Cruising

GP14 sailors in the UK who prefer to cruise rather than race are represented on the GP14 Class International Association Committee by Cruising Representative, Stewart Elder. Stewart can be contacted by email at [email protected], and coordinates a number of annual activities aimed at the cruising sailor.

Annual Cruising Week

Each year, a week-long family-oriented sailing event is organised by the Association. Based out of a sailing club, we explore the local area, stopping at beaches, pubs and quays along the way. The pace is relaxed, and the limitations of the group are taken into account – it’s common for a lay day in which we explore the area off the water. Camping is organised, and a large group generally camp together. B&B’s and hotels are also a popular choice. In recent years, this event has been held in locations such as Falmouth, Milford Haven and Poole. In 2015, the Cruising Week was held alongside the UK National Championships at Brixham. See a full account here. Our 2016 cruise will happen in early August, alongside the Nationals at Pwllheli.

Cruising events for 2016

Have you noticed that there are never enough weekends in the year? So to help you prioritise your sailing calendar, these are the important dates for you to consider. Further details of all of these can be found on the events page.

  • 21/22 May – Sailing alongside the Inland Championships at Bala.
  • 24/26 June – Ullswater. An invitation from York RI SC to join in their camping weekend.
  • 20/27 August – Pwllheli – Muscling in on the GP Nationals again.
  • 3 September – Rutland Water. A one-day cruise, suitable for all abilities.
  • 10/11 September – York RI SC. The Round Holes Trophy is up for grabs again.
  • 15/16 October – Windermere. Finishing off the year as we started, this time joining in with the ‘End of Season Championship’ sailors.

Drop me an email at [email protected] and register your interest. I will ensure you are then kept up to date with times/places etc.

Other sections of interest

Don’t forget to visit the news section for all the latest news on cruising events that have been taking place, share your views on the discussion forum and pick-up lots of helpful hints from the Members Library.

About cruising … A message from the Cruising Secretary

Holidays are very precious and if taken in Britain have an element of risk, not the least is the weather. If it also combines with spending a week with people you have never met before then it’s easy to take the safer option and go ‘full board, Magaluf’ again. If on the other hand you seek something different and no matter the weather, a memorable time, then come cruising with us in your GP. Sailing a small boat in and out the hidden coves and beaches of this great, Great British coastline is just a superb way to connect with nature with the additional safety features of being in company and with an escorting safety boat.

I have been sailing with this section for five and more years – every time it has been a great experience. As for the fellow cruisers – well, they are all a bit weird really – they chose cruising over Magaluf, didn’t they! So if you are relatively normal – get the holiday brochure out. Seriously though, it is the sort of holiday that suits all ages. You do not need to sail with us every day and we will take into account the experience levels in that day’s programme.

This activity does have its risks, and we would expect the helm to have a good competency level of boat handling as well as some experience of sailing tidal waters. Your boat needless to say should be up to the job. However, you do not need to have self-furling jibs (although useful). Reefing mainsails (but again useful). VHF radios and anchors are also in the ‘useful but not necessary’ category. Producing an outboard engine from the stern hatch when the winds dies down would class you as ‘weird’, but oars (or paddles) have, for me, been top of my ‘useful’ list.

I am also member of the Dinghy Cruising Association and have had many wonderful weeks’ days sailing with my GP. They are an excellent boat for cruising (you try and pull up a Wayfarer on to a beach by yourself)! I have particular knowledge of the west coast of Scotland, the Caledonian Canal and the Norfolk Broads and most of the main scenic estuaries. If you want register an interest or have any queries about cruise sailing with a GP14 I will do my best to answer them – if I can’t, I certainly have contacts with experienced people who can – and these people really are weird.

Lastly, the love of my life – no, not Mrs Elder (her words, not mine) but my vintage GP14, sail number 28. If you also have a vintage boat or a classic GP we often have an invite at regional and National GP events for the ‘likes of us’ to attend. There are literally thousands of boats who fit into this category. So again, watch this space for notices of these ‘all inclusive’ sailing meetings.

Stewart Elder
[email protected]

Cruising news

President Duncan checks out Sea Willow