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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
She may not have a lot of of accommodation, but she has all the sail area you could want - David Maguire's new Cape 31 Valkyrie in action off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon
The Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 is an uncompromising day-racing machine, but when two of them made their debut appearance off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon, their sheer style blew away any negative thoughts that if you're seeking any off-watch zizzes in…
Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary, were Thursday night DBSC Flying Fifteen race winners
Fourteen DBSC Flying Fifteens had a cracking night on the water last night on Dublin Bay when the light zephyrs of the past few sessions, Thursdays and Saturdays, were replaced by a robust breeze out of the west. The forecast had…
Scottish Series racing on Loch Fyne
Scotland's top regatta has been cancelled just 20 days before the first race. The scrubbing of the 'premier regatta' is not due to a lack of entries but a lack of volunteers to run the event on Loch Fyne, according…
The start of last year's Ballinacurra Race for National 18s off Cobh
The home of Ireland’s last engineless freight-carrying schooner, the Brooklands, will be the centre of the popular Ballinacurra Race in Cork Harbour this Sunday. Creenan’s hostelry in Ballinacurra village near Midleton in East Cork will be the mecca for dinghy…
The second boat home in the DBSC Water Wag Wednesday night race was No. 38 Swift sailed by Guy Kilroy with Martin Byrne's No 49 Hilda in third position.
John O’Driscoll at the helm of No. 15 Moosmie was the winner of Wednesday's single DBSC Water Wag dinghy race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  Race Officer Tadgh Donnelly ran racing over three rounds in a westerly breeze with gusts of…
A file photo of DBSC Laser racing
With winds between 8 and 20+ knots and plenty of squalls predicted, racing took place for the DBSC Lasers inside Dun Laoghaire harbour on Tuesday, May 10th. Staying in your boat with the mast pointing at the sky was the…
Noel Butler in his RS Aero dinghy
RS Aero sailor Noel Butler was last night's winner of both DBSC PY races and sits on three net points to lead the overall Dublin Bay series after four races sailed by six points.  The DBSC Race officer for the inside…
Noel Butler and Stephen Oram
Sixteen Fireballs travelled to Dromineer last weekend to take advantage of a special pre-worlds coaching session at Lough Derg Yacht Club. The programme, organised by the Irish Fireball Association was delivered by top dinghy coach Thomas Chaix. Many travelled down…
ILCA 4s prepare to start in a Munster Laser Championships race at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club
Eighty Laser/ILCA dinghies from twenty clubs around Ireland returned to the sunny South East venue of Dunmore East this past weekend for the 'Connaught' Championships at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club. Although the wind God didn’t deliver the usual breezy/wavy conditions…
John Lavery and Alan Green were the winners of Saturday's first DBSC Flying Fifteen race on Saturday
On arrival at the sea-front late on Saturday morning, one might have been forgiven for thinking that Keat’s Ode to Autumn was in vogue as a mist had descended on Dun Laoghaire to the extent that there was shore-side speculation…
Skinny, innit? The first Cape 31 in Ireland looks thin and deep
The camera does not lie, they say, but it depends on how you hold it and angle it, and which lens you use. If you see the Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 sailing, you'll reckon she's a reasonably beamy and sensible…
David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne in Ignus Caput Duo were the DBSC Flying Fifteen race winners
After the first Saturday was blown out due to high winds, DBSC’s subsequent fixtures have been characterised by light and fickle winds. And last night was no exception, with the addition of a strong ebbing tide on the start line…
Ger Owens & Mel Morris were the GP14 Spring Open winners
28 boats, six races, eight OCS’s and a whole lotta racing got the 2022 GP14 Ireland season off to a bang on the waters off Rosses Point in County Sligo over the weekend of 30Apr/1 May writes Ryan Devitt The forecast was…
Any images of the award-winning restored Dublin Bay 21 Naneen show a traditional rudderhead which you'd assume to be the original, going all the way back back to first owner T. Cosby Burrows in 1905. But Afloat.iereader Richard Dixon wonders…
Waterford Harbour local Ian Kelly will compete at this weekend's Laser Connaught Championships at Dunmore East
A fleet of more than 70 Lasers (ILCA class) from 20 clubs around the country will be arriving in Dunmore East this weekend to compete in the two-day Port of Waterford Laser Connaught Championships, which is taking place on May…
Seán Craig leads the DBSC Water Wag Race in Number One with Vincent Delany second in Number 3 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. There was a fine turnout of 25 Wags
Laser ace Sean Craig of the Royal St. George Yacht Club took the gun in his first DBSC Water Wag Race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Wednesday night. With a turnout of 25 boats and a course of four rounds set…

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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