Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Ger Owens & Mel Morris Crowned GP14 Irish Champions at Sutton Dinghy Club

3rd September 2023
Tight racing on Dublin Bay for the GP14 Championship of Ireland hosted by Sutton Dinghy Club
Tight racing on Dublin Bay for the GP14 Championship of Ireland hosted by Sutton Dinghy Club

With seven top-two finishes (and four race wins) from eight races sailed, Ger Owens & Mel Morris took the GP14 National dinghy title in style in a tricky light air championship on Dublin Bay.

Three races on Friday were followed by another three races on Saturday and two on Sunday for the 37-boat fleet.

There were difficult conditions to start with, as Dublin Bay was flat calm. PRO Jim Lambkin kept the fleet ashore under AP for 30 minutes beyond planned start times on the first two days. However, the breeze filled in along the Sutton and Red Rock shore, enabling racing to start....tides and the lack of water in Sutton Creek were also an added consideration as racing extended past 5 pm on Friday. Ger Owens & Mel Morris, with a bullet and two seconds, led Race 1 winners Jane Kearney & Rebekkah O' Tiarnaigh into Day 2 with, Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle, Robert Dickson & Adrian Lee, Ross Kearny & Daniel Nelson and Race 2 winners Chris Bateman & Jame O'Dwyer not too far back in the largest fleet of the year.

Three light air races on Friday were followed by another three races on Saturday and two on Sunday for the 37-boat GP14 Championship fleetThree light air races on Friday were followed by another three races on Saturday and two on Sunday for the 37-boat GP14 Championship fleet

Friday's racing was closely contested by 7 or 8 boats, but ultimately, Ger & Mel taking two bullets from the three races leaves them in an almost unbeatable position. The other podium spots are all to play for, with Ruan & Charlotte O'Tiarnaigh just ahead of Robert Dickson & Adrian Lee, with Race 5 winners Sean Craig & Stephen Boyle in 4th.

Two more races on Sunday allowed a second discard that altered positions in all fleets and on the podium aside from the overall winners.

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

Published in GP14 Team

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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 Ireland Event Dates 2023

  • O'Tiarnaigh (Apr 22-23) Blessington Sailing Club
  • Ulsters (May 20-21) East Antrim Boat Club
  • Munsters (Jun 17-18) Tralee Bay Sailing Club
  • Leinsters (Jul 7-9) Dun Laoghaire Regatta
  • SOYC (Aug 19-20) Rush Sailing Club
  • Nationals (Sep 1-3) Sutton Dinghy Club
  • Hot Toddy (Sep 30-Oct 1) Royal North of Ireland Yacht 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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