Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Latest Sailing Stories
Clubs
Many of the club members have attained National Champion status in E Boats, Mermaids, Fireballs, GP14s, IDRA14s and Lasers. Clontarf Yacht & Boat Club has hosted a number of International events without any undue pressure on expertise resources. The club…
Clubs
History (to 1984) Carrickfergus Rowing Club, founded in 1866 by Charles H. Crawford, is the oldest sporting club in Carrickfergus and one of the earliest rowing clubs to be established in Ireland. By early 1867 membership had reached thirty and…
Clubs

Ballyronan Boat Club

16th July 2009
Our club is situated in the village of Ballyronan which lies ont he shores of the north western corner of Lough Neagh. We're a small but enthusiastic club and new members are welcome. If you're interested in joining, please contact…
Clubs

Antrim Boat Club

16th July 2009
Located on the sheltered north east shore of Lough Neagh Antrim Boat Club sits in woodland just a short walk along the beach from Shanes Castle. Most of our events take place in Antrim Bay giving a safe area of…
Clubs
History The Royal Alfred Yacht club is much more than a quaint old Dublin institution. For generations it has been an umbrella organisation, linking yacht racers from the rival harbours of Dun Laoghaire and Howth. It provides an attractive programme…
Classes & Assoc
Afloat's Graham Smith wrote about the Laser in the March 2009 issue of Afloat: The Irish Laser Association remains one of the numerically biggest classes in Ireland – over 200 boats on the books – and when you get over…
Classes & Assoc
The International Optimist Dinghy Association in Ireland – or  IODAI – represents the Optimist class in Ireland and internationally. IODAI is affiliated to the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) and The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). Click here for all the…
Clubs
Situated on the west shore of Strangford Lough, the Club has a good landing pontoon which gives easy access to all local facilities. However, there is no overnight berthing at the pontoon. Members cruisers are moored in 2–4 metres SSW…
Clubs
Glin Castle, 2009, courtesy of the RWYCI website   History The Western Yacht Club has a very interesting and checkered history. The following article by Adrian O'Connell traces its origins as the 'Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland' up to…
Clubs
Facilities include water-skiing, power boating, board sailing and sailing. Wexford Harbour Boat Club, Redmond Road, Wexford. Tel: +353 53 9122039 Have we got your club details? Click here to get involved  
Clubs

Sligo Yacht Club

15th July 2009
History Sligo Yacht Club is located in Rosses Point on the edge of Sligo Bay – one of the most ideal and beautiful locations for inshore racing in the country. The original Sligo Yacht Club was founded in 1821 and…
Clubs
History The club was formed on the evening of Friday 24th April 1964 at a meeting in Broder’s Hotel, now the Newbury Hotel, Mullingar in response to a notice placed in the 'Westmeath Examiner', by Keith Pinder, calling for a…
Clubs

Lough Ree Yacht Club

15th July 2009
History Founded in 1770, Lough Ree Yacht Club is the second oldest sailing club in the world. The tradition of organised pleasure boating in Athlone goes back to at least 1731, with a regatta on the Shannon amongst the 'diversions'…
Classes & Assoc
First introduced in England in 1963, the Mirror quickly became the most popular one-design dinghy class in the world. The design allows the boat to be built from a kit, at home, with a basic knowledge of carpentry in about…
Clubs
Lough Erne Yacht Club now occupies a former WW2 RAF site built in 1941 for Catalina flying boats The former slipway, moorings and hangar are now used for members' sailing boats, power boats and caravans. The Clubhouse, with changing rooms,…
Clubs
Sailing Clubs in Ireland There is a necklace of sailing clubs right around the coast and up and down Ireland's inland waterways. Check out our extensive listing in the left-hand column. Have we got your club details? Click here to…

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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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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