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Skerries Sailing Club Regatta next weekend (July 24/25) will feature a separate GP14 dinghy start and five championship-style races in anticipation of next year's World Championships to be staged at the north Dublin venue.
The annual Skerries regatta is also well placed to give Geep crews some timely race practise coming just six weeks ahead of the class national championships on Lough Erne this August.
As regular Afloat readers know, following their success at the Ulsters in June, Ger Owens and Mel Morris were crowned GP14 Leinster Champions at Blessington Sailing Club in early July 3/4 making them the form boat for the National Championships.
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.
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