Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
The lure of the Fastnet Rock is as big as ever
Fastnet
Entry into the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race surpassed expectation today in record-breaking time. The 340-boat limit was reached in just 4 minutes and 24 seconds setting a new record. Within the first minute of…
 A thumbs up from Johnny Durcan in Adelaide after the final race, at least he's still smiling despite what he termed 'a disappointing overall result!'
Youth Sailing
Although December's youth sailing world championships did not deliver the result Johnny Durcan had hoped for, the young Crosshaven Laser Radial helmsman went on to race at the Australian National Championships in Adelaide last week. The Royal Cork and National Yacht…
Light winds for today's DMYC Frostbite race inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Fireball
Series 2 of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbites started in very hopeful conditions writes Cormac Bradley. However, within 35 seconds of a self-imposed deadline to call proceedings off, the Race Officer decided that a race could be started. The…
Making the international stage. The start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016 as seen from a typical Wicklow hilltop, with George David’s mighty Rambler 88 dominating the line–up
W M Nixon
Wicklow Sailing Club are best-known as the big-hearted little organisation which keeps the iconic Volvo Round Ireland Race show on the road with such style that it is now one of Europe’s premier events, with a stellar international entry list…
Enda O'Coineen was dismasted 180 nautical miles south east of Dunedin in New Zealand
Vendee Globe
#VendeeGlobe - Enda O’Coineen says “it's a real possibility to finish what I started” despite the devastating mast break that took him out of the Vendée Globe on New Year’s Day. The Kilcullen Voyager helm was forced to cut the…
49erFX sailor Saskia Tidey has confirmed her switch to Team GBR as she trains for the Tokyo 2020 skiff event
Olympic
#SaskiaTidey - Saskia Tidey has begun training with Team GBR with a view to representing Great Britain at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as The Irish Times reports. The move comes after the retirement of Tidey’s 49erFX skiff partner Andrea…
The weather Gods are smiling favourably with ideal sailing conditions forecasted for the week at Tralee Bay
Youth Sailing
Tralee Bay Maritime Centre have over 50 boats on the water this week at Fenit in County Kerry. Brian O'Sullivan, Centre Principal, told Afloat.ie he is delighted with the response to the performance coaching clinic, led by Thomas Chaix, with…
New 49er combination Matt McGovern and Robbie Gilmore in training
Olympic
London and Rio Olympic 49er crew Matt McGovern is moving to the position of helmsman in a new campaign for Tokyo 2020. Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) say the Belfast Lough star, who split from sailing partner Ryan Seaton at the…
Former Topper  World Champion Liam Glynn from Ballyholme Yacht Club
Youth Sailing
Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough in Northern Ireland will host its first ISA Youth Sailing Pathway National Championships incorporating the first leg of the IODAI 2017 Optimist Trials in April. The event will be hosted from Thursday 20th to…
IDEC SPORT Halfway Round The World in Less Than 20 Days
Offshore
The IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran will this evening complete the first half of the round the world voyage. It will be around 1800hrs UTC that they will have sailed the 11,160 theoretical miles representing half of the total distance between Ushant…
Out on her own – Nicole Hemeryck in top form at the KBC Laser Youth Worlds in Dublin Bay in July.
Sailor of the Month
With a 7th overall in the mega-large fleet at the KBC Laser Worlds in Dun Laoghaire in July followed by December’s 9th overall in World Sailing’s Aon Youth Sailing Worlds in Auckland, Nicole Hemeryck – who turned 18 in December…
When the going was good – Enda O’Coineen at an early stage of his Vendee Globe campaign
Sailor of the Month
For months now, Enda O Coineen’s campaign in the Vendee Globe with the veteran IMOCA 60 Kilcullen Voyage has captured public imagination as the resilient 60-year-old lone sailor has battled the challenge of a lifetime in the most demanding sailing…
The Laser Dinghy League at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour last January
Island Nation
It was ice on the rigging which put me off sailing in November and December. That was quite a few years ago, but as climate change has had its effects, those months have had different weather patterns and this year…
At the 1969 Quadrimillennial celebrations at the Royal Cork Yacht Club are (left to right) Clayton Ewing (Commodore, Cruising Club of America), An Taoiseach Jack Lynch TD, and Dennis Faulkner, Commodore Irish Cruising Club.
News Update
One of the most noted sailing figures in Northern Ireland, Sir Dennis Faulkner died peacefully at his home close along the shore beside the hidden waters of Ringhaddy Sound in Strangford Lough at the age of 90 on New Year’s…
Enda is in good health as is the dismasted boat. With little to no wind over the past 24 hours progress has been slow. A strong southerly airflow is expected to build over the next 24 hours that will push him north and closer to shore. A vessel from Dunedin is on standby to come out to tow him to the closest port once the system passes
Vendee Globe
Ireland's Vendee Globe entrant Enda O'Coineen is shaken after being dismasted and struggling to get back to New Zealand with no engine (a rope around the prop), it means he could be many days to get in range for a…
Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge (Paul Gibbons) from Royal Cork YC will defend his IRC title in Marseille
RORC
Royal Cork YC's Paul Gibbons, racing Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge, who was the winner of the inaugural IRC European Champion Trophy last July, will be travelling to France this summer to defend his Euro title and the hope is other…

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