Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
National 18s racing in their last race of the season at the Royal Cork Marina. Scroll down for photo gallery
Nick Walsh's Fifty Shades was the first to finish the National 18s River Race held last night at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour. The Owenabue race marked the final race of the season for the dinghy class and…
Janice McCrudden's Bamboozled prior to the start of race 3
Five Elites again made it to the Battery start on Trasnagh Island on Strangford Lough last Saturday. Janice McCrudden's Bamboozled after some setup difficulties last week were keen to get some good quality racing. Unfortunately due to other commitments, Richard…
Good upwind sailing on Casla Bay for the Connemara Flying Fifteens
With a nice southerly breeze, 19 Flying Fifteens hoisted their sails early morning for the last race of the Connemara league. As Afloat reported previously, a rejuvenated fleet in County Galway is boasting one of the largest fleets in the country…
A Brand-New Laser Sailing Dinghy, Worth €8K, for only €100!
Killaloe Sailing Club on the beautiful southern shores of Lough Derg is a community-orientated, not-for-profit, Irish Sailing-accredited amateur, small boat sailing club. This little club – totally volunteer-run – now has the fully-developed vision of building a stylish new clubhouse,…
Oppie fleet winner Sarah Donald receives first prize at the resumed annual CSS regatta Oppie class contest from commodore Dave Cahill
In spite of fresh westerly conditions, the Optimist fleet in Spiddal, Co Galway completed its series of races yesterday for last weekend’s club’s annual regatta. The Optimist class had been unable to begin their first race at the Cumann Seoltóireachta…
Great sailing conditions for the Optimist Burns Trophy at Crosshaven. See photo slideshow below
After eight races sailed at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the host club's Alana Twomey continues to lead the club's Optimist Burns Trophy main fleet in Cork Harbour. JP Curtin continues in second place in the 26-boat fleet, three points behind…
The 1720 Dutch Gold skippered by Robert O'Leary
Five race wins from eight races sailed at the 1720 Munster Championships gave overall victory to Dutch Gold skippered by Robert O'Leary sailing with his brother, Peter O'Leary, a double Olympic Star keelboat helmsman, as part of the Baltimore Sailing Club…
 James Harayda & Dee Caffari racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo
James Harayda & Dee Caffari, racing Sun Fast 3300 Gentoo, have won the second race of the RORC IRC Two-Handed Autumn Series. Gentoo took line honours in the 128nm race as well as the win on IRC corrected time. Richard…
Laser dinghies racing at Monkstown in Cork Harbour - The Laser class has made amendments to its 2020 calendar
The Irish Laser Class Association is responding to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation with autumn amendments to its 2020 events calendar.  ILA events will now only be run in Level 2 venues and will restrict participants from counties of Level…
GP14s are making plans for VDLR 2021 on Dublin Bay next July, three weeks before the GP14 World Championships at Skerries in North Dublin
The Irish GP14 dinghy class has been one of the first to give a thumbs up to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta plans for next July to divide Ireland's biggest sailing event over separate weekends. As Afloat reported previously, Dun Laoghaire…
Robert O'Leary at the helm of Dutch Gold leads the ten boat 1720 Munsters in Cork Harbour
The leaderboard of the 1720 Munster Championships hosted jointly by Monkstown and Baltimore Sailing Clubs has a familiar look to it with Robert O'Leary's crew in Dutch Gold on top after four races sailed yesterday. O'Leary, who has won both Baltimore…
Brian Osborne's 1973 Mirror dinghy
Brian Osborne last sailed a dinghy in 1989 on the River Thames near Hampton Court so returning to a small boat this season on Lough Erne was something of a revisit for him. Brian bought a classic 1973 Mirror dinghy…
Richard Moore in Usain boat prior to Race 1 on Strangford Lough
Last Sunday was the first day's racing for most of the RS Elites this year as a result of a Covid-19 hit 2020 season. Five boats made it onto Strangford Lough with the hope of another couple joining next weekend. …
Suntan Sailing beyond The Pale – SB20s on the Shannon lakes, with 3272 (John McGonigle, second left) throwing a judiciously-judged gybe which helped towards her overall win
At midnight on Friday, the lockdown shutters came down on the million-plus inhabitants of a place that no longer exists. And no, we don't mean that Dublin has obviously become a ghost town. But what we do mean is that…
1720 racing returns to Cork Harbour this weekend for Munster Championship Honours
This weekend's 1720 National Championships are to be downgraded to a Munster Championships in the wake of the recent government announcements that appeal to Dubliners not to travel outside the county. As Afloat reported previously, the Championships had already moved…
‘Breeze queen’ Annalise Murphy takes off in day one’s racing last Friday
The National Yacht Club’s Annalise Murphy held her lead over the 41-boat fleet to claim the Laser Radial open class title in the final racing of Italian Olympic Week at Follonica. Murphy’s third place finish yesterday (Sunday 20 September) was…

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating