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Royal Irish Yacht Club's Ger Owens & Mel Morris are GP14 Autumn Open Winners

16th September 2020
Mel Morris and Ger Owens with the GP14 Autumn trophy Mel Morris and Ger Owens with the GP14 Autumn trophy

Royal Irish Yacht Club's Ger Owens & Mel Morris were the winners of the 20-boat GP14 Autumn Open at Blessington Sailing Club last weekend, the first event of the 2020 GP14 calendar due to COVID-19. 

The winner of the silver fleet was Ed Coyne & Colman Grimes (Youghal & Skerries). Bronze winners were Edie & Lily Thorup (Blessington)

The event doubled as the youth championships and the winners here were:

  • Youth Championship (U22) – Ed Coyne & Colman Grimes (Youghal & Skerries)
  • U19 Champion – Peter Boyle & Shane McLoughlin / Joe Doherty (Sutton Dinghy Club)
  • U16 Champion – Max Cully & Ollie Lloyd (Blessington)

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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