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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Laser sailing at the Ulster Championships - the European Radial Championships to be sailed on Belfast Lough has been cancelled
Ballyholme Yacht Club was to have been the venue in early July for the huge Laser Radial European Championships but the Iatest news from the EurILCA team is that due to the COVID-19 situation and expected restrictions on travel during…
More than 100 boats have now entered for the Championships at Skerries Sailing Club from July 24-29
A further update on the status of the GP14 World Championships scheduled for July in Skerries, North Dublin is expected before the end of April. GP14 Ireland Hon. Secretary Andy Johnston has told the class the International Committee in conjunction with…
There are signs that by September the current restrictions may be relaxed so KYC continue to work towards delivering a truly outstanding Dragon Gold Cup 2020
Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) and the International Dragon Association (IDA) have today confirmed that planning for the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, to be raced off Kinsale from 5 to 11 September, is still progressing as normal at the current time.…
The new online scene for the National 18 fleet in Cork Harbour
Wednesday, April 1st marked the day that the Cork Harbour National 18 fleet would begin their April League. This league is traditionally marked as the beginning of their racing season. As was predicted, the crewed-by-three 18 footers had their league cancelled.…
Laser Masters racing on Dublin Bay
The Irish Laser Class Association Committee has postponed all events until August. It means that the Munsters at Baltimore Sailing Club in April, the Leinsters in Howth Yacht Club in May, the Masters at the Royal St. George YC in…
Kinsale Squib duo Colm Dunne and Rob Gill sailing in Kinsale Harbour
The Squib National Championships 2020 scheduled for 21 - 26 June at Kinsale Yacht Club has been cancelled. Regatta Director, Ruth Ennis told Afloat: 'The Squib 2020 Organising Committee in conjunction with Kinsale Yacht Club and the N.S.O.A. reluctantly made…
Dragon racing off Kinsale - the Gold Cup comes to the south coast port this September
In the light of the latest UK Government announcement, the British Dragon Association (BDA) along with the Royal Forth Yacht Club (RFYC) has taken the decision to cancel this year's Scottish Dragon Championship and Edinburgh Cup event on the Forth…
GP14 dinghies start a race at last year's Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
More than 100 boats have now entered for the GP14 dinghy World Championships at Skerries Sailing Club scheduled from July 24-29.  The International GP14 Committee in conjunction with the Skerries SC Worlds Organising Committee says it is in 'constant communication over…
Laser racing at Baltimore in West Cork
Irish Laser Association and Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork have decided that it will not be possible to hold the Munster's in compliance with current advice issued from HSE. It is not possible to run an event of this…
The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy leads the Irish Radial Olympic Trials that will now be rescheduled following the cancellation of Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta
Qualification events that lead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are being greatly affected this week by the world Coronavirus crisis. The second of three Irish Olympic Laser Radial trials due to be sailed as part of the 2020 Trofeo Princesa…
The marina in Porto San Rocco was to host the J/24 Europeans next month
The International J/24 Class Association has agreed with the Italian Federation of Sailing to cancel the 2020 J/24 European Championship, which had been scheduled for 29 April to 5 May 2020 at Porto San Rocco near Trieste in Italy. “After…
Etchells racing in Melbourne
Royal Cork Yacht Club ex-pat Jamie McWilliam has finished ninth overall, just one place behind America's Cup legend John Bertrand at the 2020 Etchells Victoria Championships in Australia. Big boat sailor McWilliam, a regular visitor to Ireland in his Ker 40…
GP14 Number 2 pictured with GP14 Class President Curly Morris (left) and sailing journalist Matt Sheehan at the RYA Dinghy Show
To mark the 70th anniversary of the GP14 Class there will be a Classic fleet event within the overall World Championships in Skerries, County Dublin this summer. The recently restored GP14 Number 2 took pride of place at last weekend's RYA Dinghy Show in…
Sean Craig of the Royal St George will compete in Australia
Irish Laser dinghy action from Australia is not over yet this springtime. Following the successful completion of the first Olympic trial in the Radial in February, two Irish men are entered for the Laser Masters World Championships that runs from March…
Robert O'Leary with the  The Tammy Rubin-Rice Trophy awarded to the highest placing team in Bacardi Cup who did not win an award.
In spite of a scoresheet that features two race wins and four results from six in the top ten, such is the competition at the Star Class Bacardi Cup that sole Irish entry Peter and Robert O'Leary missed the podium…
Robert O’Leary on board the Irish Star named 'Archie'
Royal Cork Star sailing brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary scored their second bullet of the Bacardi Invitational Regatta in Miami, Florida and are now in striking distance of the podium, placed in third overall as they enter the last race…

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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