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GP14s Set for Pre-Worlds 'O'Tiarnaigh' Challenge at Skerries

29th July 2022
This weekend the GP14 Ireland fleet head for Skerries for a full event but with an eye to Worlds preparation very much to the fore for sailors and the Race Management team alike
This weekend the GP14 Ireland fleet head for Skerries for a full event but with an eye to Worlds preparation very much to the fore for sailors and the Race Management team alike

With less than three weeks to go to the GP14 World Championships, the Irish GP14 fleet continues their preparations this weekend (July 30/31) for what will be a massive event in Skerries next month (August 14-19).

With 40+ boats in Royal North for the Championship of Ireland a few weeks ago, the fleet re-acquainted itself with gate starts. Not content with that, six Irish crews headed to Llandudno last weekend for the thre days of the British Nationals. This weekend the GP14 Ireland fleet head for Skerries for a full event but with an eye to Worlds preparation very much to the fore for sailors and the Race Management team alike.

The Worlds has attracted an entry of 105 plus boats, including the top end of the Class from the UK.

And with gate starts involved, the World Championship PRO Bill O'Hara, supported by Liam Dineen, will this weekend get an opportunity to put the full Race Management apparatus under the kosh before the big event gets underway.

Event organiser and competitor Colman Grimes (busy man!!) from Skerries and the GP14 Ireland Class Association have managed to encourage almost 50 boats and crews from the Irish fleet to the famous O'Tiarnaigh Challenge. This event has always had a different style to it than your regular event and this year is no different. Branded the Pre Worlds (for the year that's in it) the main focus of the weekend is to get a lot of gate start practice at the Worlds venue with 8 one round races on Saturday. The top 3 in each fleet (Gold, Silver & Bronze) get through to Race 2 on Sunday and a little lie-on. The remainder will return for Race 1 on Sunday with the top 6 in each fleet going through to join Saturday's qualifiers (27 in total) in Race 2. Race 2 and 3 will then whittle the 27 down for Race 4 (The Medal race), consisting of 9 boats that qualified from Race 3.

The top 3 Gold, Silver & Bronze boats will race together for the overall positions. Sunday will be Olympic courses with gate starts.

Skerries have organised international umpire Cxema Pico to be on the water. So not for the faint-hearted but it should produce plenty of thrills and hopefully honing of skills across the board.

The World Championships kicks off on August 14th, with boat measurement starting on Saturday 13th and finishes on August 19th. The preparations in Skerries have been immense, having originally planned for a 2020 World Championship. Skerries is a great attraction at the best of times, and with this being one of the biggest sailing events in Ireland this summer, it should be well worth visiting at some stage over the week.

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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