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Royal St. George's Owens & Brogan Make it a Clean Sweep of the GP14 Season at Lough Erne

16th August 2021
Light air sailing for the last two races of the GP14 championships on Lough Erne
Light air sailing for the last two races of the GP14 championships on Lough Erne. Above Ger Owens rounding just ahead of Sutton Dinghy Clubs Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley to take the final race

In a clean sweep of the GP14 Irish calendar this season, Ger Owens sailing with Brendan Brogan of the Royal St. George Yacht Club won both of today's final races of the Irish Nationals Championships on Lough Erne to take the title. 

Owens pipped former GP14 World Champion Shane MacCarthy and John Port of Greystones Harbour by a single point.

As regular Afloat readers know,  following their success at the Ulsters in June, Ger Owens, sailing then with Mel Morris, were crowned GP14 Leinster Champions at Blessington Sailing Club in early July making Owens for the form boat for the National Championships.

Day three report:  Two races sailed today and hats off to our PRO Derek Bothwell for managing to complete the full schedule.

Ger Owens & Brendan Brogan won both races to just pip Shane MacCarthy & Josh Porter by a point but it was a nail-biter that went right to the wire.

According to the mathematicians in the fleet, only 2 wins would do for Ger & Brendan and he took a clear victory in the morning's first race. Colman Grimes & Ross Gingles were 2nd with Ross and Shane fighting it out for the 3rd spot.

With Ger and the leaders on their way up the last beat, the PRO was left with no choice but to apply the dreaded blue flag and sailing through the line downwind SI which claimed a good portion of the fleet. A harsh lesson for many Silver, Bronze and the odd Gold fleet sailor.

Into the deciding last race and a great start on the left by Ger looked like the Championships was now his to lose as Shane and Ross were buried in the fleet on the other side of the course.

If Ger thought he just needed to sail to the finish he soon realised it wasn't the case, as Katie Dwyer & Michele Rowley paced them all the way around and Ger & Brendan couldn't shake them off. Meanwhile, following the poor start, Shane & Josh came from way back to move into 3rd. No one was quite sure but Ger by holding off Katie Dwyer & Michelle Rowley on the last beat ensured they clinched the deal.

A superb 4th following his 6th in Race 7 from James Hockley & Alan Thompson (Lough Foyle) gave them 5th Overall and Silver fleet victory from Steven & Daniel Nelson (Newtownards) and fleet newcomer Patrick Hamilton & James Dewhurst (East Down). Gold Fleet next year guys!

Bronze fleet victory went to Sutton Dinghy Club newcomers Matthew Cotter & Tom Mulligan who just held off a late rally from locals Michael & David Brines (LEYC) to take the honours. Class President Michael Collender & Brian Walker ( Mullingar) were 3rd.

A superb 4th Overall including a Race 4 win by Yin Tang helped ensure Hugh and Dan Gill took the Masters Championship.

The new boats under Hugh and Norman Lee were very quick and should mean a few enquiries to Alistair Duffin before next years Worlds.

Ciaran Keogh and Adam Leddy finished 20th Overall and took the Youth Championship.

JP McCaldin along with LEYC Commodore Neil Ireland presented the prizes. The PRO Derek Bothwell was given a great reception and complimented for his efforts in getting a full schedule completed. JP and Michael Collender, Class President thanked everybody, and particularly the Youth sailors for getting up to Lough Erne making it such a great event and encouraged a good turnout for the next event which is the Autumn Open & Youth Championship to be held in Sutton Dinghy Club on Sep 11/12.

GP14 National Champion Ger OwensGP14 National Champion Ger Owens (right) collects his trophies. Scroll down for a photo gallery of prizewinners

Results summary below and full results downloadable as a pdf below. 

Gold

1) Ger Owens & Brendan Brogan ( RSt.GSC)
2) Shane MacCarthy & Josh Porter ( Greystones)
3) Ross & Jane Kearney ( RNIYC)

Silver
1) James Hockley & Alan Thompson (Lough Foyle)
2) Steven & Daniel Nelson (Newtownards)
3) Patrick Hamton & James Dewhurst (East Down)

Bronze
1) Matthew Cotter & Tom Mulligan ( Sutton)
2) Michael & Peter Brines (LEYC)
3 ) Michael Collender & Brian Walker (Mullingar)

Masters Champion - Hugh Gill (Sutton)

Youth Champion Ciaran Keogh & Adam Leddy (GSC)

GP14 National Championships Prizegiving at Lough Yacht Club

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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