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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Irish Sailing Classes. Yacht, One Design & Dinghy Racing News, Class by Class
Flying Fifteen Scottish Champions - Nigel Biggs and Peter Evans of Howth Yacht Club
Howth Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs and Peter Evans sailing Checkmate XIX won the Scottish Flying Fifteen Championships at Holy Loch on the Clyde last weekend. Racing over windward-leeward courses in light to medium airs, Biggs and Evans took the four race championships by…
Competitors from as far away as Holyhead in Wales, Kinsale, Lough Derg, Dublin Bay and the Isle of Wight joined the northern locals for the Squib Northern Championships
Killyleagh Yacht Club on the western shore of Strangford Lough recently hosted the Squib Northerns and a fleet of 18 enjoyed five races under Race Officer Scott Rogers and his team in challenging conditions over the two days. Overall winners…
John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) were the Flying Fifteen race winners
After last Thursday’s healthy breezes and the “pea-souper” that prevented last Saturday’s racing, fourteen Flying Fifteens answered the DBSC Race Officer’s call last night in conditions that started off as being “robust” with a wind against tide situation generating choppy…
Howth Yacht Club's Daragh Sheridan is Irish RS Aero champion
Howth Yacht Club's Daragh Sheridan continued his recent run of good form to win the Irish RS Aero National Championships on the 14th & 15th of May 2022 in Ballyholme Yacht Club. The second Nationals of the fast-growing Aero class…
“The Special One” – the DB21 Geraldine arrives for restoration in Kilrush in July 2021. For members of the Queens University Belfast SC team of 1963, she holds cherished memoriest
The continuing restoration of the Mylne-designed Dublin Bay 21 class of 1902-1908 origins, undertaken by Steve Morris of Kilrush Boatyard for Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra, has deservedly won several awards, including recognition for the project’s use of modern…
DBSC Tuesday night race five for PY dinghies was in Scotsman's Bay to the East of Dun Laoghaire Harbour in light southeast winds
Another win for Noel Butler last night in DBSC Tuesday night dinghy racing gives him four wins from five starts of the PY division in his RS Aero dinghy. Race five was run by Race Officer Declan Traynor in Scotsman's Bay…
The victorious Final Call II crew at Kip Marina
A win in the final race for the appropriately named Final Call II in Kip Regatta at the weekend clinched an overall first in the RC 35 division for John Minnis’s Archambault 35 from Royal Ulster and Royal North of…
Julie Ascoop (1968-2022) was a breath of fresh air for sailing in Ireland and the larger Irish maritime world
Afloat.ie much appreciates being invited to publish this Appreciation by the IDRA 14 Class Association of the much-mourned Julie Ascoop, whose untimely passing has taken an inspirational maritime enthusiast from among us. We are particularly grateful to Charles and Ian…
Creenan’s hostelry in Ballinacurra village near Midleton in East Cork was the mecca for Cork Harbour dinghy sailors on Sunday where the 75-year-old Rankin dinghy Cliodhna was the centre of attention
There were breezy conditions for the annual dinghy race from Cobh to Ballinacurra in Cork Harbour on Sunday. Organised by Cove Sailing Club in conjunction with the National 18 Class, the race started as usual from the Spit Bank area off Cobh. But…
She may not have a lot of of accommodation, but she has all the sail area you could want - David Maguire's new Cape 31 Valkyrie in action off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon
The Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 is an uncompromising day-racing machine, but when two of them made their debut appearance off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon, their sheer style blew away any negative thoughts that if you're seeking any off-watch zizzes in…
Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary, were Thursday night DBSC Flying Fifteen race winners
Fourteen DBSC Flying Fifteens had a cracking night on the water last night on Dublin Bay when the light zephyrs of the past few sessions, Thursdays and Saturdays, were replaced by a robust breeze out of the west. The forecast had…
Scottish Series racing on Loch Fyne
Scotland's top regatta has been cancelled just 20 days before the first race. The scrubbing of the 'premier regatta' is not due to a lack of entries but a lack of volunteers to run the event on Loch Fyne, according…
The start of last year's Ballinacurra Race for National 18s off Cobh
The home of Ireland’s last engineless freight-carrying schooner, the Brooklands, will be the centre of the popular Ballinacurra Race in Cork Harbour this Sunday. Creenan’s hostelry in Ballinacurra village near Midleton in East Cork will be the mecca for dinghy…
The second boat home in the DBSC Water Wag Wednesday night race was No. 38 Swift sailed by Guy Kilroy with Martin Byrne's No 49 Hilda in third position.
John O’Driscoll at the helm of No. 15 Moosmie was the winner of Wednesday's single DBSC Water Wag dinghy race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  Race Officer Tadgh Donnelly ran racing over three rounds in a westerly breeze with gusts of…
A file photo of DBSC Laser racing
With winds between 8 and 20+ knots and plenty of squalls predicted, racing took place for the DBSC Lasers inside Dun Laoghaire harbour on Tuesday, May 10th. Staying in your boat with the mast pointing at the sky was the…
Noel Butler in his RS Aero dinghy
RS Aero sailor Noel Butler was last night's winner of both DBSC PY races and sits on three net points to lead the overall Dublin Bay series after four races sailed by six points.  The DBSC Race officer for the inside…

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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