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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
SB3 Open Day Attracted Over 30 Sailors
SB3 Class captain Justin Burke admits he's not sure how to measure the success or otherwise of last weekend's Open Day but he is sure everyone enjoyed themselves. "We had 31 people that sailed, got fed and watered and got…
Fireballs Gear up for Worlds with New Video
The Fireball World Championships come to Sligo Yacht Club next June and the West Coast club has been gearing up for what looks certain to be the biggest dinghy event here in 2011. Have a look at this short web…
Crotty Stays on Top in 1720s
The sun may have been missing from the scene this morning at Crosshaven and the skies may have been dark and overcast but the wind was blowing, the buzz was very definitly in the the air and the spring was…
Czech Event Superb - Fireball Europeans Review
Forty-nine Fireballs gathered in Pavlov in the SE corner of the Czech Republic in the last week of September to contest the Fireball Europeans. Nine countries were represented – eight European and one African and some of the newest Fireballs…
Donnelly Wins Dun Laoghaire End of Season Oppy Event
At the weekend's end of season Optimist dinghy class Championships (aka the Gorman Trophy) held at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire local helmsman Sean Donnelly was a popular win in a fleet of 66 boats. Second was Sean…
SB3 'Open Day' Concept Goes National
What started out as local recruitment drive on Dublin Bay has widened with interest now reported nationwide for next weekend's Dun Laoghaire SB3 Open Day. Sailors are coming from Howth, Galway and Northern Ireland for test sails at the National…
National YC to Stage 2011 Flying 15 National Championships
Dun Laoghaire's National Yacht Club will host the Flying Fifteen class Championship of Ireland in 2011. The event will run from June Friday June 17th to Sunday 19th.
Smyth and Bradley 17th at Fireball Euros
As predicted the wind Gods had nothing to offer the Fireball fleet assembled in Pavlov, Czech Republic for their Class Europeans on the final day of sailing last Friday. They waited until the cut-off of 13:50 local time but nothing…
1720s Ready for Cork Harbour October Contest
Ten 1720s will contest Sunday's first race of Royal Cork's October league in force. The 2010 league marks the return of these sports boat to Cork Harbour but it comes at the expense of the club's three Commodore's cup boats…
Ireland Stay in Top 20 at Fireball Europeans
Day three of the Fireball Europeans in the Czech Republic saw three races completed in a relatively steady 16 - 18 knots sailing writes Cormac Bradley. Yet again British combinations cleaned up with Jeffcoate/Thompson taking two wins to Gillard/Brearey's one.…
Olympic Effort Did Not Shift McCarthy and Davis
Eagle eyed observers will most definitely have spotted Beijing Double Olympic race winner Gerald 'Gerbil' Owens is racing GP14s these days; a newsworthy point that escaped an earlier report about last weekend's event. Here's a more detailed Leinsters 2010 Event Report…
Martin and Murray Continue Flying Form
Strangford Lough sailors maintained their grip at the top of the Irish Flying Fifteen fleet in the last event of the season. National champions Darren Martin and Simon Murray were the winners of the five race light air series on…
MacCarty/Davis Win GP14 Leinsters
The GP14 Leinster Championship was held in Skerries Sailing Club over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of September, with a great turnout of 40 boats. As usual the members of SSC pulled out all the stops to ensure…
Smyth and Bradley Lie 15th at Fireball Euros
Two races were completed today in the Fireball European Championships writes sole Irish sailing competitor Cormac Bradley. Conditions started cold and blustery in in the Czech Republic. The day got warmer but the breeze eased off as the temperature rose.…
Smyth and Bradley Ready for Fireball Europeans
Pavlov, SE Czech Republic 18:48 local time. Flags of at least 8 Nations fly from the Yacht Club Dyje - GBR, IRL, CZE, SLO, BEL, GER, SUI, FRA are here in varying numbers, the Czechs having the biggest contingent writes…
Big FF Turnout in Carlingford
Strong tides, light winds and a fleet of 34 boats produced an end of season finale for the Flying fifteen class on Carlingford Lough this afternoon. The fleet drawn from Strangford Lough, Carrickfergus, Dunmore East, Dun Laoghaire as well as…

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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