Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Shane McCarthy and Hugh McNally in winning mode at the Flying Fifteen Western Championships
The first provincial regatta of the 2024 Irish Flying Fifteen season saw the fleet congregate in what has become, in a very short space of time, a very popular venue. In 2022, a small group of Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteens…
A start at the 22-boat 2024 Squib Northern Championship at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough
The Squib Northern Championship went right down to the wire last weekend when the far travelled Ian Travers and Keith O’Riordan in Atomic from Kinsale Yacht Club won the final of five races to knock Dick Batt and Gordy Wright,…
The Murphy family's vintage Moody 30, Shelly D, was the overall winner of the Schull Harbour Sailing Club May Series
The final race of the Schull Harbour Sailing Club May Series was run on Sunday in West Cork following cancellation due to inclement weather on the previous day. The fleet started in the harbour in a fresh 22 knots westerly…
A good entry of 12 boats will race in the northwest corner of Lough Neagh at Antrim Boat Club’s Summer Series
Antrim Boat Club’s Summer Series returned on 25th May. Eight races, in round-the-can style, are scheduled for Thursday evenings. A good entry of 12 boats will race in the northwest corner of Lough Neagh. As in the Winter Series, the…
Minister Charlie McConalogue with Michael Mannion, Director of Ward and Burke (Contractors), at the sod-turning event for the new Deep Water Quay Development at the Rossaveal Fishery Harbour Centre. (Forbairt Ché Dhomhain, Lárionad Chuan Iascaigh Ros An Mhíl) in February
Work has stopped on the extension to Ros-a-Mhíl fishery harbour in south Connemara, following a legal challenge. As The Irish Independent reports, the 200 metre deepwater quay to facilitate floating offshore wind is three-quarters complete. The 30 million euro project,…
With nearly 50 boats already moored, With nearly 50 boats already moored, the organisers hope that up to 100 boats will attend the Jamestown Heritage Festival
The Village of Jamestown in County Leitrim is holding its Third Heritage Festival from May 24 to June 2. Members of the Heritage Boat Association and Inland Waterways Association of Ireland will visit Jamestown Harbour. With nearly 50 boats already…
Southern Corridor: The news follows an uncertain winter for both services across the St. Georges Channel, operated by Irish Ferris and Stena Line, but will now be enhanced heading into the busier summer.
St. Georges Channel ferry routes between Fishguard and Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, and Rosslare in Co. Wexford look set to sail into calmer waters this summer. Operator Irish Ferries has announced that an existing Dover-Calais cruise ferry, the Isle of Innisfree,…
Crosshaven Lifeboat's Yellow Wellies, on the last of their Sunday-Morning-in-May-2024 outings tip a nod to the Beatles Abbey Road image with (left to right) Kline Pennefather, Darryl Hughes, Maeve Leonard, Stormy Stan), Aisling Ryan and Hugh Tully
Time was - and it's not so very long ago - that if you wanted to see the nearest set of traffic lights and other road control paraphernalia to Crosshaven, then you'd have to go well into Cork City. Not…
Lough Ree Yacht Club - the home of Double Ree, a festival of youth Double-handed sailing
The age-old issue of what boat to progress into after Optimists is often answered by opting for another single-handed boat, writes John McGonigle of Lough Ree. And why not? The skills learned in an Optimist dinghy can be easily carried over…
Overall winners Alex Barry, Richard Leonard and Kieran O'Connell sailing 'Howlin' Mad' (IRL 407) lead the one day 2024 National 18 Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club
Counting three race wins but bouncing back from a disqualification in the third race of five sailed, Alex Barry, Richard Leonard and Kieran O'Connell sailing 'Howlin' Mad' won the National 18 Irish Championship crown at Royal Cork Yacht Club on…

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