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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
The start of the 2019 National YC Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, with eventual overall winner Rockabill VI (JPK 10.80, Paul O’Higgins RIYC) just ahead of Mick Cotter’s 94ft Windfall, which took line honours and established a new course record. The 30th Anniversary D2D starts in Dublin Bay on June 7th 2023
Did we really manage it? Did we really cram all those major special and routine regular sailing events into the one season of 2022? And all that despite its three main months afloat experiencing decidedly mixed weather? And also despite…
Kinsale X-yacht Freya, skippered by Conor Doyle, sailed to ORC success in the 2022 Middle Sea race in October and is pictured above competing on her home waters at the 2021 Sovereign's Cup
Sovereign's Cup Regatta Director Tony Scannell has published the Notice of Race (downloadable below) for next June's 15th Cup for Cruisers, Coastal and White Sails fleets. Scannell confirmed Kinsale Yacht Club is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to a 'full-strength'…
Happy times – Molly and Erskine Childers cruising Asgard in the Baltic in 1910. His short life of 52 years from 1870 until his execution in Dublin on November 24th 1922 was one of increasing seriousness, and this is one of the very few photos which show him with even the hint of a smile
The gaunt but serene Erskine Childers (52) died an hour after dawn on November 24th 1922 in Beggars Bush Barracks in Dublin. He had been captured as an armed opponent of the new Irish Free State Government’s policy of implementing…
Ballyholme's Ben Martin (1179) prepares to overhaul Steven Nelson of Newtownards SC on a downwind leg of the RS400 Winter Series sailors at RNIYC
After last week’s crash and burn single race, this week, the RS400 Winter Series sailors at RNIYC on Belfast Lough were met by a more manageable 14-20 kts from the southwest, but about 10 degrees colder. Bob Hastings had done a…
Racing in the men's fleet of the ILCA 7 European Championships in Hyeres
Ireland's ILCA 7 Paris 2024 campaigners ended a 'tough' week at the European Championships in Hyeres on Monday, with Finn Lynch finishing 25th and Ewan McMahon 11 places behind his Paris rival in 36th in a fleet of 137. The Gold fleet…
Howth's Eve McMahon finished the EurILCA 6 Europeans at Hyeres in 21st place overall in a fleet of 95
In the ILCA6/Laser Women's European Championship in France, Eve McMahon of Howth YC produced a good overall result in one of her first events as a senior after moving up from three Gold medals at World Youth level this season. A…
The late Ben Mulligan (right) in his Flying Fifteen 'Enfant de Marie' with Cormac Bradley

Ben Mulligan

22nd November 2022 Flying Fifteen
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones;” Mark Anthony’s speech on the death of Julius CaesarFrom Shakespeare’s play…
Sixteen-year-old Rocco Wright is the 2022 ILCA6 Men's European Champion and U21 Champion
Sixteen-year-old Rocco Wright has won the ILCA6/Laser Men's European Championship on the Côte d'Azur today. The Howth Yacht Club youth also won the U21 division, and this event is added to his Youth World Championship Gold won in the Netherlands in…
Irish sailor Rocco Wright leads overall going into the final day of racing at the  ILCA 6 Mens European Championships in Hyeres
Irish sailor Rocco Wright of Howth (1-13-5) regained full control of the fleet and leads both the overall and Under 21 European championships again with 32 points at the ILCA 6 European Championships in Hyeres France on the penultimate day.…
Olympic champion Marit Bouwmeester of Holand is lying second overall at the ILCA 6 2022 EurILCA Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Hyeres, France
In the women's ILCA6/Laser European Championships in France, Ireland's only female competitor, Eve McMahon (Howth YC) has highlighted the tricky conditions. "It's not a good thing for a sailor to say, but I think that with these conditions, you just have…
Three more races were held today by all the fleets at the ILCA European Championships in Hyeres, with shifty and patchy 8-12 knots of breeze
The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch scored a 16th-39th-32nd dropping him to 32nd place overall in a light wind three race penultimate day of the ILCA/Laser European Championships in Hyeres, France. Three more races were held today by all the fleets, with…
The ILCA7 men's Course A was tucked in under a nearby mountain of the Massif des Maures range, which produced some big wind shifts that led, say team managers, Finn Lynch to drop from 15th to 28th overall  at the 2022 EurILCA Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy
There was a setback for Irish sailors when the Final series started on Saturday at the 2022 EurILCA Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Hyeres, France. The wind was unstable in both race areas, forcing the Race Committee to adjust…
Royal St. George's Tom Higgins competing at the ILCA/Laser European Championships in Hyeres, France
Three Irish sailors are through to Gold fleet at the ILCA/Laser European Championships in France After a delay ashore to allow near gale conditions off the Côte d'Azur abate, organisers could only get a single race sailed in the quickly…
A second place followed by an eighth means Rocco Wright has a ten-point lead in the 64-boat ILCA 6 Europeans fleet
Howth Yacht Club's Rocco Wright retained his overnight lead in the non-Olympic ILCA6/Laser Men's Euro event in Hyeres, France.  A second place followed by an eighth means he has a ten-point lead at this early stage of the regatta in…
The local Mistral wind whipped up conditions for the 300-boat ILCA European Championships at Hyères today with Ireland's Finn Lynch lying 14th in the  169-boat Olympic ILCA 7 fleet
Rio 2016 Olympian Finn Lynch of the National Yacht Club is knocking on the door of the top ten overall at the ILCA 7/Laser European Championships in Hyères, France. The 2021 world Silver medallist is 14th overall, with just six…
The 2023 Squib Regional and National events were decided at the AGM
The Irish Squib Class AGM was held via Zoom last evening, and the venues for the 2023 Squib Regional and National events were decided. The outgoing Squib Class Chairman, Rob Marshall will meet the class again in Killyleagh Yacht Club…

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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