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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Irish Oppys Head for Dunmore East
The Irish Optimist Irish National Championships take place next week at Dunmore East in Co. Waterford from 17th - 21st August. Below at the launch of the event  at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club were  (left to right) Anna Potterton (WHSC)…
Dan Gill Becomes Youngest Ever GP Youth Champion
The GP14 Youth Championship 2010 was held at Sligo Yacht Club on Saturday 24th & 25th July in fresh Force 3 to 4 westerly winds with young sailors from six different clubs vying for honours. Senior sailors within the fleet…
Local Win for Sligo's Niall Henry and James Conlon in GP14s Summer Open
Sligo Yacht Club hosted the GP 14 Summer Open and Irish Youth Championships at Rosses Point on the 24th and 25th July. 26 boats lined up at the start. Gus Henry, himself a GP 14 sailor can always be relied…
O'Driscoll Domination of J24 Fleet Continues
The stranglehold that Flor O'Driscoll and his crew on 'Hard on Port' from the Royal St.George Yacht Club seem to have on the Irish J/24 Class was maintained with yet another win, this time the Northern Championships hosted by Lough…
International Dimension to Etchells Nationals
There is a distinctly international flavour to this year's Etchells National Championships sponsored by Euro Car Parks at Howth Yacht Club next weekend (August 14th & 15th), which is hardly surprising with the World Championships taking place at the same…
Martin and Murray are Overnight Leaders at Flying Fifteen National Championships
At the Irish Flying fifteen National Championships on Belfast Lough today Darren Martin and Simon Murray lead but only on tie break after four tight races off Carrickfergus. Dun Laoghaire pairing John Lavery and David O'Brien are second but both…
1720s make Calves Week Comeback
With over 60 confirmed entries at present, the 2010 Calves Week in Schull is expected to top the 80 boat mark for the annual West Cork festival of sailing. The week long sailing event is once again supported by the…
Butler and McCarthy Dominate Fireball Leinsters in Howth
Noel Butler and Shane McCarthy lived up to their pre-event billing as favourites for the Fireball Leinster Championship at Howth YC this weekend. The National Champions ended up eight points clear in the 20 boat sailing fleet. The southside pairing…
Entry Open for Fireball Europeans? Czech.
The Czech Fireball fleet are accepting registration for the Fireball Europeans, held at the end of September in the Czech Republic. The sailing event will take place on the Nové Mlýny lake, a large reservoir near Brno. The event website…
Maguire/Boyle take GP14 Ulsters Title
Nearly thirty GP14 teams turned out to enjoy the Ulsters and Masters Championship of Ireland at Donaghadee Sailing Club on the 26th and 27th June 2010. The event sponsor was Ards Tourism, and officer of the day Jimmy McKee set the…
Fowler & Team Lazarus take Weir & Sons Match Race Open
Andrew Fowler and Team Lazarus won the Weir & Sons Leinster Match Racing Open held by the Royal Irish Yacht Club over the weekend, the second event win in a row for the Royal St George sailor. Mixed weather conditions…
Butler & McCarthy Take Season Opener
The Irish Fireball fleet, minus those boats in transit from Barbados, descended on Killaloe at the southern end of Lough Derg for the season-opening regatta, the Open Sailing Championships. Hosted by the Killaloe Sailing Club for the first time in…
Fireball title decided one day out
With the Fireball title race over, Irish teams now concentrate on the final races and improving their overall standing. But the moniker of World Champion is already gone. Cormac Bradley sends us another missive from the sandy shores of Bridgetown…
Fireball Worlds update: Postcard from Barbados
Irish Fireball sailor Frank Miller writes from the beach in Barbados where 70 fireballs are battling each other and some Caribbean sunshine for their world championships. "Greetings from Barbados," starts Frank "it’s pretty rough out here" Well, only kidding. We’re…
Irish Fireballs slip further in Barbados
Chips Howarth and Viv Townend continue to build what looks like an insurmountable lead sailing at the Fireball World Championships, notching up two further wins in yesterday's light airs. Their scoreline now reads 1-3-3-1-1-1, putting them 11 points clear at…
Townend/Howarth dominate Fireball worlds
Serial world champions Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend (GBR) continue to lead the 2010 Fireball Worlds after day two of sailing in Barbados. The pair have already counted a hat-trick of Fireball World Championships, winning the title in 2003, 2005…

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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