Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Latest Sailing Stories
Ilen – restoration work continues in West Cork on Ireland's last surviving Sail Trader
Historic Boats
The latest photos of the restoration work on Ireland's only remaining Sail–Trader Ilen reveal wonderful new Larch planked bulwarks are begining to embrace the 56–ft sailing ketch. They will be expected to shoulder many an Atlantic sea, according to Gary MacMahon, of…
The World cruising through Antarctic ice this past week
Offshore
#Offshore - A giant private yacht has broken the record for the most southerly navigation, reaching 78°43.997’ S and 163°41.421’ W at the Bay of Whales in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The World, a 43,188-ton yacht with 272 crew and carrying…
World Sailing Headquarters To Relocate To London
World Sailing
World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017. The selection of London as the new home for the International Federation comes after an extensive evaluation process of possible locations undertaken since the election…
The late Otto Glaser at the helm of his ketch Tritsch-Tratsch IV on a winter Sunday morning in 2011
News Update
Otto Glaser of Howth Yacht Club, who has died at the age of 90, had been closely and personally affected by much of the trauma engulfing 20th Century Europe. Yet he emerged as the embodiment of a civilised, cultured and…
The Conor O'Brien-designed, Baltimore-built 56ft ketch Ilen back in Irish waters in 1998 for the first time since 1927. She is seen here in Dublin Bay and will be afloat again this summer in time for the  25th Glandore Classic Boat Festival in West Cork
Historic Boats
Glandore Classic Boat Regatta celebrates its 25th anniversary this July with a Parade of Sail that will feature the fully restored AK Ilen, Ireland's sole surviving Sail Trader. There will be four days of first class racing, with eight different…
The International Maritime Bureau maintains a live map of maritime piracy and armed robbery incidents (as seen Tuesday 31 January 2017)
Offshore
#Piracy - Offshore cruisers are urged to be vigilant as the latest figures show a rise in sea kidnappings despite a global decrease in piracy. Practical Boat Owner has more on a recent report from the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau…
Just Jasmin, Phil Smyth's Bavaria Match 33, was a competitor in last year's DBSC Spring Chicken series
DBSC
Organisers of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's Rathfarnham Ford sponsored Spring Chicken Series are expecting a last minute rush to enter Sunday's first of six races. More than 25 boats are already entered but the 2017 warm–up series usually attracts double that…
In the last edition in 2014-15, MAPFRE won the leg into Auckland, New Zealand and grabbed three more podium finishes
Volvo Ocean Race
MAPFRE will be back on the start line for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18, the Spanish team announced on Tuesday. MAPFRE, backed by the Madrid-based global insurance company, are the third confirmed entry for sailing’s toughest team event, which…
Henri Lloyd has announced a three year partnership with the FAST40+ Class
Racing
Premium British marine and lifestyle clothing brand, Henri Lloyd has announced a three year partnership with the FAST40+ Class. As the Official Technical Clothing Partner to the FAST40+ Class, Henri Lloyd will be working alongside the class organisers and owners to…
The Laurentic during her service in the First World War
Historic Boats
#Laurentic - Last Wednesday (25 January) saw Donegal commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the SS Laurentic off Lough Swilly by German mines during the First World War. Just 121 of the 475 people on board survived the tragedy,…
Maritime journalist Marcus Connaughton was MC at a celebration of Sail Training in Ireland
Tall Ships
On Saturday 28th January 2017, Sail Training Ireland (STIRL) held their 5th Annual Prize Giving and Season Launch event in the Oak Room at the Mansion house in Dublin, courtesy of Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr writes Daragh Sheridan.…
Andrew Baker will skipper Team Averda in the Sailing Arabia Tour next month
Offshore
Strangford Lough's Andrew 'Hammy' Baker will skipper Team Averda in February's offshore fixture Sailing Arabia, Here he describes the fortchoming adventure that includes a new crewman, Olympic sailor James Espey from Ballyholme Yacht Club Coming into the new year and…
Finn Lynch ended Sailing World Cup, Miami in 34th but had four results in top 20 in the last five races
Olympic
Britain's sailors concluded their first World Cup regatta of the 2020 cycle with a six-medal haul as the Sailing World Cup Miami drew to a close on Biscayne Bay on Sunday (29 January) but Irish 49erfx Olympian Saskia Tidey who…
Pictured (L-R) last night at the Volvo Sailing Awards at the RDS, Dublin were Youth Sailor of the Year Nominee Aoife Hopkins, Winner Ewan MacMahon, Sailor of the Year Annalise Murphy,  Youth Sailor of the Year Nominee Sophie Crosbie and Youth Sailor of the Year Nominee Nicole Hemeryck. Scroll down for photo gallery
W M Nixon
Although it was no surprise when Annalise Murphy was enthusiastically acclaimed as the Volvo Sailor of the Year 2016 last night in Dublin, the ceremonies around her “coronation” were a reminder that our boat sports and amateur sailors are great…
Annalise Murphy taking the stage to accept her Irish Sailor of the Year award at the RDS Concert Hall this evening
News Update
#SailorOfTheYear – Olympic hero Annalise Murphy has been named Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year for 2016. August’s Sailor of the Month for her silver medal victory at Rio 2016 was presented with her prize by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) president…
Howth YC’s main committee boat, Star Point, is a case of “handsome is as handsome does”. But even a workhorse like this benefits from dedicated TLC which was provided in recent weeks by a work party of members set up by club volunteers to make her look her best and provide a vastly improved and more economical performance
Howth YC
It takes between 60 and 70 dedicated special voluntary workers to keep a multi-functional organisation like Howth Yacht Club running smoothly with a friendly atmosphere around the place writes W M Nixon. That number is in addition to the elected…

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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