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Latest Sailing Stories
Hal Sisk aboard the newly-restored 1894-built Peggy Bawn in Dublin Bay in 2005, with the square-rigger Jeanie Johnston in the background. Peggy Bawn will be one of the stars of the Classics & Traditional section in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017, celebrating the Bicentenary of the harbour. Photo: W M Nixon
W M Nixon
There could well be as many opinions as to what constitutes a true classic or traditional boat as there are owners of these often highly individual craft. As part of the celebration of the Bicentenary of Dun Laoghaire Harbour –…
Thomson crosses the finish line of the race in Les Sables d'Olonne, France at 0737hrs today
Vendee Globe
Alex Thomson, the British sailor with strong Irish roots, has finished the Vendée Globe solo round the world yacht race in second-place after 74 days 19 hours 35 minutes and 15 seconds at sea. Thomson, 42, crossed the finish line…
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has won the Vendée Globe
Vendee Globe
French sailor Armel Le Cléac'h has today won the Vendée Globe, setting a new record for the solo non-stop round the world race in the process. Le Cléac'h, 39, from Brittany, crossed the finish line of the race in Les…
The Alex Thomson-skippered HUGO BOSS is expected in second place in the Vendeé Globe tonight
Vendee Globe
#VendéeGlobe - Despite Enda O’Coineen’s New Year mishap taking him out of contention, the battle for victory in the Vendée Globe retains a distinct Irish flavour. Although he conceded yesterday that his chances of victory were slim – confirmed by…
The French leader Armel Le Cléac'h is currently 36 nautical miles from the Vendee Globe finish line
Vendee Globe
Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac'h is expected to cross the finish line at approximately 1530hrs UTC today after 74 days at sea. The French skipper is currently 36 nautical miles from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France,…
Rambler 88. George David is accustomed to breaking records: In 2011 with his larger Rambler 100, the monohull race record was set
RORC
Next month, more than 70 yachts are expected to take part in the RORC Caribbean 600, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's stunning race around 11 Caribbean islands. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning…
Sailing's Colm Barrington – In his experience the Olympic Council of Ireland has done nothing to support the efforts of high performance sailors
Olympic
The Irish Sailing Association (ISA) has nominated Colm Barrington (70) as a candidate for 'First Vice President' in February's election of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) Executive Committee. The Irish sailing champion and former Aer Lingus Chairman says he is…
Armel Le Cléac'h - 24 hours from Vendee Globe victory
Vendee Globe
British sailor Alex Thomson – with Cork Harbour connections – today conceded that his chances of overhauling Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac'h on the home strait of the Vendee Globe were slim, despite narrowing the gap to just 35…
Royal Cork Marina at Crosshaven
Irish Marinas
The Royal Cork Yacht Club achieved second place in a strong international field at the Marina of the Year Awards and were just pipped to the post by the Karpaz Gate Marina, located in northern Cyprus. The Yacht Harbour Association…
Dongfeng Race Team’s refitted Volvo Ocean 65 leaves the workshop in its new livery
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - Dongfeng Race Team’s Volvo Ocean 65 is the first boat to emerge from its refit process ahead of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. The VOR website has details of the boat’s €1 million overhaul at Lisbon’s Boatyard, which…
Transport Launches New ‘Seafarers’ Website
News Update
#Seafarers - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has launched its new Seafarers web resource for all seafarers, fishers, recreational craft users and others looking to obtain certification or qualification in the sector. The new website is intended…
Leader Armel Le Cléac'h has under 500 miles to the finish line
Vendee Globe
The Vendée Globe is going down to the wire with the leading pair of Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson split by just 78 miles as they enter the final 1,000 miles to the finish. Thomson has been playing catch-up…
Marine artist Pete Hogan, who circumnavigated the world solo in the gaff ketch Molly B in the 1990s, has found it difficult to persuade people that he wasn’t the first Irishman to round Cape Horn single-handed – he says that it was Bill King, back in 1973.
Vendee Globe
The current Vendee Globe Race non-stop round the world is deservedly attracting enough attention without having to make over-stated claims on behalf of some of its participants writes W M Nixon. The official website is today carrying a story that…
Accurate Forecast Puts off Fireball Participation at DMYC?
Fireball
Yesterday’s diminished Fireball fleet in DMYC’s Frostbite Series may have been a consequence of the actual weather mirroring the forecast writes Cormac Bradley. XCWeather had been predicting winds of 17 knots with gusts up to 28 knots from a WNW…
Eight new RS200s have arrived over the winter into Cork Harbour
RS Sailing
The Irish RS200 class association has announced Olympian Saskia Tidey has agreed to coach the Irish fleet for an ISA-supported class training weekend on Feb 4/5 at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Saskia competed for Ireland…
 UK 29er National Championship winners Harry Durcan and Harry Whitaker are heading for Spain next month
Youth Sailing
Royal Cork's Harry Durcan was back on the water in Crosshaven, County Cork at the weekend with crew Harry Whitaker in advance of their first 29er skiff event of the year in Spain in February. The first Eurocup of 2017…

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]

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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