In 1963 Cornelius Shields, one of the foremost proponents of one-design sailing in the U.S. conceived of a modern followup to the International One Design (IOD). The new boat would have the balance and beauty of the IOD while incorporating modern trends such as fiberglass construction. Shields commissioned Olin Stephens for the design. Over 250 have been built and many are actively raced in fleets around the U.S. Shields are sloop-rigged and usually sailed by a crew of three to five. No hiking straps are allowed, keeping athletic demands on the crew to a minimum. (Shields class web site.)
Principal dimensions: LOA 30'2" (9.19 m), DWL 20' (6.1 m), beam 6'5" (1.96 m), draft 4'9" (1.45 m), displacement 4,600 lb (2.1 t), ballast 3,080 lb (1.4 t), sail area (Main, Jib) 360 ft² (33 m²), (Spinnaker) 520 ft² (48 m²)
The Shields enjoys a strong National Association that organizes annual championship regattas. There are active fleets welcoming sailors across the country, including; Larchmont NY, Newport, RI, Chicago, IL, Oxford, MD and Monterey, CA.
Shields Class National championships have been contested since 1965. In September 2016, Reed Baer and John Burnham sailing Shields 107 Grace won the 2016 Shields National Championship in Monterey, CA. The 2017 championship regatta that was to be held in Mystic, CT was abandoned due to strong winds caused by the remnants of Hurricane Jose. The 2018 championship regatta will be held in Edgartown, MA. Past winners are listed on the class website. 
- Background information on Cornelius Shields
- Shields Class Sailing Association
- Shields Fleet 1, Larchmont, NY
- Shields Fleet 3, Chicago, Il
- Shields Fleet 9, Newport, RI
- Shields Fleet 10, Marion, MA
- Shields Fleet 19, Mystic, CT
- Shields Fleet 20, Long Beach, CA
- Shields Association (May 17, 2010). "Shields National Association". http://www.shieldsclass.com/. External link in
- Shields Fleet 9 (May 17, 2010). "Shields Fleet 9 Newport RI".
- Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club (May 17, 2010). "Shields Clinic".
- "Shields National Championship Trophy Winners". Shields Class website.