Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

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Latest Sailing Stories
Asgard II
Afloat magazine readers voted overwhelmingly for the Asgard to be lifted in an online poll. Disappointingly, three months on, she remains at the bottom of the sea. Now in February 2009, Afloat have opened an online petition to provide a…
Asgard II
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent of the Irish Times reports this morning that there will be no Ministerial decision before next month on the future of the sunken sail training ship, Asgard II, according to the Department of Defence. A second…
Asgard II
Fine Gael Defence Spokesman, Jimmy Deenihan TD, warned yesterday (Wednesday) that the delay in raising the Asgard II is endangering the chances of the ship being salvageable. Deeinhan called on the Minister for Defence to immediately outline what advice the…
Asgard II
A plan to raise Asgard II, which is lying at the bottom of the sea off the French coast, will be presented to the cabinet before Christmas, The Sunday Times reported this week. Willie O'Dea, the defence minister, hopes to…
Asgard II
Tenders are being sought to salvage the sail training ship, Asgard II, from the seabed off the northwest coast of France. The Minister of Defence is expected to make an announcement about the possible raising of the wooden hull in…
Asgard II
So many people were affected by the sinking of the Asgard it's easy to understand how so many feel much more than a vessel was lost last month. Following reader requests Afloat.ie is compiling Asgard memories for the website. Here…
Asgard II
The possibility of salvage of the sail training vessel Asgard II has been improved with the discovery that the hull is ‘largely intact’ and upright on the seabed in the Bay of Biscay.
Asgard II

Why we need Asgard II

16th September 2008
Ireland has always punched well above its weight on the Sail Training circuit. The reasons for this were the qualities of Asgard II and its crew rather than Ireland's reputation as a nation of seafarers. It would be a great…
Asgard II
"She was probably the only man-made object that I came across that had a personality, had a soul." That's how Capt Tom McCarthy, a former skipper of the Asgard II, described Ireland's only sail training vessel. His was just one…
Asgard II
There have been further calls from around the country to echo yesterday's Irish Marine Federation (IMF) suggestion that the Jeanie Johnston replace Asgard II as a sail training ship, if only on a temporary basis. In a number of articles…
Asgard II

FAQs - Asgard II website

11th September 2008
Q: Do I need to be able to swim?A: No it is not necessary to be able to swim but it may make you feel more comfortable while at sea if you can.
Asgard II
An organisation representing marine trade interests has called on Government to approach the owners of Ireland's two other Tall ships to fill the role of Asgard. The state's sole sail training brigantine sank off the French coast yesterday leaving the…
Asgard II
The Irish Government and French authorities are piecing together the last hours of the state owned Asgard II after she sank en route to La Rochelle yesterday. Although she sank in deep water 20 miles off the French coast but…
Asgard II

Why did Asgard sink?

11th September 2008
There is mounting speculation over what led to the loss of the Asgard II in the Bay of Biscay early this morning.
Asgard II
Ireland's most famous sail training vessel, the Asgard II, has sunk off the coast of France. The five crew and 20 trainees on board abandoned ship early this morning after issuing distress calls last night. It is not yet know…
1720
The SB3s big sister made a return to popularity at its birthplace on the Cork coast last month and now we have video to prove it!  Nearly 20 boats raced for national championship honours and Nicholas O'Leary turned the tables…

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 webeditor@afloat.ie

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 webeditor@afloat.ie

Featured Clubs

DBSC
National Yacht Club

Featured Associations

Irish Sailing Association
ICRA
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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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