Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Retired – Sgrech is in Rosslare after a hull fitting delaminated
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Welsh offshore champion yacht Sgrech skippered by Stephen Tudor is the lastest retiral from the Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race.  The former ISORA champion retired last night just hours in to the race as a precautionary measure after discovering a 'hull…
Russian frigate Shtandart will stand tall in Belfast after wowing the crowds in Drogheda last weekend
Maritime Festivals
#TallShips - This year’s Belfast Maritime Festival kicks off tomorrow (Friday 16 June) with a chance to climb aboard some of the visiting tall ship flotilla, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. The Phoenix, Earl of Pembroke and Kaskelot welcome visitors…
Paul O’Higgins JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (RIYC) has taken the lead on the water and IRC
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Although a fairly consistent southwest breeze gave the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race fleet a useful slant from Arklow southwards through the night, they’re currently rounding the Tuskar with the expectation of a dead beat most of the way to…
The recently refurbished HMS Caroline the only survivor of the Battle of Jutland 1916 has returned from H&W to her neighbouring berth in the Alexandra dry-dock, Belfast
Historic Boats
#HMScaroline - An historic ship with a wartime past that is a modern day Belfast tourist attraction has had its future secured thanks to a major programme of innovative repairs, safety upgrades and improvements. As the Belfast Telegraph writes, HMS…
Sea Cadets Jack Petchey at Monkstown Marina in Cork Harbour
Island Nation
Hello and you’re welcome to my weekly podcast on Afloat, based on my This Island Nation radio programme. While debate continues – and so do efforts – to get another Tall Ship for Ireland – that would provide sail training…
Martin Byrne's, Jaguar Sailing Team, are the defending Dragon champions and are seeking their fifth national title
Dragon
The Dragon National Championships start today at the Royal St George Yacht Club with teams from Dublin Bay, Glandore, Kinsale, Abersoch & Cowes making up a smaller than usual fleet. Martin Byrne's, Jaguar Sailing Team, are the defending champions and…
Ian Hickey’s veteran Cavatina makes the perfect start, bang on the gun and full speed on the line. However, Stephen Quinn’s little J/92 Lambay Rules (left) had been about to do the same, but a bigger boat (invisible behind Cavatina’s sails) just rolled over her, and then ran across her bow
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
If anyone is thinking of producing the Very Rough Guide to Making a Start in a Yacht Race, this evening’s opening episode in the continuing drama which is the 275-mile Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race 2017 produced Rules 1,…
Steve Wickham and his band brought his unique style of music and fiddle playing on board on Saturday night
Drogheda Port
One of the musical highlights of the recent Irish Maritime Festival in Drogheda were the two unique sold out concerts held on the deck of the Tall Ship Earl of Pembroke on the historic River Boyne. The idea for the…
Shannon One Designs at sail on the river from which they took their name
Racing
#SOD - The Shannon One Design Association (SODA) has announced its latest Long Distance Race for the weekend of Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 June. First raced in 1953, the Shannon One Design (SOD) competition is the longest inland dinghy…
The J Class at sail off Bermuda for the America's Cup Superyacht Regatta
America's Cup
#AmericasCup - Hanuman rebounded from a false start to claim victory in the first round of the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta in Bermuda yesterday (Tuesday 13 June). Optimised for expected light conditions, the J Class fleet leader was quick despite…
ISA Board Member Sarah Byrne (left) racing her RS200 dinghy with her daughter off Greystones in County Wicklow
ISA
One of Jack Roy’s priorities for his presidency of the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is to get more women involved in sailing. As he wrote for Afloat.ie in April, the ISA wants to encourage greater female participation via a two-pronged…
As ISORA fleet leader after five races, Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Vicky Cox) has to be a favourite in tonight's 2017 D2D race
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
Even with leading contenders Aurelia (J/122) and Jacana (J/115) scratching (the former with rigging problems, the latter with logistics difficulties), J/Boats still might have it all the way in the remaining fleet of 43 boats in the National YC’s 275-mile…
The D2D fleet assembles at the National Yacht Club this morning. The Arklow J122 Aquelina is pictured foreground with other competitors also arriving for tonight's start
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
A 43–boat fleet are expecting an upwind start and winds gusting to 25–knots for tonight's 7pm Dun Laoghaire–Dingle Race at the National Yacht Club. At start time, winds are expected to shift from a southerly to a south westerly direction…
Inner city school kids from the Greig City Academy in Hornsey, east London take on their greatest challenge in the 605nm Rolex Fastnet Race in August
Fastnet
While everyone who enters the Rolex Fastnet Race dreams of winning or doing well, the event's stature as the world's largest offshore yacht race, means this is often not the only reason for taking part writes James Boyd. Around 400…
The Volvo Ocean Race will switch from a 3-year to a 2-year cycle after the upcoming 2017-18 edition
Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race will switch from a 3-year to a 2-year cycle after the upcoming 2017-18 edition, a change that will provide more continuity and more commercial value for professional sailing teams, sponsors and Host Cities. It's the latest…
Glenlee (seen above in Glasgow) was the former Galatea of the Spanish Navy whose sail trainee ship Juan Sebastián de Elcano is currently visiting Dublin and is open to public tours today (Wednesday 14 June). The Glenlee (a barque dating to 1896) is an impressive centrepiece to the contrasting striking multi-award winning Riverside Museum, Glasgow that was designed by the Iranian born architect, the late Zaha Hadid.
Tall Ships
#OpenTallships - As one of the world’s largest tallships from the Spanish Royal Navy is visiting Dublin Port, Afloat also highlights a former sail trainee from the Iberian nation that is the centrepiece of a Scottish museum, writes Jehan Ashmore.…

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

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

vdlr sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Chandlery

chmarine sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
RTE Seascapes
BSB sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating