Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Team Oracle in trouble: capsizing after a foiling gybe at high speed in Bermuda on Wednesday 10 May
America's Cup
#AmericasCup - Team Oracle USA have their work cut out for them after their second capsize in as many months during training for the America's Cup in Bermuda this week. Sail-World has the full report on the latest incident, which…
Mirror Southerns At Lough Derg Yacht Club Next Weekend
Mirror
#Mirror - The 2017 Mirror racing season opens with the Southern Championships at the host venue of the 2013 Mirror Worlds, Lough Derg Yacht Club, next weekend from Saturday 20 to Sunday 21 May. Mirror Sailing Ireland is hoping for…
Dolan saw his wafer-thin class lead worn down by a succession of challengers in other Pogo 3s
Solo Sailing
The finish of the Mini-en-Mai at La Trinite sur Mer today concluded a period of frustration for Ireland’s Tom Dolan in Offshoresailing.fr, as he saw his wafer-thin class lead worn down by a succession of challengers in other Pogo 3s…
NYC’s Junior Section Celebrates Golden Jubilee This Month
National YC
#NYC - The National Yacht Club’s youth sailing section marks its golden jubilee with a weekend of celebration on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May. Festivities kick off on the Saturday evening with a reunion dinner (€35pp) for those who…
Family Fun Day At Royal St George Yacht Club This Sunday
RStGYC
#RStGYC - All are invited to the Royal St George Yacht Club’s family fun day this Sunday 14 May — both on the water and cheering on the fleet from the Dun Laoghaire waterfront. The action kicks off from 1pm…
Stephen Tudor’s defending ISORA Champion, the J/109 Sgrech from Pwllheli, in her glorious home waters. Today she’s racing in the Holyhead-Dun Laoghaire race, in which Progressive ECHO is being tested against IRC to see if more cruising-oriented boats can be encouraged into ISORA Racing
W M Nixon
After the accelerating build-up to Olympic Medal success throughout the summer of 2016, there was hope in some sections of the Irish sailing community that the mood of 2017 might be different in pace. Tokyo 2020 still seemed very far…
Howth, the venue for this weekend’s CAI Rally and AGM, while Howth YC is also celebrating the 30th Anniversary of its “new” clubhouse. And bonus points for anyone who deduced this photo was taken mid-week. Almost the entire fishing fleet – which usually crowds the dock to the west at weekends – is out working at sea
Cruising
The Cruising Association of Ireland is already well into a busy season in 2017, but it moves up a gear this weekend with the AGM at Howth presided over by Commodore Clifford Brown tomorrow (Saturday) at 1800hrs, and based around…
Ireland lead's Mini Classe – Tom Dolan is 52nm miles from the finish this morning. See race tracker below.
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s Tom Dolan maintained a narrow lead during the third night of the 500–mile Mini-en-May with his Pogo 3 Offshoresailng.fr (IRL 910) as the fleet made their way through inshore passages past La Rochelle and inside the Ile de Re…
Brendan Foley's Running Wild was a class three competitor at the 2016 ICRA National Championships. Just ahead of this year's Championships, a cruiser–racer coaching weekend is being held at Howth Yacht Club with UK Sailmakers on May 20 and 21
Howth YC
Howth Yacht Club is stressing its two day coaching on the eve of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships, is not just for club members. In association with UK McWilliam Sailmakers and ICRA, the north Dublin club is running…
Thursday DBSC Racing Cancelled Due To No Wind on Dublin Bay
DBSC
With Saturday's racing scrubbed with too much wind, tonight's Thursday night racing also fell victim to the elements but this time because of not enough wind on Dublin Bay.  
Line honours leader  Ian Lipinski in #865 Griffon prototype
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s Tom Dolan was neck-and-neck with Pierre Chedeville and Emile Henry as their three Pogo 3s closed in on the Royan turn at 1700hrs to lead their class in the 500-mile Mini-en-Mai offshore challenge, which leaves them with 147 miles…
Water Wags had a 21-boat turnout at Dun Laoghaire last night
Water Wag
Within Dublin Bay there currently are twenty-one classes of racing yachts. It might come as a surprise to many, that currently the largest class is Dublin Bay is the Water Wag class with 33 boats entered for the 2017 season.…
A complicated night for competitors of the Mini en Mai is revealed on this morning's chart at 9am. See Tracker below
Solo Sailing
Irish solo skipper Tom Dolan has continued to show exceptional consistency as he maintains his position at the front of the fleet through a challenging second night of the 500-mile Mini-en-Mai in the Bay of Biscay writes W M Nixon.…
A track of Laser sailor Theo Lyttle's training course over last Friday evening's training session – the DBSC Lasers were out in the conditions that cancelled the DBSC Saturday racing
Laser
DBSC Laser dinghy fleet began their month of May training over the weekend in both extreme conditions. Friday evening saw the fleet of Lasers leave the harbour in a solid 26–knot breeze and large swell practicing upwind technique, followed by…
The restored Periwinkle reveals her classic style
Historic Boats
The last time the Alfred Mylne-designed Dublin Bay 24s raced together in their home waters was Saturday, September 25th 2004 writes W M Nixon. Since then, the class has been through various traumas as projects for a group rebuild/restoration in…
Tom Dolan – He has always been in contention for the top slot,
Solo Sailing
Wednesday evening update – After a difficult day in the middle of the Bay of Biscay with the fleet in the Mini-en-Mai now spread across a wide front as they close in towards the southerly turn off Royan, Tom Dolan’s…

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