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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
RS Aeros dominated the opening races of the PY division of the DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
In his RS Aero, Brendan Foley made a clean sweep of the first PY races of the Viking Marine Frostbite Series 2021-22 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday afternoon.  After a break in 2020, the country's longest-running winter dinghy racing resumed on…
Flying Fifteen Frostbite winners at Dun Laoghaire Harbour: (from left to right) Joe Hickey crew of winning  boat, Peter Sherry Vice Commodore National YC, David Mulvin, Class Secretary, Ken Dumpleton, winner receiving the day prize envelope from event PRO Keith Poole
Ken Dumpleton and Joe Hickey of the host club were winners of the five-week-long Flying Fifteen Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. As Afloat reported previously, sixteen boats are entered, with an average of 11 competing each weekend. Dumpleton and…
Racing at the ILCA7 (Laser Standard) World Championships was again postponed on Sunday 7th November 2021 due to light winds in Barcelona leaving just two races sailed out of the six originally scheduled for the series that began on Friday.…
Nastro Rosa Veloce -  The Round Italy Mixed double crew race starts in front of San Marco Square in Venice
County Wicklow offshore sailor Pamela Lee from Greystones Harbour is competing in this weekend's newest Italian yachting fixture, the 'Nastro Rosa Veloce', billed as the longest, non-stop race in the Mediterranean. Scheduled to start yesterday in Venice, the race was…
Finn Lynch is lying fifth overall after the first two qualifying rounds of the Laser Worlds in Spain
The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is lying fifth overall after a flying light air start to his ILCA7 Laser world championships campaign in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday. The Rio 2016 Olympian placed third and sixth in the two qualification rounds…
Sixteen Flying Fifteens have been competing for Frostbite honours at Dun Laoghaire harbour
This weekend sees the conclusion of the five-week-long Flying Fifteen Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Sixteen boats are entered, with an average of 11 competing each weekend. PRO Keith Poole and his race team have provided great courses and…
No wind in Barcelona for the Laser Worlds first races today
There was no wind or racing for day one of the Laser / ILCA 7 Worlds in Barcelona, Spain today.  A four-boat Irish team, (details here) including 2016 Rio Olympian Finn Lynch, is hoping to break into the top 30…
Micky Beckett is racing fresh from his Euros win in Bulgaria in October
The British Sailing Team have a strong Laser/ILCA 7 squad and have the last three European champions competing at the 2021 Laser /ILCA Standard Men's World Championship (ILCA 7)at the Barcelona International Sailing Centre starting on Friday. Micky Beckett is racing…
Young Rian Collins of Royal Cork YC has been cutting a swathe through Irish Topper racing in 2021, maintaining the special reputation of an extended family long associated with Crosshaven sailing and success. He concluded his campaigning on a high…
The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch was Ireland’s youngest Olympic helmsman when he competed at the Rio Games in 2016 at the age of 20 and, after missing out on Tokyo, is seeking a second Olympics at Paris 2024
Since the Laser/ILCA 7 dinghy made its Olympic debut 25 years ago, Ireland has sought a top 30 result at the annual World Championships. There's the prospect of such a result at the Barcelona-hosted championship next week thanks to the current…
Royal Western October Series racing
The Shannon Estuary's RWYCI October Series concluded this weekend on the 30th of October. The series had scheduled races over the first four Sundays and the final Saturday in October. Racing was cancelled due to bad weather on the first…
On yer ear - Some of the Cape 31 were knocked over in gale-force winds
October had a sting its tail and the only real breeze of the month knocked over some of the fleet of Cape 31s in the Hamble, on the UK south coast. The fledgeling carbon fleet – that stole the show…
The Topper was the biggest class with 38 boats at the Investwise Youth Sailing Championships in Cork Harbour
The cut short Investwise Irish Youth Sailing National Championships on Cork Harbour had produced some clear winners in five classes regardless of today's Yellow Alert weather warning at Royal Cork Yacht Club. Five titles were divided between Dublin and Cork sailors…
Malahide and Wexford Harbour duo of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson continued their overall lead of the 420 class at the Investwise Youth Sailing National Championships at Cork Harbour. Counting four race wins on the opening day of the championships,…
Ben O'Shaughnessy on the helm and James Dwyer on the wire lead the 29er Investwise Youth Nationals at Royal Cork Yacht Club
James Dwyer and Ben O'Shaughnessy of the RCYC continue to lead the 29er skiff class Investwise youth sailing nationals but only by a single point from Royal Irish rivals Tim Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge.  After nine races sailed at Crosshaven, the three…
After a disqualification, Howth's Eve McMahon is back  at the top of the Radial fleet at the Investwise Youth National Championships at Royal Cork
Not even a race disqualification can stop the march of Youth World Radial champion Eve McMahon at Royal Cork Yacht Club.  The Under 18 star from Howth Yacht Club heads a mixed fleet of 30 boys and girls racing for…

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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