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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
McGrotty and Grimes Win Fireball Ulster Title
Considering there were only two entries in the Inbox of Ballyholme Yacht Club a week before the regatta, the turnout of 19 boats over the weekend of the Fireball Ulster Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club was quite a turnaround writes…
McKee and Smyth Lead Irish hopes at Flying Fifteen Worlds
Brian McKee and Ian Smyth lead Irish hopes after five races sailed at the Flying Fifteen World championships at Hayling Island Sailing Club this morning. The Strangford Lough pair have had a consistent string of results in a mainly patchy…
Goacher and Evans are Flying 15 UK National Champions
After several hours of waiting and one race start for the gold fleet, which was abandoned before they reached the windward mark. PRO Roger Palmer signalled the end of racing and the British Championship was officially over. An anticlimactic end…
Successful Debut for the RS100 and RS Feva in Italy
The first Eurosaf Freestyle Championship in RS Feva's and RS 100s took place at Brenzone (Verona) on July 16th and 17th at Lake Garda. The debut event in Italy was created with the aim of being spectacular for the sailors…
Flying Fifteens Stormbound Since Saturday
Ashore since Saturday, over 100 Flying fifteen sailors are waiting to see this morning if westerly gales at Hayling island have abated to allow the first race of the Flying fifteen British National Championships, a pre-cursor to Thursday's World championships.…
Royal St. George Trio Win Dragon Edinburgh Cup
Royal St. George Commodore Martin Byrne lifted the Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Abersoch, North Wales tonight after a three way last battle for victory went the Dun Laoghaire crew's way in emphatic style. The current Irish champions won the pivotal…
Ireland Well Represented at Hayling Island Flying Fifteen Worlds
It's been around for more than 50 years but enthusiasim for sailing's Flying 15 keelboat continues to grow. This weekend will see the start of two weeks of intense competition with the British National and the 18th running of the…
Byrne Lies One Point off Lead as Last Race to be Edinburgh Cup Decider
After today's fifth race Mikhail Muratov and Klaus Diederichs (with Peter O'Leary and David Burrows crewing) are tied on 16 points for the lead at the 2011 Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management. Dun Laoghaire Combination of Martin Byrne…
Collision Costs Byrne but Sorensen Improves at Dragon Edinburgh Cup
Royal St. George Commodore Martin Byrne's day got off to a tricky start on the second day of the 2011 Dragon Edinburgh Cup yesterday when he and his crew Pedro Andrade and Adam Winkelmann found themselves close to colliding with…
Byrne Second, O'Leary and Burrows third at Dragon Edinburgh Cup
Irish crews are to the fore - inlcuding a new crew combination at the Dragon Edinburgh cup – the British national championships – in Abersoch this week. Irish National champion (and Royal St.George YC Commodore) Martin Byrne lies second overall…
McCann Ends Optimist Europeans in Eighth
Leader of the Optimist dinghy Europeans at the half way stage, Peter McCann of Royal Cork Yacht Club has ended the 12 races series at Tavira, Portugal  in eighth place overall yesterday.  The top Irish youngster had a disappointing second…
McCann Leads Optimist Europeans
After six races sailed at the Optimist European Championships in Tavira, Portugal, Royal Cork's Peter McCann leads the fleet after posting three top six finishes and discarding a 44th yesterday. The great effort by the Crosshaven youth sailor may yet…
Ruigrock, Murphy, Guilfoyle and Flannigan Sail to Laser Glory on Dublin Bay
In his first event sailing in the full rig boat Rush Sailing Club's Alan Ruigrock won the Laser Leinster Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club yesterday in some of the finest sailing conditions of the summer so far.…
Harlequin takes Volvo Puppeteer Nationals title
The Volvo Puppeteer National Championships, sponsored by H.B. Dennis Airside and sailed at Howth Yacht Club over the weekend, had an exciting finish, with bookies’ favourite Dave Clarke in ‘Harlequin’ snatching first place on the last day with emphatic wins…
Competitive fleet for Volvo Puppeteer Nationals
At least 20 boats are expected to race this weekend in a highly competitive 3-day Volvo Puppeteer National Championship at Howth Yacht Club sponsored by H.B. Dennis Airside. In the absence of the 2010 champion Garret May and with at…
Sharkbait Wins SB3 Western Champs
Howth's Ben Duncan and the crew of Sharkbait were the winners of the SB3 Western championships on Galway bay. The weather gods delivered some rip roaring racing with 25 boats taking to the race course in conditions varying from 15kt…

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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