Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo The Irish Sailing Association

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Dun Laoghaire Dingle
34 boats – and more to come – will come to the line off Dun Laoghaire for the race to Dingle on June 6th. National YC sailing manager Olivier Prouveur says many of the fleet, drawn from over a dozen…
1720
This morning's Irish Times sailing column provides news on Anthony O'Leary's new creation; a 1720 with a lid! The new toy was berthed briefly at Crosshaven marina but is now enroute to Scotland. David O'Brien's report is here. Our photos…
Asgard II
Ocean Froggie says 'chill' there is no controversy on a Navy sprint up the Shannon. Garboard Strake says the reason behind the White sail civil war is 'a bunch of dinosaurs' that believe they are preventing cheque book sailing by…
Asgard II
A system to allow for voluntary contributions to salvage the national sail-training vessel, Asgard II, the Dáil heard yesterday. The news is a breakthrough for over 5,000 Asgard supporters who signed the Afloat petition to have the boat raised. Minister…
Asgard II
It may be nearly six months since she sank without a trace, but political references to the Asgard II keep bobbing to the surface. In the latest metaphorical voyage, Elaine Byrne uses the decision to leave Asgard on the seabed…
Asgard II
The Master of the sail training ship Asgard II has expressed “disappointment” at the decision by Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea to leave the ship on the seabed off northwest France. He was only one of three former Asgard crew…
Asgard II
The Asgard II, which sank last September off the coast of France, will not be lifted from the seabed inspite of an Afloat petition that generated thousands of comments and signatures. The Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea, has announced that…
Asgard II
Captain Tom McCarthy, who commanded Asgard II for nine years, has thrown his weight behind the Lift the lady campaign to save the sunken vessel.The longest serving Master of Asgard II says the ship must be 'recovered and restored to…
Asgard II
Below the fold is footage of the last moments of Ireland's sail training vessel, the Asgard II, as she went down off the French coast on September 11, 2008. More than 950 people have now signed the petition to raise…
Asgard II
MINISTER FOR Defence Willie O’Dea has been advised to commission the building of a replica Asgard II for the national sail training programme according to a Lorna Siggins report in the Irish Times this morning. The Minister has been advised…
Asgard II
The Sunday Independent reports today that Asgard II is to remain in its watery grave because of the salvage costs involved. Efforts instead will focus on identifying a replacement vessel. The exclusive report by Don Lavery quotes a source close…
Asgard II
Tonight's edition of Seascapes features an item on Asgard and the Afloat petition to raise her. Listen in at 10.30 p.m RTE Radio 1. The petition has now reached nearly 800 signatures as the Irish boating commnuity signals its anger…
Asgard II
Simon Coveney TD, a sailor and Fine Gael front bencher has added his voice to the Raise Asgard campaign but fears the worst for the brigantine, lost in French waters five months ago. "It looks like the Government is getting…
Asgard II
Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea will decide on Friday whether the national sail training vessel Asgard II will be salvaged, following its sinking off the northwest coast of France last year. Mr O’Dea told the Dáil that the board of…
Asgard II
High profile signatories to Afloat's Raise the Asgard campaign have caught the attention of the national media this morning including musician Jimmy Crowley whose song 'My Love is a Tall Ship' has been adopted as the anthem for the campaign.…
Asgard II
A Parliamentary Question (QUESTION NO: 132) from David Stanton TD today asked the Minister for Defence about his plans to proceed with a salvage operation on the Asgard II; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 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

Irish Sailing Association
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

vdlr sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Chandlery

chmarine sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
Tom MacSweeney - This Island Nation
RTE Seascapes
BSB sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating