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Displaying items by tag: 49er

The go-ahead 49er class will introduce its First-Ever 49er Short Track World Championship next season.

The Short Tack World Championship is an action-packed tournament format that showcases the best of sailing in a fan-friendly package. The world’s best 49er and 49erFX sailors will race in the world’s best amphitheatre for sailing. The regatta will run from July 14-17, 2022 as part of a summer of sailing in Marstrand, Sweden. Host for the event will be GKSS, The Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, with long track record of hosting prestigious regattas as Volvo Ocean Race Stop Over, Americas Cup Act, Gold Dragon Cup and numerous World Championships.

“It will be fantastic to organize an event like this in Marstrand. An Olympic class with a new format in a world championship will be a spectacular competition. I am already excited to watch these races.” Thomas Rahm, Managing Director GKSS

Short Track is the progression of the Theatre Style concept pioneered by the 49er class last decade. Each race is eight minutes long in a windward-leeward course, bounded on each side to keep the racing close and the fans closer. Here is a look back at the best moments of Short Track.

32 men’s and 32 women’s teams will qualify and compete for their share of the prize money. The competition will start at the quarterfinal stage, so that is four flights of eight boats each.

Each flight will consist of three races, and the top four boats from each group will advance to the Semi-Final based on low point-scoring. Likewise, the top four teams from the Semi-Final will advance to the final. Consistency over a three-race series is thrown out the window for the final, where it will be the first team to win two races that win the Championship. Each Semi-Final winner will carry a ‘win’ into the final, and each race the bottom two teams will be knocked out. Every race will matter, every moment could make the difference!

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Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove ended in eighth overall at the Olympic 49er World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Sunday 21 November).

The Paris 2024 campaigners, who also competed at Tokyo 2020 earlier this year, were unable to repeat some of their earlier form from the series on the final day, placing 12th in the last Gold fleet race before ending the medal race in eighth to secure the same overall standing.

Bart Lambriex with Floris van de Werken of the Netherlands are the new 49er World Champions, having dominated the series to win even after disqualification from the final fleet race. Watch the final day’s racing below:

Dickson and Waddilove — who sail out of Howth Yacht Club and Skerries Sailing Club respectively — secured seven top-three results, including two race wins during the 16-race championship,

But the Dublin skiff pair’s overall score was hindered by some mid-fleet results in the tricky, light-wind conditions experienced at the venue.

In the medal race final, their boat-speed was hampered when the mainsail hoist loosened, forcing them to re-hoist which effectively ended their hopes of a podium result.

Meanwhile, a 15th place in the final race of the series for the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan landed them in 20th overall, marking a strong debut performance with some notable individual race results.

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Two third places for Paris 2024 campaigners Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove at the Olympic 49er World Championships in Mussanah, Oman today (Saturday 20 November) have boosted their chances ahead of tomorrow’s final.

After a challenging day on Friday when the Dublin skiff pair — who sail out of Howth Yacht Club and Skerries Sailing Club respectively — slipped to 11th overall, they opened Saturday’s round with a 16th place before coming back strongly with two third places.

Dickson and Waddilove now stand fifth overall and within reach of a podium finish, with Sunday morning’s single race to decide the top 10 boats for the high-scoring medal race final.

Few of the leading boats escaped the conditions entirely with big scores across the fleet leading to a close championship series.

Meanwhile, the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan counted a 10th place as their best result for the day. The Crosshaven crew slipped back a little in the standings to 21st but still count achieving Gold fleet as their successful debut regatta together.

Sunday’s schedule will feature a final fleet race to end the main series, with the top 10 boats going into a single final race that counts for double points to determine the championship and podium places.

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The opening three races of the Gold fleet series proved exceptionally challenging for the Irish crews at the Olympic 49er World Championship in Mussanah, Oman today (Friday 19 November).

Although the late start to the series saw slightly more breeze than previous days, racing continued until just after sunset, adding an extra factor for the 25-strong fleet.

Paris 2024 campaigners Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove (Howth Yacht Club and Skerries Sailing Club respectively) dropped from fourth overall going into the series and out of the top 10 after an uncharacteristically poor day for the pair.

A 17th in the opening race initially dropped the pair to ninth place. However, they won the start of the second race and placed third which allowed them to recover to eighth place.

However, the final race saw them end in 22nd place to leave them 11th overall with two days remaining in the series.

Meanwhile, the new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan were the better of the two Irish boats for the day, counting a fourth place behind Dickson and Waddilove and their first day of Gold fleet racing has already seen an improvement to their standing in the event.

Their score moves them up to 19th overall on their first foray together at a senior world championship regatta.

Three races are scheduled for tomorrow, followed by two races on Sunday to decide the top 10 boats overall for the medal race.

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After the third day of qualification racing in light and flukey conditions, both Irish Paris 2024 campaigners will race in the top half or Gold fleet in the Olympic 49er skiff class Worlds Championships in Mussanah, Oman on Friday. 

Tokyo 2020 sailors Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove have slipped back from third to fourth place overall after scoring a 14th plus two top six results for the day.

