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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Dan McGaughey
Preparations are well underway for the Laser Radial Youth European Championships to be held at Ballyholme Yacht Club this summer from 5th to 11th July 2020. Over 200 applications have been received from across the world already - although this…
Mermaid dinghy sailing in Cork Harbour at the 2019 National Championships
It is with great honour and privilege that after seven years of volunteering on the committee of the Mermaid Sailing Association (MSA), I now move into my two-year term as President.The Mermaids are a class very close to my heart,…
Annalise Murphy takes Sonia O’Sullivan for a spin in her Laser Radial in the waters off Melbourne
In her latest column for The Irish Times, athletics great Sonia O’Sullivan meets the four women in contention for Ireland’s sole Laser Radial spot at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. After frustrations in her attempt to qualify in…
GP14s will race in Howth on April 4 in their first event of 2020
The GP14 dinghy season kicks off in Howth Yacht Club on April 4/5 with a revised format O’Tiarnaigh Challenge. The GP14 Committee are anticipating a big turnout for a couple of reasons. Firstly, its an opportunity to for an early…
A Flying Fifteen race at Morgat, France
The 2020 Flying Fifteen European Championship will be held in conjunction with the Flying Fifteen National Championship of France. This next major event for the international class follows the successful staging of last year's Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships on…
Tadhg O'Loingsigh and the crew of Janx Spirit – Reigning U25 Irish J/24 Champions
The Irish J/24 Fleet has answered the call from ICRA to offer 25% discount on entry fees for all U25 squads entering J/24 Events in 2020. Without hesitation, J/24 event hosts, Carrickfergus Sailing Club, Sligo Yacht Club, Foynes Yacht Club…
Squibs will race on Tuesdays this season with DBSC
This week the Dublin Bay Squib one-design keelboat fleet held their Annual General Meeting this week. Outgoing Captain Noel Colclough confirmed that the had negotiated new racing arrangements with Dublin Bay Sailing Club and Squibs will race on Tuesday evenings with…
Three of the six sailors that braved the storm. Left to right- Article author Chris Bateman, Arthur O'Connor, Robin Bateman. Out of picture- Barry O'Connor, James Long, Ronan Kenneally.
On Saturday 8th of February, a handful of Cork sailing fanatics converged on the Sandquay, to race the fourth day of the 2020 Monkstown Laser Frostbite league in Cork Harbour. The morning dawned with a black, rainy sky blanketing the…
Junior sailing at the National Yacht Club
Only a handful of spots remain for youth sailors in spring training programmes for Optimist, Topper and RS Feva sailors organised by the National Yacht Club for the 2020 season. Spring training for Oppys runs for five Sunday afternoons beginning on…
Team Bád at Cascais last month in the latest Winter Series event
SB20 Ireland president John Malone offered his congratulations to team Bád — Stefan Hyde, Jerry Dowling and Jimmy Dowling — who travelled to Cascais for last month’s Winter Series event, competing against 40 boats from 10 nations. Two more weekend…
Coaching in the Fireball class — one of the eligible classes in receipt of the 2019 coaching grant
Irish Sailing’s Class Coaching Grant for 2020 is now open for applications. The grant allows sailing classes to apply for €400 for approved Irish Sailing coaches and €200 for non-approved coaches. Currently approved coaches are displayed on the Irish Sailing…
The RS Elite fleet in Cowes
The RS Elite Association is pleased to announce Brewin Dolphin as the Headline Sponsor for the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix, to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes from 9th to 12th July 2020. The event…
Rocco Wright (Silver), Alessandro Cortes (Gold) and Lisa Vucceti (bronze and First Girl) on the podium after the Euromarina Optimist Trophy series in Alicante.
Rocco Wright (13) of Howth Yacht Club is Sailor of the Month (Junior) for January after twice taking silver in major Optimist regattas in both the southern and northern hemispheres. Early in the month in Sail Melbourne 2020 in Australia…
Sailors in shot (left to right) Chris Bateman, James Long, Paul O'Sullivan, Brendan Dwyer, Fionn Lyden
It was February 1st, and the hardy band of Cork Harbour Laser sailors regrouped for day three of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, in beautiful racing conditions.  A low sun arose over Cork Harbour in the early hours of the…
Squib sailing in Kinsale Harbour
The 2020 UK Squib National Championships come to Ireland once every five years and this summer Kinsale Yacht Club is hosting the event.  The event takes place from 21st to 26th June in one of the most scenic parts of…
Scroll to 40 seconds in the video below to see a high speed 420 capsize on Lough Ree
Lough Ree Yacht Club junior sailors were out in force this morning with gusts of up to 30-knots writes Garret Leech. Note the fine wipeout at 40 seconds into the video below! No children were harmed during the making of…

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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