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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Tight racing in the biggest class of the Investwise Youth National Sailing Championships as as Toppers cross tacks at the Royal Cork Yacht Club hosted event
On Saturday, Royal Cork's own Rian Collins grip on the Topper fleet continued on the third day of racing at the Investwise Youth Sailing Nationals at Royal Cork Yacht Club. After seven races sailed, the host club ace extended his lead…
After three races sailed, Rian Collins, on four points, leads clubmate Dan O'Leary by an impressive ten points
Topper sailor Rian Collin of the host club leads the biggest fleet of the youth sailing national championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club. After three races sailed, Collins, on four points, leads clubmate Dan O'Leary by an impressive ten points. …
World Radial Youth Female champion Eve McMahon (on port) with Howth club mate Rocco Wright close in on a windward mark at the Investwise Radial Youth National Championships in Cork Harbour. Scroll down for photo gallery
Howth Yacht Club Laser Radial sailors share the top two places overall at the Investwise Youth Sailing Championships in Cork Harbour after six races sailed.  There was no surprise yesterday when the World Radial Youth Female champion Eve McMahon leapt…
Fleet leaders - Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson complete roll tack on day two of racing at the Investwise Youth National championships in Cork Harbour
Four straight wins for the Malahide and Wexford Harbour pairing of Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson means they overtake the overnight leaders Imogen Hauer and Hugo Micka in the 420 Class of the Investwise Youth Sailing National Championships at Royal…
Suspended - Tim Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge of the Royal Irish finished 11th at the 29er Europeans on Lake Garda earlier this week
After three races sailed in the 29er Skiff Class at the Investwise Youth Sailing Championships at Royal Cork, two of the Irish gold fleet finishers at the European Championships on Lake Garda in Italy on Wednesday continue neck and neck…
420 class fleet racing at the Investwise Youth Sailing Nationals
Malahide’s Imogen Hauer and Hugo Micka have a one point overnight lead in the first day of racing in a nine boat 420 class fleet at the Investwise Youth Sailing Championships on Cork Harbour. Lough Ree’s Eoghan Duffy with Conor…
ILCA 6/Radial racing on the Curlane Bank course of the Investwise youth sailing National Championships in Cork Harbour
No surprise that Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon established an early overall lead in the ILCA 6/Radial class at the Investwise Irish Youth Sailing National Championships on Cork Harbour today.  The 2021 Radial Youth World Champion took two first places…
The Cullaun USP - the lake is so small and perfectly formed that the hotshots can’t open out super-leads
The next event on the GP14 class calendar is the Munster Championships to be held at Cullaun Sailing Club in County Clare. As regular Afloat readers will know, the event should have been its first event back in April, but…
Newest boat in the oldest class – the 2017-built Orla (Mark FitzGibbon & Donal Gallagher) shows ahead at the South Rowan Buoy in the three-way sail-off for the Howth 17s' Studdart Cup on Bank Holiday Monday
The vintage Howth 17 Class have registered Annual General Meetings every year since 1898. But although 124 summers have passed since their first season of 1898 - which thereby counts as Year One and not Year Zero - they can…
29er Euro Champions Jens Christian and Jens Philip Dehn-Toftehoj of Denmark
Royal Irish's Tim Norwood and Nathan van Steenberge finished in 11th place overall at the 29er European Championships that ended on Lake Garda, Italy yesterday.  After a consistent preliminary round that saw them as high as fourth, Royal Cork's Ben O'Shaughnessy…
Racing at the 2021 29er European Championship on Lake Garda
After four races sailed in the final gold fleet races at the 29er European Championships in Lake Garda, Royal Irish Yacht Club's Tim Norwood and Nathan Van Steenberge are in seventh place overall.  Royal Cork's James Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy have dropped…
RS Aero Southern Championships winner Daragh Sheridan (left) and Greystones Sailing Club Commodore Barry Keogh
The RS Aero Southern Championships were run this weekend out of Greystones Sailing Club. This late-season event attracted 11 Aero entries, who sailed with the RS 200 and RS 400 fleet on a windward / leeward course under the watchful…
Royal Cork's James Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy are lying fourth at the 2021 29er European Championship on Lake Garda
Royal Cork's James Dwyer Matthews and Ben O'Shaughnessy continue to edge closer to the podium at the 29er European Championships in Lake Garda and are now just four points off the overall lead, sharing third place points overall after seven races…
GP 14 Hot Toddy at East Antrim Boat Club - Eighteen entered but some fell foul of the weather
The annual East Antrim Boat Club's Hot Toddy GP 14 meet was back last weekend after Lockdown, albeit with a vengeance. Thirty-five-knot winds and a nasty chop on Larne Lough on the east coast of County Antrim on Saturday played…
A race start at the 2021 29er European Championship on Lake Garda
Ireland is moving up the scoreboard in the 29er European Championships in Lake Garda with Royal Irish Yacht Club's Tim Norwood and Nathan Van Steenberge earning two race wins to jump from 25th to fifth overall. The Dun Laoghaire Harbour duo…
J109 yacht Jelly Baby from the Royal Cork Yacht Club on the rocks at the entrance to Cork Harbour
All crew are reported safe, but a top racing yacht of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is on the rocks at Cork Harbour after a Mayday emergency incident on the final day of racing in the Club's Autumn League. After…

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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