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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

The Half Ton Classic Cup 2022
The date for the Half Ton Classic Cup 2022 announced this week for Cowes following the cancellation of the 2021 event due to COVID-19 has changed its dates.Inbox The Cup will now be run from the 15-19th August 2022 to…
The Half-Ton Classic Cup has been forced to cancel for a second time. The Cup is now scheduled for Cowes on 18-22nd July 2022
The Half Ton Classic Cup in Cowes has been cancelled in July. It is the second time the event has cancelled due to COVID. Unfortunately, with most of the fleet hailing from Belgium, France and Ireland, it isn’t expected to…
Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'The Big Picture' is for sale
The Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner 'The Big Picture' is for sale at €55,000.  The MG HS30 MOD yacht has been stored indoors, well maintained, and as regular Afloat readers know has been raced locally in Howth and at regattas…
Seasoned campaigners. Robert Dix and brother-in-law Richard Burrows combined 50 years ago to see the former win the Helmsmans Championship of Ireland in one of the highlight events of the Royal Cork YC Quarter Millennium celebrations in 1970. They’re still at it, as seen yesterday (Saturday) when they raced Dixie’s J/80 Jeannie to second in class in the Aqua Restaurant Two-Hander at Howth
When in doubt, send ’em round Lambay. That seems to be the feeling among Howth Yacht Club’s race officers as this uncertain semi-season gradually cranks into action. And with Saturday’s early-start Aqua Double-Hander Challenge seeing a greyish morning giving a…
Irish Half Tonners are expected to focus on September's WAVE Regatta
July's Half Ton Classics Cup due to be held a week before Cowes Week – at the same venue – has been cancelled. The news will be disappointing but not unexpected in this COVID-19 hit season among the burgeoning Dublin fleet…
Darren Wright (left) with the crew of Mata and the Irish Half Ton Trophy in Kinsale with co-owners Michael Wright (right) and Rick De Neve (second right)
Darren Wright of Howth rounded out an exceptional year of achievement in 2019 with a courageous bareboat charter campaign in the especially challenging 75th Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. Nearer home, his year had already seen success with the Classic Half Tonner…
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…

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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