Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

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Latest Sailing Stories
Sailing and Boating Holidays in Ireland
Inland Boating and Sailing Holidays Experience the freedom of the Shannon and Erne waterways. Captain your own cruiser and discover the hidden corners of Ireland. Over 800 kilometres of navigable waterways are awaiting your arrival, with rivers to explore, towns…
Round Ireland
Plotting for going round – part I The well-organised navigator will already have a game plan for the BMW Round Ireland Race. Course veteran Brian Mathews shares some of the secrets of this 704-mile classic  A mark on the course…
Cork Week
Tucking In Afloat’s waterside restaurant critic Georgina Campbell makes some mouth–watering suggestions for eating ashore after the sailing at Cork Week Crosshaven  – The Moonduster Inn, Lower Road, Crosshaven. Tel 021 483 1610 Jody Drennan’s traditional pub is about five…
Classes & Assoc

Irish 49er Association

25th September 2009
The 49er is a high performance skiff with Olympic status. It is widely regarded as the 'Formula 1' of Olympic sailing with a worldwide Grand Prix racing circuit and a presence in over 30 countries.  Irish 49er Association, c/o Capt.…
Classes & Assoc

Irish 5O5 Association

25th September 2009
Irish 5O5 Association, c/o Ewen Barry, President, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, Monkstown, Co Cork. Tel: 086 823 6864, fax: 021 427 3849, email: [email protected] 5O5 History – A One Design Class The development of the Class began at the IYRU…
Classes & Assoc

J109 Class

25th September 2009
J/Boats – Sailing to Success The story of J/Boats is a classic entrepreneurial tale: With a $20,000 investment, and a speedy 24-foot sailboat that Rod Johnstone built in his garage, Rod and his brother Bob Johnstone went into business. That…
Classes & Assoc

Irish Drascombe Association

25th September 2009
The Drascombe Association is a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the traditional-style sailing boats designed by the late John Watkinson. Around 5000 Drascombes of all types have been built since the first Lugger was launched in 1966. They are all…
Classes & Assoc
Above: The Beneteau First 31.7 'Magic'. Photo courtesy of the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association website The official title of the association is the Beneteau First 31.7 Ireland One Design Class Association. The aim of the Association…
Classes & Assoc

Squib Class

24th September 2009
History (the following information and image courtesy of the National Squib Class Owners Association)  The Squib was designed in 1967 by Oliver Lee as a successor to his Ajax 23. The protoytpe was built in cold moulded wood and sailed…
Classes & Assoc
History (courtesy of the UK Sigma Association website) Click here for all the latest Sigma 33 News and Updates. The Boat • Designed by David Thomas, well-known for cruiser/racer designs such as Sonata, Impala, Sigma 33 and 38, as well…
Classes & Assoc

Irish Shipman Association

24th September 2009
The combination of family- cruiser and racing yacht is possible if not easy to achieve. Many small cruisers are more like floating caravans than yachts and do not always sail well. Accommodation below decks is deemed more important than sleek…
Classes & Assoc
Courtesy of the Shannon One Design Association: The Shannon One Design sailboat (known as a 'SOD' or 'Shannon') has a long and colourful history going back to 1920, when it was originally designed by Morgan Giles. Despite its charming looks,…
Classes & Assoc

Irish Ruffian Association

24th September 2009
Courtesy of the irish Ruffian Association website: The Ruffian 23 is a 23 foot keelboat which was designed and built by brothers Dickie and Billy Brown of Portaferry, Co. Down, 35 years ago. The Ruffian 23 is a great one…
Classes & Assoc

Irish RS Class Association

24th September 2009
New to Ireland, the RS is the fastest growing dinghy fleet in the country. RS's are high performance asymmetric spinnakered dinghies. The 13ft RS200 and the larger 14ft 10in RS400 combine to provide high performance racing for all crew weights…
Clubs

Killaloe Sailing Club

24th September 2009
Killaloe Sailing Club is a dinghy sailing club near Killaloe, Co Clare, on the western shore of Lough Derg, 3km along the Scarrif road from Killaloe Town, and affiliated to the Irish Sailing Association. KSCs mission is to offer dinghy…
Classes & Assoc

RS Feva Ireland Association

24th September 2009
The following information courtesy of Killaloe Sailing Club: Introduction to the RS Feva for Junior Sailing RS Feva DinghyThe RS Feva/XL is a solid and roomy two-person dinghy constructed in polyethylene. The dinghy can be rigged with a gennaker and…

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 Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
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