sunday for an earlier than usual start for Race 4 at 10:30. The breeze was up and as shifty as the previous day. Shane and Ger won race 4 and 5 and with the event win in the bag, headed for shore. It provided an opportunity for a new race winner which was duly taken by Youghal Sailing Clubs Adrian Lee and Richard Street who had a comfortable lead throughout the race.

Winners of the Hot Toddy were Shane McCarthy and Ger Owens, with five race wins. Over the six races, second and third places were shared across eight different boats, demonstrating the high level of competition in the fleet. With Shane and Ger clear winners, it was down to consistency and how discards came into play to determine the results within the chasing pack. Finishing in second were Niall Henry and Ossian Geraghty, with Sutton Dinghy Club Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley in third.

Winners of the silver fleet were Garreth Gallagher and Ollie Goodhead, finishing a solid fourth overall. In second place, Adrian Lee and Richard Street, followed by Blessingtons Simon Cully and Libby Tierney in third.

Top two in the bronze fleet were Blessingtons Sailing Clubs Sam Street and Tiarnan Brown, followed by Matthew Street and Rhian O’Hiblin in second with Mullingar Sailing Clubs Michael Collender and Brian Walker in third.

A special thanks must go to LEYC JP and Carolyn McCaldin and all the volunteers, who organised and ran a super event. It was also JP and Carolyns’ last outing in a GP for a while, with Brendan Brogan stepping in to take up the front seat with JP in 2020.

The fleet will return to Lough Erne in July 2020 for the Irish Nationals, which will be the last event before the Worlds in Skerries.

Download results below

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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