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Latest Sailing Stories
Alex Thomson who has pulled back 85 crucial miles
Vendee Globe
Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but not for British skipper Alex Thomson who has pulled back 85 crucial miles on Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac'h in the last 24 hours. Thomson revealed yesterday that in order…
With 92% of the race complete, Alex is heading towards the Azores
Vendee Globe
With this year’s edition of The Vendée Globe approaching its final days, British sailor Alex Thomson is in second place, 160 nautical miles behind French rival Armel Le Cléac’h. Alex has claimed back 54 miles overnight in difficult conditions for…
Vendee Globe debutante Enda O'Coineen created a great Irish following in the solo Round the world race. The Irish entry was dismasted off New Zealand
Offshore
Ireland's contribution to world offshore sailing has been great, but, is in need of constant support and ambition writes Northern Ireland Offshore sailor Andrew 'Hammy' Baker. Here the solo sailor oultines the sailors and the events in the 2017 Irish…
Howth Yacht Club Commodore Joe McPeake (left), Ewan MacMahon and HYC's Ross McDonald
Howth YC
Talented Howth Yacht Club sailor Ewan McMahon received his club's top award at an Achievers Ceremong in the North Dublin Club last weekend. McMahon (17) won silver at the KBC Laser Radial Youth World Championships in Dun Laoghaire, in a…
Jonathan Nicholson Rear Commodore Dublin Bay Sailing Club and Adrienne Jermyne, the new Class Captain of Cruisers 2
DBSC
The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Cruisers 2 Class held their AGM in the Royal Irish Yacht Club last night. A good attendance of 26 members unanimously elected Adrienne Jermyne as Class Captain for the 2017 season. A sailor since…
Le Cleac'h was this morning 180nm ahead of the British sailor
Vendee Globe
French sailor Armel Le Cleac'h has almost doubled his Vendee Globe lead on arch-rival Alex Thomson overnight after finding breeze to the west of the Cape Verde islands. After several days of painful progress through the Doldrums that allowed Thomson…
 IDEC SPORT more than 4 days and 6 hours ahead of the record at the Horn
Offshore
The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran skippered by Francis Joyon crossed the longitude of Cape Horn, the last of the three major capes in the Jules Verne trophy at 0004 UTC on Thursday 12th January. After leaving Ushant on 16th December, Joyon…
Derek Martin's IRC Offshore Lively Lady from the Royal Irish Yacht Club is one of 18 Super Early Bird Prize Draw Winners Announced. Full list downloadable below.
Volvo Regatta
Five Royal Irish yachts won free entry into July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta following a draw from 180 'Super Early Bird entries' this week. In total 18 boats won the free entry prizes ranging from dinghies to IRC cruisers.  Among…
The 17 Optimist fleet in Tralee Bay included some of the most promising juniors in the country
Youth Sailing
With 47 sailors on the water in Tralee Bay in County Kerry in the first week of January, 2017 started on a very positive note for Junior sailing in Ireland. The 17 Optimist fleet included some of the most promising…
Mirror winter training is held, as in previous years in Lough Ree YC, and is run over four weekend sessions between January to April
Mirror
The Irish Mirror sailing season starts in less than two weeks with the first weekend of the Winter Training Programme. The winter training is held, as in previous years in Lough Ree YC, and is run over four weekend sessions between…
Dame Ellen MacArthur announced a Round Britain Challenge today at the London Boat Show
Offshore
Today, Dame Ellen MacArthur announced today at the London Boat Show, a very special project that will see 100 young people in recovery from cancer taking part in an extraordinary challenge - sailing around Britain in a national relay, celebrating…
Turner's 'The Doge Palace', Venice which forms part of the exhibition (including lecture) this month at the National Gallery of Ireland.
News Update
#MarineArtist – This month of January is dedicated to the master of seacapes Turner with an exhibition of prints at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, writes Jehan Ashmore. The British painter Joseph Mallord William Turner (23 April 1775 –…
Red Alert competing in the Dublin Bay based DMYC Kish Race. A big turnout is predicted for coastal racing as part of July's Dun Laoghaire Regatta
Volvo Regatta
ISORA's Peter Ryan anticipates a 50% increase in offshore sailors into next July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The buoyant prediction is in step with an encouraging ' Super Early Bird' entry for the biennial event that closed on New Year's…
Gavin Reid, 28, is YJA Yachtsman of the Year
Clipper Race
Gavin Reid, 28, an amateur sailor who was born profoundly deaf, has beaten “his heroes”, Giles Scott, the Rio 2016 Gold Medalist, and Brian Thompson, Round the Island Race Record Holder, to be honoured as the boats.com 2016 YJA Yachtsman…
Yachtsman Enda O'Coineen with the damage to his yacht, the Kilcullen Voyager
Vendee Globe
Following his dismasting on New Year’s Day shortly after he’d resumed racing as Ireland’s sole entry in the Vendee Globe, 61-year-old Irish skipper Enda O’ Coineen with the IMOCA 60 Kilcullen Voyager has succeeded in his gallant ambition of reaching…
Artemis Ocean Racing IMOCA 60
Vendee Globe
Launched in 2016, Vendée2020Vision is a new initiative to support British sailors along the path to success in yacht racing’s most challenging event - the Vendée Globe, the quadrennial singlehanded non-stop round the world race. Singlehanded offshore racing is an…

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
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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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