Since 1913 the 12 Footers have been an important dinghy class in Ireland and abroad. They were such a successful class that they quickly were awarded international status. The 12–footers were the equipment selected for the Olympic Games in 1920 and 1928. The class grew quickly in Cork, Baltimore, Sutton and Howth (North Co. Dublin) and in Seapoint (South County Dublin).
In the 1960’s, National Yacht Club’s J.J. O’Leary, revised the rig of the 12 footers, by replacing the single sail balanced lug rig with a gunter rig, with a Water Wag jib. Most of the Dublin Bay boats were changed to the new rig.
In recent years the class has been revived on the east coast of Ireland, and an Irish National Championships were held in Dun Laoghaire in 2010. The second championship of recent years took place last year in Dun Laoghaire, with entries from Ireland, Britain and Australia.
The third championship will be hosted again by the Royal St. George Yacht Club on 28th August, at which dinghies with each rig will sail against each other. This will present a unique challenge. The jibs do assist the DBSC rigged boats to point higher on upwind legs, but the larger mainsail of the International boats provides greater speed on the downwind legs.
Last year’s International Championship was won by George Miller of RStGYC, while Gail Varian of the same club headed the D.B.S.C. boats.
Anybody interested in the 12 Footers should contact [email protected] for more information.