Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Erin Mcilwaine, winner overall and first girl of the Topper Winter Championships at Royal Cork. Erin is photographed with Pat Horgan Class Captain Toppers RCYC (left) and Admiral John Roche who presented the prizes. Scroll down for photo galler
Topper
Erin McIlwaine from Newcastle in Co Down leapfrogged overnight leader Conor Horgan of Royal Cork Yacht Club to take the win at the inaugural Topper Winter Championships held at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour this weekend writes Bob Bateman. Erin also…
Kinsale Yacht Club Frostbite Series had an entry of 29 keelboats and dinghies
Kinsale
29 hardy entrants in 3 fleets were on the start line today for the first day of the Kinsale Yacht Club Frostbite Series kindly sponsored by Osean74 writes Michelle Kennelly. The marina was white with frost as the Squibbers slid…
Jack O’Keeffe leads a race of Drascombes around the Fastnet Rock
W M Nixon
With some visionary thinking by Cathy MacAleavey in her capacity as chief of the sub-committee organising the Classics, Traditional and Old Gaffers section of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta & Harbour Bicentenary Festival from June 6th to 9th, the scope…
Prof O'Connell will talk about his Melges 24 World Championships win last December
ICRA
This year’s Irish Cruiser Racing Association Annual Conference will take place at the Castletroy Park Hotel in Limerick on Saturday 4th March from 10.30. Under the heading ‘We Must Talk about Cruiser Racing’ this year’s conference promises to be an…
Mr Cool. When Stewart Hosford in Cork got the shock news that the very new Hugo Boss had been seriously damaged in a test sail off the coast of northwest Spain in the Autumn of 2015, he calmly set in train a rapid retrieval programme, and continued with his planned speaking engagement that evening with the Irish Atlantic Youth Trust.
Sailor of the Month
Back in the Autumn of 2015, the CEO of Alex Thomson Racing, Stewart Hosford of Cork Harbour, had just received news that the very new IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss, with Thomson on board testing his latest craft to the limit,…
Oympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy was crowned Sailor of the Year at the RDS last week. The 26–year–old Dubliner goes in search of the Women's World Moth title in July
Moth
Afloat.ie's Sailor of the Year, Annalise Murphy, the 2016 Laser Radial Olympic Silver Medallist and 2014 Women's Moth World Champion, leads the charge in the growing women's fleet of this year's Moth World Championships scheduled for Malcesine, Italy. Murphy's Rio…
The 2017 Fireball Europeans & Nationals will be sailed at Lyme Regis Sailing Club
Fireball
The UK Fireball class in association with Lyme Regis sailing club have opened entries for the 2017 Fireball Europeans & Nationals.  The first round of early entry closes on the 19th March for an event scheduled for 18th-25th August. The…
Doyen of the Dublin Judges and George Chapman, Honorary Dublin Judge, serenaded by a barbershop sextet at the 2015 Judges Dinner in RStGyC
National YC
The Dublin Judges Group is an informal grouping of ISA Judges (and would-be judges) in the Greater Dublin area. The group provides a useful service for clubs, classes by transmitting their requests for judges to man protest committees for events.…
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram lead the DMY Fireball Frostbites
Fireball
In the build-up to last weekend’s Fireball racing at the DMYC Frostbites, the forecast from Thursday on XCWeather suggested it might not be possible to get a race in, but by early Sunday morning the forecast was down to 12…
Three of the sailing world's most historic and prestigious trophies will be awarded to the three classes: The Queen's Cup, presented to the Royal Southampton Yacht Club by Queen Victoria in 1897;  - The King George V International Cup (also known as the White Heather Cup) from the Royal Thames Yacht Club, a huge flagon that was awarded for the 23 metre class in 1911 and won by White Heather II
Cowes Week
Cowes Week, organisers of one of the world's best-known sailing regattas, have announced the introduction of a new big boat race series, the Cowes Week Triple Crown. The new Cowes Week Triple Crown will be a regatta within a regatta:…
Ilen – restoration work continues in West Cork on Ireland's last surviving Sail Trader
Historic Boats
The latest photos of the restoration work on Ireland's only remaining Sail–Trader Ilen reveal wonderful new Larch planked bulwarks are begining to embrace the 56–ft sailing ketch. They will be expected to shoulder many an Atlantic sea, according to Gary MacMahon, of…
The World cruising through Antarctic ice this past week
Offshore
#Offshore - A giant private yacht has broken the record for the most southerly navigation, reaching 78°43.997’ S and 163°41.421’ W at the Bay of Whales in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. The World, a 43,188-ton yacht with 272 crew and carrying…
World Sailing Headquarters To Relocate To London
World Sailing
World Sailing's headquarters will relocate from Southampton to central London, UK in late summer 2017. The selection of London as the new home for the International Federation comes after an extensive evaluation process of possible locations undertaken since the election…
The late Otto Glaser at the helm of his ketch Tritsch-Tratsch IV on a winter Sunday morning in 2011
News Update
Otto Glaser of Howth Yacht Club, who has died at the age of 90, had been closely and personally affected by much of the trauma engulfing 20th Century Europe. Yet he emerged as the embodiment of a civilised, cultured and…
The Conor O'Brien-designed, Baltimore-built 56ft ketch Ilen back in Irish waters in 1998 for the first time since 1927. She is seen here in Dublin Bay and will be afloat again this summer in time for the  25th Glandore Classic Boat Festival in West Cork
Historic Boats
Glandore Classic Boat Regatta celebrates its 25th anniversary this July with a Parade of Sail that will feature the fully restored AK Ilen, Ireland's sole surviving Sail Trader. There will be four days of first class racing, with eight different…
The International Maritime Bureau maintains a live map of maritime piracy and armed robbery incidents (as seen Tuesday 31 January 2017)
Offshore
#Piracy - Offshore cruisers are urged to be vigilant as the latest figures show a rise in sea kidnappings despite a global decrease in piracy. Practical Boat Owner has more on a recent report from the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau…

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
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

vdlr sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton

Featured Sailing School

INSS 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