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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
There are ten teams from eight nations competing in this inaugural World Championship for Mixed Two Person teams
Team ESP have taken an early lead in Leg 2 of the 2021 Hempel Mixed Two Person Offshore keelboat World Championship in Italy. The 10 boat fleet of Figaro 3 keelboats started out from Bari at 0800 hours this morning on…
Des Turvey, Senior fleet winner at the Optimist Ulsters
East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough on the Antrim coast welcomed 60 Optimists from all over Ireland to the Ulster Championships last Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th September. A stalwart of the club, Tom Jobling, reckons it may…
View of a downwind leg with overall Fireball Munster Championship winners Josh Porter and Cara McDowell on right under spinnaker (blue)
wJosh Porter and Cara McDowell are the new Fireball Munster Champions after seven races at Lough Derg Yacht Club over the weekend. The pair showed outstanding consistency and speed over the races in a wide variety of conditions. Their achievement…
(Right to left) Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese Dragon Nationals
Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 were in first place in the final race of the championships when the wind died on Sunday. It took several attempts…
Tight Racing in the 18-boat RS Aero dinghy Championships on Dublin Bay
Hammy Baker of Strangford Lough has won the RS Aero National Championships on an imposing score of three first places with a discard of a sixth. The RS Aero Nationals sponsored by Irish National Marine Services were held on Saturday and…
Marty O'Leary and Kevin Johnson competing in the RS400 at the National Championships in Rush
The RS Nationals were recently held at Rush Sailing Club. The event included the RS400, RS200, and Feva classes. Three days of racing were scheduled under David Lovegrove and Harry Gallagher and the Rush racing team.  Day 1 Friday started…
Five-time J/109 champions (from left to right) John White (upwind trim), Ron Verling (navigator), John Maybury (owner and helmsman), Malcolm Moir (bow), Michelle Fitzgerald (pit), Barry Byrne (downwind trim), Brian Phelan (sub), Teddy Byrne (sub), Nick Smyth (tactician) and Shane Keogh (mast) not pictured
John Maybury and the Joker II crew became J109 National Champions for the fifth time on Dublin Bay this afternoon with a clear win in the two-day, six-race North Sails Ireland sponsored championships.  Maybury secured the title at the Royal Irish…
Flying Fifteen East Coast Champions - Nigel Biggs and Peter Evans of Howth Yacht Club
Despite an overnight cushion of six points, Nigel Biggs and Peter Evans of Howth Yacht Club were chased all the way in today's final races of the Flying Fifteen Irish East Coast Championships off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  Five races were…
Ffast Antic sailed by Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan of Killyleagh Yacht Club on 17 points are lying third at the 2021 Flying fifteen East Coast Championships on Dublin Bay
With three results in the top five, Nigel Biggs and Peter Evans from Howth Yacht Club lead a buoyant 23-boat Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships after three races sailed in light winds and strong tides on Dublin Bay. Racing on…
(Right to left) Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese Dragon Nationals
It was a tough second day for Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 after four races sailed.  The Dublin Bay entry has dropped to third overall with…
Finbarr O'Regan's Artful Dodjer from Kinsale Yach Club is one of two Cork entries competing in this weekend's Royal Irish Yacht club hosted J/109 National Championships
Three wins from three races in light and fickle conditions on Dublin Bay give the host club's John Maybury a clear lead in the J/109 National Championships 2021 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Maybury's Joker II, a past class champion,…
(Right to left) Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Dragon Nationals, Portugal
A Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar are lying second overall at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 after two races sailed.  The Dublin Bay entry broke a spinnaker pole in race one but still…
A start of the RC35 class at the 2021 Scottish Series
Kevin and Debbie Aitken's First 36.7, Animal, has completed a three-peat as Scotia Handling Services Ltd RC35 Class Champions. The season-long championship was completed at the Clyde Cruising Club's GSS Regatta in partnership with CRhu Rigging on the 11th and…
Dun Laoghaire Flying fifteens gather for the annual Captain's Prize prizegiving
Having experienced a shortened season in 2020 because of the immediate impact of Covid, the 2020 Flying Fifteen Class Captain in Dun Laoghaire offered to serve a second term and on Saturday past, Neil Colin, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club…
Four-time National 18 championships winner - Ewan Barry (with trophy) and crew Dion Barrett (left) and Stan Brown pictured with class captain Charles Dwyer (right)
Ewan Barry, Dion Barrett and Stan Brown won the National 18 Irish dinghy Championships for a fourth time at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Sunday after a two-day CH Marine sponsored championship at Crosshaven. Despite efforts to run the entire event…
“With a bone in her teeth” - the restored Dublin Bay 21 Garavogue revelling in Friday evening’s breeze to win her class in the RIYC end-of-season race
The three 1903 Dublin Bay 21s newy-restored for Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra by Steve Morris and his team in Kilrush Boatyard have been back in Dun Laoghaire for six weeks now. But in the late season’s perverse weather, there…

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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