This 12-foot class was designed in 1913 by George Cockshott, an English yacht designer, as the British Racing Association ‘A’ Class. The class was adopted by the International Yacht Racing Union on 1st. January 1920 and thus it became the International 12 Foot Class. The class was the only dinghy class to compete at the 1920 Antwerp (Belgium) Olympic Games, at Oostende. This event will be celebrated in 2020 with a re-enactment regatta on 11-12 July with entries expected from Holland, Turkey, France, England, Uganda and Ireland.
The class grew in popularity in Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s with fleets of professionally and amateur-built boats in Baltimore, Crosshaven, Howth, Sutton, Clontarf and Seapoint (Monkstown, Co. Dublin).
What is the international 12 Foot like? She is a traditional wooden clinker-built one-design with a single standing lugsail, hung off a mast located near the bow. The 3.66m x 1.43m. hull is open decked and is spacious enough for either single-handed sailing or a crew of two.
Today, many 12 Foot Dinghies still exist in Ireland, having been in the same families for many years. Some are unused and located in barns while others are used as yacht tenders.
In July this year, a Friendship Regatta was held on Rutland Water, which was well supported by Irish, English Dutch and Ugandan boats.
An Irish championship for historic prizes will be held in Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on Sunday 15th September in which the modified Dublin Bay boats with a mainsail and jib will sail against the International 12 foot Dinghies on equal terms. The organizers would like to hear from any Irish owners of 12 Footers. In 2020 the12 foot Dinghies will compete at CLINKERFEST the 250 anniversary of Lough Ree Yacht Club on the June bank holiday weekend.
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