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Latest Sailing Stories
Spectral white…..Conor O’Brien’s ketch Ilen as she was this morning
Historic Boats
When Gary MacMahon of Limerick brought the 57ft Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen back from the Falkland Islands in 1998, the 1927-built former inter-island trading and passenger transport vessel was in danger of becoming a ghost ship writes W M Nixon.…
Kenny Rumball's INSS entry Jedi is one of ten Irish entries in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race from Cowes
Fastnet
A potent line–up of Irish offshore performers will be lining up for the record breaking Fastnet Race entry – the world's largest offshore race that starts in less than three weeks time. The 605nm race was full in under five…
The Irish Optimist team stand at attention in Thailand
Optimist
After a fine display of Team Racing by the Irish Optimist Team in Thailand, Ireland had a spectacular win over France to finish ninth overall in the Team Racing World Championships 2017. Things were looking good for Team Ireland when…
Belfast Lough was the destination for a 14–boat CAI Summer Cruise
Cruising
The Cruising Association of Ireland held its summer cruise to Belfast Lough in early July 2017. Fourteen boats comprising over forty sailors of varying ages gathered in Bangor Marina, County Down and were welcomed there by David Meeke and Betty…
Some of the Ireland youth sailors who competed at the European Youth Laser Championship 2017  (back row from left) Conor Quinn, Tara Coveney, Ewan MacMahon, Nell Staunton (front row from left) Jamie MacMahon, Loghlen Rickard, Johnny Durcan and Sally Bell
Laser
The next wave of Irish Laser Olympic prospects were out in force at the Radial Youth Sailing European Championships from 6th–13th July in Gdynia Poland. Conditions were light for most of the event with strong winds on the last day. In the…
RS Feva championship racing on Dublin Bay
RS Sailing
Hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club, the Crane Hire Ltd RS Feva 2017 Nationals took place this weekend with 56 sailors lined up for the first race on Friday afternoon. There was a full range of weather conditions…
Winning helm – Noel Butler (centre) with Neil Cramer (Fireball Class Chairman & Skerries SC Treasurer) and Skerries SC Commodore Kieran Brannagan
Fireball
A variety of headlines could be given to this regatta report: “A regatta of two halves”, “Consistency pays”, “Minimal mistakes pays dividends”, Fireballs survive Mother Nature”, “Happy return to Skerries” “17 tired bodies enjoy Fireball sailing at its best”. The…
The ICC Galician Rally’s assembly harbour at Portosin, with most of the rally participants in the outer berths of the marina
Cruising
The Irish Cruising Club’s 2017 Rally in northwest Spain begins its stately progress southwards today from the fleet assembly point of Portosin writes W M Nixon With its organisation ably led by experienced Galician cruiser Peter Haden (whose home port…
Irish Sailing Coach Ross Killian with a fleet of 420 dinghies
ISA
Ross Killian is Irish Sailing’s 420 Academy Coach, but this summer Killian is also developing a new Club Coaching programme. Afloat.ie finds out more about the Club Coaching programme and what he’s looking for. What’s the new Irish Sailing Club…
Lough Ree’s inshore lifeboat approaches the upturned Fireball and its two sailors
RNLI Lifeboats
#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI was called to assist two sailors when their 17ft Fireball dinghy was holed and began to sink on Lough Ree on Saturday evening (15 July). The crew of Lough Ree lifeboat The Eric Rowse were…
 Mermaids line up for a start at the 2012 National Championships hosted by Skerries Sailing Cl
Mermaid
Skerries Sailing Club looks back on its strong historical roots with the Dublin Bay Mermaid class in preparation for hosting this year’s National Championship writes Susan Roundtree This year’s Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship is being hosted by Skerries Sailing…
Today's Beneteau 31.7 race on Dublin Bay was won by Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson), Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power) was second with Chris Johnston's Prospect third
DBSC
B21S - 1. VENTUNO (R FOGARTY), 2. BILLY WHIZZ (P SHANNON) B21S - 1. VENTUNO (R FOGARTY), 2. BILLY WHIZZ (P SHANNON  BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson), 2. Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power), 3. Prospect (Chris Johnston) BENETEAU…
Martin Byrne's Jaguar team were winners of the UK Dragon South Coasts and fifth overall in the Edinburgh Cup
Dragon
Martin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team were fifth in the final race of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Cowes today. Together with a first place scored yesterday this lifted the sole Irish entry to fifth place overall. 'Given that our target…
The serious helmsman. Jack Roy and his daughter Jill racing their Squib class Kanaloa, no 130. One of the oldest boats racing in the Dublin Bay class, they worked together to restore her from a near-derelict condition
W M Nixon
The role of President of what is now Irish Sailing is central to our activities afloat. The diverse boating community that the President both serves and represents is affected by the variable socio–economic circumstances in which our sport - in…
Simon Johnson Racing Full-Hearted With RC44 Team Aqua
Offshore
#Offshore - New footage from Team Aqua’s RC44 shows their Irish pitman Simon Johnson in the heart of the action. And the video takes that literally — as it tracks his heart rate topping out at 181bpm after a leeward…
George David's Rambler 88 is no stranger to Irish waters - though the Maxi's latest escapades were in the English Channel
Offshore
#Rambler88 - George David’s Rambler 88 has won the King Edward VII Cup in this year’s Cowes-Dinard-St Malo Race. The American Maxi took line honours in the 151-nautical-mile offshore race and was also declared overall winner IRC time correction of…

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
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