Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Start of Leg 6 in Aarhus, Denmark for the IMOCA fleet on Thursday afternoon 8 June
The Ocean Race returned to full strength in Aarhus, Denmark on Thursday (8 June) as the VO65 fleet rejoined the race for the European legs. On a beautiful afternoon with sunny skies, warm temperatures and light sea breeze, racing started…
The salmon weir on the River Corrib north of Galway city centre
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is suspending salmon angling at the Moy fishery in Ballina, Co Mayo and the Galway fishery in Galway city, due to prolonged warm and dry weather conditions. Recent dry and hot weather has caused water temperatures…
The all-weather Trent class lifeboat Ger Tigchlear returns to port with the stricken sailboat under tow
The volunteer lifeboat crew with Arklow RNLI launched in the early hours of Thursday morning (8 June) to reports of a vessel in difficulty some 10 miles south-east of the Co Wicklow town. In a northeasterly wind with a 1.2-metre…
The little Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl from Kinsale, two-handed with Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt
D2D Thursday, 4 pm - The majestic monastic rock of Skellig Michael may be the austere epitome of a rugged and solitary Atlantic outpost, but this final turning point of the 270-mile Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2023 has…
What better way to see some of County Cork's finest sailing harbours in fun but competitive events at this Summer's ILCA Sprint Series?
After a hugely successful ILCA/Laser sprint event in 2022 that was held across three clubs, the series has expanded to five locations, with a five-race sprint regatta to be held at each club from June to September. What better way…
Among the festival’s highlights notably for ferry fans will be talks about Stena Line and Irish Ferries, as both operators, have and will soon make changes to ferries running out of Rosslare Europort.
A ferry exhibition and related talk will feature as part of the Rosslare Harbour Festival on the weekend of 17-18 June and where a wide range of other free events will be available for all tastes. At the Rosslare Harbour Maritime…
Jessica Dadley-Young and Sally Nixon of Ballyholme Yacht Club competing in the Uk Feva Nationals. Racing was in a big fleet of nearly 100 at Plas Heli in Pwllheli in North Wales
It is 36 years since the father of Ben Greenhalgh, winner of the RS Feva UK Nationals at Pwllheli, raced in the same waters in the Cadet Worlds in a team from Ireland. Simon Greenhalgh from Ballyholme YC was part…
Two of the lifeboat crew were tasked by the Coast Guard with swimming ashore to clear the area, which allowed the Waterford-based Rescue 117 helicopter to land safely on the beach
Helvick Head RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 7 June) following a report that two swimmers were in difficulty off Clonea beach. With moderate seas and Force 4-5 east/north easterly winds, the volunteer crew launched…
As the summer season approaches, Brittany Ferries says passenger numbers are rising slowly towards pre-Covid levels. On one of their English Channel routes, Poole-Cherbourg is alone reporting growth on the UK-France service when compared to both 2022 and 2019. Above scene by Afloat of the route’s Barfleur berthed at the Dorset port prior to a morning sailing bound for Normandy.
Ferry operator Brittany Ferries has said that as the summer season approaches, the number of passengers is increasing slowly towards to pre-Covid levels. However, the slump in freight volumes that came post-Brexit has continued and has even started to worsen…
Extra Spice - Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt' have had a spirited  performance in the two handed Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl (Kinsale YC) in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race
D2D Thursday, 12.30 pm -  It’s not often that the steep but serene Atlantic island of Madeira is assaulted by a tropical storm. But a nasty one called Oscar has been doing that in recent days, and while evil Oscar’s…

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