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Optimist sailing off Howth on day two of the national championships
Day 2 was a difficult day at the Optimist National Championships at Howth Yacht Club for all concerned with the vagaries of the Irish sailing conditions making it very challenging for both sailors and organisers alike. Sailors were held ashore…
Howth Yacht Club Race Officer Harry Gallagher among the 185 Optimist competitors at the National Championships Opening Ceremony at HYC
Day one completed at the 2019 Optimist Nationals in Howth Yacht Club, with three good races in a real mix of conditions for the main fleets - senior and junior. The day started with 16-20 knots of breeze but this…
The top performing Irish Fleet crew in Abersoch last week were Peter & Stephen Boyle. Apart from taking top Youth Helm, the Family Trophy and being part of the victorious Sutton Dinghy Club Club Trophy winning combination, Peter & Stephen finished 7th and won the Silver Fleet. An exceptional event for Peter and if the winds blow in Skerries, this pair should be well to the fore
Peter and Stephen Boyle, the top ranked GP14 Irish pair are back in action on home waters this weekend when the Championship of Ireland kicks off this Friday in Skerries Sailing Club. This will be the first year where the…
Racing at the 2018 Nationals at Foynes Yacht Club
With just over a week to go until the start of the J/24 National Championships on Ireland's second-biggest lake, the entry has hit 30 with at least another three boats promised to enter writes JP McCaldin This is the largest…
The International Optimist Dinghy Worlds at Howth in 1981, when the 130-strong fleet from 26 nations covered the sea so tightly that Lambay was almost invisible
When Howth Yacht Club hosted the 1981 Optimist Worlds, it was while the harbour was in the midst of a major redevelopment project writes W M Nixon. Yet young sailors from 26 nations provided a fleet of 130 boats, and…
A race start at the Flying Fifteen Championships staged by the Royal St George Yacht Club
The Irish Flying Fifteen fleet had their last provincial event, the South Coast Championships, last weekend before the Subaru sponsored World Championships are hosted by the National Yacht Club at the end of this month writes Cormac Bradley. This time…
Ballyholme's first major Laser event since 2014 will be staged this month when the Belfast Lough Club hosts the Irish Laser Nationals
Last week Ballyholme’s Dan McGaughey won the youth title and second overall in the Laser Radial UK Nationals at Largs, Scotland. This followed Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon who won the Under 17 Laser Radial Youth Worlds title the week…
The GP14 Sutton Dinghy Club sailors celebrate in Abersoch last night
Sutton Dinghy Club took a haul of awards at last night's GP14 UK National Championships prizegiving in Abersoch including winners of the Club Trophy and with Peter and Stephen Boyle taking quite a few - seventh overall, Top Youth Helm,…
There was a 16-boat turnout for Thursday's DBSC race
Sixteen Flying Fifteens had a great night’s DBSC racing on Thursday 8th August with a five-boat group at the front setting the pace for everyone else. The sunny conditions of earlier in the day gave way to overcast conditions but…
 GP14 leaders in Abersoch Sam Watson & Andy Thompson (East Antrim)
While there was again an early start planned at the GP14 UK National Championships at Abersoch with the First Start Gun scheduled for 10:30, the wind had other ideas and the fleet was kept ashore. Racing cannot start unless there is…
The Cock O'the North fleet
National 18 sailors converged in usual strong spirit at the Royal Findhorn Yacht Club, to compete in their annual UK and Ireland Championships that were held last week writes Chris Bateman With the event officially kicking off on Sunday (28th…
GP14s racing at Abersoch
After two second place finishes yesterday, Sam Watson and Andy Thompson are still holding first place overall at the GP14 UK Nationals in Abersoch North Wales writes Andy Johnson. Jim Hunt and Liz Senior are in second, however conditions today…
Racing in Abersoch has been postponed
Racing today at the GP14 UK National Championships at Abersoch in North Wales has been postponed due to strong winds. Southwest winds are gusting to over 35 knots at the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club venue. Races 4,5 and 6 for…
Gerry Ryan was the winner of the Facet Trophy for Flying Fifteens
With the Subaru sponsored Flying Fifteen World Championships only 26 sleeps away, the enthusiasm for racing on Dublin Bay has continued apace writes Cormac Bradley. After a light wind session on the preceding Thursday that prompted a very shortened course…
GP14 International President - Curly Morris of East Antrim Boat Club
Curly Morris of East Antrim Boat Club in Larne has been elected as President of the International GP14 Class. The Class AGM held in Abersoch last night voted for the GP14 Ireland stalwart during its 2019 national championships, a year…
GP14s converge at a weather mark on day two of the national championships in Abersoch
Sutton Dinghy Club father and son pairing Peter and Stephen Boyle had a very good second day at the GP14 UK National Championships in Abersoch to be top Irish boat in 14th place writes Andrew Johnston. The Boyles had just competed…

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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