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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Leadership changes at Optimist Nationals after day two
After two more races in the Image Skincare-sponsored Irish Optimist Championships at Howth, there are new leaders in both fleets, with Peter McCann of Royal Cork YC now heading the senior division and UK Junior Champion Max Clapp of Royal…
Avoiding a Capsize to Windward
We had great reaction to the dramatic 'windward capsize' picture from last weekend's Feva national championships on our home page. Afloat Photographer Bob Bateman (who else?) was on the Curlane Bank in Cork Harbour to capture the windward capsize of…
Hyland and McCann head Optimist Nationals after first day
With the forecast for day two of the Image Skincare Optimist National Championships casting doubts over action afloat, the Howth YC Race Committee opted to run three races on the opening day instead of two, after which Adam Hyland of…
Epic Racing Expected as Toppers Finals Commence
With just three days racing to go before Friday's final race in the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championship at the National Yacht Club, the event is shaping up to be a battle royale. The Qualifying races are over and the…
O'Driscoll retains J24 title at Lough Erne
Flor O’Driscoll and his crew on ‘Hard on Port’ successfully defended their Irish J24 Championship title at Lough Erne last weekend but they were pushed hard all the way by the two McCaldins, Mickey and son JP, from the host…
Lavery Retains South Coast Flying Fifteen Title
Big seas and big winds off Hook Head for the opening day of the Flying Fifteen South Coast Championships at Dunmore East, County Waterford produced some of the most exciting sailing of the season for a fleet of 16 of…
Figaro Sails out, Toppers Sail in to the National Yacht Club
Just 8 hours after National Yacht Club Commodore Paul Barrington bade farewell to the 47 brave Solitaire sailors starting their gruelling 420 mile sail back to France, he was raising the curtain on the Sovereign Ski Topper World Championship –…
Byrne Retains Irish Dragon Title at Kinsale
Martin Byrne retained his title as National Dragon Champion in Kinsale last weekend, adding to his Edinburgh Cup victory last month in Abersoch writes Tim Pearson. Byrne, with crew Adam Winkelmann and Pedro Andrades, was pushed hard by Jay Bourke…
Local Duo Take Feva National Title in Cork Harbour (Photos here)
A total of 30 boats competed for the title of RS Feva National and Open Champion in Cork Harbour this weekend. The overall winner, with five first places, was RCYC's David Whitaker with Jil McGinley crewing. SCROLL DOWN FOR BOB…
200 Optimists for Nationals at Howth
200 young Optimist sailors from over 15 Irish clubs (including 24 overseas entries from five other nations) will descend on Howth Yacht Club next week for the Image Skincare Optimist National Championships for a 12-race series over five days. The…
RS Feva Nationals Start in Cork Harbour Tomorrow
Teenage RS Feva sailors from Ireland and overseas will battle it out in Cork Harbour over three days for the title of Irish National and Open Champion. The event starts on Friday 12 August, with racing over three days finishing…
Strangford's Gilmore Finishes Sixth in British Topper Nationals
Strangford's Laura Gilmore lead going into the last day but had a tough time in the strong conditions however she persevered to finish a credible sixth and first Girl, a great achievement. The other Irish persevered in the conditions and…
McCann Best of Irish at Optimist British Nationals
Peter McCann ended his assault of the British Optimist National Champion at Pwllheli Sailing Club in 13th place. Other Irish team results inlcuded a 23rd for Cliodhna ni Shuilleabhain and a 16tth for Sean Donnelly. Full results here. The 50th…
Glenageary's Hyland Takes Tenth at Oppy German Nationals
Broken toe straps were no obstacle for Adam Hyland this week when the Glenageary junior took an unexpected dip in the Baltic. He finished tenth and top Irish boat at the German Optimist National championships.  The top result was from…
Bannon Takes Record Sixth Mermaid Title
Dun Laoghaire's Roger Bannon won his sixh Mermaid National Championships in Fenit last week breaking the class record of five wins set by Harry Grimes in 1970.After four different race winners (5 including the void race which was resailed) there…
Gilmore Leads British Topper Nationals
On the eve of the Word Championships on Dublin Bay an Irish Sailor leads the Topper British National Championships in Scotland. Laura Gilmore, from Strangford Lough, who has already won the Ulster Championships now leads the top British event going…

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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