Racing at M.S.C.
Club racing normally takes place twice a week, on Wednesdays at 7.30 and Sundays at 3.00pm.
Races are grouped in a series and results are scored on a league basis.

All competitive sports require officials to start and regulate racing. At M.S.C., members who race are required to act as Race Officer and provide rescue boat cover on a rota basis.

Racing at the club is governed by the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing rules and the M.S.C. additions to these rules, the clubs "sailing instructions".

The ISAF rules mainly specify how boats in a race interact with each other, while the sailing instructions specify issues such as the race start procedure and the type of course.

The Racing Rules of Sailing are updated on a four year cycle and the current version can be found at the ISAF web site
The club's racing instructions are listed here.

Main Wire Halyard
22' 4"
Jib / Genoa Halyard
13' 3"
Shroud length (through deck)
14' 7"
14' 4"
Spinnaker Halyard
39' 4"
Main Sheet
26' 3"
Jib sheet  
Spinnaker sheet (continuous across thwart)
courtesy of  Mailspeed Marine

These guides are only a starting point for setting up your boat.

They tend to be optimised for the authors crew weight and the average wind speed in their area.

GP14 Tuning Guides

Note: The Speedsails guide refers to slim and fat top masts.
Superspars discontinued the fat top mast in 2001 and recent Speedsails boats should have the slim top mast.

Speed Sails tuning guide
Goacher Sails tuning guide and tips
Swordssailing tuning guide
McNamara tuning guide
McNamara problem solver
Super Spars tuning guide
Pinnell & Bax tuning guide
GP14 Association tuning guide
GP14 Association sail setting guide


Sailing Instructions for club racing


download size
(Thank you very much to Rikard Blunck)

RACING BASICS  by Mark Johnson [copyright 1/19/95]  www.uiowa.edu/~sail/ is probably the best free introduction to sail boat racing available on the internet.
It covers Priorities for Practice, Rigging & Sail Controls, Starting, Beating Upwind, Rounding Marks, Reaching & Running, Finishing.
The manual covers these topics:
Preparation (Before you go on the Water),    Pre-start Preparation (On the Water)
Starting the Race,   The First Beat (Beating),   Windward Mark Rounding (onto a reach)
Flying the spinnaker (Reaching),   Dropping the spinnaker, Leeward Mark Rounding
Windward Mark Rounding (onto a run),   Dropping the Spinnaker, Leeward Mark Rounding
Last Beat/Finishing line,   Post Race Analysis      .................. link to manual

Crewing Guide by Dale Knowles

from GP14 International Association Website

As a crew for 20 years now, having sailed with some of the best sailors in the GP14 fleet and regularly coming in the top ten in the Nationals and Worlds, I thought it might be useful to share my experience and thoughts on dinghy crewing with other members.

I’ve aimed this guide at novice to intermediate sailors who want to sail faster and become more competitive within their fleet. In order to stop this becoming an overly epic tome, I’ve assumed you know your way around a boat enough to know the general sailing terms, which sheet does what and the basics of how to hoist and fly a spinnaker, dropping it may be another story! .......... more


From :   www.420sailing.org.uk/docs/uploaded/Chocks.pdf

Chock are the small ‘mushroom-shaped’ plates that you can put in front of the mast. They affect the pre-bend and as a result affect the amount of power you have in the mainsail:

Less pre-bend = Straighter mast = Fuller mainsail = More power
More pre-bend = More curved mast = Flatter mainsail = Less power ........................ more

Sligo Yacht Club - GP14 Crew Training manual        

The following is a edited version of training notes prepared by Ossian Geraghty & Brendan Brogan, "Sligo Yacht Club GP14 Crew Training Evening notes, 2005".   
Using wind shifts

Wind shifts can be the most significant strategic factor in a race particularly when the race area is close to land. Each time the wind changes direction it re-shuffles the fleet, and in almost every race the potential gains and losses due to wind shifts are greater than any other factor, including boatspeed!

Using wind shifts to your advantage (from Tacktick compasses)

Why Finding & Using Wind Shifts Is Usually The #1 Priority On Lakes

Racing with a Compass

                             Racing Venue Notes

Newtownards Sailing Club
Sutton Dinghy Club
Swords Sailing and Boating Club

Donaghadee Sailing Club

Sligo Sailing Club

Skerries Sailing Club

Blessington Sailing Club
Lough Erne Yacht Club


In comparison to the salty locals, most inland sailors are tidal virgins.
Even if you understand the basics, get the analysis right and work out a tactical strategy , the locals will at some stage of a regatta,
have an advantage as tide, wind and sea bed interact to push you somewhere you do not want to be.
Recent Mullingar sailors have earned a well deserved reputation of getting it wrong on a regular basis.

First some terminology:
Set  The set of a current is the direction that it flows toward. Note that this is the opposite of the way winds are reported.
Drift  This is the speed of a current. On ocean waters it is usuallly stated in knots; in rivers, mph.
Flood  The tidal current is in flood when it is coming from the sea to the shore (tide is coming in, or high tide is ensuing).
Ebb   The tidal current is in ebb when it is coming from shore and returning to the sea (low tide ensuing).
Slack Water  The point between flood and ebb (or ebb and flood) currents when there is no horizontal movement.

Sailing in the Tide - A Few Basic Principles
Article by Greg Chisholm, diagrams by Paul Pascoe, October 2001,  Article courtesy of Victorian Sabot Sailing Association

Sailing in Current
Author: Clemmie Everett,         Source:  WindCheck Magazine

The effects of Tidal Flow on the race course
Author: Alex Beach -  20/06/04        Source: www.ukmirrorsailing.com

Belfast tide times       Dublin (North Wall) tide times      Dover tide times
Irish tide stream charts

                           Ireland - North                                                                                                         Ireland - South