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Latest Sailing Stories
The King George IV monument gets a make–over at Dun Laoghaire ahead of the Bicentenary opening ceremony at 14:30 on Wed 31st May 2017
Dublin Bay
Two hundred years after the foundation stone was laid to build Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the President Michael D Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabina, will officiate at the Bicentenary opening ceremony at 14:30 on Wed 31st May 2017, at the…
Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey sailing the Jimmy Furey-built Water Wag Mariposa in idyllic conditions on the Golfe de Morbihan
Historic Boats
The intriguing story of how a ship’s gig of 1796 came to be quietly preserved in Bantry House is well known among classic and traditional boat enthusiasts writes W M Nixon. The elegant craft was left behind after the unsuccessful…
Despite some frustrations for the Fireballers this was a very pleasant evening’s racing in warm pleasant conditions
Fireball
While Tuesday was a warm blustery day by the time Fireballers descended on the waterfront clubs the breeze was fading. Early birds Frank Miller and Ed Butler sailed to the harbour mouth to be greeted by 180 degree shifts and…
Many whale species can be found in the waters of the mid Atlantic during the summer months - prompting vigilance for offshore yacht crews
Offshore
#Offshore - Offshore yachts beware this summer after three British sailors had a lucky escape when their yacht collided with a whale and sank in the mid Atlantic. According to Independent.ie, the trio from the Destiny of Scarborough were picked…
Ireland's Aisling Keller from Lough Derg Yacht Club is competing in the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Holland
Tokyo 2020
Both Finn Lynch in the Laser and new Northern Ireland 49er combination Matt McGovern and Robbie Gilmore sit in the top ten of the Delta Lloyd Regatta Medemblik, Netherlands that started yesterday. Six Irish sailors into total are competing with great competition…
ISORA Competitor Rockabill VI, a JPK 10.80, skippered by Paul O'Higgins, was the winner of the third race from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire
ISORA
Once the ISORA fleet completes its fourth race to Arklow on Saturday, organisers have cooked up a novel and unique race five in the Averycrest sponsored series. Originally, it had been intended that ISORA would join with Howth Yacht Club…
The size and variety of the Morbihan Festival fleet continued to amaze at todays picnic, but the style of the boats wasn’t quite matched by the style of the crews on the beach
Historic Boats
When you’ve an inland sea well filled with islands, the tides running between them are bound to be quite strong from time to time writes W M Nixon. After the second day of the Morbihan Festival of Sail, the veteran…
Golden Girl Carmel Winkelmann with Jack Roy, President Irish Sailing Association, at the National YC dinner on Saturday night celebrating 50 Years of the Junior Section, of which Carmel was founding secretary
National YC
Fifty years of enthusiastic service to Irish and international sailing were celebrated in the National Yacht Club at the weekend with a two day event to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Junior Sailing Section in the club writes W…
A quiet evening at the Claddagh, with a classic Galway hooker gliding along on a calm sea. But the peacefulness is going to be rudely shattered with a Viking invasion in the days ahead, just as the many traditional Galway Bay boats are gathering for their annual festival
Historic Boats
When the Vikings were busy at the day job raiding along the Irish coast, they relied on a considerable element of surprise to achieve success writes W M Nixon. So much so, in fact, that they occasionally worked overtime, and…
Welsh offshore champion Stephen Tudor in J109 Sgrech is one of a handful of boats still expected to enter the 2017 D2D race to bring a total entry to 45 boats. See comment from Stephen Tudor below.
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
The interest and resulting entry for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle D2D Race has exceeded all our expectations, writes race organiser Adam Winkelmann. We now have 39 confirmed entries and expect to have close to 45 boats on the…
New Facebook Page For ISA Race Officials
ISA
#ISA - Race officials with the Irish Sailing Association now have their own Facebook page to help connect them with events across the country this summer season. Wether you’re a mark layer, measurer, race officer, event safety co-ordinator, judge or…
Howth Autumn League Extends Sponsorship Deal With MSL Park Motors
Howth YC
#AutumnLeague - Howth Yacht Club has extended its three-year partnership with MSL Park Motors Mercedes-Benz to sponsor the club’s Autumn League for a fourth season in 2017. “We are absolutely thrilled with this announcement and are very thankful to Dean…
J109 Storm, a former ICRA class one champion
ICRA
As this Friday's entry deadline looms for the ICRA National Championships on June 9, Royal Cork Yacht Club organisers say they will finalise racing divisions closer to the start of the event and will endeavour to make the splits as…
Anthony O’Leary, Managing Director O’Leary Insurance Group, Ronan Goggin Managing Director O’Leary Life, Mike Walsh O’Leary Life - Sovereigns Cup Regatta Director, Dave Sullivan Vice Commodore Kinsale Yacht Club & Brian Goggin Director O’Leary Life
Sovereign's Cup
A new Kinsale Yacht Club award is to be presented at next month's O’Leary Life Sovereigns Cup 2017 will be a 'Family Boat Award'. As Afloat.ie reported yesterday, the brainchild of the title sponsors, O’Leary Life, the award will be…
Flag raisers– (from left) Ian Diamond, An Taisce, Gavin Deane of Royal Cork and Senator Gerry Buttimer raise Royal Cork Marina's Blue Flag in Crosshaven yesterday
Irish Marinas
Seven Irish Marinas were awarded Blue Flags yesterday at the annual awards scheme hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour. Royal Cork's own marina was one of the seven facilities to receive an award. Greencastle Marina in County Donegal raises the…
Greystones Sailing Club's Another Adventure (Daragh Cafferkey) is one of 32 ISORA boats racing to the County Wicklow port of Arklow this weekend
ISORA
Saturday's fourth ISORA race of the season starts from Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin and finishes in Arklow, County Wicklow. The 60–mile race will be the first ISORA visit to Arklow for many years and Arklow Sailing Club, as previously reported…

How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

Featured Clubs

DBSC
National Yacht Club

Featured Associations

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ICRA
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Featured Events

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Featured Sailing School

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
RTE Seascapes
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