Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

The GP14 'Hot Toddy' Event Returns to East Antrim Boat Club

17th October 2021
GP14s will race for Hot Toddy honour at East Antrim Boat Club
GP14s will race for Hot Toddy honour at East Antrim Boat Club

As with so many events over the last 18 months, East Antrim Boat Club's annual Hot Toddy GP 14 event suffered the effects of the pandemic but next weekend (23rd/24th October) the class will take to the waters of Larne Lough on the Antrim coast for the end of season 'bash'.

Way back in 1982, East Antrim had been invited by the GP14 International Association to create a new end-of-season event for the class in Ireland. And so, the Hot Toddy was born and while today's event is somewhat different from the original it has remained a well-recognised gathering in the GP 14 calendar. Club historian Tom Jobling remembers; " Sponsored by Howden's, the then major coal importer in NI, presented a brand new silver cup to the Association for the event. As well, several competitors received complimentary bonus of bags of coal – remember; it was October!"

The first winner was Peter Duffy crewed by John Nixon from Ballyholme.

EABC enjoyed a well established and enthusiastic fleet of GP 14 sailors, expressed wholeheartedly by a particular rivalry between Co. Down and Co. Antrim clubs, which resulted in a fleet the envy of clubs north and south.

Ger Owens of Royal St George YC who will be crewed by EABC's Melanie MorrisGer Owens of Royal St George YC who will be crewed by EABC's Melanie Morris

Among the runners and riders for the silverware (no coal this time) are the obvious favourite, the current All Ireland sailing champion Ger Owens of Royal St George YC who will be crewed by EABC's Melanie Morris. Another contender will be the runner-up in that same event, Royal North's Ross Kearney from Belfast Lough, crewed by wife Jane. Then there's Greystones's Shane McCarthy and from Lough Foyle Yacht Club at Culmore the McGuiness brothers.

Royal North's Ross KearneyRoyal North's Ross Kearney from Belfast Lough racing in this month's All Ireland Sailing Championships in a National 18 dinghy Photo: Bob Bateman

Seventy years ago that well known Irish sailor, John McWilliam, introduced the GP14 to fellow EABC members and many of those have their names on the class trophies - Fekkes, Gingles, Morris, Nixon, Rowan and Thompson to name but a few.

Tom Jobling continues "The boat introduced to Larne Lough back the '50s was something of a revolution in plywood crafting but the current GP design whether in wood or fibre reinforced epoxy, is a revelation in modern marine architecture. It continues to ensure the GP14 is placed at the pinnacle of double-handed/multi sail competitive dinghy sailing across Ireland".

The appearance of the class off Curran Point next weekend should be an encouragement to those thinking of entering the club's Winter Series which starts on 31st October and runs to 27th March.

Entry to this event will cover or the Halloween Regatta, Christmas Regatta, early and late Winter Series, as well as boat storage for the period.

Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

GP14 2022 Irish Fixtures 

Spring Open (Apr 30 May 1)
Sligo YC

Ulsters (May 21-22)
Lough Foyle YC

Nationals (Jul 2-3)
RNIYC

O'Tiarnaigh Pre-Worlds (Jul 30-31)
Skerries SC

GP14 Worlds (Aug 14-19)
Skerries SC

Leinsters (Sep 17-18)
Mullingar SC

Hot Toddy/Youth Championship
(Oct 15-16) - Newtownards SC

Munster Championship
(Nov 5-6) - Cullaun Sailing Club

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating