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Royal St. George's Ger Owens to Lead Irish Hopes at 100 Boat GP14 World Championships at Skerries

16th June 2022
An impressive 60 Irish boats will compete at the 105-boat World Championships in Skerries this August
An impressive 60 Irish boats will compete at the 105-boat World Championships in Skerries this August Credit: Bob Givens

Host club Skerries Sailing Club in North Dublin has 105 entries for the upcoming GP14 World Championship taking place from the 14th to the 19th of August this year.

That number is set to grow further as the event draws closer, according to Championship Organiser and Skerries Sailing Club Secretary Colman Grimes.

Boats from all over Ireland and the UK as well as competitors from as far as Australia, South Africa, Barbados, Ski Lanka and the USA will compete over for the week-long World Championship.

The last world championships was in Mount’s Bay in Cornwall in 2018 and has been postponed twice in Skerries in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.

Skerries has some pedigree when it comes to GP14 world championships as the event was held there 25 years ago in 1997, an event which is still very fondly reminisced about by the older members of the fleet.

GP14GP14s from all over Ireland and the UK as well as competitors from as far as Australia, South Africa, Barbados, Ski Lanka and the USA will compete over for the week-long World Championship

Some big names will be arriving in Ireland to compete including five-time world champion Ian Dobson, multi-Endeavour Trophy winner and multi-class world champion Nick Craig who is looking to put GP14 world champion on the list, past Topper and GP14 World Champion Neil Marsden amongst many others. Ireland will also be well represented.

Top names such as three-time Olympian and current GP14 National Champion Ger Owens of the Royal St George. Ross Kearney a past Mirror World Champion who finished 2nd at the last GP14 worlds.

There are plenty of other upcoming young sailors that will be looking to get into the mix. Peter Boyle from Sutton Dinghy Club has being showing some consistent form this year with 2nd in each event so far. He has ace crew (and dad) Stephen Boyle in the boat with him.

The GP14 fleet is one of Ireland's largest double-handed classes, regularly attracting over 30 boats to regional events and over 40 to its National Championships.

An impressive 60 Irish boats will compete at the worlds this year. The class has a very vibrant youth section aided by a strong coaching drive within the class. It is expected the youth categories at the championships will be hard-fought for.

There is also a strong category of all-female teams and mixed teams. So overall there is a lot of categories to be contested at the event.

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.

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

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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