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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
GP14 dinghies start a race at last year's Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
More than 100 boats have now entered for the GP14 dinghy World Championships at Skerries Sailing Club scheduled from July 24-29.  The International GP14 Committee in conjunction with the Skerries SC Worlds Organising Committee says it is in 'constant communication over…
Laser racing at Baltimore in West Cork
Irish Laser Association and Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork have decided that it will not be possible to hold the Munster's in compliance with current advice issued from HSE. It is not possible to run an event of this…
The National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy leads the Irish Radial Olympic Trials that will now be rescheduled following the cancellation of Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta
Qualification events that lead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are being greatly affected this week by the world Coronavirus crisis. The second of three Irish Olympic Laser Radial trials due to be sailed as part of the 2020 Trofeo Princesa…
Etchells racing in Melbourne
Royal Cork Yacht Club ex-pat Jamie McWilliam has finished ninth overall, just one place behind America's Cup legend John Bertrand at the 2020 Etchells Victoria Championships in Australia. Big boat sailor McWilliam, a regular visitor to Ireland in his Ker 40…
GP14 Number 2 pictured with GP14 Class President Curly Morris (left) and sailing journalist Matt Sheehan at the RYA Dinghy Show
To mark the 70th anniversary of the GP14 Class there will be a Classic fleet event within the overall World Championships in Skerries, County Dublin this summer. The recently restored GP14 Number 2 took pride of place at last weekend's RYA Dinghy Show in…
Sean Craig of the Royal St George will compete in Australia
Irish Laser dinghy action from Australia is not over yet this springtime. Following the successful completion of the first Olympic trial in the Radial in February, two Irish men are entered for the Laser Masters World Championships that runs from March…
Robert O'Leary with the  The Tammy Rubin-Rice Trophy awarded to the highest placing team in Bacardi Cup who did not win an award.
In spite of a scoresheet that features two race wins and four results from six in the top ten, such is the competition at the Star Class Bacardi Cup that sole Irish entry Peter and Robert O'Leary missed the podium…
Robert O’Leary on board the Irish Star named 'Archie'
Royal Cork Star sailing brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary scored their second bullet of the Bacardi Invitational Regatta in Miami, Florida and are now in striking distance of the podium, placed in third overall as they enter the last race…
Robert and Peter O'Leary are in the top ten of the Bacardi Cup in Miami
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Peter and Robert O'Leary are seventh overall after four races sailed at the 93rd Star Bacardi Cup in Miami, USA yesterday. The Cork Harbour duo scored an eighth in race four, their third top ten of the series so…
Royal Cork's Peter and Robert O'Leary on the Biscayne Bay race track
Royal Cork's Peter and Robert O'Leary, Ireland's sole entry in the lead the sixty-five boat Star Class fleet have slipped back to sixth overall after scoring 18th in race three at the halfway stage of the 93rd Bacardi Cup in…
Robert (left) and Peter O'Leary in race two of the Bacardi Cup on Biscayne Bay
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Peter and Robert O'Leary are third overall after two races sailed at the 93rd Star Bacardi Cup in Miami, USA yesterday.  On the second day, the sixty-five teams were greeted by warmer temperatures and a cloudy sky…
2022 Flying Fifteen European Championships to be Sailed at Cowes   
The Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club (CCYC) has been selected to host the 2022 Flying Fifteen European Championships in what will be the year of the 75th anniversary of the design of 1947. The championship will be held from 20 -…
Peter and Robert O'Leary in winning form in their Star boat 'Archie' in Miami
Cork Harbour brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary from Royal Cork Yacht Club have won the first race of the Star class Bacardi Cup Cup one on a typical Biscayne Bay day in Miami, USA. The annual Cup kicked off today with…
Four of the six Elites entered at Bangor Town Regatta are from Belfast Lough
The six RS Elites entered for Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough now warrant their own class and with three days of the early bird entry left, there is still time for more to join them at the bargain rate.…
The Star class Bacardi Cup begins on March 1
Cork Harbour sailors will be part of a record-breaking Bacardi Cup Regatta in Miami next week when more than 500 sailors from around the world will race in Biscayne Bay Florida at the 93rd edition of the Cup and Bacardi Invitational Regatta…
Bluebottle renovations by David Heritage
The British Dragon Association (BDA) is proud to announce that this year’s Edinburgh Cup fleet will include the famous International Dragon Bluebottle. Hosted by the Royal Forth Yacht Club (RFYC) from 30 June to 3 July 2020 Dragon sailors from…

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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