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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Topper Traveller Series at Ballyholme Yacht Club
In what is understood to be the first open event in Northern Ireland this year, 41 Toppers including two from Dublin Bay, raced at Ballyholme YC on Belfast Lough yesterday (22nd August) for what turned out to be a lively…
Dragon racing off Kinsale
Kinsale Yacht Club has announced that the Cantor Fitzgerald Dragon Week, which was scheduled to take place in lieu of the earlier Gold Cup event has now also been cancelled. Speaking of the announcement, Matthias Hellstern, Rear Commodore of Kinsale…
GP14s are heading for Larne
An appropriate title for a GP 14 event to be held (hopefully) in October at the Larne club. The word toddy comes from the toddy drink in India produced by fermenting the sap of palm trees and its earliest known…
RS Aero dinghy sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School together with the Irish RS Aero Class Association have decided to postpone the inaugural RS Aero Irish Open, due to take place in one months' time on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September.…
Howth mixed offshore team Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny will compete in Italy later this month
For Ireland's Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny, this month's EUROSAF Mixed Offshore European Championship in Italy is an opportunity to get racing following the cancellation of the Round Ireland Race and to evaluate their programme at an early stage. The introduction…
Squib racing at the recent Southern Championships in Cobh, Cork Harbour
The Irish Squib Class and Howth Yacht Club have made the difficult decision to cancel the Irish Squib Championships scheduled for this coming weekend, following the updated Government guidance issued on Tuesday. In a statement, the class says "Whilst we…
Kenny Rumball on board RL Sailing before the start of the Solo Concarneau Race
Dublin rookie Kenneth Rumball reflects on the Solo Concarneau Race, his last lead up race before next month's Solitaire Du Figaro debut  Our final training race before the big one in a few weeks (GULP!) was the Solo Concarneau 2020.…
Flying Fifteen racing comes to Dunmore East this weekend in County Waterford
After last night's announcement of new Irish Government pandemic guidelines, Chris Doorly, President Flying Fifteen Association of Ireland says the class championships will still go ahead in Dunmore East, County Waterford this weekend. Doorly said in a statement last night the…
Storm Ellen & COVID Combine to Cancel Cork Harbour Laser National Championships This Week
Storm Ellen and COVID-19 have combined to bring about the cancellation of this week's Irish Laser National Championships in Cork Harbour, one of the biggest dinghy sailing events of the year.  Both the AIB Irish Laser National Championships, hosted by…
Dinghies racing in the Coolmore race on the Owenabue River at Crosshaven. Scroll down for photos
The Coolmore Race is an old Cork Harbour yacht race that has been brought back to life by Royal Cork Yacht Club after many years. After a day of torrential rain, the downpour stopped and sadly the wind died with…
"The Hat" in his hot glass boat…Caolan Croasdell and Fiona Drayne (Lough Ree YC) on their way to winning the Mirror Nats, with Chloe & Fionn Murphy (also Lough Ree and fourth overall) close aboard, and the black-hulled Blue Away (David Evans & Jack Draper, Sligo YC, 5th overall) chasing them both
With the Mirror Worlds 2021 scheduled for Sligo YC at Rosses Point, there was an extra edge to the weekend's two-day Mirror Nationals 2020 on the race area under the unmistakable profile of Ben Bulben. And though the fleet size…
Regatta Fleet fun at Crosshaven. Generally children in the regatta fleet are between 8-11yrs. Scroll down for a slideshow of photos from Royal Cork at the weekend
Last weekend's AIB Optimist National Dinghy Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club featured a 36-boat Regatta Fleet that features an introduction to sailing and welcomes children from 8-15yrs. The fleet is designed to give children coaching and confidence in a fun…
Irish Optimist Champion 2020 Johnny Flynn of Howth with his prizes at Royal Cork Yacht Club. Scroll down for a prizegiving slideshow
Howth Yacht Club teen Johnny Flynn overtook local ace and regatta leader Ben O'Shaughnessy to clinch the AIB sponsored Optimist Nationals by a single point at Royal Cork Yacht Club today.  After four days of racing on the Curlane Bank and…
Shark II was the National 18 Dognose Trophy winner in Cork Harbour. See slideshow below
The winner of the National 18s Dognose trophy sailed on Saturday in Cork Harbour was Shark II skippered by Charles Dwyer. The one-day event at the Royal Cork Yacht Club marked a welcome return to the water for the three-man dinghy…
The 79-main boat fleet sailed again on day three of the championships on the Harbour's Curlane Bank in light winds. Scroll down for slideshow
After seven races sailed in light and tricky conditions in Cork Harbour, local Optimist dinghy ace Ben O'Shaughnessy of Royal Cork Yacht Club continues to lead the AIB sponsored National Championships overall.  The 79-main boat fleet sailed again on day three…
"Warriors About to Go into Battle". This properly serious-looking foursome from the cream of the 1982 Irish Laser Class, with their mentor Ron Huthcieson on right, are (left to right) Simon Brien (later multiple Edinburgh Cup winner and other majors), multiple champion Charlie Taylor (still at it in the Laser Masters), Olympian Bill O'Hara, and Dave Cummins, All-Ireland Helmsmans Champion 1981 and 1982
The retirement this month of noted northern sailor Ron Hutchieson as Chairman of Irish Sailing's Racing Rules & Appeals Board brings to a conclusion an exceptionally long period of devoted and very effective honorary official service to sailing and its…

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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