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Latest Sailing Stories
 Matt Allen’s JV52 Ichi Ban, with Ireland’s Gordon Maguire as Sailing Master, is currently leading overall on IRC in the fast-moving Rolex Sydney-Hobart race. She is seen here shortly after clearing the entrance to Sydney Harbour yesterday, sorting herself for the sprint south.
Sydney to Hobart
Former Howth sailor Gordon Maguire, who began a long and successful relationship with Australian sailing in 1991 when the Irish team won the Southern Cross series, is currently leading overall on IRC in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2016, playing the…
Wild Oats XI had recovered from a slow start to lead the race and was seeking to extend her record of eight line honours victories. It is the second year in a row that the Mark Richards-skippered yacht has failed to finish, further proof of the punishing and unpredictable nature of this 628-nm offshore classic.
Sydney to Hobart
Records are set to be broken at the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The frontrunners, having negotiated the infamous Bass Strait, are making rapid progress down the east coast of Tasmania on route to the finish in Hobart. At 15:30…
Triton and Chinese Whisper (with Shane Diviney of Howth onboard) making good progress shortly after the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart race start
Sydney to Hobart
The 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, featuring an international fleet of 88 yachts – with several key Irish crew involved – commenced at 13:00 local time on a perfect Sydney summer’s day. The combination of excellent weather conditions, the…
Alex Thomson
Vendee Globe
British Skipper Alex Thomson has rounded Cape Horn, an infamous milestone in the Vendee Globe, the solo, non-stop, around the world race. Thomson reached Cape Horn today at 11:42 UTC, arriving at the southern tip of Chile in 48d 23hrs…
Dan Smith skippered Northern Ireland's entry to second place in the latest Clipper Race
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Dan Smith has been appointed deputy race director of the Clipper Round the World Race. Smith, who led the Northern Irish entry to second place in the 10th edition of the race this past summer, takes…
Battered but unbowed. Enda O Coineen has a rough and ready dry-off in the cramped cabin of Kilcullen Voyager.
W M Nixon
The 72nd Rolex-Sydney-Hobart gets under way on Monday. The Australian ocean classic is rightly regarded as a tough event. Yet in terms of the sailing challenges its poses, it seems to pale into insignificance when set against the Everest of…
Armel Le Cléac'h – It will be the third time in successive editions of the Vendée Globe that he has rounded the Horn in the top three
Vendee Globe
Armel Le Cléac'h is expected to lead the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race around its most feared but most universally welcomed landmark, Cape Horn, tomorrow around midday. The French skipper should pass the notorious…
Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour
Royal Cork YC
Royal Cork Yacht Club recently became the first Yacht Club marina in the country to receive the Fáilte Ireland Welcome Standard accreditation for accommodation on its marinas and facilities. “The Club are delighted to have received this accreditation from Fáilte…
Mermaid dinghies racing under spinnaker
Mermaid
The 2017 racing calendar for the Dublin Bay Mermaid fleet has been announced. Outside of regular club racing which runs from May - October, there will be 5 main racing events encompassing the Munster Championship, Leinster Championship, Skerries Regatta, the…
Enda O'Coineen – computer black out
Vendee Globe
Ireland's first ever Vendee Globe racer Enda O'Coineen is in 14th Place as the 27–boat round–the–world fleet as it passes another major milestone, Cape Leeuwin, the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent. But computer problems have left the Galway…
In the Beneteau 211 class a five boat entry to date has entries from Dun Laoghaire, Malahide, Windemere and The Clyde. See entry list below.
Volvo Regatta
In a pre-Christmas boost to next year's regatta season, over a quarter of the expected 400–boat entry have already entered next July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay. The biennial event is staged by all four Dun Laoghaire waterfront clubs…
Vendee Globe's Alex Thomson Sails past the Most Remote Place on Earth
Vendee Globe
Alex Thomson, the British Vendee Globe sailor who has strong links to Cork Harbour, has sailed past 'Point Nemo', the most remote point on planet earth. Point Nemo, also known as the oceanic pole of inaccessibility, is the farthest point…
IDEC SPORT is about to tackle all the uncertainties of the Doldrums
Offshore
Frech offshore racers who are on their Round the world record bid for the Jules Verne Trophy have made great progress in the first few days of their record attempt. Francis Joyon and his crew of five aboard the IDEC…
Enda O'Coineen is forced into some basic navigation after a computer black out onboard Kilcullen Voyager
Vendee Globe
The past three or four days have 'not been good' for Ireland's first entry in the Vendee Globe Enda O'Coineen (IRL) Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland has suffered a knockdown in a storm and has lost some communications equipment.  'Like everyone else in…
Johnny Durcan has finished 16th overall at the Youth World Sailing Championships in Auckland
Youth Sailing
The National Yacht Club's Nicole Hemeryck has finished in the top ten in the Girls Laser Radial fleet at the Youth Sailing World Championships that concluded in New Zealand yesterday. Team mate Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork was 16th in…
ICRA Class One Champion Joker II (John Maybury) from Dublin Bay will defend her title in Cork Harbour next season
Racing
Next year's three big Irish sailing regattas have set out their stalls early. The race is on to attract entries for July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta but before that there will be a fortnight of action on the South Coast…

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]

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