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RS400s racing on Belfast Lough
The annual RS 400 Spring Series resumes again this Sunday (24th) at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. This event along with its precursor the Autumn Series has enjoyed remarkable success at the Co. Down Club, with some 25…
Promoted
Topper sailing comes to the National Yacht Club this weekend
With sailors coming from all over Ireland and a favourable weather forecast, Irish Topper agent Viking Marine is sponsoring this weekend's Winter Youth sailing event hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. With up to 50 young sailors expected,…
The eternally youthful Curly Morris
Curly Morris of East Antrim Boat Club in Larne has sailed in a number of boats over a long period, but the GP 14 has always been the love of his life writes W M Nixon. And in the GP…
Wind Shifts Pay Dividends at Howth Yacht Club Laser Dinghy League (Video Here!)
What a change a week makes! There was a certain sceptical air in the Howth Yacht Club Laser dinghy pen as sailors took off coats and searched their bags for baseball caps in very mild and sunny conditions. The breeze…
Rocco Wright sailing in Palamós
It was a strong seventh-place finish overall for Howth Yacht Club’s Rocco Wright at the International Palamós Optimist Trophy, which concluded yesterday (Sunday 17 February) on Spain’s Costa Brava. The youngster remained in medal contention among a 110-boat gold fleet…
GP14s are heading for Cullaun Lake in May
2019 will be a busy year for the Irish GP14 dinghy fleet and to celebrate the progress being made in Cullaun with a new Clubhouse at Kilkishen in Co Clare and also to recognise the recent growth of GP14 sailing in…
MBSC Laser winners from left:  Harry Pritchard Radial winner, Chris Bateman Overall Winner "Yard of Ale Trophy" And Ronan Keneally Organiser and second overall. Scroll down for photo gallery
Saturday, February 16th saw the Laser sailors of Cork gather for the final day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman. The morning began with a mixed sky over the bay. Patches of blue were…
Strangford Sailing Club was gutted by fire in September 2017
The Flying Fifteen class will return to Strangford Sailing Club for its Northern Championships this May, the first time the keelboat class has sailed at the County Down venue since the clubhouse was destroyed by fire in 2017. The new club…
SB20 sailing on Dublin Bay
SB20 Ireland Class President Colin Galavan introduces the 2019 Sportsboat season  SB20 Class Dinner The class dinner will be held on Saturday the 6th April 2019. The venue will be the Royal Irish Yacht Club and there will be prizes…
Laser racing in Howth on Sunday 10 February
Two races were sailed by the Lasers at Howth Yacht Club on Sunday 10 February in demanding conditions, writes Dave Quinn. We had westerly winds against a flooding tide, which generated a small but steep chop. Absolutely brilliant for reaching,…
Harry Pritchard (foreground) in top form at the MBSC league
Cork Laser sailors converged in Monkstown on Saturday, February 9th for the fifth day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite league sponsored by CH Marine. A cold morning dawned with cloudless blue skies and a light breeze blowing down the bay…
Optimist spring training in Baltimore last year
#Optimist - Baltimore Sailing Club have started preparations for the annual invasion of Irish Optimist sailors for the week from next Sunday 17 February. The International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland’s (IODAI) team of coaches are making plans for training both…
Stars go downwind in Miami, Florida
Royal Cork and Baltimore Sailing Club's O'Leary brothers are making most of their trip stateside and chalked up third overall yesterday in the Miami-based Star Winter Series. They won the Walker Cup sailed as part of the series at the…
Robert (left) and Peter O'Leary (right) on the podium in Miami
Royal Cork Yacht Club and Baltimore Sailing Club's Robert and Peter O'Leary were bronze medalists at the first Star Junior World Champion Under 30 after a six-race regatta in the water of Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida yesterday. “It’s been great…
Peter O'Leary on the bow of the Irish Star in Miami with the name of his Irish sponsor, CH Marine of Cork clearly visible. North Sails Ireland look after the sails on the Irish keelboat
Royal Cork Yacht Club brothers Robert and Peter O'Leary have dropped three places overall at the inaugural Star Junior World Championship hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club. The Cork Harbour duo lie sixth overall in a fleet of 36 after…
There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season
Dave Cullen on where the growing vintage Irish Half Tonner fleet is racing this year Last year it was decided in Nieuwpoort to revert to a biennial format for the Half Ton Classic Cup so there is no event this…

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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