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Latest Sailing Stories
160 Dragon sailors gathered at the Royal St. George Yacht Club for a 40 year reunion this month. See photo gallery below
Dragon
Upwards of 160 Dragon sailors attended a classic dragon sailors reunion this month at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Guests from Spain, France, UK, together with a large contingent from Kinsale and Glandore matched those from…
The J109 Indecision is a competitor in the DBSC Spring Chicken series.
DBSC
Unsuitable wind conditions disrupted this morning's Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) Spring Chicken Series for a second week in a row. While last week's Rathfarnham Ford sponsored racing was scrubbbed because of no wind, this morning's round–the–cans race was forced off…
Yachtsman Alex Thomson and his race yacht Hugo Boss are welcomed at his homecoming parade in the teams home port of Gosport, UK. Alex finished second in the Vendee Globe non stop solo yacht race
Vendee Globe
Vendee Globe sailor Alex Thomson was welcomed home today by crowds of people who gathered to celebrate the sailor’s record breaking effort in the prestigious Vendée Globe, widely renowned as one of sport’s toughest challenges. Thomson finished second in this…
The 68ft Nimmo, built by Dan Mill in Galway in a four year project eight years ago, is a reminder that there’s a lot more to sailing in the west than the traditional craft of the Irish Atlantic seaboard
W M Nixon
There is really no reasonable comparison between Ireland’s eastern and western seaboards writes W M Nixon. The east coast is quite densely populated, and while it has some areas of impressive scenery, in general it lacks the majestic inlets and…
John Derbyshire – The RYA Director of Racing is to step down after 32 years' service
Olympic
John Derbyshire OBE, whose involvement with the RYA’s Racing programmes spans some 32 years as a coach, Olympic Manager and as latterly Director of Racing, is to retire from the organisation in late 2017. Two exciting opportunities will now exist…
Handicap cruiser-racing on Dublin Bay. The IRC rating for cruiser racers will get its first world championships in 2018 it has been announced
Offshore
The Offshore World Championship 2018, a World Sailing sanctioned event, will take place in the Hague, specifically from the port of Scheveningen, in July 2018. An innovative solution will be used for the first time to unite the two largest…
Sailing's Colm Barrington was elected as vice-president of the Olympic Council of Ireland last night in Dublin
Olympic
Sailing's Colm Barrington was voted with a clear majority to the position of first Vice–President at last night's ground breaking Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) egm at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. After three decades of rule by former president Pat…
While the course is on, RORC will be offering to measure boats at a substantial discount at Royal Cork
ICRA
Royal Cork Yacht Club in conjunction with ICRA and RORC will be running an IRC Measurement weekend on the 5th, 6th and 7th of May. The aim of this weekend is two fold: IRC Measurers:• To train up new people…
Mermaid skipper Sam Shiels of Skerries Sailing Club holds aloft his National Champion trophy with crew Con Bissett and Eoin Boylan at the 2016 prizegiving
Mermaid
As anyone involved in Dublin Bay Mermaid racing knows it’s no easy feat to claim a Championship title. Many have been sailing for years, edging ever closer but not having quite gotten there yet, so, with an excellent sailing season…
Test the Water has run for a total of three years and has seen 2628 Island children take part in the programme
Youth Sailing
UKSA are delighted to once again be offering their Test the Water programme to all Isle of Wight Year 6 students. Children from across the Isle of Wight will be invited to spend half a day at UKSA with their…
The Melges 24 fleet at the 2016 World Championships in Miami won by Ireland's Conor Clarke and crew
Racing
Six months to go and fifty one teams from fourteen nations are already signed up to compete against Irish world champion Conor Clarke and his Embarr crew. The Royal Irish Yacht Club crew will race at the 2017 Melges 24…
Conor Fogerty's Sunfast 3200 'Bam' crossing the line of the OSTAR qualifying race, the Solo Fastnet in 2016
Offshore
This month sees Conor Fogerty of Howth Yacht Club, preparing for one of the most prestigious and demanding solo ocean races in the international yachting calendar.  The latest instalment of the OSTAR (Original Solo Transatlantic Race), commences on 29th May…
Regina Caelis is still tied to the harbour and lying on her starboard side at Portaferry in Northern Ireland
Tall Ships
Afloat.ie has received an 'urgent' appeal for Tall Ship enthusiasts to help with a sunken 100–foot schooner in Portaferry Harbour.  William Mulhall says he wants to return the 1935–built vessel to her 'former glory' but is seeking the assistance of a…
Fireball Cariosa Power & Marie Barry from the DMYC are Frostbite 2017 competitors
Fireball
The fat lady hadn’t sung……….or the sailing equivalent! In truth, that storyline is only one of a number of possible headlines that I contemplated before writing this Fireball report writes Cormac Bradley.  Last week I wrote of the vagaries of…
Ex–Topper sailors Edie Thorup and Emma Keane from Blessington Sailing Club, participants in the RS200 Training Camp at the Royal St. George Yacht Club
RS Sailing
The RS 200 fleet enjoyed great conditions at the Royal St George YC at the weekend. Olympian Saskia Tidey – just back from racing at Miami Olympic Classes Regatta –  gave an intensive weekend's coaching. Tidey, now the team GBR 49erFX…
Portugal's campaign for its first entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2020 has arrived in Barbados on Green Dragon, Ireland's 2009 VOR entry
Volvo Ocean Race
Paulo Mirpuri got a step closer to realising Portugal's first entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2020 thanks to Ireland's Green Dragon VOR 70 now a training boat for Mirpuri's campaign. As Afloat.ie reported in January, the Portuguese crew made a successful ocean…

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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