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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
The new design keelboat will feature a scow bow
The Ultimate Boat Company is racing ahead with its revolutionary sustainable material, DANU, as the composite material of choice for its mixed double-handed offshore keelboat aimed at Paris 2024 Olympics. DANU is the patented and recyclable composite material developed by…
Fifty nations have confirmed their presence for the Optimist World Championships in Italy in June
Just over a month to go before the start of the most awaited youth sailing event in the international sailing scenario, the Optimist World Championship: after the postponement of the regatta in 2020, Riva del Garda, Italy is getting ready…
The Half Tonner Big Picture' is for sale from at €48,000
The Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'The Big Picture' that is currently on the market has had a price drop from €55,000 to €48,000 as the 2021 sailing season kicks off. Skipper Michael Evans says he is selling due to the purchase of a…
Mirror dinghy racing on Sligo Bay
Following the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Mirror Sailing Ireland has published a revised 2021 events calendar for this summer and autumn. First up are the Mirror Northerns at Lough Ree Yacht Club on the weekend of 12-13 June. They…
58 entries including 29 IRC Two-Handed teams racing overnight for the first time this year
The Royal Ocean Racing Club organised two races over the May Bank Holiday weekend. 58 boats entered, including a 91nm race for IRC Two Handed, the first overnight race of the year. Giovanni Belgrano’s Classic Whooper won the race for…
The new date for the 1720 2021 European Championships is 23-25 September.
In the wake of government pandemic easing announcements last Friday, one of the first major one-design championships of the sailing season has been postponed with the news that the 1720 European Championships scheduled for Waterford Harbour Sailing Club on June…
The SB20 Bango in full racing trim on Lough Ree, where the class plans its 2021 Nationals for 17-19th September
Say what you like about the SB20s, but you have to commend the class and its President John Malone of Lough Ree YC for always being game to have a go. Back in September 2020, when everyone else reckoned they’d…
Squib 42 for sale on Afloat is described as a 'very Clean sought-after low number Race Ready Squib with nothing to do except go sailing'
With sailing slowly re-emerging in Ireland which is still some distance from being post-pandemic, we seem to be seeing our sport taking shape again with a series of baby steps. In such circumstances, there’s much to be said for the…
RORC two handed overnight racing resumes on May 1
After a year and a half of disruptions to offshore racing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Royal Ocean Racing Club has confirmed an overnight race for Two-Handed teams starting on May 1st. The combined entry list for May 1st…
The Open Dutch Championships ORC 1, 2 and 3 were scheduled to be held during the now cancelled North Sea Regatta
To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Uffa Fox, one of the most highly regarded naval architects and enthusiast of all aspects of sailing, the Royal London Yacht Club, together with the Cowes Classic Boat Museum, and supported…
Mixed Irish offshore pairing Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee
As World Sailing looks for alternatives for its Mixed Offshore Keelboat for Paris 2024, fledgeling mixed Irish pairing Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee, who are campaigning in France this season, are taking the disappointment in their stride. The Dun Laoghaire…
World Sailing needs new proposals for sailing's tenth medal in three year's time
World Sailing's Council has unanimously approved a regulatory amendment to enable alternative event(s) to the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat, for sailing's 10th medal at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to be proposed. As Afloat reported previously, following a request…
Ewan McMahon from Howth YC improved to 48th overall
Ireland can only look to the future and Paris 2024 - just three years away - for its next chance to compete in the men's singlehanded Laser class following Finn Lynch's failure to qualify Ireland in the Laser event for Tokyo 2020…
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has received 94 entries so far for the Open Cruiser Championship (8th – 11th July 2021) on Dublin Bay
Entries for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) are beyond expectations for July's event giving organisers the opportunity to close the entry system at the end of April to review the 320 boats received so far. Ireland's biggest regatta on Dublin…
Howth's Ewan McMahon racing in day three of the ILCA 7 Vilamoura Championships
Irish hopes of landing one of the Olympic country spots at the 2021 ILCA Vilamoura European Continental qualifier for the Olympic single-handed dinghy men faded considerably following disappointing results on day three of the competition. Sailed in 18 to 20…
RCYC has added a J24 keelboat (above) to widen its fleet of club boats
The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour is buying a J24 keelboat to widen its fleet of club boats. Funding for this is coming from the sale of two of its existing fleet of four 1720 sportsboats.…

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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