Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Hal Sisk aboard his restored 1894-built G L Watson cutter Peggy Bawn in Dublin Bay in 2005
When Hal Sisk of Dun Laoghaire was awarded the International “Classic Boater Of The Year” Award in London on April 12th, the brief outline of his major achievements in preserving maritime heritage may have high-lighted his current project - with…
Fireballs at LDYC, Dromineer on Lough Derg
Things are hotting up for the Fireball class in Ireland. As their World Championship in Lough Derg YC this August 21st-26th draws nearer entries have already broken the 50 boat barrier and indications are that this will be a 60…
Charlie Cullen of the Royal St. George Yacht Club competing at the Waszp Euros in Mar Menor, Spain
2021 Waszp Slalom and U20 European Champion, Charlie Cullen of the Royal St. George Yacht Club finished eighth overall at the 2022 Europeans held on the lagoon of Mar Menor in Spain. The competition was tight with nine of the…
Howth Half Tonner Harmony has had several modifications over the winter in anticipation of August's Half Ton Classics Cup in Cowes
Current Irish boats planning to contest August's Half Ton Classics Cup in Cowes include King One, Checkmate XV (before it heads to her new home in Cardiff), Miss Whiplash, MATA and Harmony that has had several modifications over the winter.…
Finn Lynch competing at France's massive 53rd Semaine Olympique Française de Hyeres
An arm injury that proved no obstacle for Ireland's Finn Lynch when he recorded fourth overall at the first World Cup of the season earlier this month may be the reason behind the National Yacht Club's comparatively lower scores so far…
There was a strong turnout of 22 Water Wags for the first race of the AIB DBSC Summer season at Dun Laoghaire Harbour last night.  In a force three easterly breeze, Howth Yacht Club's Ian Malcolm at the helm of…
Irish RS Aeros at the Circolo Vela Arco with Daragh Sheridan (Howth YC) (Sail number 7) and Noel Butler (National YC) Sail Number 0
A few RS Aero sailors travelled to Lake Garda at the weekend for some Aero racing for the second Italian National Series RS Aero Regatta concluded alongside the Open Skiffs in Garda Trentino at Circolo Vela Arco over the long…
Dee Caffari and Shirley Robertson team up on the new Sun Fast 3300 RockIT for the RORC's non-stop 1,805nm race: Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race
For the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, a record 15 teams are planning to take on the marathon IRC Two-Handed. Short-handed racing with the RORC has been booming in recent years with 84 teams competing in the 2021…
Bobby Driscoll from Ballyholme Yacht Club and Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
Five winds from eight races gave local sailor Bobby Driscoll from the hosting Ballyholme Yacht Club a clear overall win ahead of clubmate Emily McAfee in the 51-boat Topper 5.3 event, one of the biggest fleets of the Youth Sailing…
420 sailors Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson of Malahide Yacht Club
Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson of Malahide Yacht Club had seven wins from 11 races in the 420 division of the Youth Sailing Nationals at Ballyholme on Belfast Lough on Sunday.  The strong score tally gave them an 18-point cushion…
Oisin Pierse of the Royal Cork Yacht wins the last race (and the overall title) of the 2022 IODAI Optimist Trials on Belfast Lough
Two race wins on the final day for Oisin Pierse (Royal Cork Yacht Club) sealed the IODAI Optimist Trials at Ballyholme Yacht Club in the 49-boat fleet on Sunday. The Cork Harbour talent finished the youth sailing series with five race wins from a…
Ben O'Shaughnessy with Eimer McMorrow Moriarty of Royal Cork Yacht Club
With five wins from 11 races, skiff sailors Ben O'Shaughnessy with Eimer McMorrow Moriarty of Royal Cork Yacht Club won the 29er youth sailing nationals event at Ballyohlme on Belfast Lough. The consistent sailing put them nine points clear at…
ILCA 6 champion Eve McMahon
Howth teen Eve McMahon booked her place to the Youth World Sailing Championships in The Hague in July when she sailed to success at the Irish Youth Sailing Championships on Belfast Lough today.  The reigning World Youth Champion in the…
The Flying Fifteen class on Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh Sailing Club at Kinnego Marina, Northern Ireland hosted the first 2022 event for the Flying Fifteen class which was designed to support personal development of crews through practise starts followed by a series of races. Participants were welcomed…
Oisin Pierse of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, winning Race 9 of the IODAI 2022 Optimist Trials
Oisin Pierse of the Royal Cork Yacht Club leads the IODAI Optimist Trials at Ballyholme Yacht Club with the final races to be sailed on Sunday. The 49-boat Optimist fleet is the largest sailing at this weekend's Youth Sailing Championships…
Eve McMahon won three out of four races in big breeze on Belfast Lough
Ballyholme is famous for the big rolling seas with a northeast breeze of strength and on Super Saturday at the Youth Sailing Championships, the ILCA6 Under 17 world champion Eve McMahon showed her strength with a dominant display in strong winds and…

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating