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2026 GP14 World Championships - Alternative Venue Announced

by Andy Johnston 15 Mar 14:38 GMT
Bushmills GP14's Hot Toddy 2023 at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club © Lindsay Nolan

Following a review by GP14 International Committee in early February, a decision was made to look to relocate the 2026 World Championship to an alternative venue. It was with much regret that the Committee had to consider this course of action.

The Sri Lanka Championship Committee were notified and the GP14 International President, Charles Saunders issued an update very recently to the GP14 membership outlining the concerns and challenges that led to this decision. These were primarily:

  • Container shipping costs estimates suggest that the per boat cost could be in the region of €1,200-1,500 which is 3 to 4 times more expensive than shipping boats to Barbados for 2016 Worlds
  • There still remains serious uncertainty on the future price of shipping with Red Sea being drawn into Middle East conflict, notwithstanding impacts on delivery times and schedules
  • Long haul air fares have also risen considerably and unlikely to drop much in the near to medium future
The outcome of all these factors was that the Committee believed there are very few sailors in Ireland or the UK who could commit to an event in Sri Lanka in two years time and that we would struggle to get more than a couple of containers and the event would not attract sufficient numbers to make a proper World Championships. Having considered the forgoing issues very carefully, it was with much regret that the General Committee decided that it would be sensible as a class to look for an alternative venue for 2026 World Championships.

That process has been under way for a number of week with the Championship Committee looking beyond the traditional venues including possible European venues. This is a challenge as many suitable locations will already have had their events calendar for 2026 locked down.

However the GP14 International Committee are delighted to announce today that Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, Belfast have agreed to take on the task of hosting the 2026 GP14 World Championships. The Club were already earmarked to host the 2026 UK Nationals so were ideally placed to step into the breech. More details and revised dates to follow.

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