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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny competing in the EUROSAF Mixed Offshore keelboat European Championships in an L30. one of the proposed boat types for Paris 2024
Confirmation that the mixed double-handed Olympic keelboat will be on the slate for Paris 2024 will be decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board (EB) when it sits to confirm the event programme and athlete quotas in December.  There…
Windward leeward courses proved popular for the Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay in 2020
Dublin Bay Sailing Club is already starting to plan its racing for the 2021 summer season next week and it's racing sub-committee is taking on board suggestions from the 22 different classes it provides racing for every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…
Larne Lough and East Antrim Boat Club
As a result of the new NI Executive Covid restrictions announced on 14th October, East Antrim Boat Club at Larne has cancelled the Topper Northern championship event scheduled for 24th and 25th October. The EABC Covid team said, "The organising…
Liam Glynn racing on day two of the Laser Europeans in Gdansk last week
Ballyholme Yacht Club’s Liam Glynn has secured a personal best and 43rd overall after six days of racing against 126 international competitors at the Laser European Championships in Gdansk, Poland. Northern Ireland sailor Glynn, who had been unable to train…
James Dwyer Matthews of RCYC takes a spin in a 49er with Chris Bateman of Monkstown Bay
Despite Royal Cork Yacht Club's Seafra Guilfoyle's super efforts at the sharp end of Ryan Seaton's 49er campaign for Tokyo 2021 next year, there's been little in the way of Olympic skiff sailing going on in Guilfoyle's home port for…
Suzanne McGarry with past and outgoing Laser class captains Sean Craig (left), Gavan Murphy and Ross O’Leary (right)
It’s no secret that the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Laser fleet is in good shape. Anybody strolling the piers or looking out on club forecourts will have seen that for themselves. DBSC (Dublin Bay Sailing Club) in 2020 drew a huge…
Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club
Royal St. George Yacht Club sailor Tom Higgins from Dun Laoghaire Harbour has finished the opening day of racing in the Men's Laser Radial fleet of the European Championships second place overall. The Polish-based championship in Gdansk is led by…
The new home page of the Offshore Doubles Association
A new organisation has been founded to represent the emerging discipline of doublehanded offshore racing, called the 'Offshore Doubles Association'. The association has attracted a number of key offshore sailors and administrators including former Volvo Ocean Race chief, Knut Frostad…
Tom Dolan at the Fastnet Rock. The County Meath sailor went on to finish fifth overall in this year's La Solitare du Figaro race, Ireland's best ever result
A farmer from County Meath representing Ireland in sailing at the Olympics. That is what Tom Dolan would like to do, in France in 2024, when sailing at the Games is based in Marseille. The Olympic classes then are intended…
GP14 Hot Toddy racing - this year's event at EABC has been cancelled
An important GP14 event, the Hot Toddy, first saw the light of day in the early eighties when the then GP14 Association of Ireland charged their East Antrim Boat Club based fleet with the creation of a new and suitable…

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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