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No, the best way to do it is to continue when the gelcoat is cured to it's b-stage. The only, and less strong alternative is to cure the gelcoat completely and then key it with sanding paper.
You could let the first layer of light cloth cure to the b-stage before adding the heavier layers, this helps spotting the air pockets. The fill the corners, so the heavier cloths are easier to put down.
For smaller moulds, your ply stack will give sufficient thickness to the mould.