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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Barton's Laser Kits are approved 'class legal' by the Laser Class
Barton Marine’s Laser dinghy kits have now been approved as class legal for the Laser class, providing an option for sailors looking for lightweight, free-running gear to upgrade their one-design Laser. Extensively tested, sailors across the globe can train and…
16 GP14s Line up for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta
16 GP14s represents the biggest fleet so far for July's new look Volvo Dun Laoghaire One Design Regatta.  With four months to the event itself, (and five days to the close of the VDLR Early Bird entry) the Dun Laoghaire…
2017 GP14 Irish Champions Ger Owens and Melanie Morris
Three Irish GP14 sailors will feature at this weekend's virtual Dinghy Show run by the RYA in a section of the show called 'Women Win Too' are getting together by Zoom to discuss Women in Sailing and winning on the racecourse…
Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella competing in the Fireball World Championships in Carnac, France in 2018
Impatience with the ongoing pandemic has led the Irish Fireball Association to bring forward its first coaching session of the season with Barry McCartin. The session will now take place as a Zoom Webinar on Thursday, March 4th. The plan…
Sligo’s Mirror Worlds Postponed Over Travel Restrictions
This year’s Mirror World Championships in Sligo Yacht Club have been postponed due to the ongoing travel restrictions around the pandemic. “The backdrop of COVID-19 presented so many challenges in terms of the organising and logistics for such a large…
Launching Optimist dinghies at Skerries in North Dublin
Craftinsure will be supporting the Irish Optimist dinghy class again this year. IODAI president, Alexander Walsh, says "IODAI are delighted to welcome Craftinsure as sponsors again for 2021". The partnership has now passed its 10th anniversary. Craftinsure director, Rod Daniel,…
Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'The Big Picture' is for sale
The Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'The Big Picture' is for sale at €55,000.  The MG HS30 MOD yacht has been stored indoors, well maintained, and as regular Afloat readers know has been raced locally in Howth and at regattas…
Laser 'kindegarten' briefing at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
With the continued interest in Laser dinghy sailing among adults, the Dún Laoghaire harbour Laser fleet has announced the launch of an adult pathway that supports adults from beginner level right up to elite racing. The Laser with all its…
An RS400 dinghy planing on a reach in great breeze at Greystones Bay, County Wicklow
Hoping to kick things off in late April at Greystones in County Wicklow, the RS Ireland dinghy class has set out its 2021 racing calendar. The class has seen a resurgence of RS numbers in the garden county harbour, with…
Laser dinghy on Dublin Bay
The Royal St. George Yacht Club Laser dinghy fleet hit the headlines at the weekend as the class also prepares to release a new video to promote solo sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. 2020 was a record season for the…
Baltimore spring training is cancelled for this year, but the IODAI is looking at an alternative event
The Irish Optimist calendar will look a little different for 2021 due to continued disruption amid the coronavirus pandemic. The first casualty of the present restrictions is the spring training week in Baltimore. However, the International Optimist Dinghy Associaton of…
National 18 Shark Eleven (Charles Dwyer, Harry Pritchard, John Coakley) at last September’s N18 Irish Nationals in Cork Harbour
The National 18’s 2021 season was launched at the Royal Cork Yacht Club class’s AGM last week. Sailing is scheduled to start on 27 March with the PY 1000 All In Dinghy Race, followed by the first Wednesday evening league…
Dublin Bay sailor Jimmy Fitzpatrick
One of Dublin Bay's great sailing characters Jimmy Fitzpatrick of the Royal Irish Yacht Club has sadly passed away. A true corinthian of sailing Jimmy Fitz was very well known both here and abroad. While he sailed out of the…
Some 113 junior sailors from a dozen nations, including Ireland, took part in the 2019 IOR
Registration is now open for the 28th annual International Optimist Regatta (IOR), TOTE Maritime Clinic and TOTE Team Race will take place from 14-20 June at the St Thomas Yacht Club in the US Virgin Islands. Clinic and regatta director…
Flying Fifteen sailing on the Clyde
Scottish club Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club is keen to recruit Irish Flying Fifteen entries for its staging of the UK National Championships from 24th - 27th June 2021. Ireland has a strong tradition of attending the UK event, particularly when…
Annalise Murphy conpeting in the first day of competition at the Lanzarote Winter Series
Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy marked her return to competition after a three-month break with a second overall after the first day of competition in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) at the Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands yesterday.…

Irish Sailing Classes and Association – There’s no shortage of one-design classes from which to choose and each gives its enthusiasts great competition, fun and camaraderie, writes Graham Smith in this review of the classes. 

One-design racing is where it all starts. It is, after all, where all the top sailors earned their stripes, battling away for line honours without a thought for a handicapper’s calculator wiping away a hard-fought victory!

Indeed, you could count on less than one hand the number of top Irish sailors who didn’t cut their teeth in a one-design dinghy! Just think of Cudmore, Barrington, Watson, Wilkins, Hennessy and Dix to name a few and you realise that they honed their skills in everything from Enterprises to Lasers and a lot in between.

At present count, there are a little over 30 one-design classes in Ireland, split almost evenly between dinghies and keelboats, a statistic which might raise a few eyebrows. They range from the long-established Mermaids, IDRA14s and Dragons to the newer additions like Fevas, Topaz and RS Elite. They all fill a particular need and give their owners and crews considerable enjoyment.

Many have attracted their World or European Championships to Irish waters over the years and while 2009 is notable for a lack of such events here, the following year will see the Etchells Worlds at Howth and perhaps a few other international regattas too.

In addition to the review, we asked each class to complete a questionnaire giving details of their fleet numbers, whether they were on a growth pattern or holding their own, so we could highlight those ‘on the up’ and those remaining static in terms of numbers. The older traditional designs, as you might imagine, fall into the latter category, although that’s not a negative!

CLASS REVIEW  The State of the Classes – League Table (as at February 2009)

S = Static; U = Up/growing

275     Optimist   U

200+   Laser   S

189     Mermaid   S

160     Flying Fifteen   S

130     RS Feva   U

115     Shannon One Design    U

100+   Mirror   S

100+   Topper   U

99       Topaz   U

94       Laser SB3   U

87       GP14   U

85       Squib   S

70       Fireball   S

70       Ruffian   S

60       J24   S

60       Shipman   S

52       Dragon   S

50       RS400/200   S

50       420    U

43       Multihulls    U

42       Dragon    S

40       Water Wags    U

40       Wayfarer    S

34       IDRA14    U

33       Puppeteer    U

28       Etchells    S

27       E-Boat    U

26       Glen    S

25       Enterprise    S

18       Sigma 33    S

18       Howth 17    U

13       RS Elite    U

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