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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
A J24 crew racing on Dublin Bay
The International J/24 Class Association (IJCA) and the Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole United Kingdom has announced that the 2020 J/24 World Championship scheduled for September 12-18, 2020 will be postponed until September 24-October 2, 2021. "With the current COVID-19…
Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay
With Covid-19 restrictions the world over giving pundits some pause to consider sailing’s overall health and prospects, Scuttlebutt Sailing News’ Craig Leweck has three observations when considering the ‘state of the sport’ in 2020: When the cost in time and…
RORC Keelboat Masterclass with Andrew 'Dog' Palfrey
Two-time Etchells World Champion, 5.5 Metre World Champion and Olympic sailor - Andrew Palfrey delivers a keelboat masterclass in an interview for RORC. Andrew has coached World Championship-winning teams in the Farr40, Farr30, RC44, Etchells and Star class. In recent…
Fireball dinghy sailing - The impossibility of getting any fix on the timing of a return to normality has led to the cancellation of the World Championships in Howth in August
In response to the global Coronavirus outbreak the Irish Fireball Association, Howth Yacht Club and Fireball International have been carefully evaluating plans for the Gul International sponsored Fireball Worlds in Howth in August 2020 and in a statement issued this evening, the organisers…
Optimist sailors preparing for racing
The International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) promises its young members “will laugh, rig, race and have lots of fun both on and off the water” when sailing eventually resumes. In a statement on its Facebook page last week,…
Mirror Sailing Ireland Postpones First Regional Event Of 2020
Mirror Sailing Ireland has confirmed that the class’ first regional event of the year, the Mirror Southerns at Lough Derg Yacht Club which has been scheduled for the weekend of 2-3 May, is now postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions. A…
RS Elites racing on Dublin Bay in 2019
The RS Elite Association announces this week, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix, incorporating the UK National Championships, has been postponed. Originally scheduled to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron from 9th…
Great conditions for 1720 racing at the 2019 championships
Baltimore Sailing Club will be hoping for the same conditions that graced last year's West Cork race track when the 1720 sportsboat fleet returns for its National Championships from 25 – 27 September 2020. As Afloat reported last September, a buoyant 20-boat…
Laser sailing at the Ulster Championships - the European Radial Championships to be sailed on Belfast Lough has been cancelled
Ballyholme Yacht Club was to have been the venue in early July for the huge Laser Radial European Championships but the Iatest news from the EurILCA team is that due to the COVID-19 situation and expected restrictions on travel during…
More than 100 boats have now entered for the Championships at Skerries Sailing Club from July 24-29
A further update on the status of the GP14 World Championships scheduled for July in Skerries, North Dublin is expected before the end of April. GP14 Ireland Hon. Secretary Andy Johnston has told the class the International Committee in conjunction with…
There are signs that by September the current restrictions may be relaxed so KYC continue to work towards delivering a truly outstanding Dragon Gold Cup 2020
Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) and the International Dragon Association (IDA) have today confirmed that planning for the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, to be raced off Kinsale from 5 to 11 September, is still progressing as normal at the current time.…
The new online scene for the National 18 fleet in Cork Harbour
Wednesday, April 1st marked the day that the Cork Harbour National 18 fleet would begin their April League. This league is traditionally marked as the beginning of their racing season. As was predicted, the crewed-by-three 18 footers had their league cancelled.…
Laser Masters racing on Dublin Bay
The Irish Laser Class Association Committee has postponed all events until August. It means that the Munsters at Baltimore Sailing Club in April, the Leinsters in Howth Yacht Club in May, the Masters at the Royal St. George YC in…
Kinsale Squib duo Colm Dunne and Rob Gill sailing in Kinsale Harbour
The Squib National Championships 2020 scheduled for 21 - 26 June at Kinsale Yacht Club has been cancelled. Regatta Director, Ruth Ennis told Afloat: 'The Squib 2020 Organising Committee in conjunction with Kinsale Yacht Club and the N.S.O.A. reluctantly made…
Dragon racing off Kinsale - the Gold Cup comes to the south coast port this September
In the light of the latest UK Government announcement, the British Dragon Association (BDA) along with the Royal Forth Yacht Club (RFYC) has taken the decision to cancel this year's Scottish Dragon Championship and Edinburgh Cup event on the Forth…
The Irish Mixed Offshore Trial was to run as part of the now cancelled Solo Guy Cotton Concarneau regatta in France this week
Every cloud has a silver lining and perhaps for Irish Sailing, it has come with the cancellation of the trials series scheduled in Concarneau for the World Offshore Sailing Championships this week. Its cancellation notice, however, was notably the first…

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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