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Latest Sailing Stories
The stressed face of the lone skipper. This is Tom Dolan at the briefing in Pornichet before his first major single-handed race in 2015, in which he would sail a borrowed and far-from-new Pogo 650 Mark 2. Two days before the start, he had discovered a fractured spreader bracket on the mast. To fix it, he had to take down the mast, drive to La Rochelle for a replacement bracket, fit it, and then re-step the mast on the night before the race. That final stage was completed with the help of ten fellow-skippers, typical of the camaraderie of the Mini 650 class
W M Nixon
The world of sailing has so many sectors of interest that it’s challenging keeping track of the general picture. But even when you’ve achieved that basic level of comprehension, you then discover that each sector has so many sub-sectors that…
Ger Dempsey's Venues World was the winner of Thursday's DBSC SB20 race
SB20
In comparison to the prospect of an evening of office-based toil, a fresh north easterly breeze with lots of sunshine and a decent swell for SB20 based surfing had the makings of a far more enjoyable latter portion of a…
Water Wags on Lough Boderg. There was a strong turnout of 22 for Wednesday's race in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Water Wag
It wasn't only last night's Dublin Bay keelboats that were having a lively start to 2017 after the spell of north–easterlies. The DBSC Water Wags also had a pretty lively sail on Wednesday with 22 Wags out in force. Tim…
A Royal Cork 1720 in the first race of the club's May League. Scroll down for more photos
Royal Cork YC
Royal Cork Yacht Club's UK Sailmakers May league began this evening and Afloat.ie's Bob Bateman captured the sailing action from Cork Harbour. In the first race of a seven boat 1720 division Heroes and Villains (Gary Rhodes) was the winner. Brian…
Tonight's Beneteau 31.7 (Echo) race was won by Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power). Lorcan Balfe's Extreme Reality (above) was third. Full results downloadable below
DBSC
Big seas and a big north easterly breeze made for a lively second DBSC Thursday night race for 22 keelboat classes this evening on Dublin Bay.  IRC One was won by Tony Fox's Gringo from the National Yacht Club. The…
When the wind came in with sufficient vigour to give his tall frame its natural advantage, Ewan McMahon took full control of the racing at Ballyholme
Sailor of the Month
It was the biggest ISA Youth Sailing Pathway Nationals yet seen, and the 2017 Championship at Ballyholme Yacht Club – 190 boats, 208 sailors – lived up to and beyond expectations in a variety of sailing conditions between 20th and…
Dr Jason Smithwick, new Director of Rating for IRC
RORC
The Lymington (UK) based Rating Office, headquarters of the world's most popular rating system IRC, is to be managed by Dr Jason Smithwick. Following on from academia, roles in the research industry and sailing's international federation Smithwick will take up…
When Pierce Power of Passage West on Cork Harbour was commissioned to build the original punt for John Valentine Sisk in 1926, the specification was for an easily-rowed stable 10ft dinghy which could comfortably carry four adults. This is the modern version, providing much lighter weight through edge-glued construction
Historic Boats
The Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2017 from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th May will feature a remarkable selection of old, restored and new craft - traditional and classic alike - all reflecting the many aspects of the arts and crafts…
The refurbished Waterford Harbour Sailing Club was opened by Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy
Sailing Clubs
There was a big turn out for the launch of the newly refurbished Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, followed by the fitting-out dinner, ahead of an exciting sailing season in Dunmore East writes Marcella Connolly Olympic medallist and Sport Ireland CEO,…
Bow Pamela Lee (left) onboard TP52 Conviction at Antigua Week
Offshore
Greystones Sailing Club and Lough Derg Yacht Club member Pamela Lee is racing on TP52 'Conviction' as Bow at Antigua Race Week. Conviction leads class RSA3 with four wins from five races so far. Lee has been racing as a bowman…
Ruffian 23 racing on Dublin Bay. Results below.
DBSC
There were light winds for Tuesday evening's Dublin Bay Sailing Club races. Provisional results are downloadable below. No dinghy results received. Results for Combined Cruisers, Cruisers 3, Glens and Ruffian 23s below.
Saskia Tidey (left) and Charlotte Dobson on their way to bronze at the 2017 World Cup Series in Hyères, France
Sailor of the Month
Saskia Tidey’s enthusiasm for racing the 49erFX to Olympic level is such that after she’d exhausted every possibility of finding a sailing partner towards Tokyo 2020 within Ireland, she had to cast the net towards the UK, and linked up…
Tom Dolan (right) on the podium in France after his third place in the Pornichet of the French Solo Offshore Championship. He is pictured with Valentin Gautier and Pierre Chedeville
Sailor of the Month
Tom Dolan from County Meath may still seem to some to be the new boy on the block for Irish participation in the small boat solo sailing scene centred around France. But he has clocked up quite a few miles…
Team Pri​ncipal &​ Skipper​ Ben Ain​slie and​ his Land Ro​ver desi​gned ste​ering wh​eel
America's Cup
It's the direct link between Sir Ben Ainslie and the boat built to bring the America's Cup home; the steering wheel that Ainslie will be holding as he strives to drive Land Rover BAR's America's Cup Class boat to success…
Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse
RNLI Lifeboats
#RNLI - Just hours after attending a grounded barge at the northern end of the lough, the volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were back on the water yesterday morning (Sunday 30 April) to assist a motor cruiser with seven…
Buoyant entries have been received for Julys' Dun Laoghaire regatta that will celebrate the bicentenary of the harbour
Volvo Regatta
Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta early bird entry closed on Friday, reaching 400 entries for the July event. Entry remains open but without the discounted rate. 2,500 sailors are expected to race across 22 classes making it Ireland's biggest regatta but…

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

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Featured Blogs

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