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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Kearney and Odell Crowned Mirror European Dinghy Champions
Racing was cancelled on the final day of the Mirror European Championships in Sligo yesterday so Thursday's overall result stood and the European trophy came home to Ireland. Ross Kearney and Max Odell from Belfast Lough were crowned European Champions 2010…
Royal Cork 1, 2 and 3 at Optimist Nationals
Two more races were sailed today at the Optimist National Championships in Waterford Harbour Sailing Club but a third race did not happen due to combination of strong winds and poor visibility. Royal Cork Yacht Club are dominating the top positions…
Irish Pair Have Unassailable Lead at Mirror Europeans in Sligo
Royal North's Ross Kearney and Max Odell have a streak of wins after seven races in the Mirror European championships in Sligo this week. The Belfast Lough pairing count 3,1,1,1,3,1,1, to be some 32 nett point ahead of the UK's…
The fifth 'Nora Barnacle Challenge' Sets Sail this Friday
The fifth "Nora Barnacle Challenge" takes place this year on Friday 20th August 2010 at 4p.m. in Dublin Bay. The event is a charity yacht race sailed in 11 Sigma 33 boats. The purpose of the race is to raise…
Mirror Euro Pics HERE!
Photographer Gareth Craig has loaded new images from the Mirror European dinghy championships in Sligo to the Afloat gallery. Click HERE.
Royal Cork's Peter McCann Takes Early Lead at Oppy Nationals
The 3 sponsored Irish Optimist Nationals got underway today in Dunmore East in County Waterford. A total of 234 boats raced two races in light to moderate North West breezes, remaining steady for the day. Provisional results after 2 races:…
Australia's Peter McNeill takes Irish Etchells title at Howth
The Irish Etchells Championships at Howth - sponsored by Euro Car Parks - was limited to a single race of just two legs on the second day due to lack of wind, with the leader after the first three races,…
Mulligan Stays on as Flying Fifteen President, New Venues Planed for 2011
Ben Mulligan has been relected as Flying fifteen President for another term at the recent annual general meeting of the class. Colin Dougan. A number of  new fixtures were proposed for the 2011 season including Larne, County Antrim YC (Whitehead),…
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…

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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