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GP14s Give Thumbs up to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021 Dinghy Plans

27th September 2020
GP14s are making plans for VDLR 2021 on Dublin Bay next July, three weeks before the GP14 World Championships at Skerries in North Dublin GP14s are making plans for VDLR 2021 on Dublin Bay next July, three weeks before the GP14 World Championships at Skerries in North Dublin Photo: Afloat

The Irish GP14 dinghy class has been one of the first to give a thumbs up to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta plans for next July to divide Ireland's biggest sailing event over separate weekends.

As Afloat reported previously, Dun Laoghaire organisers plan to major on the dinghies and one design keelboats with a One Design Championship from 2nd – 4th July 2021 and then run the cruiser-racers the following weekend (8th – 11th July) catering for a full range of IRC classes. 

After a year of cancellations that wiped out nearly the entire GP14 2020 calendar, including the Skerries-based World Championships in August, the GP14 Committee has been supportive of Dun Laoghaire's move to the Dinghy/One Design event.

If all goes to plan the Geeps will be just one of many dinghy classes racing at VDLR next July before the restaging of its own class world championships in Skerries later that same month (July 25 to Aug 1 2021).

The only Irish GP14 event to sail so far this year was held in Blessington earlier this month as Afloat reported here

The committee says there is still hope, notwithstanding the Dublin and Donegal Level 3 lockdowns, that the annual 'Hot Toddy' event can still go ahead in East Antrim in Larne on October 10th.

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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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