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Tribute Scheme To Support Young Sailors Who Want to Race a Fireball Dinghy
As a tribute to the memory of the late veteran dinghy racer Louis Smyth his family have announced that they will support a young team who are interested in trying a high-performance Fireball dinghy. While full details of the scheme…
Flying fifteens competing in this month's Flying Fifteen National Championships on Dublin Bay
As David O'Brien reports in this morning's Irish Times here, the Irish Flying Fifteen class have confirmed the seven 'automatic qualifiers' for next September's Flying Fifteen World Championships on Dublin Bay.  After the seasons 4 qualification events, with 3 to…
Overall winners Rory Martin and Dave Muckilveen wait for the breeze on Lough Derg
After braving the delays due to roadworks on the Motorway heading south, many of the Flying Fifteen fleet assembled for Lough Derg Yacht Club's traditional pre-event supper in the Whiskey Still at Dromineer, followed by some refreshments writes our special…
A Squib race start on Lough Derg at the Freshwater Regatta
Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater Championships in Dromineer last weekend was all about the weather! On Thursday and Friday when the teams were arriving from every part of Ireland, they were told to expect 100km/hr winds. Fortunately, these winds did not…
Bray 'Helmsman' Trophy winners Philip and Mick O'Reilly
Bray Sailing Club reintroduced one of the club’s longest standing trophies this weekend as its first 'Senior Helmsman’s' Championship in fifteen years was sailed. The trophy was put on ice when dinghy sailing declined in the early 2000’s but the…
Howth/NYC sailor Rocco Wright was one of the stars of this year’s Oppy Nationals in Kinsale
#Optimist - Howth Yacht Club will host the 2019 Optimist National and Open Championships between 15 and 18 August, the International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland has announced. The association added that it is still in the process of finalising dates…
This weekend's SB20 Midland Championships have been cancelled due to a low number of participants
The SB20 class has cancelled its Midland Championships due to the very low number of boats signed up for this weekend's scheduled event.  Class President Colin Galavan says 'This is due, in part, to damage incurred to some of the boats…
Lasers competing in this year's HYC Frostbites will use onboard trackers
Olympian Dan O’Grady and Tokyo Olympic campaigner Ewan McMahon are among the entries lined up for next month's 2018-2019 Laser Frostbites at Howth Yacht Club where onboard trackers will be used for the first time in the long-running series. Howth's own Olympic Radial campaigner, Aoife…
Promoted
J109 National Champion Juggerknot flying her 3Di Code 2 jib and 3DL Mainsail
North Sails Ireland clients dominated the recent J109 Irish National Championships in Howth Yacht Club. The top six places were hoovered up by J109's flying 100% North Sails inventories. Conditions were tough, with winds always in excess of 15 knots…
Involved to the end. The late Fred Espey in his eighties, fulfilling his longtime role as President and Chairman of the Sandycove Bathers Association. In addition to his many sailing roles, he was a lifelong swimmer at the Forty Foot, and an experienced diver
Fred Espey of Dun Laoghaire, who has died aged 85, was best-known in sailing as Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club from 2001 to 2004, the culmination of many years of service to the club in a variety of…
Kinsale Yacht Club has a strong Squib fleet
Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast ….  The Squib Class are heading for Lough Derg this weekend where the Yacht Club is holding its annual Freshwater Keelboat Championships at Dromineer. It’s an end-of-season event and, for Squib sailors, follows…
Guy Kilroy and Adam Winkelmann’s ‘catch of the day’ was an unusually large fishing lure caught underneath their boat
Peter Kennedy made waves on Lough Ree when the current SB20 national champion took the Helmsman’s Cup at the weekend. However, a special mention must go to Water Wag pair Guy Kilroy and Adam Winkelmann for their ‘catch of the day’ as…
The National Yacht Club's Ian Matthews and Keith Poole are among the Flying Fifteen crews heading for Lough Derg on Saturday
Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting its annual Freshwater Keelboat Championships in Dromineer, County Tipperary this coming weekend with racing for Squibs and Flying Fifteens over two days. The event is an end of season celebration and competition for sailors…
Dara McDonagh (left) and James Clancy racing an RS400 in Saturday's first race of the INSS RS series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
The Irish National Sailing Club RS Super Series began on Saturday with racing open to all RS Sailing boats from Fevas, 200s, 400s and more. As Afloat.ie reported earlier, racing takes place on Saturday mornings with a first gun just before…
Juggerknot (Algeo, Haughton, Knatchbull, Nolan) on their way to overall victory at the J109 National Championships off Howth
Andrew Alego's well–tuned Juggerknot crew have won the J109 National Championships at Howth Yacht Club, denying the pre-event favourite Storm (Pat Kelly) a hat-trick on home waters this afternoon. Algeo's Royal Irish Yacht Club campaign, that had already earned east…
Drama as defending champion Storm' hits the pin end of the first race of the J109 National Championships in Howth today
In a dramatic start to today's J109 National Championships at Howth Yacht Club, defending champions, Storm, hit the pin end of the starting line in the first race. The error meant the Pat Kelly team was in an untypically low…

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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