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Latest Sailing Stories
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…
The decision was made to keep the  DBSC dinghy fleets inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Fireball
Four Fireballs came under the starter’s orders for the third Tuesday night of the DBSC Summer Series. Given the warm conditions during the day and the strong tide outside, the decision was made to keep the dinghy fleets inside –…
142 Optimists are heading for Kinsale this weekend
Kinsale
142 boats across the 3 fleets are confirmed for this weekend's Munster Optimist Championships at Kinsale Yacht Club this weekend. Six races are scheduled over the two days. The Senior and Junior fleets will race outside the harbour, weather permitting,…
Nearly 400 boats will compete in the world's largest offshore race this August - and safety is of the utmost importance
Fastnet
#FastnetRace - With the days ticking down till the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, Ocean Safety has published its free Fastnet Safety Checklist to ensure your yacht is ready for the rigours of the challenging seas around Fastnet Rock. One of…
One happy dog in the care of Lough Ree RNLI after a cruiser grounded on the Long Shoal on Monday morning
RNLI Lifeboats
#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI’s lifeboat crew were alerted by the Irish Coast Guard on Monday morning (8 May) when four people and their dog on board a 40ft motor cruiser ran aground on the Long Shoal near the eastern…
Tom Dolan (bow number 910 in foreground) narrowly leads his class after the first night at sea in the Mini-en-Mai 2017, but still has 329 miles to race with the prospect of flukey winds.
Solo Sailing
After their first night at sea, the Mini Transat boats racing the 500-mile Mini-en-Mai race in the eastern sector of the Bay of Biscay have put the navigation challenges of Western Brittany astern, and are well on their way, shaping…
Racing Manager Job At Royal Ocean Racing Club
RORC
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is inviting applications from suitable candidates for the post of Racing Manager to direct a small but energetic race management team based in Cowes. The RORC is an international members' club with clubhouses in London…
Light winds for tonight's DBSC dinghy racing inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour
DBSC
There were no finishers in tonight's DBSC keelboat racing in the light easterly winds that prevailed outside Dun Laoghaire harbour but inside dinghy classes all got finishes to bring to four the number of races sailed so far this summer…
Ireland’s Tom Dolan (910 foreground) going great guns in today’s early stages of the Mini-en-Mai
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s Tom Dolan is continuing to set the pace in his Mini Pogo 3 Offshoresailing.fr (IRL 910) in the 500 miles Mini-en-Mai as the leaders sweep past the Iles des Glenans and on towards the Point de Penmarch in a…
The 500-mile Mini-en-Mai course, starting and finishing off La Trinite sur Mer, is an interesting mixture of coast-hopping and a long offshore leg. Scroll down for  Yellowbrick Tracker.
Solo Sailing
After a good start which saw him in third shortly after crossing the line in the 500-mile Mini-en-Mai event for Minitrasat 650s which started today off La Trinite sur Mer on France’s Biscay coast, Ireland’s Tom Dolan is currently rated…
Each of the first two races of the Finn Euros started with one general recall and then the black flag
Tokyo 2020
A 28 and a 32 scored at the 53–boat Finn 2017 European Open Championships leave Ireland's Oisin McClleland from Donaghdee Sailing Club in 29th overall. The Northern Ireland solo sailor is competing at the Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge, Marseille,…
The new polyethylene Sailqube Optimist dinghy has arrived at Ballyholme Yacht Club
Belfast Lough
Mayor Alderman Deborah Girvan of Ards and North Down Borough Council attended the first night of 'Dolphin & Sharks' at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough last Friday night writes Mark Mackey. The visit is to encourage the next generation of young…
Tim Goodbody's White Mischief, from the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Dublin Bay is one of four J109s entered so far for June's ICRA Nationals at Royal Cork Yacht Club
ICRA
With a month to go to the ICRA National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Cruiser Racer body has published a 56–boat entry list to date that reveals a large entry from the host Cork Harbour Club. Royal Cork…
Daniel Hardy's Ker 46 Lady Mariposa is the fastest yacht rated under the IRC rating system for RORC's De Guingand Bowl Race
RORC
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's offshore racing season continues this weekend with the 4th race of the RORC Season's Points Championship. Over 80 yachts are expected to take part with the vast majority of the crews made up of passionate…
420 winners at Ballyholme YC: 1st Gemma McDowell and Emma Gallagher, Malahide YC 2nd Grace O'Beirne and Kathy Kelly, Royal St George YC 3rd Nicola and Fiona Ferguson National YC
420
Nearly 30 sailors attended the joint  420 and Fireball Ulster Championships last weekend with a mixture of conditions to test out the sailors writes Mark Mackey. Most of the visitors travelled up from Cork and Dublin to compete in the…

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

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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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