Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Round Ireland record holder Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 is in action in the Caribbean
RORC
Both monohull and multihull Round Ireland record holders are part of a fleet of over 80 yachts expected for the ninth edition of the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 in which 900 sailors from 30 different nations will race non-stop around…
Charles Apthorp and Alan Green of the National Yacht Club will race in the Flying Fifteen World Championships in New Zealand
Flying Fifteen
Alan Green and Charles Apthorp of the National Yacht Club head for the Flying Fifteen World Championships in New Zealand on Thursday - Summer racing in the South Pacific. Alan and Charles team up for many events and Charles whose…
Jeanie Johnston assisted by tugs Shackleton and Beaufort to a temporary berth at North Wall Extension on Monday. This afternoon the barque is to complete the short passage upriver to Custom House Quay and reopen for tours this Friday. Note on the right in the background is the blue crane of the graving dry-dock from where the tallship vacated as the final ship to use the facility.
Tall Ships
#DublinsTallship - Jeanie Johnston which became the final ever vessel to use Dublin Port's last working graving dock is to return to her usual city-centre berth this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore. On Monday, the replica of a 19th century famine…
Cruising in Cork Harbour. A view of Drake's Pool near Crosshaven
Cruising
Due to demand for this weekend's ISA Cruising Conference 2017 in Cork city, there has been a change of venue. The one day conference sponsored by Union Chandlery moves from the Port of Cork offices to the Clayton Hotel City…
The Jeanie Johnston after departing Dublin's last drydock yesterday is seen at the Lead-In Jetty outside the entrance of the shiprepair /maintenance facility which is to be decommissioned. The barque without it upper section of the mizzen mast, was awaiting to be towed to a berth on the Liffey close to the Tom Clarke toll-bridge.
Tall Ships
#DryDocking – A replica 19th century famine emigrant tallship built to retrace Irish-north American history, Jeanie Johnston also made her own mark in Dublin Port yesterday as the final ship to use the capital’s last graving drydock, writes Jehan Ashmore.…
The start of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be November 5th
Offshore
The 13th edition of the offshore Transat Jacques Vabre will kick off on Saturday, October 28, 2017, around the Bassin Paul Vatine (marina) in Le Havre, for a week of festivities that will mark the 500th anniversary of this maritime…
160 Dragon sailors gathered at the Royal St. George Yacht Club for a 40 year reunion this month. See photo gallery below
Dragon
Upwards of 160 Dragon sailors attended a classic dragon sailors reunion this month at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Guests from Spain, France, UK, together with a large contingent from Kinsale and Glandore matched those from…
The J109 Indecision is a competitor in the DBSC Spring Chicken series.
DBSC
Unsuitable wind conditions disrupted this morning's Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) Spring Chicken Series for a second week in a row. While last week's Rathfarnham Ford sponsored racing was scrubbbed because of no wind, this morning's round–the–cans race was forced off…
Yachtsman Alex Thomson and his race yacht Hugo Boss are welcomed at his homecoming parade in the teams home port of Gosport, UK. Alex finished second in the Vendee Globe non stop solo yacht race
Vendee Globe
Vendee Globe sailor Alex Thomson was welcomed home today by crowds of people who gathered to celebrate the sailor’s record breaking effort in the prestigious Vendée Globe, widely renowned as one of sport’s toughest challenges. Thomson finished second in this…
The 68ft Nimmo, built by Dan Mill in Galway in a four year project eight years ago, is a reminder that there’s a lot more to sailing in the west than the traditional craft of the Irish Atlantic seaboard
W M Nixon
There is really no reasonable comparison between Ireland’s eastern and western seaboards writes W M Nixon. The east coast is quite densely populated, and while it has some areas of impressive scenery, in general it lacks the majestic inlets and…
John Derbyshire – The RYA Director of Racing is to step down after 32 years' service
Olympic
John Derbyshire OBE, whose involvement with the RYA’s Racing programmes spans some 32 years as a coach, Olympic Manager and as latterly Director of Racing, is to retire from the organisation in late 2017. Two exciting opportunities will now exist…
Handicap cruiser-racing on Dublin Bay. The IRC rating for cruiser racers will get its first world championships in 2018 it has been announced
Offshore
The Offshore World Championship 2018, a World Sailing sanctioned event, will take place in the Hague, specifically from the port of Scheveningen, in July 2018. An innovative solution will be used for the first time to unite the two largest…
Sailing's Colm Barrington was elected as vice-president of the Olympic Council of Ireland last night in Dublin
Olympic
Sailing's Colm Barrington was voted with a clear majority to the position of first Vice–President at last night's ground breaking Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) egm at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. After three decades of rule by former president Pat…
While the course is on, RORC will be offering to measure boats at a substantial discount at Royal Cork
ICRA
Royal Cork Yacht Club in conjunction with ICRA and RORC will be running an IRC Measurement weekend on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May. The aim of this weekend is two fold: IRC Measurers:• To train up new people…
Mermaid skipper Sam Shiels of Skerries Sailing Club holds aloft his National Champion trophy with crew Con Bissett and Eoin Boylan at the 2016 prizegiving
Mermaid
As anyone involved in Dublin Bay Mermaid racing knows it’s no easy feat to claim a Championship title. Many have been sailing for years, edging ever closer but not having quite gotten there yet, so, with an excellent sailing season…
Test the Water has run for a total of three years and has seen 2628 Island children take part in the programme
Youth Sailing
UKSA are delighted to once again be offering their Test the Water programme to all Isle of Wight Year 6 students. Children from across the Isle of Wight will be invited to spend half a day at UKSA with their…

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

Irish Sailing Association
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

vdlr sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating