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Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII
The Half Tonners in IRC 2 rival the J/109s in IRC1 in their cut-throat competition at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, and for the final contest it was Jonny Swan (HYC) with Harmony who found his mojo to sail a dream…
Nigel Biggs's Checkmate XVIII is now ten points clear at the top of the 21-boat fleet
If sailing is a waterborne game of chess, then Nigel Biggs’ Half Tonner Checkmate XVIII is fulfilling the promise of her name with the bullet today in Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to have her on 6 points after discarding a…
The O’Leary family’s “cruiserfied” 1720 Antix Beag from Crosshaven
In the hotly contested Division 2 (A) of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Michael and Darren Wright continue their strong form on the Dublin Bay Race track by leading the 20-boat fleet in their Andrieu Half Tonner, Mata. The Class Two ICRA…
Thursday's 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has attracted a fleet of 500 boats. Scroll down for a review of the IRC fleet divisions
There is no doubt about it that 500 entries – so far – for Thursday's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta is a great indication of the state of yacht racing in Ireland, especially when so many other regattas struggle for numbers.…
Michael Wright's Mata took the win in the IRC Half Ton Cup Division of the Sovereign's Cup
In an intense battle of the Half Tonners, Michael Wright's Mata briefly overtook Class Two overall leader Nigel Biggs's Checkmate XVIII in the closing races of the O'Leary Life Sovereign's Cup in Kinsale today. As Afloat predicated here, Half Tonners dominated the 19-boat IRC Two…
Nigel Biggs' Checkmate XVIII (Royal Irish YC / Howth YC) leads the Class Two IRC (and the Half Tonner class) after day one of the Sovereign's Cup
It's turning into an early battle of the Half Tonners in Class Two of the O'Leary Life sponsored Sovereign's Cup off Kinsale writes Bob Bateman. Class Two is the Cup's biggest class with 19 boats competing and Half Tonners occupy five of the…
Mata, the new Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner campaign has won class two of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay
The Wright Brothers from Howth completed a consistent series of seven races with six top three results to become Division Two National Champions in their first ICRA outing with their new Half Tonner in Dun Laoghaire. Half Tonners took the top five…
Royal Irish Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs has a four point lead of Division Two of the ICRA National Championships in Checkmate XVIII
There is a  new half-ton leader in division two of the ICRA national championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as overnight leader Johnny Swan's Harmony from Howth Yacht Club drops to fourth overall but optimised Irish Half Tonners continue to…
Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'Harmony' (Jonny Swan) returns to her home port for Lambay Race action on Saturday having already been a class winner at this week's Scottish Series on the Clyde
It’s party time afloat and ashore this weekend at Howth Yacht Club, with the two-day Lambay Regatta – sponsored by Provident – featuring the historic Lambay Race itself on Saturday, while Sunday continues with a Family Day and Fun Race.…
The Checkmate crew racing Gunboat Rangiri in Italy
With the difficulty in towing in Italy for wide loads and the fact that there is no Half Ton Cup this year in Europe, Dave Cullen chartered the legendary Farr 1977 Half Tonner “Gunboat Rangiri” for the Italian Half Ton…
A Class One start at the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
With three months to go to the first gun off Dun Laoghaire’s famous harbour, 410 boats are already entered — and more than half the entries are visiting craft to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019. It is an early-season marine…
There looks like there's going to be another season of great racing in the eight boat Irish Half Tonner fleet this season
Dave Cullen on where the growing vintage Irish Half Tonner fleet is racing this year Last year it was decided in Nieuwpoort to revert to a biennial format for the Half Ton Classic Cup so there is no event this…
Dave Cullen (right) on his way to victory in the Royal Irish Yacht Club Regatta on Dublin Bay in the 2018 ICRA Boat of the Year, the 1985 Humphrey's Checkmate XV
Howth Yacht Club's all-conquering vintage Half Tonner Checkmate XV was the winner of the ICRA Boat of the Year Award at the association's agm held at Lough Derg Yacht Club yesterday. The cruiser-racer award completes a stellar season for the North Dublin…
Dave Cullen and the Checkmate XV crew
North Sails Ireland congratulate clients Dave Cullen, Jonny Swan and both teams crews for taking first and second overall at the Half Ton Cup last week in Belgium writes sailmaker Nigel Young. The Half Ton Cup has been well supported by Irish…
2018 Half Ton Classics Cup winners David Cullen and the Checkmate XV team Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and Franz Rothschild of the Howth Yacht Club
With a convincing win in the final spectacular race run in glorious sunshine and big seas off Nieuwpoort, Checkmate XV (1985 Humphreys) and her crew of owner David Cullen, Darragh O'Connor, Nin O'Leary, Jonathan Sargent, Aidan Beggan, Niki Potterton and…
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen has clinched the overall lead of the Half Ton Classics Cup
Howth Yacht Club's Dave Cullen has clinched the overall lead of the Half Ton Classics Cup 2018 in Nieuwpoort, Belgium going into the final day of the competition. Day four's Long Inshore Race proved to be both an incredibly closely fought…

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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