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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
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…
Height and Weight, Not the Only Way to Sail Fireballs
Fireball pre-worlds Day Two: The committee boat recorded winds for most of the day around the 18/19 knot mark from the SE. However, on the way out to the start it was blowing in excess of 20 knots and during…
Mansfield Returns to 1720s With a Title Win
After a break of five years, former class European champion Mark Mansfield returned to the 1720 class at the weekend and won the CH Marine sponsored national championships in Cork Harbour from a fleet of 14 boats. The last race…
Fireballs Start International Week
The grey skies above Sligo this morning will not deter the Fireballs who will start this year's International Week preamble to the Class World Championship hosted by Sligo Yacht Club at Rosses Point writes our Fireball Correspondent.In a sad note…
Fireball World Champs Makes the News
Monday's Fireball World Sailing Championships got a publicity lift last night when the 58–dinghy sailing event bound for Rosses Point in Sligo made the RTE News bulletin. (See clip below). It's an interesting piece about how a local sailing family,…
Strangford Trio Win SB3 Southern Champs
Former Olympic sailor, Laser, Flying Fifteen and Squib champ Peter Kennedy from Strangford Lough produced an overall win in the weekend's SB3 Southern Championships at Tralee Bay Sailing Club. Only 16 boats travelled to Europe's most westerly port for the…
Gilmore Wins Topper Ulsters Sailing Championships
Strangford's Laura Gilmore won this weekend's Topper Ulsters sailing championships, which was hosted by Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club. Scroll down for event photos. Fifty boats took part in the two-day provincial sailing championships, with six races taking place over…
Kinsale Trio Take Dragon East Coasts
A strong, unstable and blustery airflow produced exciting, and at times marginal racing conditions at the week end for the East Coast Dragon Championship hosted by the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Despite Race Officer Jack Roy's skill and patience only…
Hyland Wins Leinster Optimist Championships
Dublin Bay local Adam Hyland has won the Optimist Leinster Championships on home waters this afternoon in blustery conditions that saw the series completed in the comparative shelter of Scotsman's bay in the lee of Dun Laoghaire's East pier as…
Fireball Worlds Sligo, Two weeks and Counting!
The Fireball Worlds are now only two weeks away! The regatta officials have been announced! A title sponsor has been secured! New boats are in the final stages of preparation and new sailing combinations have been honing their skills and…
40 Knot Gusts Force Postponement of Leinster RS Feva Championships
The RS Feva Leinster Championships taking place at Howth Yacht Club were postponed today following gusts of over 40-knots in the race area. Today's sailing schedule was initially postponed before the championship was scrubbed at lunch time. The hope is…

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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