Cruising, and Vintage Boats
Many GP14 sailors prefer to relax and cruise with their boats rather than race. In the UK these members are represented by Oliver Shaw, who oversees and coordinates our cruising activities over the year.
Oliver can be contacted on email via [email protected] and if you have a cruising activity at your club to which you would like to invite Association attendance he would be pleased to hear from you.
Cruising week 2019
We are reinstating the Cruising Week this year, and we have invited feedback from Members as to what you want (and where and when). As a result of feedback received we are arranging a week in Milford Haven Waterway, where we have previously held two immensely enjoyable Cruising Weeks (in 2007 and again in 2011), from August 5th – 12th (Monday to Monday, not least in order to avoid the potential nightmare of travelling on a Saturday during prime holiday season).
At present we have insufficient numbers to ask a club to host us, so instead we are booking on a commercial basis at Lawrenny Quay. They are a combined boatyard and tourist facility, extremely pleasant, with a very attractive site in a highly scenic location, with an excellent pub on site and an excellent upmarket café / tea room on site, and a caravan site as part of their facility. However they are not licensed for tents, but there is tent camping available within very easy driving distance; those who are members of the Camping & Caravanning Club have a choice of several Certificated Sites within 5 miles, while there are a smaller number available a little further away which are open to the wider public. For those who prefer B&B there is also a good selection of establishments in the area.
We will most probably leave the dinghies afloat overnight moored to one of the Lawrenny pontoons (so remember to bring fenders), at a charge of £12 per night, using their slipway only once at each end of the week at £12 per time; so for (say) six nights plus one launch and one recovery that gives a total cost of £96 for the week, which is a little lower than several past Cruising Weeks, even though we will be using a commercial enterprise.
I used them a couple of years ago, and had a truly excellent time, and I am more than happy to use them again. Details of their facilities can be found online at: http://www.lawrennyyachtstation.co.uk/
High Water is in the mornings at the beginning of the week, and mid-afternoon at the end, which will suit us very nicely indeed. That will facilitate launching on the first morning, and recovering on the final afternoon; and it will also lend itself to expeditions downriver in the first part of the week and upriver in the latter part.
If you wish to participate please let me know in the first instance, via [email protected], and I will then put you in contact with Lawrenny to book individually. But it is most helpful if I am told who is coming, for co-ordination purposes.
While the sailors are expected to be predominately “the GP14 family” the actual boats are expected to be a mixture of however many GP14s we get plus at least one trailer-sailer (Privateer 20), and a sturdy dayboat (Falmouth Bass Boat) – both the latter owned by well known “retired GP14 sailors”. We will not be hiring a RIB escort boat, but the above two boats will provide “mother ship” facilities for any towing duties that may be needed.
The detail will depend in part on how many takers we have, but please contact [email protected] for the latest information.
Finally, we are inviting feedback now as to what Members would like for our Cruising Week in 2020. That will be our 70th anniversary year, and it is none too soon to start planning for it. One suggestion is to share the dates and venue with the World Championship in Skerries, Ireland; that could be most enjoyable, and convivial, but only if members would wish to participate in that. Do please respond, and let us have your ideas, suggestions, and hopes.
Possible Event in Brittany
A member who lives in North Brittany, between Paimpol and Perros Guirec, has offered to put on a cruising event there if there is enough interest.
He writes “It’s a marvellous cruising location with many picturesque coastal islands, along with significant tidal variations and currents that need to be taken into account.
“My club organises an extremely relaxed multi-class regatta in a sheltered lagoon at the beginning of August, along with a few cruises with accompanying security. … … I could easily try to organise a 3-day weekend of events including the regatta and throw it open to the GP14 association. After all, there will already be one GP14 taking part!”
As an update a month later, he now wonders whether trying to do this at short notice for 2019 is a little ambitious, and whether we should instead put out feelers with a view to organising something for 2020. In the context that there has been nil response thus far I am inclined to agree.
If you would be interested for 2020, please respond to [email protected] and we will put you in touch. And if anyone is seriously interested for this present year he would be very happy to accommodate them; let us know, and we will put you in touch.
Other Events in 2019
We are also hoping to arrange a number of shorter cruising events during the course of 2019, so watch this space!
In the meantime, we have four events on offer (plus one Vintage boats event (see below)). Most of these are events run by clubs for their own members, and they are extending invitations to us to join them for the event. Please be aware that – like a number of other organisations – several of these organisations do NOT provide a safety boat; they rely on competent skippers with seaworthy boats, and “mutual self-help”. In strict chronological order, we have:
- Members are invited to a week-long event in Poole Harbour, run by Cody Sailing Club, from Friday May 31st to Friday June 7th. This is an excellent and very scenic cruising area, where we held very enjoyable full Cruising Weeks in 2005 and again in 2010. We apologise that this has had to be pushed back a week from the Half Term weekend because of tidal constraints. Members of the Dinghy Cruising Association and the Combined Comet Trio Association are also invited. Please be aware of the note above about safety boats. Realistically they are limited to 8 boats from the GP14 Class Association unless none turn up from the other organisations which they are inviting – and they say that if there is more interest than that it will tell them something!! http://www.codysailingclub.co.uk/ptbo/ All enquiries to
[email protected], please; NOT to the Association address.
