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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
McCleery and Dougan Win Western Championships at Larne
The Flying Fifteen Western Championships took place in the Larne at the weekend and were hosted by East Antrim Boat and Yacht Club. 22 crews descended on the town in what was the last event of the season. Andy McCleery…
New Sponsor for Cork Laser Frostbites
Curradinghy is the new sponsor for the October and November Frostbite Laser dinghy leagues which start this Sunday at Royal Cork Yacht Club. Curradinghy has recently been appointed southern dealer for Laser. The 4.7 and Radial fleets have grown in…
O'Connor and McHaile Win Sligo's GP14  Open
As ever Rosses Point in Sligo was a beautiful spot to arrive to bright and early Saturday morning. Some may have been up at an ungodly hour, but it's well worth it to come to the top of the hill…
Fireball Season Closes with Single Day of Racing
The domestic regatta season of the Irish Fireball Class closed in Dunmore East as it had opened in Carlingford in May, with a single day of racing. Race Officer Harry Gallagher had indicated as early as Friday morning that there…
Dragon Race Cancellation Leaves Byrne Fourth Overall in Cannes
The wind was not on the Dragon crews' side this Friday for the last and decisive rendez-vous. A light and flimsly air, not enough to have the boats moving, forced the Committee to calli it a day and send the…
Byrne has it all to Play for in Last Race of Regates Royales
The penultimate days racing at Regates Royales yesterday saw Irish Dargon Jaguar skppered by Martin Byrne battle it out with their nearest competitors at the top of the 59 boat Dragon fleet. A 6th for Jaguar, the one time regatta…
Russians Knock Byrne off Top Spot in Cannes
The Russians have bounced back at the Regatta Royales in Cannes today, knocking Dublin Skipper Martin Byrne off the top spot in the 58-boat Dragon fleet.  The Royal St. George Commodore sailing Jaguar had a disappointing second day but still…
Dubliner Byrne Leads Denmark's Prince Henrik at Régates Royales
Dragon Edinburgh Cup winner Martin Byrne's impressive international form continues this week at the helm of Jaguar. The Dublin sailor leads HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark for overall honours at the Régates Royales in Cannes, on the south of France.…
Weiser Wins Dragon Gold Cup
After three days of severe winds and mighty waves, the Derbigum Dragon Gold Cup Fleet went out early yesterday morning to sail two races. No Irish boats were racing in the 62-boat fleet. After the first start, the fleet cut…
Dunmore East is Venue For Final Fireball Fling of 2011
The Irish Fireball sailing regatta season, which has seen the hosting of the World Championships in June, in Sligo, draws to a close with the Munster Championships being sailed this weekend, 24/25th, in Dunmore East in the SE corner of…
Sharkbait Wins By a Single Point at SB3 National Championships
Top Race officer Jack Roy did a superb job getting a full schedule of three races in on Friday and three on Saturday at the SB3 sports boat National Championships that were hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Unfortunately…
Sharkbait Wins SB3 National Championship (Full Results Here)
After six races sailed and against a fleet of 39 SB3 sportsboats there was little surprise that champions 'Sharkbait' sailed by Ben Duncan, Brian Moran and Ric Morris were the winners of the National Championships sailed at the Royal Irish…
Penfold Wins J24 Euro Title in Last Race Decider
In ideal conditions – moderate to fresh south-easterly winds and sunshine – the BMW J/24 Europeans Championships concluded at Howth (Thursday 15th) with four back-to-back races to complete the full 10-race programme. PRIZEWINNERS PHOTOS BELOW Top of the table was…
Consistency Puts Two Boats Clear at BMW J/24 Europeans at Howth
The 42-boat fleet at the BMW J/24 European Championship at Howth Yacht Club faced a tough schedule of five back-to-back races on the third day of the regatta, sailed in ideal conditions. They made up for the weather-affected programme and…
Defending Champions Take First Race at BMW J/24 Europeans at Howth (PHOTOS)
After losing the first day’s racing to the weather, day two of the BMW J/24 European Championships at Howth today (Tuesday 13th) saw one race completed in fresh and gusty south-westerly winds and witnessed a win for the defending champions…
Greystones Lead Both Fleets in RS 200/400 Irish Nationals
Blustery conditions formed the backdrop to the Irish RS 200/400 National sailing championships, which took place in Cushendall this weekend. Greystones sailors Simon Herriott and Tom Moran led the RS400 class, while Roy Van Maanen and Glen Reid won top…

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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