Youth and Masters Championships Preview
There is no age discrimination in the GP 14 fleet. A Grand Master and a youth sailor placed in the top three at this year’s Gul Inland Championships in Bala. The Masters and Youth championships at the Welsh Harp in July will be a celebration of this diversity.
Megan Hicklin explains why the Youths are an important competition for the class:
“Like most young sailors I didn’t start my sailing in a GP14 but now find the boat and the class suit me best. Sailing is all about progression and for many youth sailors this means moving from single to double handed boats and eventually to adult classes. For both the Helm and Crew the GP14 is technically challenging and always delivers very close racing.
“I would encourage anyone with a GP14 to make it available to their junior sailors and encourage them to come along and enjoy the event. This is our class and if it is going to thrive then the young sailors are the future.
“If previous years are anything to go by then the social side is what makes it best. I have made lots of friends from these events and look forward to seeing them at all of the main GP14 events. The prizes are always generous and the weekend, as you would expect, is run to the very highest of standards.”
The Welsh Harp has a long history as a top sailing venue in the South East. Eric Twiname sailed here while writing Start to Win. The GP14 masters has been held at the Harp on numerous occasions most recently in 2005 and 2011.
Wind from the Southwest or Northeast is steadiest. South westerlies blow through the Wembley Stadium arch then on down the length of the lake. Conditions are less predictable and more challenging when the breeze is across the lake, with lifts and headers sometimes courtesy of passing freight on the nearby A406. Despite its urban setting, the lake is a beautiful place, its immediate surroundings are trees and parkland and it is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The event will comprise a four race series for the masters and five races for the youths. Two races for the masters on Saturday will be followed by Tea and Cakes and opportunity to spectate as the younger generation complete their third race. Both fleets race twice on Sunday, followed by a light lunch and prize giving.
Historically clubs at the Harp have been noted for their hospitality, this year will be no different. The evening Barbeque will be followed by a ceilidh dance with live music. This works whatever your age, or level of alcohol consumption. Navigational skills to the fore when dancing to a caller, remember the course, which tack are you on?
There is comfortable bunkhouse accommodation on site and space for a few campervans.
Over 20 GP s race regularly at the Welsh Harp. We look forward to welcoming all visitors, the young and the experienced, on the 16 and 17 of July.