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ISA Club Racing Survey Reveals ‘Segmented’ Irish Dinghy Racing Scene

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ISA logoKeelboat racing accounts for about two thirds of active racing sailors, a thriving junior single-hander dinghy ‘pathway’ scene is the envy of all other fleets and it makes up 31% of all dinghy sailors (51% of dinghies), according to a new Irish Sailing Association (ISA) club racing survey published recently.

The first snapshot of Irish club racing reveals little new of the ‘segmented’ national racing fleet, but provides a welcome and robust basis for the ISA, clubs, classes and sailors alike, on which to build and evolve.

According to the report, there is a total of just under 7,000 sailors actively racing in Ireland. Junior single-handers get four times the coaching of everyone else. Senior dinghy sailing is almost non existent in the major sailing centres. One fifth of clubs have no club racing and 25% have no interest in hosting visiting events. These are just some of the conclusions of a report where, the ISA say, the detail of input from some of the clubs was ‘varied’.

The survey, commissioned by International Race Officer Jack Roy, an ISA Director, was sent out in March 2015 with data to be based on the 2014 season. The survey was emailed to the Commodores and Sailing Secretaries of the 57 affiliated clubs that have sailing activity. A total of 52 responses were received, a response rate of over 90%.

Also among the findings it is reported that in the major sailing centres approximately 60% of juniors are trained in single handers and 60% of senior dinghy sailors are single handers.

Greystones dinghy sailor, Norman Lee, a long time advocate of the need to reformat current ISA thinking, has read the report and points to a need to change the training emphasis from juniors in single handers to double handers. Lee suggests where possible using double–handers also used by seniors to aid integration and transition.

For more in-depth analysis and comments, please visit www.afloat.ie 

Download the full report here: ISA-Survey-of-Club-Racing-Championships-2015-Final