Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Waszps Prepare for Four Nations Cup

28th March 2024
Northern Ireland Waszp dinghy sailors will compete in the Four Nations Cup this season
Northern Ireland Waszp dinghy sailors will compete in the Four Nations Cup this season

Now that the Six Nations Rugby is over, the Waszp class is embarking on its Four Nations Cup. For the first time in Northern Ireland, one of the fixtures will be at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough.

The others are the Irish Nationals at Royal St George in August, the Scottish Nationals at Oban SC in July, followed by the Welsh Nationals at Bala SC in September.

The Waszp is a one-design foiling dinghy. Every boat is produced to the same tight specification, meaning it’s down to the sailor to squeeze the speed out of the boat.

Racing will take place to the north of Ballyholme Bay in the wider expanse of Belfast Lough on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April. Bob Espey, who is organising the BYC event, says, “It is difficult to confirm entries at the moment as most sailors enter at the last minute!” Bob was instrumental in growing the class in the North

The NOR specifies that entries will be accepted until 2359 hrs on Monday, 8th April (£60) and from then until midnight on 11th April £80). Entries will not be accepted after this time.

It will be the first time an event like this has been run in Northern Ireland. Bob continues, “We plan on running a combination of sail GP style reach start, a slalom course, and traditional windward-leeward courses. This was designed to boost the numbers and competition for the smaller Nation’s Nationals in the UK and Ireland. The competitor's top three from four events will be counted towards the award.

Sheela Lewis from County Antrim Yacht Club on the north shore of the Lough will be Race Officer.

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down

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Waszp sailing

The Waszp project was conceived in 2010 by Andrew McDougall, designer of the world-beating Mach 2 foiling Moth. 

The Waszp was created as a strict one-design foiler, where, as the class says “the true test when raced is between crews and not boats and equipment”.

The objective of the class rules is to ensure that this concept is maintained. Keeping possible modifications to a minimum ensures fair racing across the fleet, helps to reduce the overall cost to the sailor and reduces the amount of time in the workshop. 

The popularity of the WASZP has proven that the boat and the concept work. In October 2021, 1237 boats had been sold to over 45 countries. 

The top speed recorded on the foiling dinghy is 26.7 knots. 

60-95kgs+ is a weight range competitive across varied conditions with rigs knowns as ‘8.2’ and ‘6.9’.

The cost of a Moth dinghy in Europe is €14,400 inc VAT + shipping according to the manufacturers in October 2021.