12-Feet Dinghy Race in Japan


Although it has been almost a century since the first 12-feet dinghy was built in England in 1912, it is still being built by the identical specification in Italy, Netherlands and Japan.  The 12-feet dinghy is cherished by many of the Japanese sailors by the name of “A-Class Dinghy.” 


In 1933, 12-feet A-Class dinghy became the official racing boat in Japan, and many of the sailing clubs in universities were racing with the 12-feet A-Class dinghies on their sailing regattas. For many years since, these A-Class dinghy have been used in inter-collegiate races and All-Japan races.   


However, in 1972, the high-speed 470-Class was nominated as the official dinghy in order to meet the requirements to enter the Olympic Games, and 12-feet A-Class dinghy races were discontinued since. 


In 1991, the old sailors who love the 12-feet A-Class dinghy started her “revival race” with only 7 dinghies.  Since then, the number of participating dinghies increased annually, and in 2006, 52 dinghies and 303 sailors from 34-clubs have participated in the All-Japan 12-feet A-Class Dinghy Championship. 


The specifications of Japanese A-Class dinghy are basically same as Italian and Dutch specifications, but there are some minor discrepancies due to the concepts of the builders, way of construction and the kinds of materials used .

However, Japan 12-feet A-class dinghy Association (JADA) are allowing such minor discrepancies and are admitting participation of those dinghies in the All Japan Championship.


12-feet A-class All-Japan is a race by two-men dinghies under “ The Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008”. We have a special rule for minimum sailing weight, which is 140kg, in case sailing weight is less than 140kg, such dinghy has to load enough ballasts to clear the requirement. Measurement for “sail-area” and “sailing weight” will be carried

out as necessary


We have 39-clubs registered and members of the clubs are comprised of old-boys/girls from the universities’ sailing clubs. .Also, these clubs own a number of  A-class dinghies that participate in the All-Japan Championship. 



H. Shirahata   Chairman  Japan 12-feet A-class Dinghy Association(JADA)

 in 2006  All-Japan 12-feet A-Class Dinghy Championship


Name of Association :  Japan 12-feet A-class Dinghy Association (JADA)


Affiliated Organization :  (JADA) is affiliated with Japan Sailing Federation (JASF)


How All Japan Race are organized : 

ALL Japan Races are held in July every year.

(2006  June/30---July/02,  at Enosima Yacht-harbor)

Nominated clubs of the year are on duty to host and organize the races.


2006 All Japan Race :  52 Dinghies and 303 sailors from 34-clubs have participated...

Participation of 12-feet dinghies: 

6   Italian dinghies

4   Dutch dinghies

32  Japanese old wooden dinghies

10  Japanese new-concept wooden dinghies (planked by epoxy instead of copper nails)


Race results in 2006 All-Japan

Rank       Sail-no     Name of Clubs         Points 

1st    A311     Kyuushuu-Univ OB-Club    

  2nd        A17       Nihon-Univ OB Club         4 

  3rd        A2024    Seiwagomon Yacht Club   9

  4th        A3703    KG Sailing Club                11

  5th         A48        Rikkyo Dinghy Club         12

  6th        I-2005    Osaka Univ OB Club        15 

  7th        A23        Kansai-Housei Club          15

   8th       A11        Rikkyo Dinghy Club          16

   9th       A87        Sundai Sailing Club            18

  10th      A6          Rikkyo Dinghy Club          20

Remark : A2024 and I-2005 are Italian dinghies.

( Top of 10 out of 52 dinghies participated in total of first and second 2-races. third and following races

 were cancelled due to rough weather. )



     Japan 12-feet A-Class Dinghy AssociationJADA

     Chairman  H. Shirahata