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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
The four superb J Class yachts got the party started with their own fleet start
The entire Superyacht Cup fleet made the Bay of Palma their arena today as Europe's longest-running superyacht regatta hit its stride with another day of sparkling Mallorcan sailing conditions. Pantaenius Race Day saw a slightly lighter breeze than Wednesday's opening…
Pat Kelly and the crew of the winning J109, Storm at Bangor Town Regatta
Maybe future Bangor Town Regattas could present a prize for the boat with the most family members on board? For the three-generation crewed J109 Storm from Rush Sailing Club and Howth Yacht Club which won Class 2, the RC 35…
Vincent Delany and Emma Webb of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in number 3 Pansy leading on the downwind leg in Dun Laoghaire from eventual RSTGYC Regatta race winner number 45 Mariposa sailed by Cathy Mac Aleavey and Con Murphy of the National Yacht Club
Wednesday night's regular Water Wag races also served as the fleet Frank Keane BMW George Regatta races at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  A 26-boat fleet sailed one light airs in-harbour Jubilee Cup race won by Wag number 45 Mariposa sailed by Cathy…
The Irish Optimist fleet is heading to Galway Bay for its Connacht Championships on July 9 and 10
9th and 10th of July will see one of the largest competitive fleets seen in Galway Bay for many years take to the water for the Connacht Optimist Championships which is being hosted by Galway Bay Sailing Club. Up to…
The current Irish GP14 fleet is so strong the whole way through it, that there will be many teams aiming to compete in the top 10
This Saturday the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club is hosting the Ridgeway GP14 Irish National Championships on Belfast Lough and event director Gerry Reid casts his eye over the 40-boat fleet and looks at some of the runners and…
Controlled excitement – 1720s in Cork Harbour in a breeze that does them justice
When anybody asks how the concept of the Cork 1720 Sportsboat Class first came to see the light of day in Crosshaven in the early 1990s, the response these days tends to be “Which version of the story would you…
The three-day Irish Topper National Championships will be held this weekend by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club at Dunmore East
A fleet of more than 50 Toppers from ten sailing clubs around the country will be arriving in Dunmore East on Friday to compete in the three-day Irish Topper National Championships, from July 1 to 3 at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club…
Harry Dunne took first place in the Optimist Senior Main Gold Fleet at Skerries Sailing Club
Skerries Sailing Club was a hive of activity last weekend as 113 enthusiastic young sailors aged 8-15 gathered from all over Ireland for the second regional event on the 2022 IODAI circuit, the Optimist Leinster Championships. The sailing club put…
The crew of Irish Champion J/24 Headcase after sweeping the board in Kiel Week are (left to right) Ryan Glynn (Ballyholme YC), Sam O'Byrne (Howth YC), Cillian Dickson (Howth YC & Lough Ree YC, Louis Mulloy (Mayo SC) & Marcus Ryan (Mayo SC)
Whatever excitements the Irish J/24 class may have been providing in home waters this past weekend, the current all-Ireland Champions (in every sense) with the not-inappropriately-named Headcase have succeeded brilliantly in keeping their heads above water and their noses in…
The J24 sinking at WIORA regatta on the Shannon Estuary at Kilrush. The three mark boats on the water were quickly on the scene to take the crew of the yacht on board the safety boat and quickly brought them ashore all in good spirits. Efforts was made to recover the boat but unfortunately, the boat later sank; all relevant authorities were informed, according to an event spokesperson
There has been a dramatic start to the WIORA Championships at Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary with one boat sinking and the second day of racing cancelled due to strong winds. This year has a bumper numbers of entries for the…
The fleet set out in classic Kinsale weather with 20 knots and waves. The championships were both decided on the water in the final race at the Bandon Co-op Squib National Championships. After the many black flags of yesterday, the…
On arrival at the National Yacht Club on Thursday evening, the prospects for sailing didn’t look that good. The forecast had been for a handful of knots and the boats trying to finish the Round Ireland race were limping down…
Squib National Championships racing at Kinsale Yacht Club
The weather came in and the Bandon Co-op Squib Nationals fleet left the harbour to embark on a three-race day, the gentle breeze turned southerly and the first race today was race four of the Championships, a nice 10 knots…
The Water Wag's Con Murphy (left) with RIYC Commodore Jerry Dowling and Drumshanbo Gin RIYC Water Wag Regatta prizewinners Bairbre Stewart and Pam McKay
The Water Wag Royal Irish Yacht Club regatta race prize was won on Wednesday night by the club's Bairbre Stewart and Pam McKay in light airs in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The prize was presented by club Commodore Jerry Dowling to…
Racing for J24 Northern Honours on Lough Erne
12 teams travelled from throughout Ireland to compete in the 2022 J24 Northern Championships hosted by Lough Erne Yacht Club over the weekend of 18th and 19th June. Four local boats including Barry Humphreys on TJ, Tim Rippey on Jigalo,…
The forecasted rain has not appeared in Kinsale but despite some promising sunshine the clouds have kept the much hoped-for sea breeze away
The third day of the Bandon co-op Squib National Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club gave the competitors the chance to do boat repairs and check out the settings of the competition as the race officer, Peter Crowley, was forced to…

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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