Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Irish Sailing Classes
Fireball sailing at Carnac, France
An Irish team of four boats departs these shores today for the French Fireball Nationals and Fireball Worlds in Carnac, north-west France writes Cormac Bradley. The combined regatta, with the French Nationals acting as a warm-up for those who want…
Rocco Wright of Howth and the National YC has become the new Irish Under 12 Optimist National Champion, racing at Kinsale. He is seen here on his way to victory in the British Open Under 12 title, which he achieved with seven clear wins
The fantastic progress of Howth’s Under 12 Optimist star Rocco Wright continued at the Irish Nationals at Kinsale Yacht Club. But Justin Lucas of Kinsale and Tralee, having led the early stages of the series in the Senior Fleet, had…
Squib winners – 'Toy for the Boys' skippered by Peter Wallace and crewed by Martin Weatherstone of Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
The Squib Championships hosted this year by the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire was won by Northern Ireland entry 'Toy for the Boys' skippered by Peter Wallace and crewed by Martin Weatherstone of Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club.…
SB20s racing on Dublin Bay. The European Championships will be staged by the Royal Irish Yacht Club from Tuesday 28th August to Saturday 1st September
Many of the international teams have now arrived in Dublin for the SB20 European Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club from Tuesday 28th August to Saturday 1st September. Racegeek's Ric Morris, one of the event sponsors, runs through the likely contenders for…
The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is hosting the Squib Championships
Toy for the Boys on five points leads the National Squib Irish Championship at the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire after 4 races.  Winds on Saturday were shifting through 20 degrees in light winds sailed in Seapoint Bay.  There…
Hanging in there……Ireland’s community-minded International GP 14 Class meet for their three-day Irish Nationals at Sligo today. Skerries SC and GP14 Ireland will be hosting the Worlds at Skerries in 2020
With 178 Optimists racing in the Irish Nationals at Kinsale, and Ireland’s GP14 dinghies in fine form after the massive Worlds in England as they gather for their own Nationals in Sligo this weekend through to Monday, there’s much to…
Eighteen entries have been received from far and wide for the RIYC event, including one from the UK
The Squib class Irish Championships takes place in the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay this weekend. Eighteen entries have been received from far and wide, including one from the UK. Based on the regional championship events…
Mirror racing at Mullaghmore in County Sligo
The Mirror National Championships held in Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo last weekend were won by Ben Graf and Daniel Smyth. Graf adds the title to the RS Feva National Championship title won earlier in the summer with Oscar Lubliner. Second was Eoghan…
There was some tight racing off Kinsale in the first day of racing in the Optimist Nationals yesterday. Scroll down for Junior fleet racing gallery
It was a challenging day on the water in gusty conditions on day one of the Davy Irish Optimist Nationals in Kinsale Yacht Club. Scroll down for photo gallery below.
The Optimist fleet racing off Kinsale yesterday on day one of the Davy National Championships. Scroll down for photo gallery
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Justin Lucas leads the Davy Irish Optimist Nationals in Kinsale Yacht Club after three challenging races in gusty conditions on day one. Scroll down for our photo gallery by Bob Bateman below. Fleet leader – Justin Lucas of…
At the Optimist National Championships in Kinsale were from left Peter Crowley PRO, Michelle Kennelly, Michael Walsh, Vice Commodore and Sue Horgan Rear Commodore (House)
The opening ceremony for the 2018 Davy Irish Optimist National and Open Championships took place tonight at Kinsale Yacht Club writes Bob Bateman. 178 entries are registered for the event running from August 16th-19th with sailors coming from France, Spain,…
Laser Master Worlds – Great Event Deals on New & Ex Charter Lasers
Irish Laser agent CH Marine is offering three Laser dinghy package deals for a limited period only on the strength of the 2018 Laser Master Worlds at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, on Dublin Bay this September. The sales package options are:  PACKAGE OPTIONS2017…
The podium of the 2018 Star European Championship, with Cork's O'Leary brothers on the right
American Augie Diaz and Brazilian Bruno Prada are the winner of the Robbe & Berking Star European Championships 2018, tied to Lars Grael with Samuel Gonçalves (BRA) who are second. The Bronze medal goes to Cork brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary…
RS Elite yachts racing at Cowes Week 2017
#CowesWeek - RS Sailing released a statement expressing its members “deepest sadness” following the death of a sailor during Cowes Week on Friday (10 August). The man in his 60s was thrown overboard from an RS Elite class yacht in…
RS Inlands Start Today In Killaloe
#RS - Killaloe Sailing Club is hosting the RS Inland and RS Feva Western Championships this weekend, starting today Saturday 11 August. The RS sailing community will be out in force on Lough Derg for the weekend, with full camping…
Peter and Robert O'Leary competing in the 2018 Star Europeans Championship in Flensburg, Germany
Baltimore Sailing Club brothers Peter and Robert O'Leary are off to a great start at the 2018 Star Europeans Championship that officially started on Wednesday evening with the Opening Ceremony at Flensburger Segel-Club, Germany but it was yesterday that the…

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

corkweek sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton
roundireland sidebutton
wave regatta

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating