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Latest Sailing Stories
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…
Greystones Sailing Club's Shane MacCarthy and Damian Bracken were winners of the GP14 Challenge in Swords
GP14
The Riocard O’Tiarnaigh GP14 Challenge 2017 was hosted by Swords Sailing Club on Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th April. 17 boats from as far north as Moville and south as Dungarvan, attended despite the challenging forecast which proved to be…
The ultra lightweight Olson 30 was designed in 1978 in California
ICRA
A new arrival into Royal Cork Yacht Club this season is an Olson 30, a vintage American design writes Bob Bateman. Afloat.ie understands it's the only one of its type in Europe and will be new competition at the top…
Howth's Aoife Hopkins in breeze in Hyeres
Tokyo 2020
After a variable week and a "big learning regatta," National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch has placed 32nd overall in the men's Laser at the Sailing World Cup in Hyères writes Nathaniel Ogden. Coming home with a mid-fleet result after the…
UCD Winners led By Will Byrne (with trophy) in Howth. Despite bits of blue sky, conditions in the Irish Sea were steadily deteriorating as Howth YC’s flotilla of J/80s did the business to see UCD become Ireland’s representatives in the 2017 Student Yachting Worlds this Autumn in Marseiles, to be raced in J/80s
Youth Sailing
University College Dublin, led by Will Byrne, won through in an increasingly challenging national selection trials at Howth YC yesterday to take the honour of representing Ireland in the 37th Annual Student Yachting Worlds, which this year will be staged…
A currach on the shore on Inishbofin, which sees the launch of its latest community-build traditional boat this May Bank Holiday weekend
Historic Boats
#Currach - The first of four new community-built currachs launches from Inishbofin this afternoon (Sunday 30 April), as Galway Bay FM reports. Young people from the Connemara island have been heavily involved in the traditional boat-building project, funded via the…
Sails against the Qingdao skyline in the Mazarin Cup, the second stage of the 2017 Extreme Sailing Series
Howth YC
#ExtremeSailing - ‘Marine Formula 1’ is how the high-performance vessels of the Extreme Sailing Series are being described in Qingdao, China, where the fleet has amassed this weekend for the Mazarin Cup. It marks the second stage of the 2017…
Saskia Tidey of Dun Laoghaire (left) and Charlotte Dobson celebrate bronze in the 49erFX for Team GB in Hyeres
Tokyo 2020
In the Laser Radial fleet Howth Yacht Club sailor Aoife Hopkins has placed 40th after the first day of the live medal races in Hyères, France writes Nathaniel Ogden. Showing a consistent mid-fleet performance throughout the week, Hopkins has placed…
Southerly winds gusted to 30–knots
DBSC
With southerly winds gusting to over 30–knots this afternoon, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) has had its second cancellation in its first week of summer racing for 2017.  Racing was scrubbed for dinghies on Tuesday, successfully completed on Thursday but…
Lynch included 7th, 10th and 13th from the 60–strong fleet in his overall tally
Tokyo 2020
A blustery westerly breeze made for challenging conditions today at Hyères for Finn Lynch in the men's Laser fleet yesterday writes Nathaniel Ogden. A mixed set of results seem to be becoming a theme in this year's Sailing World Cup…
Tom Dolan from County Meath on his way to a third overall in the first race of the French Solo Offshore Racing Championships
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s mini class sailor Tom Dolan from County Meath has finished an impressive third place out of 52 boats in the first single–handed race of the French Solo Offshore Racing Championship. The podium result came after a 300 mile match…
The main dining room at the National Yacht Club hosts this evening's gathering for new and prospective members
National YC
#NYC - The National Yacht Club hosts an evening for new and prospective members tonight (Friday 28 April) from 7pm to 9pm at the Dun Laoghaire clubhouse’s main dining room. The evening promises an opportunity to learn about the club’s…
Four of the Howth YC flotilla of J/80s, in in their pen ready for a day’s racing
Youth Sailing
The Annual Student Yachting Worlds, sailed in performance keelboats each Autumn in France, has seen Irish overall success in times past, a noted international varsity star being Nicholas “Nin” O’Leary during his college days in Cork writes WM Nixon But…
The foiling Nacra 17
Tokyo 2020
World Sailing has confirmed its support for the existing roll out plan to release the first batch of 45 Foiling Nacra 17’s on June 26. The European Championship, as previously stated in the released NoR will be a foiling event,…
Alert Packaging skippered by Justin Bourke was second last night in DBSC's first Thursday race
SB20
Four boats bravely fought the cold this evening and ventured out to the start line for the first Thursday race of the 2017 DBSC SB20 sailing programme. The forecast was an enticing 12knts gusting 18knts from a steady north west…

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 Events

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Featured Blogs

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