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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
13 Flying Fifteens were on the DBSC start line last night
The Dublin Bay Flying Fifteen class continue to get good numbers out racing in the DBSC series with 13 boats on the start line last night. A good SE breeze with strong gusts and a big sea made for great…
Competitors go downwind in breeze at 2020 Mullagmore Regatta
County Sligo's Mullaghmore Sailing Club hosted its annual regatta last weekend, as Afloat previewed here, with careful consideration of health and safety in accordance with Irish Sailing’s ‘Return to Sailing’ guidance. While some of the normal onshore post-sailing activities had…
Telling it like it is: Glandore greetings for 90-year-old Don Street on Saturday as he apparently sails vintage Dragon Gypsy single-handed………..
Much of the rest of the sailing world may be whirling in coronavirus confusion, but in serene and elegant Glandore in West Cork. the strong local division of classic and modern International Dragons went smoothly into their 14-race Dragon Derby…
Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny will race a foiling Figaro 3 yacht in next month's Round Ireland Race from Wicklow
Irish offshore sailors Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny have announced their two-handed entry into next month's SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow. The 704 nautical mile Round Ireland was postponed in June due to COVID-19 and is now…
Squib Southern Championships racing on the Eastern Bank of Cork Harbour. Scroll down for slideshow from day two
Kinsale overnight leader Colm Dunne at the helm of Allegro held off a strong Northern Ireland Challenge to win the Squib Southern Championships at Cove Sailing Club this afternoon. As reported earlier, 13 boats contested the championships in Cork Harbour…
Mirror dinghy racing in Sligo Bay, which will host the 2020 Mirror Nationals next month
New dates have been announced for the Mirror Nationals and Eastern regional championships by Mirror Sailing Ireland following this summer’s disruption to the schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sligo Yacht Club, host venue for next year’s Mirror Worlds, will welcome…
Colm Dunne (right) and Rob Gill's Allegro leads at Cove Sailing Club. Scroll down for photo slideshow
Colm Dunne and Rob Gill's Allegro from Kinsale Yacht Club leads the 2020 Squib Southern Championships after three races sailed in Cork Harbour yesterday. Scroll down for Bob Bateman's photo gallery of Day one racing below. The Cove Sailing Club…
Ciara Peelo carries the tricolour for the Irish Olympic team at the Beijing 2008 opening ceremony
Today is the day athletes from around the world would have been celebrating the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the opening ceremony, writes Gail McAllister. In many ways it marks the culmination of lifelong dreams, for 2020 the…
DMYC's Cariosa Power with Marie Barry in marginal trapeze conditions to leeward (IRL 14854) and Frank Miller and Neil Cramer in IRL 14990
A decent south-easterly breeze averaging about 12 knots greeted the three Fireballs competing in last night's DBSC racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. With another giant fleet of Lasers participating the start line was very long. Miller/Cramer opted for the slightly…
Phil Lawton (right) at the DMYC Fireball coaching session
Nine Fireballs took part in specialist coaching sessions at DMYC this weekend led by former Olympic sailor Phil Lawton. The event, supported by Irish Sailing, was geared towards optimizing crew work in a fast two-hander dinghy. Phil spent a solid…
Seasoned campaigners. Robert Dix and brother-in-law Richard Burrows combined 50 years ago to see the former win the Helmsmans Championship of Ireland in one of the highlight events of the Royal Cork YC Quarter Millennium celebrations in 1970. They’re still at it, as seen yesterday (Saturday) when they raced Dixie’s J/80 Jeannie to second in class in the Aqua Restaurant Two-Hander at Howth
When in doubt, send ’em round Lambay. That seems to be the feeling among Howth Yacht Club’s race officers as this uncertain semi-season gradually cranks into action. And with Saturday’s early-start Aqua Double-Hander Challenge seeing a greyish morning giving a…
Kenny Rumball (above) will compete in the 400-mile Drheam Cup with co-skipper Pamela Lee on Sunday
Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Kenny Rumball and Pamela Lee make their double-handed debut for Ireland at the Drheam Cup on Sunday and joining them on the Figaro Beneteau 3 fleet start line are County Meath and French combination Tom Dolan and Mini…
 Thursday FF DBSC race winners - 4068 “Ignis Caput” David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne
The second Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday evening race with a stiff 15 knots breeze off the shore was a contrast to the previous week with light airs shakedown race. The revised format for this year has additional classes starting…
Olympian Finn Lynch for Blessington SC and Annalise Murphy of the National YC winning the first race of the 133-year-old Dublin Bay Water Wags’ delayed 2020 season in Cathy MacAleavey’s Molly yesterday (Wednesday) evening
We think of the venerable Dublin Bay Water Wags as being the quintessential Dun Laoghaire Harbour class. But when the results of their first race of the delayed 2020 season yesterday (Wednesday) evening were analysed, it was noted that the…
Four Fireballs from the Irish fleet contested last night's DBSC Tuesday race
Four Fireballs raced in the third of the Tuesday DBSC series in Dun Laoghaire last night. Once again the harbour was the setting due to Covid19 restrictions on rescue personnel. Any fears that the enclosed waters may have resulted in…
Mirrors racing downwind on Lough Ree
Mirror Sailing Ireland has announced new dates in August for the Northern regionals that were due to take place this weekend, 18-19 July. Lough Ree Yacht Club will now host the Mirror Northerns on the weekend of 29-30 August as…

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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