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30 clubs were represented at the Laser Munsters in Baltimore
This weekend saw Laser sailors from 30 clubs around the country converge on Baltimore for the annual Munster Laser Championships sponsored by CH Marine. Ninety-five sailors took to the water on Saturday morning to a light 4 – 8-knot breeze.…
Rian Geraghty-McDonnell and crew Nathan Van Steenberge were top U17 team in the 29er
The RYA were issuing invitations to visiting sailors for the 2019 event in Weymouth so it gave the opportunity for a few Irish boats to compete at the premier British Youth Sailing event of the year writes Thomas Chaix The…
Finn Lynch in the Laser medal race in Genoa earlier today
In a thrilling medal race final at the Hempel World Sailing Cup Series at Genoa, Finn Lynch from Carlow placed third this afternoon (Sunday 21 April) to claim fifth overall in the men’s single-handed Laser event. The result marks the third consecutive…
Ireland's Finn Lynch is in top form again at the World Sailing Cup in Genoa
At the World Sailing Cup Series in Italy today, Ireland's Finn Lynch is eyeing the top of the Laser leaderboard after four races sailed in a continuation of top form for the National Yacht Club sailor. After top medal race results achieved…
Close-fought GP 14 action on Lough Owel at Mullingar. The class starts its national programme at this central location on April 27th-28th
The keenly-run GP14 Ireland Association starts its national season in the final weekend of April (27th & 28th) in the central location of Lough Owel at Mullingar Sailing Club with the prestigious O’Tiarnaigh Trophy championship writes W M Nixon. The…
Optimist sailors will gather in Howth on Good Friday
Howth Yacht Club’s annual Brassed Off Cup is once again being held on its traditional date of Good Friday, which falls this coming Friday 19 April. The Optimist dinghy event is a great opportunity for junior racers to dust off…
 Jules Mitchell's young team from Antigua will be back following their class win last year
Who would have dreamed it that the Royal Cork Yacht Club 1720 sportsboat design would have crossed the Atlantic and be winning in the Caribbean some 26 years later? Since first launching in Cork Harbour 1993, the enduring demand for Tony Castro's versatile sportsboat is…
The new RS21 keelboat is prepared for launching on Belfast Lough on Sunday
Sunday saw the first time that the brand new RS21 keelboat hit the water in Ireland with opportunities this month to get sailing on this exciting design. The Northern Ireland RS agent - Bosun Bob's brought the asymmetric keelboat over…
Justin Lucas of the Royal Cork and Tralee Bay Sailing Clubs
Optimist talent Justin Lucas scored three wins out of eight races on his way to a convincing victory at the Optimist Club Netherlands selection event last weekend. Last year’s Sailor of the Month for April, who sails out of the…
Mirror dinghy racing on Sligo Bay under Ben Bulben in 2016
#Mirror - Mirror Sailing Ireland had announced details of the next Mirror training weekend and its first competitive of the season. The O’Dowd Trophy will take place on Sunday 28 April at Sligo Yacht Club, which was recently announced as…
The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is just two points off the overall lead of the Laser fleet
The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is just two points off the overall lead of the 170-boat Laser fleet in a breakthrough performance at Mallorca’s 50th anniversary Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Regatta. A 13 and a 5 scored today in changeable conditions…
A Class One start at the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
With three months to go to the first gun off Dun Laoghaire’s famous harbour, 410 boats are already entered — and more than half the entries are visiting craft to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019. It is an early-season marine…
Under 21 Howth Yacht Club Laser sailor Ewan McMahon made gold fleet cut in Palma in only his second senior appearance
The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch stays top five overall in the Laser class as the split from qualifying to finals racing arrived yesterday at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar.  The strongest breeze of the regatta so far arrived as…
 Busy Frostbite mark rounding at the DMYC Frostbites
Is it still the Annalise effect, now morphing perhaps into the Finn Lynch effect? Is it the Laser Master Worlds effect from last September on Dublin Bay writes Sean Craig? Is it the emergence of the Radial rig as what…
Ireland's Finn Lynch in the thick of it in yesterday's first beat of race three
Consistency in tricky conditions has enabled Finn Lynch to maintain his second overall in a stand out performance after four races at Palma, Mallorca’s giant Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta. It heightens the prospect of a medal race finish – and maybe…
RS400s launch for Frostie racing on Belfast Lough
Finally some racing again on Sun 31-Mar as the Spring series in RNIYC resumed! Sunshine and a lovely 12 - 15 kts from the east welcomed the RS400 class after a few weeks of no sailing due to poor weather.…

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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