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Preparing for a Major Championship: Irish GP14 Fleet to Get Worlds Pep Talk at AGM

15th February 2022
Ace helmsman Ross Kearney will address the GP14 agm this Thursday
Ace helmsman Ross Kearney will address the GP14 agm this Thursday

With the Skerries GP14 dinghy World Championships scheduled for this August, Irish crews will be starting to dust down their boats and start their Worlds preparation in earnest.

To help try and kick start the process and to make this Thursday's (Feb 17) association AGM via zoom will include guest helmsman Ross Kearney for a Q&A session.

Kearney, a runner up at the last Worlds in Mounts Bay in Cornwall and GP14 Ireland National Champion in 2018 is also a former World and European Mirror dinghy Champion.

The Northern Ireland ace will run through some of the technical, physical and mental preparations that should be considered in 'Preparing for a Major Championship'.

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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