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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Philanthropist Wendy Schmidt made history at the Barcolana 54 in Trieste, Italy, becoming the first woman and the first American to win the world’s largest sailing race
In honour of her victory as the first woman and first American to win the world’s largest sailing race, the Barcolana 54, philanthropist Wendy Schmidt announced today she will support the educational outreach and conservation activities of the Marine Biodiversity…
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (right) and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede are the new President and Vice President of the International Association of Cape Horners
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the Globe, has accepted the appointment of President of the International Association of Cape Horners. In addition, the French solo sailing legend Jean-Luc van den Heede has accepted the…
Civil Defence vehicles on a beach
BreakingNews.ie reports that two bodies have been recovered from waterways in Co Clare over the weekend following in two separate incidents. In Ennis, a body was recovered from the River Fergus on Saturday afternoon (26 November) after it was found…
The proposed location of the Valentia Island Offshore Renewable Energy Array has been selected to have minimal impact on all key environmental, heritage, tourism, fishing and shipping contexts in the seas surrounding Valentia. The proposed site is more than 22 km off the West coast of Valentia in deep waters
A community-led renewable energy project on Kerry’s Valentia island which is seeking to build a floating offshore wind farm has applied for permission to conduct site investigations. The Valentia Island Energy Ltd Project states in its application that it recognises…
Aberdeen on the North Sea has been successful in its bid to bring the much-loved Tall Ships back to the Granite City in 2025 - for the first time in over a quarter of a century.
The North Sea port of Aberdeen, Scotland is to host the Tall Ships event again, it has been announced. Aberdeen writes BBC News have been chosen for the venue in 2025 having hosted the prestigious event twice, firstly in 1991 and…
Former IMOCA Vendée Globe racer Jean-Pierre Dick (Notre Mediterranné-Ville de Nice) – a four times winner of the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre transatlantic race – finally won a major solo Transatlantic race when he triumphed in the Rhum Mono class
Friday night into Saturday’s early hours, The Memorial ACTe, Pointe-à-Pitre’s proud, a giant structure dedicated to the history, heritage and memories of the Caribbean slave trade saw the busiest spell yet of finishers completing the 12th edition of the Route…
Race Officer Robin Gray (second left) with the North Down Model Yacht Group
What do keen big boat and dinghy racers do when they want a rest from the usual inshore and offshore circuits? On the North Down coast, they gather twice a week with their one-design radio-controlled model yachts either in Groomsport…
Several small motorboats, RIBs, and the southern section of the marina infrastructure were partly sunk or damaged in the collision with the trawler
A marina pontoon and several small craft berthed at Dingle Harbour in County Kerry were damaged on Saturday, November 26th, by a trawler manoeuvring in the harbour. Local reports say the visiting trawler was reversing at the time of the…
Paris Boat Show 2022 Salon Nautic logo
Extreme adventurer Mike Horn has shared his enthusiasm at opening this year’s Paris Boat Show next weekend. As previously noted on Afloat.ie, nearly 170,000 visitors are expected to meet the 650 exhibitors spread over two halls at Porte de Versailles…
An artist’s impression of the new Xc 47 bluewater cruising yacht from X-Yachts
Earlier this month, a privileged view were treated to the latest on X-Yachts’ new Xc cruiser when the doors of its Haderslev HQ were opened for exclusive tours. Now the Danish yachting specialists have revealed to the world further details…

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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