GP14 Class International Association
Western Australian Branch

 

Home
GP 14 News
About the GP14
About Us
History
Sailing Program
Regatta Results
State Championships
Honours Board
Sailing Tips
Links & Videos
For Sale
Photo Gallery
Weather
Contact

This Site Last Updated :

28 January, 2017

 

 

 

MURRAY RANN

Murray Rann began boating at a very early age by sailing a model yacht in the shallows at Como Beach on historic Melville Water on the beautiful Swan River. As a primary schoolboy he watched his father Bob Rann sailing his 14foot dinghy "Victor" and also attempted to secure a crewing position in anything which floated. Because of his relatively small stature in an era when crew weight and size was important he couldn't obtain a berth, so he did the next best thing and at thirteen years of age, bought his own Vee Jay. He joined the South Perth Yacht Club on 21 January 1947. His father Bob paid the subscription of half a guinea (10 shillings and six pence) and Murray purchased a club badge for 25 cents (2 shillings and 6 pence). With his father as crew he won the first race in which he competed, skippering his boat "Clipper". However, at that young age further successes were spasmodic.

Rann progressed through a long apprenticeship to become South Perth Yacht Club Junior Champion in season's 1950-51 and 1951-52 in the VJ "Erratic", at a time when the class was extremely popular. Moving into senior ranks Rann joined the Vee Ess class which at the time also had a strong fleet at the SPYC. Here he obtained a notable runner-up in the 1954-55 Australian Championship which was won by his father who had also joined the class having "retired" from 14 foot dinghy sailing. This was surely a unique effort where a father and son finished first and second in an Open Australian Championship!

About this time sailing was undergoing radical change and cold-molded lightweight dinghies appeared. Rann bought a "shell" and developed the 14foot dinghy "IV", by framing, decking and rigging the "Charles Marshal" type dinghy. Moderate success followed and Rann secured a fourth place in the Australian Championship in Sydney in 1957-58. But the winds of change quickly brought the VJ style to the fore in dinghies and in order to keep pace with progress Rann was forced to follow suite. He built the revolutionary "Action" which was the first 14 foot dinghy with a self-draining, full-length cockpit and open transom. "Action" was also the first 14 foot dinghy to carry a trapeze harness in Australia. Murray Rann campaigned "Action" only briefly until his marriage and the need to develop a home forced a curtailment of his sailing activities.

After a brief respite however, the strong urge to go sailing re-emerged and Rann then built a Randell Moth and joined the class which was by now established at the re-located and re­named South of Perth Yacht Club. Success followed and championship placings were regular but ultimate success eluded him. Eventually, in 1968 Rann became Moth Class Open Champion at the SoPYC in "Impact". However, the pressures of keeping up with the frequent changes in the so-called "development" classes was taking its toll on family, finances and time.

Rann decided to join the one-design International GP14 Class at the Mounts Bay Sailing Club by purchasing the Victorian boat "Natani" after the Australian Championship on the Swan River in 1968. Success was both immediate and continuous as after two State GP14 titles in quick succession in 1968 & 1969, Rann joined the Australian GP14 Association project to build a fiberglass version of the dinghy in Western Australia, and he purchased the first production model in 1970 which he aptly named "Prototype".

With the knowledge thus gained Rann commissioned the building of his highly successful GP14 "Aeolus" and utilising his twenty-five years of sailing expertise, Rann worked with John Russell of Rolly Tasker Sails on a sail tuning program and this collaboration laid the foundations for an extraordinarily successful period.

{ In Greek mythology "Aeolus" was the God of Winds and ‘Aeolus’ was the name of the 18 footer which won the first Australian Championship by a Western Australian craft in 1907. Murray Rann's grandfather Jack Norris headed a syndicate which purchased the winning yacht and raced it successfully. Jack Norris, who founded the 16foot class in WA., also had championship successes in 16's named ‘Aeolus’}

Undoubtedly the most successful helmsman in the history of the Western Australian Branch of the GP14 Class was Murray Rann. In his seventeen seasons in the class (1968 to 1985) he won three Australian, ten State, fifteen MBSC Club championships and he represented Australia in three World Championships.

During his outstanding GP14 career Rann once won 53 fastest times in succession over a period of just over 2 seasons. This included 2 state, 2 club and 1 Australian Championship without a single loss of fastest time. Rann also completed 10 seasons without a capsize which demonstrated his exceptional seamanship skill and this undoubtedly proved to be the basis of his great success.

He is the only WA GP14 skipper to have won a championship in another state and was the reigning Australian Champion whilst attending two World Championships overseas. He was the best placed Australian in the 1979 World Championships held on the Swan River and it is notable that in winning his 15 successive club championships he was never ever beaten in the seven-race series.

To further illustrate his prominence in GP14 sailing Murray Rann also won no less than 6 of the 12 "Eric Moore Memorial" trophies in which he competed. The "Eric Moore" was awarded annually to the best performer in all classes at the Mounts Bay Sailing Club.

In a lengthy term as Chairman of the Sailing Committee at MBSC Murray Rann secured and developed the "Three-of-a-kind" race which provided great rivalry and useful inter-class comparisons for dinghy sailors on the Swan River. In addition to representing Western Australia as a helmsman in interstate racing in VJ, VS, Moths, 14foot dinghies and GP14s Murray Rann also crewed on the YW Diamond, 16foot skiff and Red Witch class in interstate regattas.


 

Murray Rann’s GP14 Championship Record

 

Year

Yacht

Championship

Position

1968-69

Natani

WA State

1

1969-70

"

National (Chelsea, Vic)

4

 

"

WA State

2

 

"

MBSC Club

2

1970-71

Prototype

MBSC Club

1

1971-72

Aeolus

National (Perth,WA)

3

 

"

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1972-73

"

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1973-74

"

National (Rye, Vic)

1

 

"

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1974-75

"

Worlds (New Jersey, USA)

15

 

"

National (Perth,WA)

1

 

"

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1975-76

Aeolus II

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1976-77

"

WA State

2

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1977-78

"

WA State

2

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1978-79

Aeolus III

Worlds (Perth, WA)

4

 

"

National (Perth,WA)

7

 

"

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1979-80

"

WA State

2

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1980-81

"

National (Perth,WA)

1

 

"

WA State

1

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1981-82

"

Worlds (Troon, Scotland)

44

 

"

WA State

2

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1982-83

"

WA State

3

 

"

MBSC Club

1

1983-84

"

National (Perth,WA)

2