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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
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“The light of other days…..” The Dublin Bay 21 Naneen sails for the first time in 33 years in the otherworldly illumination of December sunshine on the Shannon Estuary. Photo: Kate Griffiths
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Tovar Mirsky and Robert O’Leary got their first bullet on day three in the Bahamas
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The Star Sailing League in the Bahamas
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Autumn Halliday from Killyleagh pictured at Strangford Lough Yacht Club
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Flying Fifteen under spinnaker on Dublin Bay
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A full day on the water culminated in the presentation of the squad jackets for the development team
Last weekend 22 young Optimist sailors participated in IODAI’s newly formed Development Squad hosted by Malahide Yacht Club. The first in a series of training weekends and under the supervision of head coach Adam D'Arcy and his team, the young…
Mirror dinghy racing on Sligo Bay in 2016
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SB20 racing on Dublin Bay
At the SB20 AGM held this month, the sportsboat class made the decision to change its nomination process for the 2020 ISA All Ireland Sailing Championships. The SB20 nomination for the 'champion of champions' event will now be based on…
Northern Ireland youth sailors selected for the Laser Youth Performance Programme
RYANI has selected a group of young sailors to join its Youth Performance Programmes. The sailors, aged from 12 to 17, will be supported along their sailing journey, in preparation for national and international competition. RYANI Performance Manager James Farrell…

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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