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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Squib racing returns to Kinsale next July
The Irish Squib keelboat class will kick off its 2021 season at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough on May 29th, according to the provisional 2021 fixtures calendar released this week. Next on the 2021 list is…
Pyewacket winner - Ben O’Shaughnessy
The highlight of Royal Cork Yacht Club's junior sailing laying up supper conducted by Zoom at the weekend was the presentation of the Club's Pyewacket Trophy to the junior sailor who best represented the RCYC in 2020. Ben O’Shaughnessy was awarded…
 RS Aeros race in the DBSC Tuesday night series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Brendan Foley, Chairperson of the Irish Aero class outlines developments in the new lightweight single-hander from RS If you were to pick a year to get a class going, 2020 would not be the year that you would pick, where…
Pam Lee and Kenny Rumball have mapped out a campaign plan for the Paris 2024 Olympics
Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee of Greystones Harbour have restated their goal to represent Ireland at Paris 2024 in the new Olympic Mixed Offshores Double Class.  "We're absolutely focused and excited and working towards Paris 2024, but…
Club Topper racing at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the host venue for the 2021 Topper World Championships
The 2021 International Topper World Championships will be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Ireland, from the 24th to 30th July. As Afloat reported previously, the event will attract up to 200 young sailors from around the world and…
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Features as RS200s & RS400s Publish 2021 Fixture List
The RS200, RS400 and RS Feva dinghy classes have published a provisional 2021 racing calendar subject to COVID restrictions. The year starts at Greystones Harbour with the Eastern Championships on April 24/25 and a month later the three fleets will…
Only a month to the shortest day of the year, yet late November at Howth produces hyper-strong sunshine with a sky so blue they haven't got a name for it yet
November sunshine plays tricks with how we see things. Maybe it's because it's so rare. But at the weekend at Howth – with just a month to go to the shortest day of the year – a special coaching course…
Tom Dolan - one of a number of Irish campaigns for Paris 2024 in the new mixed offshore keelboat
The new Offshore Doubles organisation that aims to represent the growing interests of two-handed offshore sailing, the newest Olympic sailing discipline for Paris 2024, has announced that at the end of its first month of operation has 1,600 members from 66 countries…
The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle was crowned Laser Grand Master World Champion on home waters in 2018
Ireland's 2018 Laser Grand Master World Champion Mark Lyttle reveals the depth of his ambitions in the solo Laser class when he interviewed for a UK Laser Class podcast recently.  One of the most fascinating statistics in the hour-long chat…
Better than a Health Farm……the soothing setup in the McMahon shed in Athlone, with the "new-old" Dublin Bay Water Wag Shindilla (original built in 1932) nearing completion beside a useful little clinker-built dinghy, while a multi-purpose canoe with sailing potential is stored by suspension from the roof
In times of stress like this, there is nowhere more soothing than a well-organised but not unduly fussy timber workshop where each day's harmonious effort shows a tangible result. And of all such workshops, there's nowhere so healthily absorbing –…
Annalise Murphy - nominated for Tokyo 2021
Annalise Murphy, (30), the only Irish sailor nominated so far for the 2021 Olympic Regatta, has spoken of the difficulties presented by COVID-19 in attempting to train at the Tokyo Regatta venue. The fact that the Olympics is going ahead…
Finn Lynch gave an online interview about his Olympic campaign at the Irish Laser Class AGM
2016 Irish Rio representative Finn Lynch believes that he can take one of the final two qualification spots for Tokyo 2021 in the Men's Laser class if he focuses on improving areas that prevented him from doing so at the last…
Dragon racing off Kinsale in West Cork
After the disappointment of being forced to cancel its hosting of the Dragon Gold Cup due to coronavirus restrictions, Kinsale Yacht Club has expressed delight at being awarded the event again in 2024. Dragons recently returned to the waters at…
A yacht competing in the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
This year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, the 76th running of the Australian race, welcomes a new division of boats and sailors to the world-renowned racecourse with the Two-Handed division included for the first time. After witnessing the worldwide increase in…
The Star podium at Lake Garda, Italy
Piet Eckert (SUI) and Frederico Melo (POR) are the 2020 Star European keelboat Champions thanks to a great week of sailing in Riva del Garda, Italy, that translated into a winning scorecard. The silver medal goes to Diego Negri and…
18 Stars from ten countries are competing for European honours on Lake Garda, Italy
With lots of Europe countries in COVID lockdown, it is no surprise this year's Star European Championships at Lake Garda in Italy has drawn only 18 competitors. As regular Afloat readers will know, Ireland's Peter O'Leary and Robert O'Leary from Baltimore…

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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