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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
National 18 dinghies will be used in the 2021 All Ireland Sailing Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club
50mph winds forecast for Saturday morning's first gun may yet cause problems for the 2021 All Ireland Sailing Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven this weekend.  Sixteen invitees from the fleets of cruisers, one-design keelboats and IRC cruisers…
Laser stalwart Bill O'Hara at Balyholme's Laser 50th anniversary event
Some of the 'old hands' mixed it with the Laser sailors who had come on the scene since the birth of the Laser class at Ballyholme in 1974. The 39-strong fleet on Saturday (18th September) had a memorable day's racing…
A brand new world championship format - the Mixed Two Person Offshore Worlds
Italian team Claudia Rossi & Pietro D'Alì have been crowned winners of the 2021 Hempel Mixed Two Person Offshore World Championship after a hard-fought final leg to Venice. When the final leg started at lunchtime on Friday, Rossi and D’Ali…
The classic National 18 Fingal 226 under sail - the boat is to undergo an upgrade of equipment
Roger Bannon is undertaking a major upgrade of Fingal 226's equipment and he will also redo her lovely finishes in a bid to allow as many people as possible to sail this classic National 18, a 'thoroughbred maritime greyhound' In…
1720 European Champions: 'Team McBearla' (from left) Killian Collins, Ross McDonald, Conor English, Aoife English and Paddy Good
On Saturday, fog cut short the final day of racing of the 1720 European Championships at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, handing the overall title to Ross McDonald and the McBearla crew.  Although the stage was set for a thrilling final…
National 18 Class Captain Charles Dwyer (left) presents Bob Bateman with the Michael Sullivan Trophy for his exceptional support of the dinghy class
The National 18 class has shown its appreciation to Cork Harbour-based photographer Bob Bateman for his 'outstanding support' of the dinghy class at its end of season meeting. Bateman, who is assisted by Mary Malone on many of his waterborne…
Last's night's National 18 River Race was held in very light winds prompting the shortening of the race from three to just one round
Tom Crosbie was the winner of last night's annual river race for the National 18 class at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour. Using a mark laid inside the marina the race is sometimes used as a crews race.…
A 27-boat fleet of 1720 sportsboats are contesting the European Championships at Waterford Harbour
The stakes are high this morning for the final day of racing at the 1720 Europeans 2021 at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, where the top three boats have already discarded teens or higher results after six races sailed. A 27-boat fleet,…
David Eccles' Sigma 33 Mungo Jerrie was the Glenarm Sailing Challenge winner
What started off as a challenge in Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough by Gordon Patterson's Sigma 362, Fanciulla, a heavy 36-footer, to Gavin Vaughan's new Jeanneau 349, a 34-foot light displacement boat, in a race to…
Rob O'Leary and the Dutch Gold crew took an opening race win at the 1720 Europeans in Dunmore East
The McBearla's Rope Dock Atara leads the 1720 European Championships at Dunmore East after three races sailed in an impressive fleet of 27 boats. The Cork-Dublin crew skippered by Ross McDonald of Howth counts a 7, 1, 2 to lead from…
Marina Militare (Giovanna Valsecchi / Andrea Pendibene) up to third overall at the Mixed Two Person Offshore World Championship
The outcome of the 2021 Hempel Mixed Two Person Offshore World Championship will be decided at the finish line in Venice on Friday, 24 September. The final 60-mile sprint from Marina di Ravenna to Venice is the culmination of 816…
Number 19 Shindilla (Ali and Zoe Kissane) takes the gun
22 boats competed in the last Water Wag race of the AIB DBSC season in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Wednesday evening.  The race was won by boat number 19 Shindilla, sailed by Ali and Zoe Kissane. Number 15 (John O’Driscoll)…
With up to four Cape 31s heading to Cork Harbour and Howth, the South African inspired racer from the drawing board of Mark Mills looks set to be part of the Irish one design scene in 2022. Boasting high-performance features such as…
Trevor Millar's Laser bottom' up in Ballyholme Bay
Their names will be forever associated with Ballyholme Yacht Club's Laser class. Instrumental in getting the class going in 1974 were Ron Hutchieson and Trevor Millar. Ron persuaded Trevor to leave Newtownards SC and come to Ballyholme. And Ron bought…
Lough Ree at its best for the
On sea and lake alike, the wonderful weekend's summery weather may sometimes have produced frustrating wind conditions. But at most centres and through multiple events, the breeze obliged at various stages to bring superb sailing and a glimpse of what…
Ailbe & Aidan Millerick and Dermot Bremner sailing Glenluce were winners of the Dalkey Island Glen Race
Six Glens lined up to start at a very busy Dun Laoghaire harbour entrance and took off in sunshine and a 10 knot westerly running down to Dalkey Island on Dublin Bay with the ebb tide beneath. All were vying…

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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