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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Fireball sailing is a passion
Fireball sailors are passionate about their boats to the point of not being able to "let go" when due to work, family or life distractions they park their dinghy boots. This passion is both a blessing and a curse for…
Stephen Oram (left) and Noel Butler with the Fireball Munster Trophy
Thirteen Fireballs gathered at Killaloe SC for the Fireball Munster Championships at the weekend. Initial indications were for a very wet and windy weekend but happily the fleet was rewarded with excellent sailing conditions on both days. While extremely wet…
The Laser standard rig, which could soon be available for class-legal racing from a range of builders internationally in the wake of new ILCA rule changes
With the selection of the Laser class for the Olympic men’s and women’s single-handed dinghy events from Paris 2024 comes significant change to align with new class requirements, as Scuttlebutt Sailing News reports. Previously restricted to a handful of licensed…
At the official announcement of CH Marine continued sponsorship of the Irish Laser Association were (from left) Ed Rice, event coordinator, Nick Bendon of CH Marine and class treasurer, Nick Walsh
At the recent Dinghy Fest Regatta at Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) earlier this month, leading Irish Chandlery CH Marine announced its continued support for the Irish Laser Association (ILA). The ILA currently has over two hundred active members ranging in…
Martin Byrne’s (right) Jaguar Sailing Team with Adam Winkelmann (centre) and Mark Pettit from the Royal St. George Yacht Club
Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team with Adam Winkelmann and Mark Pettit from Dublin Bay are lying seventh overall after day two in a 43-boat fleet of Dragons from 14 countries at the annual Régates Royale in Cannes. After two days…
Jerry Dowling pictured with his winning Sportsboat team mates Stefan Hyde and Jimmy Dowling. Jerry will be appointed SB20 World Chairman next month
Irish SB20 Champion Jerry Dowling will travel to the class World Championships in Hyeres next month to be appointed SB20 World Council Chairman.  The international honour for the Irish one-design sailor comes with the unanimous support of the World Council and…
Nine Irish Dragons are travelling to Italy next month
Nine Irish Dragons for the 90th Anniversary Regatta at San Remo, Italy from 7th to 11th October will be led by top International performer Martin Byrne of the Royal St. George Yacht Club who was runner-up at this year's Edinburgh…
Animal Secures Back to Back Scottish RC35 Championship Wins After GSS North Clyde Regatta
Jacob VII ends the RC35 season with another regatta victory but it's still not enough to unseat reigning champions Animal from securing back to back Scottish RC35 Championships writes Robin Young. The RC35 fleet, racing in the final round of…
The CH Marine sponsored 'Final Fling' Dinghy Regatta takes place on September 28th
The CH Marine sponsored 'Final Fling' Dinghy Regatta takes place for the 3rd consecutive year, this Sept 28th in Dun Laoghaire writes Gavan Murphy, Dublin Bay Laser Class Captain This year, the regatta will offer a very innovative format in…
New world champions - Chris Turner and Graham Vials ashore at the National Yacht Club
There was little if any surprise when Graham Vials and Chris Turner came ashore at the National Yacht Club this afternoon that the Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club duo had claimed their fourth Flying Fifteen World title after a marathon long Dublin Bay…
Champions-elect: Graham Vials and Chris Turner sailing 'Floaty McFloatFace' from (Derwent Reservoir SC)
After the disappointment of sitting out two races yesterday due to boat damage in a collision for which they were awarded redress, Britain’s Graham Vials and Chris Turner sailing 'Floaty McFloatFace' from (Derwent Reservoir SC) are on the verge of…
A sudden gust at the gybe mark hits the World Championship Flying Fifteen fleet in today's second race on Dublin Bay
There was drama on the finish line of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships today in Dun Laoghaire as regatta leaders Graham Vials and Chris Turner (Derwent Reservoir SC) were involved in a collision which holed their boat forcing them…
Graham Vials and Chris Turner have a 19 point lead at the half way stage of the Flying Fifteen Worlds in Dun Laoghaire
As the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championship reaches the halfway stage at the National Yacht Club, Dublin Bay delivered another blustery day to complete two more races in the 12-race series. Early in the morning, the wind was howling but…
Peter O'Leary (right) and Joost Houweling racing in the Star at Attersee
It looks like Baltimore Sailing Club's Peter O'Leary made the most of his two boat tuning in Star keelboats in Cork Harbour back in July as the double Olympian took second in the Star Eastern Championships in Austria today with new crew Joost Houweling of Holland.…
A close finish in light winds between overall leaders Graham Vials and Chris Turner (4071) and Australia (4063) Mike Hart and Dean McAullay
The forecast for day 3 of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championship was for very light airs all day but by the time competitors started to arrive at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday morning, a faint…
‘Sonic boom’ sailed by Andrew Deakin, Brian McElligott and Colm McElligott were the overall Gortmore Bell winners
The Iniscealtra Sailing Club annual Gortmore Bell race took place on Lough Derg on Saturday 7th September. With very light wind forecast for the day, the usual 30-mile race was shortened to 20 miles, so the race turned at the…

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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