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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
 Luke Johnson and Eoin Leahy hold the North Shannon Yacht Club Burgee following winning the Portlick Cup.
SB20 sailors Luke Johnson and Eoin Leahy were winners of the North Shannon Yacht Club Regatta's Portlick Cup sailed at the weekend. The North Shannon Regatta normally hosted further north on the river being sailed in the waters to the…
September Dragon Class Racing at Kinsale Yacht Club
After some disappointing cancellations for the Dragon class this season at Kinsale Yacht Club, local Dragon racing made a welcome return to the West Cork harbour at the weekend. As regular readers will know both the International Dragon Gold Gup…
Noel Butler with his NYC 150th medal and Leinster Trophy at the DMYC
It was a lively day of racing for Fireballs during the NYC 150th Race Day today at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. While the class was dismayed to hear that racing would be confined to the harbour the wind gods smiled on…
Always in the cut and thrust of it, even after 114 years. Vincent Delany’s veteran Water Wag Pansy (no 3) is well able to mix it with much newer boats, and last night (Wednesday) she became the first medal-winner in the National YC’s 150th Anniversary Regatta
The 1906-built Dublin Bay Water Wag Pansy has been in the ownership of the Delany family since 1939. But while she has won many trophies, the absence of medals as prizes in local One Design racing has meant that winning…
Ronan Beirne (left) and David Mulvin sailing Flying Fifteen 4068, "Ignis Caput II
A year ago, the Irish Flying Fifteen community was gearing itself up for the Subaru World Championships in Dun Laoghaire Harbour when a 72-boat fleet contested the Championships in what was considered, post-event, to have been a very successful regatta.…
11-boats contested the National 18 Southern Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club. See slideshow below
Alex Barry, Sandy Rimmington and Richard Leonard sailing Aquadisiacs were the overall winners of an 11-boat National 18 Southern Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club last weekend. The Royal Cork/Monkstown Bay trio won by a margin of three points over…
The Puppeteer Nationals at Howth find that summer has returned of their second day of racing at the weekend. The new champion Shiggy Shiggy (foreground) is the prototype of the class, designed and built by Chris Boyd in 1978, and completely restored during the past two years by Laser and SB20 ace Paul McMahon
Although the Puppeteer 22 first appeared from Chris Boyd of Killyleagh on Strangford Lough in 1978, it was 1983 by the time some keen-to-upsize Squib sailors in Howth saw the potential of this user-friendly little sloop, with her sparse but…
420 Connaughts 2020 at Lough Ree - preparing to launch on Sunday morning
Following hot on the heels of the Irish 420 National Championships held in Dunmore East the Connaught Championships were held last weekend at Lough Ree Yacht Club as part of the clubs Double Ree regatta celebrating double-handed youth sailing. The…
Robert O'Leary's Dutch Gold crew are  1720 Southern Champions
Robert O'Leary's Dutch Gold Baltimore Sailing Club crew add the AIB Southern Championship title to their 1720 sportsboat trophy haul after an emphatic six-point win at Cork Harbour today.  O'Leary counted a tally of eight results inside the top four…
Overall leader - Robert O'Leary's Dutch Gold crew are five points clear at the top in the 1720 Southern Championships sponsored by AIB. Scroll down for photo gallery
The overnight AIB 1720 Southern championships leader Robert O'Leary has built a five-point winning margin after five more races were sailed today at the Royal Cork Yacht Club hosted event.  The Baltimore Sailing Club crew sailing 'Dutch Gold' are putting in…
Dan O'Grady's Wet 'N'Black from Howth Yacht Club  in the windy conditions that prevailed on Day One of the 1720 Southern Championships off Roches Point
It's very tight at the top of the 14-boat fleet after a breezy first day of the AIB 1720 Southern Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club yesterday. Two races were sailed outside Cork Harbour to the South West of Roches Point…
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
Flying Fifteen International has announced Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in the UK, has been selected as the venue for the 2023 FFI World Championship to be sailed between 12 - 25 August 2023. The Weymouth and Portland National…
Getting their strength back. In yesterday’s pet evening at the end of a classic ridge day, the Dublin Bay Water Wags had their best turnout so far in this shortened season, with 25 boats lining up for two races
When the Dublin Bay Water Wags started racing 133 years ago in 1887, every boat had a Spinnaker Guy, and a vital role he played too in dealing with the eternal contest with Tidal Eddy. So far, however, there’s no…
The Connemara Flying Fifteens race on Friday evenings
A rejuvenated Flying Fifteen fleet in Connemara, County Galway is boasting one of the largest fleets in the country with up to 27 actively club racing.  Sailing takes place in clear blue seas and lovely scenery in Casla Bay from…
1st Place Gold - Ben Graf and Alexander Farrell Lough Ree Yacht Club
The Irish 420 Sailing Championships for 2020 were hosted by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East last weekend with sponsorship by McConnell’s Toyota Waterford. Storm Ellen provided lively weather conditions on Friday with the Race Officer Michael Tyrrell not…
15 Flying Fifteens contested the 2020 National Championships at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club
John Lavery marked his return to the Flying Fifteen Class after a five-year hiatus by clinching the Irish title at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club today.  Sailing with Alan Green, the National Yacht Club duo took two wins from four races…

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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