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Robert O'Leary (left, bow number 61) competing at the Star World Championship in Italy
Australian Torvar Mirsky and Cork Harbour's Robert O'Leary are up to sixth overall at this week's Italian-based Star World Championships after three races sailed in Porto Cervo. The pair sailing the Irish Star Dafne now count a 16, 8, and 10 and are two points off…
Royal Cork’s Nick Walsh is a favourite for the Laser Standard Rig events
The next few weeks will be the busiest of the year for the Irish Laser fleet with three big events coming in quick succession writes Dave Quinn. The first of these is the Ulster Championships, being held in East Antrim Boat Club,…
Ross Nolan (left) and Gordon Patterson (right) receive their Championship prize from Howth Yacht Club Commodore Ian Byrne
Howth Yacht Club hosted nineteen boats for the Squib Eastern Championships sponsored by Provident CRM last weekend writes Ronan MacDonell, HYC Squib Class Captain. The event was run alongside the J24 Easterns which made for a busy clubhouse. While the weather…
Jibe presented with Eastern Championship trophy by Ian Byrne, Commodore Howth Yacht Club  (from left to right : Brian McDowell J/24 Association President, Fergus Kelliher, Ian Byrne Commodore HYC, Brendan Culloty, Michael McCormack, Timothy Kelliher, Mark Mulrooney)
The J/24 Eastern Championships took place last weekend at Howth Yacht Club writes Elaine O'Mahoney. The two-day event was run in conjunction with the Squib Easterns which made for a very busy lifting schedule for the cranes at HYC with thirty-five boats…
High speed sailing in an SB20 on Dublin Bay with Ger Dempsey on the tiller
Saturday's planned SB20 Sprint Series on Dublin Bay has been cancelled.  The aim of the innovative sportsboat series was to run "lots of races back to back"  but Class President Colin Galavan said he had no option but to "cancel running…
The Star Worlds are being held in Porto Cervo
Australian World Match Racing Tour skipper Torvar Mirsky who has teamed up with Cork Harbour's Robert O'Leary to race the sole Irish Star keelboat at this week's Italian-based World Championships is lying tenth overall after two races in Porto Cervo. Uncertain…
Neil Cramer (Class Chairman, L) with Ismail Inan (C) and Noel Butler (R) 2019 Ulster Fireball Champions
With a Worlds coming up in Montreal Canada in August 2019 and Ireland hosting the Worlds in August 2020 in Howth, as part of their 125th Anniversary celebrations, the Irish Fireball Family had their first outing of the regatta season…
Vincent Delany (left) with HYC Commodore Ian Byrne (centre) and Noel Colclough finished third overall
This ever-popular Squib Championship hosted by Howth Yacht Club was supported by a somewhat unusual list of competitors, firstly Peter Wallace, current Irish Squib Champion’s Toy for the Boys broke free from it’s moorings and went up on the rocks at Belfast…
Toppers racing out of County Antrim Yacht Club last Sunday
County Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead hosted the ITCA (IRL) Topper Traveller 3 on Sunday 9 June, kindly sponsored by Ryobi. A total of 53 Toppers entered the event, with representation from 20 yacht clubs across Ireland. Many competitors enjoyed a…
Flying Fifteen Pair David Gorman and Chris Doorly were Afloat.ie Sailors Of The Month for September 2015
A 16-boat Flying Fifteen fleet had an interesting course that made use of the temporary replacement of Harbour mark and took us to a new mark that we haven’t visited for quite some time: Island. The race proceeding commences in…
Sean Craig was third overall at a Barcelona Masters warm up event
Royal St. George's Sean Craig has finished third at the BDO Barcelona Masters Laser Radial Regatta today, a warm-up event for the European Masters in Roses, Spain next weekend. The 60-boat event began with a windy and wavy first day, a…
Mata, the new Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner campaign has won class two of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay
The Wright Brothers from Howth completed a consistent series of seven races with six top three results to become Division Two National Champions in their first ICRA outing with their new Half Tonner in Dun Laoghaire. Half Tonners took the top five…
The nine-man Joker II crew on their way to a fourth consecutive ICRA Class One victory on Dublin Bay
The Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury has made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships this afternoon having sailed a superb seven-race series in which the J109 corinthian skipper and eight-man crew – that included 2004 Olympian Killian Collin…
Three race wins sets John Maybury's J109 Joker II up for a successful defence of her Class One title on Dublin Bay tomorrow. Onboard Joker II is Crosshaven 2004 Olympian Killian Collins. Victory tomorrow would give the RIYC skipper four wins in a row of the ICRA title
After five races sailed and a discard applied at the ICRA National Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, John Maybury is two races away from an impressive fourth win of the Class One title after another impressive day on…
Royal Irish Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs has a four point lead of Division Two of the ICRA National Championships in Checkmate XVIII
There is a  new half-ton leader in division two of the ICRA national championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as overnight leader Johnny Swan's Harmony from Howth Yacht Club drops to fourth overall but optimised Irish Half Tonners continue to…
Nigel Young, Darragh McCormack and Jack Young of 188 Innocence with the trophy that’s been the helm’s since 2016
Foynes Yacht Club boat Innocence, helmed by Darragh McCormack and crew Nigel and Jack Young, claimed their fourth Munster Mermaids title in a row at the regional championships held at their home club on the Shannon Estuary his past June…

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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