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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Only a month to the shortest day of the year, yet late November at Howth produces hyper-strong sunshine with a sky so blue they haven't got a name for it yet
November sunshine plays tricks with how we see things. Maybe it's because it's so rare. But at the weekend at Howth – with just a month to go to the shortest day of the year – a special coaching course…
Tom Dolan - one of a number of Irish campaigns for Paris 2024 in the new mixed offshore keelboat
The new Offshore Doubles organisation that aims to represent the growing interests of two-handed offshore sailing, the newest Olympic sailing discipline for Paris 2024, has announced that at the end of its first month of operation has 1,600 members from 66 countries…
The National Yacht Club's Mark Lyttle was crowned Laser Grand Master World Champion on home waters in 2018
Ireland's 2018 Laser Grand Master World Champion Mark Lyttle reveals the depth of his ambitions in the solo Laser class when he interviewed for a UK Laser Class podcast recently.  One of the most fascinating statistics in the hour-long chat…
Better than a Health Farm……the soothing setup in the McMahon shed in Athlone, with the "new-old" Dublin Bay Water Wag Shindilla (original built in 1932) nearing completion beside a useful little clinker-built dinghy, while a multi-purpose canoe with sailing potential is stored by suspension from the roof
In times of stress like this, there is nowhere more soothing than a well-organised but not unduly fussy timber workshop where each day's harmonious effort shows a tangible result. And of all such workshops, there's nowhere so healthily absorbing –…
Annalise Murphy - nominated for Tokyo 2021
Annalise Murphy, (30), the only Irish sailor nominated so far for the 2021 Olympic Regatta, has spoken of the difficulties presented by COVID-19 in attempting to train at the Tokyo Regatta venue. The fact that the Olympics is going ahead…
Finn Lynch gave an online interview about his Olympic campaign at the Irish Laser Class AGM
2016 Irish Rio representative Finn Lynch believes that he can take one of the final two qualification spots for Tokyo 2021 in the Men's Laser class if he focuses on improving areas that prevented him from doing so at the last…
Dragon racing off Kinsale in West Cork
After the disappointment of being forced to cancel its hosting of the Dragon Gold Cup due to coronavirus restrictions, Kinsale Yacht Club has expressed delight at being awarded the event again in 2024. Dragons recently returned to the waters at…
A yacht competing in the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race
This year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, the 76th running of the Australian race, welcomes a new division of boats and sailors to the world-renowned racecourse with the Two-Handed division included for the first time. After witnessing the worldwide increase in…
The Star podium at Lake Garda, Italy
Piet Eckert (SUI) and Frederico Melo (POR) are the 2020 Star European keelboat Champions thanks to a great week of sailing in Riva del Garda, Italy, that translated into a winning scorecard. The silver medal goes to Diego Negri and…
18 Stars from ten countries are competing for European honours on Lake Garda, Italy
With lots of Europe countries in COVID lockdown, it is no surprise this year's Star European Championships at Lake Garda in Italy has drawn only 18 competitors. As regular Afloat readers will know, Ireland's Peter O'Leary and Robert O'Leary from Baltimore…
Kinsale Yacht Club To Host 2022 Squib Combined Irish & UK Championships
At the recent Squib one-design keelboat class Irish AGM held on Zoom, it was confirmed that Kinsale Yacht Club will host the combined Irish and UK National Championships 19-24 June 2022 with an expected fleet of 75 or more Squibs.…
Fireballs will compete in  Skerries, Newtownards, DMYC, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and Killaloe in 2021 subject to COVID-19
As Zoom is the lingua franca of our online communications these days, twenty-odd Fireballers congregated on the online platform on Thursday night past, 29th October, for the Class AGM. A 40-minute session certainly concentrated the mind for a prompt meeting,…
Radial Euro championship silver medalist, Anne Marie Rindom is reported to have tested positive for COVID-19
An outbreak of COVID-19 at the European Championships in Poland a fortnight ago has led organisers to contact all 300 competitors alerting them to the outbreak of the virus at the event. Sailors competing in Gdansk received an email communication…
Ireland's Tom Dolan is one of a number of Irish sailors with Olympic ambitions in the new mixed keelboat class
Just when proponents of Offshore Mixed Doubles sailing should be celebrating new Olympic status, the champagne is on ice this week as World Sailing debates a submission that it should not proceed with changes it agreed last year due to…
Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny competing in the EUROSAF Mixed Offshore keelboat European Championships in an L30. one of the proposed boat types for Paris 2024
Confirmation that the mixed double-handed Olympic keelboat will be on the slate for Paris 2024 will be decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board (EB) when it sits to confirm the event programme and athlete quotas in December.  There…
Windward leeward courses proved popular for the Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay in 2020
Dublin Bay Sailing Club is already starting to plan its racing for the 2021 summer season next week and it's racing sub-committee is taking on board suggestions from the 22 different classes it provides racing for every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…

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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