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Historic Prizes at Royal St George Yacht Club on Offer for 12 Foot Dinghies

3rd September 2019
12-foot dinghies racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour 12-foot dinghies racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

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.

For more information contact [email protected]

Published in RStGYC, Historic Boats
Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from blurb.com

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The Royal St George Yacht Club was founded in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) Harbour in 1838 by a small number of like-minded individuals who liked to go rowing and sailing together. The club gradually gathered pace and has become, with the passage of time and the unstinting efforts of its Flag Officers, committees and members, a world-class yacht club.

Today, the ‘George’, as it is known by everyone, maybe one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, but it has a very contemporary friendly outlook that is in touch with the demands of today and offers world-class facilities for all forms of water sports including:

  • A vibrant junior section

  • Dry Sailing for small keelboats

  • Marina type berthage for larger boats

  • Parking for a large range of dinghies

  • Own fleet of boats for members use (1720’s, J 80’s, SUP’s, Coastal Rowing boats, Ribs, Optimists etc)

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