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Latest Sailing Stories
Fireballs on Dublin Bay
Fireball
As the midweek racing in Dublin Bay Sailing Club gets to its close we had one of the more pleasant evenings of weather this summer with a gentle breeze and sunshine for two races outside the harbour in Scotsman’s Bay.…
Running Wild (B & S Foley) a winner in last night's DBSC racing
DBSC
B21S - 1. YIKES (P CARROLL), 2. ISOLDE (B MULKEEN & J MARTIN), 3. BILLY WHIZZ (P SHANNON COMBINED CRUISERS TUESDAY - 1. Windjammer (L Casey & D Power), 2. Elandra (J Conway), 3. Powder Monkey (C Moore) CRUISERS 3…
Nin O’Leary will skipper Ireland Ocean Racing’s proposed Vendée Globe challenge in 2020
Vendee Globe
#ior2020 - Ireland’s opportunity to compete in global offshore sailing competitions received a boost yesterday (Tuesday 15 August) at the launch of Ireland Ocean Racing, a new initiative with aspirations to compete in the 2020 Vendée Globe. Team skipper Nin…
The original 1903-built schooner Atlantic, one of the most admired vessels of her era
Historic Boats
In 1905, legendary Scottish-American skipper Charlie Barr – renowned for his many successful defences of the America’s Cup on behalf of his adopted home of the United States – was challenged to establish a Transatlantic sailing record from Sandy Hook…
The crew of Mermaid 189 Azeezy from left to right: Con Bissett, Sam Shiels and Eoin Boylan who won the National Championship title for the 2nd year in a row. Shown here with the Mermaid perpetual trophy
Mermaid
Following a tough, initial 4 days of racing at this year’s Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championship at Skerries Sailing Club the 2 remaining days saw the leaderboard again changing daily. Ultimately in what was a very close finish, reigning Champion…
Sail Training Ireland Presents Awards For Waterford Bursary Voyages
Tall Ships
#TallShips - Sail Training Ireland’s 2017 Waterford Bursary Scheme voyages came to a successful conclusion on Friday at a presentation ceremony held in the historic Mayor’s Parlour in Waterford city’s town hall. Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Pat…
RS400s competing at Blessington Sailing Club
RS Sailing
Over RS Sailing 40 crews arrived at Blessington Sailing Club to the clubs usual very friendly hospitality to join the newly established local fleet of RS200’s writes Kevin Brazel. Download full results below. With a 1300 first gun on Saturday…
The 56ft ketch Ilen shortly after her launch at Baltimore in 1926
Historic Boats
When the restoration project on the 1926-built 56ft Conor O’Brien/Tom Moynihan Falkland Islands Trading Ketch got under way at two locations – Liam Hegarty’s boat-building shed in the former Cornstore at Oldcourt near Baltimore, and the Ilen Boat-building School premises…
Consistent sailing for Nigel Biggs put the British team in the lead of the Half Ton Cup in Kinsale
Kinsale
Nigel Biggs on his newly-refurbished Checkmate XVIII leads the Euro Car Parks Half Ton Classics Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club after a rain-soaked opening day but only two points separate first to fourth places. Although Phil Plumtree’s two-times past champion…
Waterford Harbour yacht Fools Gold skippered by Rob McConnell has had more success at the Welsh IRC Championships
ICRA
With light winds forecast for the final day, the fleet left the event pontoons to the two racing areas in glorious sunshine, a relief to shed the wet weather gear! IRC 1 and 2 sailed two windward/leeward races off shore…
An ancient class in the best of health. The Howth Seventeens Oona (left, Peter Courtney, built 1910), Isobel (Conor & Brian Turvey, built 1988) and Orla) (Ian Malcolm, built 2017) racing towards Ireland’s Eye in their Annual Championship on Saturday. In addition to their five race “National” Championship, the class provides about 60 club and regatta races in the course of the season
Howth YC
The Massey family’s 1907-built Deilginis of Howth Yacht Club has retained the Howth Seventeen Annual Championship after a five–race series concluded on Saturday with a countback following a points tie with the 1910-built Oona (Peter Courtney) writes W M Nixon.…
Johnny Durcan pictured at January’s Australian Youth Nationals in Adelaide
Youth Sailing
Johnny Durcan sailed in Crosshaven on Thursday night (10 August) for the first time since his dramatic capsize at the 29er Worlds in which he became trapped under his skiff. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Royal Cork’s hottest youth…
Beneteau 31.7 fleet racing on Dublin Bay
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. Extreme Reality (L Balfe), 2. Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson), 3. Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power)…
Jib and Tonic (Morgan Crowe) from the Royal Irish Yacht Club competing at Calves Week
Calves Week
Friday morning in Schull must have turned into a nightmare for Calves Week Race Officer Neill Prenderville, when he awoke to find the West Cork venue covered in fog and a forecast for further wind and rain. Competitors had previously…
RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd presents the Fastnet Challenge Cup to the overall winner, Didier Gaudoux's JND39, Lann Ael 2
Fastnet
For a third time running the Rolex Fastnet Race has been a story of French domination, Le Tricolor flying on this occasion from the top spot in IRC 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Class40 and IMOCA 60, the Two…
The start of something big. The Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi (IRL 8088, skipper Kenneth Rumball) gets away with a close start on Sunday in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017. She finished first in Class 3B
W M Nixon
The final results of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 show that Kenneth Rumball with the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi has won in IRC 3B, where third place has been taken by ISORA’s J/109 Mojito. And RORC Commodore Michael…

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 webeditor@afloat.ie

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 webeditor@afloat.ie

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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