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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Browne Takes Oppy Munsters on Home Waters (Photos here)
27 knots was never going to stop Sophie Browne and  the brave sailors of the Irish Optimist class at Tralee Bay Sailing Club, Fenit, Co.Kerry. The fleet was in town for the Optimist Munster Championships and the local girl proved…
Burge and Wagstaff Take World Fireball Title in Sligo
From a wet and windy Fireball World Championships in Sligo, where another four races were sailed in a building SE wind, it became a case of the fittest having the most fun on the water. Granted there was a World…
New Leaders at the Fireball Worlds
There has been a change in the overall lead of the Fireball Worlds in Sligo after three races today writes Cormac Bradley. The leaders now are Tom Gillard and Sam Brearety. The overall results after five races are below. Day…
Countback needed to decide J24 Western Championship
Irish J24 Champion Flor O'Driscoll and his crew on 'Hard on Port' won the first J24 regional event of the season – the Western Championship at Lough Ree Yacht Club – last weekend but not with his usual margin of…
Hard Working Sligo YC Aim for Four Races on Thursday
As another day at the Fireball World Championships is lost to the weather, the plan now is to stage four races on Thursday writes Cormac Bradley.  Today's racing in Sligo has not taken the regatta any further forward in terms…
Drizzle and Grey Skies in Sligo
Early signs from Sligo this morning indicate it may be another non-sailing day at the Fireball World Championships. Currently there's no wind on Sligo Bay and a heavy drizzle. The forecast only 3knots from the north-west. It's frustrating for the…
No Wind Forces Race Abandonment in Sligo
Day 2 of the Fireball Worlds dawned sunny! However, the discussions of Sunday evening and this morning were of the forecast for the next few days writes Cormac Bradley. XCW was predicting 5 – 8 knots ESE, in stark contrast…
Burge and Wagstaff Lead Fireball Worlds
Daily Report: Day 1 Fireball Worlds: The saying goes that a difficult day on the race course still beats a great day at the office and on a day when the sun shone and the wind provided everyone with a…
White Mischief Wins Sigma 33 Title Again
Tim Goodbody and his crew on White Mischief from the Royal Irish in Dun Laoghaire won the Irish and Sigma 33 Class titles in Bangor at the weekend. The Silver Fleet prize went to another Dublin Bay boat, Dermot Clarke…
Gorman and Doorly Lift Flying Fifteen Title on Home Waters
Dublin Bay racers David Gorman and Chris Doorly have been crowned Flying Fifteen national champions tonight at the National Yacht Club after a seven race series on home waters. The Dubliners hled off a strong challenge from Northern Ireland pairings…
Who will Win the Fireball Worlds?
With just hours to go until the first race of the 2011 Fireball Worlds, hosted by Sligo Yacht Club and the Irish Fireball Class Association, Cormac Bradley speculates on the riders and runners for this regatta. However, unlike most other…
Lack of Wind, Strong Tide Brings End to International Week
DAY 4: An early halt to Fireball International Week was called when Mother Nature was unable to provide enough wind power to let the fleet go afloat. In essence we had a tide of maybe four knots going one way…
Lumpy Day Three at Fireball Pre-Worlds
DAILY REPORT: Day 3 saw the race team take the International Week Fireball fleet outside Sligo's famous lighthouse and into the Atlantic proper. The result was lumpy seas that make the upwind legs awkward and hard work for crew and…
Sigma 33s Bound for Belfast Lough
The Sigma 33 Irish Championships take place at Royal Ulster Yacht Club this weekend with the fleet based in Bangor Marina. The event, sponsored by Hamilton Shipping, has already attracted yachts from Scotland, Dublin Bay, Isle of Man and Strangford…
McCann Wins Ulster Oppy Title
Last weekend (11/12th June) saw the Optimist Ulster Championships return to Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club after a three year gap. The weather, always so critical in sailing events, did its usual trick of throwing everything possible at the…
France Gets SB3 Worlds in 2013
Irish SB3 crews not going to the 2012 worlds in Australia won't have too far to travel in 2013. COYCH, Hyeres, France has been chosen as the venue for the 2013 Laser SB3 World Championships which will be held in…

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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