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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Frank Miller with crew Grattan Donnelly
Four Fireballs made it to the start line of the long-awaited first Tuesday DBSC races since lockdown. The forecast was not promising much more than 2 knots but actually sailors were greeted with a very decent force 2-3 southerly. On…
The DBSC Laser 4.7 fleet race past Dun Laoghaire's East Pier
Tuesday evening Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) dinghy racing got off to a great start in Dun Laoghaire Harbour tonight with a bumper Laser fleet competing. As Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy predicted on Afloat a fortnight ago, there was a…
35 years later: (from left) Michael Cotter deploys a two metre paddle to belatedly present prizes to John Kidney, Dan O’Connor and Ailbe Millerick (representing the Grays) for the 1985 Dragon East Coast Championships held in COVID times this week
During a “COVID 19” garage clean out recently, a box of unclaimed prizes was found for the Irish Dragon keelboat class. These, according to the inscriptions thereon, were to be awarded at the prize-giving for the East Coast Dragon Championships…
Tom Higgins has received a prestigious Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarship from UCD
Irish Sailing has congratulated its Academy athlete Tom Higgins, who has received one of the prestigious Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarships from UCD. Nearly 400 school-leavers applied for the 15 Ad Astra Scholarship programme places. The programme looks for “exceptional,…
DBSC Laser dinghy racing moves inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour this season
As was announced today, the Dublin Bay Sailing Club has taken the extraordinary decision to shift dinghy racing to inside Dun Laoghaire harbour DBSC writes Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy. However, these are extraordinary times we live in and require…
Toppers at the Royal Cork in late 2018
The 2021 International Topper World Championships come to Cork Harbour next year when they’re hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club from 24-30 July 2021. With over 200 sailors from around the world expected, organisers say it will be a…
National 18 Shuck’em racing at the Royal Cork
The National 18ft Class Association has very reluctantly concluded that they must cancel the 2020 UK & Irish Championships sponsored by AIB. The event was due to be held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club this August as part of…
Last of the early-season sunshine – the 1896-originating Colleen Class Colleen Deas (Dermot Flynn & David Williams) in south Dublin Bay yesterday (Tuesday)
Although West Cork is home to several clusters of classic boats and the boatyards of the master-craftsmen who build and maintain them, they’re at scattered locations. Thus it can take quite a bit of encouragement and persuasion, plus much pre-planning…
RS Aeros in Dublin Bay
The Irish RS Aero dinghy fleet grew by six over the last week and a half. The class now stands at over 20 boats and the Irish National Marine Services team handed over one of the demo boats for a…
Meet in the middle of the Harbour for Prof O'Connell's Dun Laoghaire Laser Clinics
Olympic and International coach Maurice "Prof" O'Connell will be running Laser racing coaching sessions in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this week starting on Tuesday, May 26th. The format will be some short sharp boat handling sessions, in four boat groups, followed…
The Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale has been cancelled
Kinsale Yacht Club have today confirmed that the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, due to be sailed from the 5 to 11 September, has been cancelled. “Clearly the global COVID-19 crisis has already impacted many events and our thoughts and prayers…
Mirror Sailing Ireland has postponed a second event in its 2020 calendar
Mirror Sailing Ireland has postponed another event in its summer regionals calendar amid the current Covid-19 disruption. The Mirror Western Championships, which had been scheduled for the weekend of 6-7 June at Galway Bay Sailing Club, will now take place…
They’re coming up the bay – the SB20 class will stage their 2023 Worlds in Dublin Bay from the National YC, with an increasingly busy buildup in the Irish class towards September 2023 once the Lockdown has concluded
Not every sailing class in Ireland gets a monthly update from its President which opens with a quote from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. But then, it’s not every Class President who can so readily re-organise his busy working week that he’s…
The Irish RS Aero Open will clash with the Laser Masters at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this September
Two solo dinghy events look set to clash at Dun Laoghaire Harbour in a revised Irish sailing fixture list that is taking shape as the sport plots a return to sailing after COVID-19. The RS Aero Open Championships that has been…
International SB20 action returns to Dublin Bay in 2023
The 2023 SB20 World Championships will be hosted in Ireland by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, County Dublin. The successful Irish bid for the event will see the World Championships return to Dublin Bay in September 2023,…
David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne of the National Yacht Club finished fourth in Cormac Bradley's imaginary opening race of the DBSC Flying Fifteen season last Thursday evening
The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) season first race was last Thursday but due to COVID-19 it never happened. To mark the occasion, the following imaginary Flying Fifteen race report was written by Cormac Bradley for the biggest one-design fleet…

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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