- Members are also invited to join an upriver day-cruise on the Mersey on Sunday June 16th, at Liverpool Sailing Club, where the cruisers have enjoyed several previous similar visits over the years. We had initially hoped to also offer a downriver cruise, but the way the tides happen to fall this year there are no suitable free dates (except midweek). Further details from [email protected]
- York RI Sailing Club would be very happy to welcome the GP14 cruising fraternity to join them for their annual cruising and camping weekend at Ullswater, which will be held on 28/29/30 June this year. Further details from Steve Parry via [email protected]
- See also the information at the end of the Vintage Boats section, regarding the Round Holes Trophy.
- Cruisers are warmly invited to the End of Season Championship at the Welsh Harp (London) on the weekend of 12/13th October. They are offering a cruise the long way around the lake with afternoon tea at the canoeing club. As with every End of Season event, a particular highlight is a black tie dinner on the Saturday evening. We are not sure how many people would actually bring a boat along for this but we’d like as many of the cruising fleet to join us in this celebration as possible, as well as provide photos and comments.
We have also been approached about running an Introduction to Cruising weekend with the emphasis on training. We are actively exploring the options for this, provisionally a basic training weekend at Bassenthwaite over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and perhaps also a more advanced cruiser training weekend in the eastern part of the country and probably in the autumn (because of when trainer/s are expected to be available). Do please let us know, with some urgency, if you would be interested in participating in such an event, as this would be a freestanding event, not piggy-backing on another event, so we do need to gauge the interest before committing to setting it up. Again, [email protected].
Looking ahead to 2020, one of our members approached us a little earlier in the year about running a camping and cruising weekend on Llyn Tegid (a.k.a. Bala Lake). We did hope to be able to offer this for this present year, but he now advises that his club have a very full programme already for this year but that there could be a possibility for 2020. So if there is enough interest expressed by members we will follow this up for 2020. [email protected] to express interest, please.
Watch this space!
For a flavour of cruising and vintage events, see the two reports below describing past events.
If you would like to raise any questions in the meantime, or if your club can offer a cruising event for either this year or 2020, please feel free to drop an email to Oliver Shaw or Steve Parry via [email protected]. However for 2019 we are now approaching the point where it is probably better to encourage members to participate in those events already on the programme or in planning, rather than add yet more and risk finding that all are diluted and none are supported because there is too much choice; but it is very nice to be in that position!
But we might consider just one or two more for this year, and in particular if someone cares to offer an event in Scotland, where we currently have nothing in the programme; we are still very much open to offers there.
We are very proud of our historic heritage, including our vintage boats, some of them seriously early and still sailing.
Amongst those, boat no. 2, Pimpernel, the earliest surviving sail number in the world, is now owned by the Association and is currently undergoing an overhaul preparatory to an attempt to sail (and row) the full length of the UK as part of our 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020.
We are also hoping to take her to the World Championship at Skerries in 2020, and we are gauging interest for the possibility of a vintage fleet racing on that occasion; this would be on a somewhat less demanding course than the Championship fleet, in deference to the venerable ages of the boats, but it would be an excellent way to showcase these boats, and it would be a highly enjoyable occasion. If you are potentially interested in attending, especially with a vintage boat, please let us know, as we need to gauge interest before we start making actual arrangements. [email protected]
We are also starting to look into a 70th anniversary vintage boats event at Aberdyfi (Dovey SC), where the class started. Again, please let us know if you would be interested, as again we need to gauge interest before we start making actual arrangements. [email protected]
Meanwhile for the current year, York RI Sailing Club invite members with Series 1 boats for the Round Holes Trophy at their club on Saturday 28th September. Further details from Steve Parry via [email protected]
Top tips for a good weekend
- Check your trailer in plenty of time, particularly tyres and bearings, and also the lighting board; and it is a good idea to carry a spare wheel.
- Make sure the boat is all in good working order (cruisers are a friendly bunch and will be happy to help you with unforeseen problems, but it can be frustrating if the whole expedition is delayed while a boat is rebuilt!)
- Do not forget the paddle, or – better – oars and rowlocks.
- Do not forget the anchor.
- Be sure that your competence matches the expectations of the event. Ask for advice in advance if in doubt, (some events will suit a comparative novice, but others may be more demanding).