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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Living for the moment – Shannon One Designs giving as good as they get
When a Centenary arrives, most of those closely involved tend to focus on the history they’re celebrating, whether it’s a club or a boat class or whatever. Sometimes they become immersed in potentially challenging and even contentious projects like re-enactments,…
Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from RNIYC are one of eight NI Squibs heading for the Kinsale based Irish Nationals in June
It’s a long way for crew and boats to travel from Belfast Lough and Strangford Lough to Kinsale but eight from the northern-based Squib class will be making that 300 mile trip in June for the eight-race Bandon Co-Op Squib…
Laser Winter racing at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club
Saturday, January 15th, was day two of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club’s Laser Winter League in Cork Harbour. A windless morning was in store for the competitors. The bay was calm and clear, and the air had a cold bite. Nonetheless,…
With the publication today of the Notice of Race (downloadable below) and the opening of the online entry system it’s all systems go for the Fireball World Championship in Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer in August. This will be the…
God’s own harbour town – Kinsale provides excellent berthing, superb hospitality, great sailing, and top class sport afloat
When the Irish Squib Class signed off their 2021 season with boats from all parts of the country taking part in the successful though socially-distanced Freshwater Regatta for four national keelboat classes at Dromineer on Lough Derg in October, the…
50 entries are expected for the BYC Weekend of Speed from 17th and 18th September
Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is hopeful that the Weekend of Speed which was cancelled last year will in fact happen in September. The dates set aside are 17th and 18th September and around 50 entries are expected. Richard…
GP14 dinghy 5458 is looking for a loving new home
A ready to go vintage GP14 dinghy restoration project has gone online that might be suitable for a Dublin-based renovation. Facebook poster Tim McAuley asks on the GP14 Facebook page "Is anyone here based in Ireland (Dublin better) and interested…
Dara McGee's - 'Under a mackerel sky', part of the Curacha outdoor exhibition
The Irish Dragon Fleet continues to build interest as the 2024 Gold Cup in Kinsale comes closer. News that the Glandore and Kinsale fleets particularly are experiencing strong growth in numbers and standard of sailors is contained in the International…
Hal Risk in the Dragon documentary Setting Hearts on Fire
The International Dragon One Design has been an important of Irish sailing since the 1930s, writes W M Nixon. This classic boat’s good looks and excellent performance continues to provide rewarding racing for sailors of all ages worldwide. Indeed, a…
Squib racing off Kinsale - Kinsale Yacht Club will host the first dual UK & IRL Squib Championships in June
Preparations at Kinsale Yacht Club for the Bandon Co-op Squib National Championships 2022 are off to a fabulous start with 42 teams entered to date from the UK and Ireland. Entries thus far availed of an attractive early bird entry…
Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork is, predominantly, a ‘summer club’ that is very busy when seasonal visitors arrive in the village from Cork City, Dublin and other locations. That does not limit its ambitions to develop the sport as…
JK7 Velsheda will be amongst the J Class yachts competing in 2022 Photo: Les Voiles des Saint Tropez Gilles Martin Raget
After a 2021 season which comprised only mixed fleet racing under various handicap rules, the J Class have made provisional plans to convene at three key events this season as activity and interest ramps up and key owners and teams…
File image of East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough
Topper racer Connie Wilson, who sails out of East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland, is one of 14 young sailors across the UK who have been awarded their own boats and boards donated by the John Merricks Sailing Trust.…
Waszp sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Waszp Ireland, the foiling dinghy class has announced a three-event foiling tour of Ireland for 2022, see poster below. The foiling tour features events in Cork (Baltimore) for the "foiling weekend" in May, the Nationals in Dun Laoghaire Harbour in…
RNIYC RS 400 Winter Series (l to r) Andrew Vaughan, winners Steve Kane, Peter Kennedy and Race Officer Gerry Reid
Just like on the previous Sunday the competitors in the final race day of Royal North of Ireland’s RS400 Winter Series hosted by the club on the south shore of Belfast Lough gathered last Sunday (19th) looking out at a…
The Cape 31 Vulcan crew enjoying Wednesday Night Racing in Cape Town. See video below
The Mark Mills-designed Cape 31s have been stretching their limbs and muscles at the Royal Cape Yacht Cub in South Africa for long enough now to attract much interest elsewhere, and by next year they’ll be coming to a club…

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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