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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Howth Half–Tonner Checkmate Consolidates In Belgium
#halfton –The sun finally shone on the Half Ton Classics Cup fleet on the third day of the regatta, which also brought more moderate wind and sea conditions. The crews enjoyed a fabulous day of classic champagne sailing to complete…
Howth Yacht Club's Checkmate XV Continues Lead At Half Ton Classics Cup
#hyc – Howth Yacht Club's Checkmate XV skippered by Dave Cullen continues to lead after the second day of the Half Ton Classics Cup fleet in Nieuwpoort. Another HYC boat, Jonny Swann's Harmony, is fifth overall. The regatta faced strong…
Howth Yacht Club's Checkmate Leads Half–Tonners At Classics Cup in Belgium
#halfton – Dave Cullen's Howth crew has taken the immediate advantage on day one of the 23 strong Half Ton Classics Cup 2015 on the North Sea. The regatta got underway in big confused seas with a practise race followed by the…
Old Friends & New Gather For Half Ton Classics Cup
This weekend the Classic Half Tonners are converging on Nieuwpoort in Belgium for the 8th edition of the Half Ton Classics Cup, which is being organised in association with the Koninklijke Yacht Club Nieuwpoort (KYCN) and the Bruxelles Royal Yacht…
Half Tonners To Gather For Classics Cup In Nieuwpoort, Belgium
#halftonclassics – The 8th Half Ton Classics Cup will take place in Nieuwpoort, Belgium from 17-21 August writes Vincent Delany.This event is for yachts which were built as IOR half tonners with an IOR rating less than 22 feet. The…
Return of The Half –Tonners As Kinsale Yacht Club ICRA Nationals Gets Underway
#icra – The biggest Half Ton event of the year gets underway this morning as part of the Irish Cruiser Racing Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club.  The annual (ICRA) Championship that combines the club's Sovereigns' Cup event runs until Saturday. Forecasted…
Famous Half–Tonner Checkmate Gets New Berth At Howth Yacht Club
#checkmateforhowth – The story is that there has been a bit of re-juggling in the Half Tonner lineup at Howth, where Dave Cullen has moved on from the historic King One which once upon a time took the Half–Ton World…
Half Ton Classic Cup Comes to Sparkling Conclusion in Saint-Quay-Portreiux
#halfton – The 2014 Half Ton Classics Cup came to a sparkling conclusion today with one final thrilling race off the beautiful North Brittany coast and a delightful prize giving on the waterfront of Saint-Quay-Portreiux writes Fiona Brown. With the…
Irish Half Tonners All In Top Third of Fleet, Swuzzlebubble Wins Classic Cup
#halfton – Saint Quay Portrieux - 10 July 2014 -Ireland's Half Ton Classic Cup contenders lie 5, 7 and 8 overall after seven races in France. It was the bravura performance of three straight wins on yesterday's penultimate day, the…
Howth's King One Leads Irish Hopes At Half Ton Classic Cup
#halftonclassics - Probably one of the most scenic short offshore races ever, perfectly describes the course set for today's fourth race at the Half Ton Classics Cup 2014, which took the sailors from Saint-Quay-Portrieux, along the cliffs of Northern Brittany,…
'Swuzzlebubble' Leads, Irish Boats Follow at Half Ton Classics Cup in Brittany
#halftonclasics – Stunning, is the best way to describe the opening day of the 2014 Half Ton Classics Cup in Saint-Quay-Portriuex on the north coast of Brittany writes Fiona Brown. The weather offered something for everyone including plenty of sunshine…
Three Howth Yacht Club Half Tonners Set Course for French Classic Cup
#hyc – Three well known Irish half tonners make the journey to Saint Quay Portrieux in Brittany for the Half Ton Classic Cup representing Howth Yacht Club. The Evan's brothers "The Big Picture", Jonny Swan and Jim Freyne's "Harmony" and…
Irish Half Tonners Will Be Potent Force at Half Ton Classics Cup
#halfton – As well as defending Royal St. George YC champion Checkmate XV (Nigel Biggs), Ireland will send at least three more potent Half Tonners to the Classics Cup in France in two months time. Currently confirmed entries are Dave Cullen's…
ICRA Nationals 2014 Will See Duel of Vintage Half–Tonners
#halftonner – In what is being billed as the 'Duel of the Half Tonners' by ICRA organisers for June's National Championships another vintage half–tonner 'The Big Picture' is being optimised for competition. According to ICRA Commodore Norbert Reilly, the Howth…
Irish Half Ton Cup Contender 'King One' Goes Up for Sale
#boatsforsale –  King One, the Howth Yacht Club based Half tonner that has competed for Ireland with success at Ramsgate week, the Isle of Wight and the Half ton Cup, is up for sale at €29,950. Skipper Dave Cullen, who…
Half Tonner Checkmate Wins Classic Cup in Boulogne Sur Mer
#halftoncup – The Half Ton Classic Cup in Boulogne Sur Mer was convincingly won by July's Dun Laoghaire Volvo regatta winner, Checkmate (Nigel Biggs) sailing under the Royal St. George Yacht Club burgee with a succession of race wins.   Recently…

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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