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Latest Sailing Stories
The Sunday morning start for the Mini Fastnet fleet at Douarnenez. An upper limit of 70 had been set on entries, but during the final prep days, the numbers were shaken down to 62 boats
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s Tom Dolan currently lies fourth in class as the 62–strong fleet in the 600-mile Mini-Fastnet from Douarnenez in western Brittany goes into its first night, crossing the English Channel to the first mark at the Wolf Rock writes W…
David Williams, Neil Hegarty and Peter Bowring are the new Irish Dragon Champions
Dragon
Royal St. George Dragon Phantom sailed by Neil Hegarty, David Williams and Peter Bowring were winners of the seven–race Irish Dragon National Championships on Dublin Bay yesterday by two clear points. The title win follows Hegarty's East Coast championship victory sailed at the same…
Classic sailing at Crosshaven. See more photos below
Historic Boats
There was more for historic boat fans at today's Crosshaven Traditional Sail festival in Cork Harbour.  Afloat's Bob Bateman captured both the classic boat fleet and spectator craft (below) on another lovely afternoon at Crosshaven. See day one Traditional Sail photos here and day…
'Alchemy' Leads at Squib Nationals at Holyhead
Squib
Today was what can be called a ‘shoe sailing day’ because Squib sailors normally wear boots when they are racing, but today the champagne conditions in Holyhead Bay for the 45 Squibs racing in their annual championships were so perfect,…
A vintage National 18 participates in today's Traditional Sail race off 'The Grassy' at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour. Scroll down for more images
Cork Harbour
Today's Crosshaven Traditional Sail pursuit race attracted all types of sailing dinghies from National 18s, Enterprises to Rankins plus vintage keelboats for a harbour pursuit race, just part of this weekend's line up of attractions for the Traditional Boat Festival…
Prospect (Chris Johnston) was third in today's DBSC race on Dublin Bay
DBSC
Dublin Bay Sailing Club Results for 17 JUNE 2017 BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson), 2. Fiddly Bits (Timmins/Quigley/Murray/Breen), 3. Thirty Something (Kavanagh\Gaffney\Lubliner) BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power), 2. Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson),…
(Top) Rupert Barry’s JOD35 Red Alert at the start off Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday evening  and (above) We made it! The crew of Red Alert in Dingle this morning. They may have placed 7th in Racing 1, and 14th overall. But remember, that’s 14th out of 43 starters
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
The mood is good in Dingle this afternoon. And while some have hard-won successes to celebrate, others have the simple fact of getting there at all to further brighten their already bright day writes WM Nixon. For the National Yacht…
Racing at KYC's Bertoletti Trophy Race last night in Kinsale. Scroll down for Bob Bateman's photo gallery
Kinsale
Kinsale Yacht Club's postponed Bertoletti Trophy Race – staged annually in memory of club steward Mario Bertoletti – was held last night, ideal timing for a last minute tune–up before Kinsale's big event of the the season, the O'Leary Life…
Rockabill VI’s crew celebrate their D2D line honours in Dingle this evening. The winning Royal Irish YC crew were (back row) Peter Wilson, Paul O'Higgins, Conor O'Higgins, Rees Kavanagh, Ian O'Meara, Mark Pettit (front row) William Byrne and Ian Heffernan
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
#D2D - In Dingle of a warm summer Friday’s evening, the night has barely started at 9pm, writes W M Nixon. So the multi-talented crew of Paul O’Higgins’ JPK1080 Rockabill VI were in plenty of time for a leisurely winner…
D2D Race organiser Adam Winkelmann of the National Yacht Club is ready and waiting for tonight's finishers
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
It's been a helluva race with a record turnout – and a record dropout – since Wednesday evening's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle start. Now, after an epic 48 hours ago, the National Yacht Club organisers have relocated to the County…
Rockabill VI makes her approach to the Dingle Finish. Scroll down for Tracker link
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI has been piling up the pressure from the front on the chasing opposition in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017 writes W M Nixon. She swept up to Skellig Michael at 8.8…
Lionheart’s consistent sailing in the three-day regatta paid off
America's Cup
#AmericasCup - Lionheart sailed to the top place in the J Class in yesterday’s final round of the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta in Bermuda. The team behind the Dutch yacht – which features Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking as…
A beautiful sight for the sea-battered mariner. Hospitable Kinsale and its marina opens to view as you sail in past the forts
W M Nixon
The people of Ireland – sailors and farmers alike - are gasping for a bit of real summer. But with Met Eireann predicting that next week will be favourable for hay-making, there’s a dilemma for grassland farmers who like a…
Rockabill VI powering out of Dublin Bay shortly after Wednesday evening's start.  Closing in on the Dingle finish this afternoon her speed continues reaching at a brisk 7 knots in an easing southwesterly breeze
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Paul O’Higgins’ JPK 10.50 Rockabill VI has opened out a ten mile lead on the first of the chasing J/109s Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017 writes W M Nixon. In…
Traditional boats will be sailing at Crosshaven this weekend
Historic Boats
Preserving traditional boats is very important, using them even more so and racing them a sight to behold writes Tom MacSweeney. All can be seen this weekend at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where vintage boats of all types, shapes and…
Rockabill VI (top) should round the Fastnet Rock by 11 am and Mojito (above) around 12.30 pm
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
As the 2017 Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race enters its closing stages, Afloat.ie sticks its neck out and predicts how the race will pan out later today. Tide may yet play a big part in this race that looks set…

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
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
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