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Mirror dinghy racing on Sligo Bay under Ben Bulben in 2016
The International Mirror Sailing Association Ireland (IMCAI) has announced that Sligo Yacht Club will host the Mirror World Championships in 2021. The Rosses Point club will welcome the world’s top Mirror dinghy talent from 16-22 August 2021, preceded by the…
Espey & McCullough Lead Belfast Lough Frosty Series
Following Storm Etienne 21 crews arrived at Royal North for Day 6 of Belfast's Frosty Series, and were glad to see that there were no pieces of RS400 lying on the ground writes Sam Pickering. Even better, it was a…
Big winds for Laser racing at Howth Yacht Club
With one week to go in the Howth Yacht Club Laser Frostbites Winter Series, the winners of all three rigs have been decided. Ronan Wallace has claimed top spot in the Standard Rig Fleet, with Tom Fox winning the Radials and…
RS sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
The Irish National Sailing Club (INSC) RS Super Series continues this Saturday the 15th of December in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. This being the last series of races before Christmas, INSC will have Mince Pies and Mulled Wine after sailing. INSC…
Gerry Gilligan helming Jana in the LEYC Autumn J/24 Sunday series

Gerry Gilligan, RIP

9th December 2018 J24
Gerry Gilligan, who was very widely known and loved in Irish sailing has died. Gerry was an avid and accomplished GP14 dinghy and J/24 helmsman and sailor, and will be very much missed writes Michael Clarke. He was a good…
Espey Leads RS400 Frostie Series at RNIYC
The RS400 crews gathered in the boatyard, scratching their heads considering if it was even worthwhile bothering to take the covers off as there wasn’t a breath writes Bob Hastings. The 420s were out drifting about and it looked like…
Promoted
More and more centres in and outside of France choose the RS CAT14 as the pathway Catamaran class. This boat takes the enjoyment and handling associated with beach cats to a new level.
Irish RS agent Kenny Rumball will be at the Paris Boat Show from the 8-16 December 2018 to showcase the RS Zest, RS CAT14 and RS21 as well as many French bestsellers like the RS Feva, RS Quest and the…
Promoted
'Outrajeous' New J109 Arrives into Dublin
Continuing their 2018 development programme UK Sailmakers Ireland are working with John Murphy and Richard Colwell’s new J109 which arrived into Howth last month. After successful development and testing of the ‘JX’ headsail design on Dublin Bay the UK Sailmakers…
Ronan Wallace leads Dave Quinn in Race one of the Howth Laser Frostbites, 2nd December
The mild Autumn / Winter shows no sign of letting up, with another nice morning for the Howth Lasers again this week. Illness, injury and possibly some early Christmas celebrations depleted the fleet this week, but the competition was still…
Irish Fireballers Mark the Close of the Season with Prizegiving Dinner
The Irish Fireball Class Association marked the close of the summer season with their annual prize-giving dinner at the National Yacht Club on Friday 30th November. There was a good turnout for the dinner with a combination of young and…
A Squib start on Lough Derg
At the recent Dublin Bay Squib fleet AGM which was well attended by active members, the following decisions were taken: Members of the Squib fleet will ensure that the turn out of Squibs at Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday and…
Cork Harbour Topper & Laser Frostbite Series Concludes at Royal Cork Yacht Club
The annual Topper and Laser Frostbite Series concluded following racing each weekend during November. Fifty-one sailors registered and we were delighted to welcome sailors from around Cork Harbour and further afield. The weather varied from light on week one to…
Laser racing at Howth
Easterlies were in place again for this weekend’s Laser action in Howth. Unlike last weeks’ pleasant smooth rolling sea, the breeze was stronger and the ebb tide made for a steeper chop which was much harder work. With winds ranging…
Mark Lyttle
Irish sailors were in the mix at the UK Laser Master Inlands at Grafham Water this weekend. Royal St. George's Sean Craig took third overall in the Radials and in the much bigger fleet of Full rigs, the National Yacht Club's…
23 RS400s hit the start line at RNIYC
Sunday 25th November was the fourth day and halfway point of the Frosty series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, 23 RS400s hit the start line, easterly 16-27 knot wind with big waves made for entertaining racing in an…
The big Rs fleet at RNIYC
Sun 18th Nov was the third day of Belfast Lough's RS400 Frostie Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club in what has become the biggest doublehanded fleet in the country winter racing with 22 boats on the water and…

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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