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Latest Sailing Stories
Derry during a previous Clipper race stopover
Clipper Race
Conall Morrison, 35, from Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, has been named as one of the twelve professional Skippers who will lead a team in the next edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. It adds yet another Irish dimenson…
The 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race - Close to 400 boats in the combined IRC and non-IRC fleets will compete in the world's largest offshore race starting on Sunday 6th August
Fastnet
The world's largest, most prestigious offshore sailing event will take place this summer off the Irish south coast with the 47th running of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Some offshore yacht races struggle for entries, but the Royal Ocean Racing Club's…
The 2015-built 60m Perini Perseus has been achieving her first wins this week in the Caribbean under Nin O’Leary’s command
Royal Cork YC
It’s the peak of the best of the sailing season in the Caribbean, and key Irish crews are making a major impact at the sharp end of the fleet writes W M Nixon. Former All-Ireland Sailing Champion Nin O’Leary of…
The Trinity team of Scott Flanigan, Cara McDowell, Daniel Gill, Kate O’Reilly, Richard Roberts, and Laragh Lee are 2017 Varsities champions
Team Racing
University College Dublin Sailing Club (UCDSC), the defending Varsities champions, hosted the Irish University Sailing Association (IUSA) Intervarsities out of Clifden Boat Club from the 10th to the 12th March. 26 teams were racing at the final IUSA event of…
The race will visit the Northern Irish city for the fourth consecutive time, in July 2018
Clipper Race
Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, will again feature as a Host Port in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. The decision that the race will visit the Northern Irish city for the fourth consecutive time, in July 2018, was confirmed…
J109 Dear Prudence on the edge after gybing in Sunday's Spring Chicken Race on Dublin Bay. See gallery below
DBSC
1720 Merlin leads the ICRA Boat of the Year Joker II by a single point after three races sailed in the 2017 DBSC Spring Chicken Series on Dublin Bay. Sunday's third race was sailed in blustery conditions that led to…
IOCA UK will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Optimist, first designed in 1947
Optimist
IOCA UK announces it will host a Champion of Champions Race at its 2017 British Nationals in celebration of 70 years of the Optimist Dinghy. To be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, this invitation only event…
Viper 640s at Miami Sailing Week
Royal Cork YC
Sailed from March 9-11 as part of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship is the culmination of a year’s worth of qualifying regattas in Australia, Europe, and North America and attracted its regular Irish entry for the…
Close competition downwind in the Laser class at Howth
Howth YC
The 42nd year of Howth Yacht Club’s Laser Frostbites came to a conclusion on Sunday on a fresh morning with a moderate Westerly breeze. On the last day of the Spring series, the race officers took the opportunity to sail…
Frank Miller with guest star crew Ismail Inan
Fireball
Today saw very lively conditions for the third last weekend of the DMYC frostbites series at Dun Laoghaire writes Frank Miller. The forecast was suggesting up to force five but in fact the wind Gods delivered a bit more. By…
Checkmate XVIII – the old Emiliano Zapata, ex Dick Dastardly, ex French Beret, ex Concorde from 1985 is undergoing a refit in North Wales, launching early May
ICRA
Ireland will be the base for the Nigel Biggs Checkmate XVIII Half Ton campagin this season with a programme that includes the ICRA Nationals, Sovereigns Cup, Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Half Ton Cup in Kinsale. In a previous Irish…
Tallship & Tallbuild: DCC owned museum barque Jeanie Johnston berthed unusually on the south quays of Dublin's 'Docklands'. The financial quarter is undergoing a revival in construction with the Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) notably with the emerging high-rise development of 'Capital Dock'. Afloat will have more to report on the relationship between fixed structures and ships (i.e. Belgium Navy's BNS Castor and astern LE Ciara) that call to the older inner city port. In the foreground are navigation lead-in posts that are part of the Samuel Becket swing-bridge.
Tall Ships
#JeanieDelayed - Once again delays to relocate tallship Jeanie Johnston to her normal home-berth closer to Dublin’s city-centre on the Liffey’s northside continue to beset the popular visitor tourist attraction, writes Jehan Ashmore. As previously reported on Afloat, the delays…
The 1720 sportsboats are holding their European Championships as part of the Sovereign's Cup
Sovereign's Cup
Kinsale Yacht Club has announced O’Leary Life & Pensions as headline sponsors of its 2017 Sovereign’s Cup regatta. June's biennial event has a good number of spinnaker and white sail cruisers entered as well as 1720 sportsboats, a class that is holding its European…
The quality of the Class Two ICRA fleet must make it one of the most competitive
ICRA
Class Two is certainly heating up and expanding this year writes Dave Cullen, Skipper of championship winning half–tonner Checkmate XV. The quality of the fleet must make it one of the most competitive with boats ranging from €15k to €150k…
Busy men. Mark Mansfield on the wheel and Maurice “Prof” O’Connell optimising the trim on Dave Cullen’s J/109 Euro Car Parks at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016, in which they won their class - the only Irish boat to do so. While the boat - in her other life, she’s the Kelly family’s Storm - has been an ICRA “Boat of the Year” in past seasons, at last weekend’s ICRA National Conference in Limerick, Mark Mansfield was present to collect the “Boat of the Year” award on behalf of John Maybury’s J/109 Joker 2, his regular mount. And the Prof was there to tell us about winning the Melges 24 Worlds in Conor Clarke’s Melges 24 Embarr
W M Nixon
On the other hand, ICRA could equally mean 'Ireland’s Cool Runnings Assembly'. In the week in which the Travelling Community was granted Ethnic Minority Status, W M Nixon finds himself among two groups which might be equally deserving of such…
'Altair' from Cove sailing club with Kieran Dorgan on the helm during the CH  Autumn league, an event that counted for SCORA points. Scroll down for more photos
SCORA
Topics for discussion at next week's SCORA AGM and Presentation of overall prizes is a proposal for better collaboration between the local South Coast Clubs, which may help address the twin problems of falling fleet numbers and the poor number of youth dinghy sailors…

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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