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Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Ace helmsman Ross Kearney will address the GP14 agm this Thursday
With the Skerries GP14 dinghy World Championships scheduled for this August, Irish crews will be starting to dust down their boats and start their Worlds preparation in earnest. To help try and kick start the process and to make this…
420 dinghy racing on Cardigan Bay.
The RYA Youth Sailing Brititsh National Championships is making a much-anticipated return to Wales in 2022 – and entries are now open for the Irish Sea event. The week-long regatta heads to Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy in…
Race Officers John and Valerie Stallard and Michele Kennelly got the first races of the Custom Rigging Kinsale Yacht Club League off to a gentle start in a patchy 10-knots on Sunday.  The first day of scheduled racing was last Sunday…
Ronan Kenneally (centre) with photographed with the MBSC Yard of Ale trophy and Race Officer Alan Fehily (left) and club Commodore Sandy Rimmington
Twenty-knot blustery conditions brought the six-week Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League to a close in Cork Harbour yesterday. The host club's Ronan Kenneally successfully defended the MBSC Yard of Ale Trophy with the experienced Rob Howe (also an SB20 sailor)…
The now-modified 1948 Australian-built Dublin Bay 24 Wathara sailing in Sydney Harbour
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Dublin Bay sailors can walk very tall indeed. Their selections over the years of various One Design concepts have spread worldwide among discerning owners, who appreciated that the Dublin Bay sailors’…
There are highly individualistic One Design Classes. And then there are the 1922-founded Shannon One Designs. They’re in a league of their own. And they’ll be launching their Hundred Year Programme for 2022 with a Centenary Dinner in the National…
The RS Feva offers a double-handed alternative and stepping stone for young sailors, The world’s leading double-handed dinghy for youngsters and parent/child teams. Exciting performance is the secret behind the success of the RS Feva. The modern styling and practical…
Optimist Training Camp at Lough Derg Yacht Club
Lough Derg Yacht Club, with the support of Dinghy Performance, will be running three days of mid-term coaching for Optimist sailors from Thursday 24 to Saturday 26 February 2022. “We are sure this is going to be a great event…
The overall leader of the  MBSC Laser Winter League Ronan Kenneally (right) has a six-point lead going into next Saturday's final races. Rob Scallan is also pictured.
The overall leader of the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League Ronan Kenneally (right) has a six-point lead going into next Saturday's final races in Cork Harbour. Kenneally took the advantage on the penultimate Saturday to oust Cove's Kieran…
The WASZP 2022 EuroCup Series makes six stops at some of Europe's best foiling venues
The EuroCup series returns to the WASZP calendar for 2022, adding even more high-quality racing opportunities for WASZP sailors around Europe. It follows the publication of an Irish calendar for the foiling class that is growing in Ireland. This edition…
New “Sailor of the Year” Eve McMahon finding her way at speed through the spray of Lake Garda in July, en route to the World Title
Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, the Golden Girl of the international ILCA Classes, is Afloat.ie “Irish Sailor of the Year” for 2021, deservedly following an honoured track set over many years by Ireland’s legends in the sport. Such elevation…
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Ed Rice finished 2021 at the top of the ILCA 7 Irish rankings
Despite the massive upsurge in Laser sailing in the capital's waters over the last few seasons, it was Cork Harbour helmsman that topped the 2021 Irish Laser rankings in all three rig divisions. In the Standard rig (ILCA 7) rankings,…
Six Irish 29er partnerships travelled to the UK to compete in the 48 boats UK Winter Championships at Grafham Water
Although our own domestic season is still many weeks away, six 29er partnerships elected to travel to the UK to compete in the 48 boats UK Winters. Grafham Water is the traditional venue for the event and despite a challenging…
On the beach at Rogerstown - Tokyo Olympic campaigner Aisling Keller prepares to go afloat with the Rush Sailing Club juniors
Rush Sailing Club hosted Tokyo Olympic campaigner Aisling Keller from the Irish Laser Association for a two day Laser dinghy training course for 13 of its junior members on January 22/23. A report from the club's Michael Gosson says "the…
MBSC Laser leaders (from left ot right) Paul O'Sullivan MBSC, Brendan Dwyer MBSC and Kieran Dorgan of  Cove Sailing Club
Wins for Kieran Dorgan in races nine and ten of the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Winter League was a significant result for the Cove Sailing Club ace in Cork Harbour on Saturday. Top scorer Dorgan was followed by two host club sailors Brendan Dwyer…
Royal Cork's Under 25 crew flying downwind in the club J/24
I’m encouraged by the opening of the Under 25 support programme for the season ahead. It is a further positive step towards bridging the gap through which young sailors were lost to the sport. That was when they wanted 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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