The new Royal Cork pairing of Séafra Guilfoyle with Johnny Durcan saw three 14th places land them inside the top 25 boats to make the gold fleet cut, a significant achievement at their first World championships.

Conditions were once again light, around eight knots and delivering wind shifts of 20-25 degrees.

Eight more races are scheduled over the coming three days with the top ten finalists due to end the series with a medal race on Sunday afternoon.

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Tokyo 2020 stars Robert Dickson and Sean Widdlove of Howth have suddenly got competition with the announcement of a Cork Harbour rival campaign for Paris 2024 in the men's 49er skiff dinghy.

Both young members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club and UCC Sailing Club, and past pupils of Presentation Brothers College, Séafra Guilfoyle (25) and Johnny Durcan (21) have already started a rigorous training schedule with the Irish team for the Olympic qualifiers, which commence in August 2023.

Séafra Guilfoyle, who hails from Myrtleville, will be helm, steering the 2-man boat. The UCC economics student has recent experience competing for a berth in Tokyo 2020 with double Olympian Ryan Seaton of Belfast Lough where they missed out on qualification. It’s his dream to represent Ireland at the Olympics and Seafra says he’s ‘determined to reach Paris 2024’.

Both Séafra and Johnny started sailing at the age of 7 and 8 respectively and had great success at youth level. Séafra represented Ireland every year from the age of 12 to 18, winning multiple nationals and medalling at world championships and winning silver in the youth worlds in 2014.

Johnny represented Ireland on the international stage from the age of 11. He was top-ranked in Optimist sailing by the age of 13, a National Laser Champion at 14, a European Junior 29er Champion at 15, and winner of the European and Irish Nationals at 16.

Séafra says that he’s proud to partner with Johnny, as he is not only a fantastic athlete but an ‘inspiration’, following his near-death experience when his boat capsized at the 29er world championship in Long Beach, California, in 2017. It was only the quick action of his fellow competitors that saved his life. “Johnny was as comfortable sailing as he was walking. He was one of the firm favourites for the Laser Radial Worlds that year. It took him a while to get back out on the water after this, but not only did he pick himself back up, he has excelled and got back to the top of his game and is now about to embark on an Olympic campaign.”

Launch party - A dolphin joins in the Guilfoyle/Durcan launch party in Cork HarbourLaunch party - A dolphin joins in the Guilfoyle/Durcan launch party in Cork Harbour

Their rigorous training schedule demonstrates this commitment. Séafra and Johnny have been training together almost seven days a week since May 2021, primarily in Dublin with the Irish team, their coach, and trainers, and back home at the Royal Cork.

Guilfoyle Durcan Sailing, as they are now known, will compete in their first competitive race this winter when they head to Oman for the World championships.

Séafra Guilfoyle (left) and Johnny DurcanSéafra Guilfoyle (left) and Johnny Durcan on the Royal Cork slipway

They feel their competitive advantage in the Olympics will be their youth, their long-time friendship having come up through the sailing ranks together, their geographical proximity to each other, Johnny’s training experience with Annalise Murphy, and the fact that Seafra already has four and a half years’ experience in running an Olympic campaign behind him.

“The fact that we live so close to each other when we’re both at home, makes it easier to train outside of the official team Ireland training schedule”, says Johnny. “We’re both young and at the height of our fitness, and Seafra brings a lot of experience and learnings from his last campaign.”

Colin Morehead, Admiral at the Royal Cork Yacht Club said, “We’re incredibly proud of these two talented and ambitious athletes, who are one of the youngest Irish senior teams to ever compete for the 49er Olympics.”

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Howth Yacht Club and Skerries Sailing Club Olympic skiff duo Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have had a pre-Olympic boost by taking second overall at the 49er Championships in Cascais, Portugal.

It's not the only boost for Irish Skiff sailors either with the Royal Irish's Saskia Tidey taking sixth for Team GB in the 49erFX with partner Charlotte Dobson of Scotland.

As regular Afloat readers know, the Howth debutantes put the zing back into the Irish Olympic sailing scene in March when they put double Olympian Ryan Seaton to the sword to win the last available Olympic place in Tokyo this summer. 

The weekend international result from Portugal (with three race wins) represents another significant step forward to July on Enoshima Bay for the duo that previously won Under 23 World Championship Gold three years ago.

Cascais blows up some very breezy weather and as heavy airs are predicted for the Japanese Olympic venue, it gave the Portuguese Championships extra meaning.

Even with the Howth duo's immaculate boat handling it wasn't all plain sailing to the silver medal position. The strong winds on day one presented a sail tearing challenge as CN Cascais/Luis Fraguas's photographs reveal.

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove

Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove

On the last day of the 2021 Cascais 49er & 49erFX Championship after a stormy morning, the sun shyly appeared and filled the bay of Cascais with light. The championship could not have ended in the best way with the Cascais Bay delivering the best for the Olympic sailors, its fantastic conditions for sailing. In these fabulous conditions, the Olympic sailors had the day most similar to the sea conditions of Sagami Bay, in Tokyo, with a large and wide wave. The last day was reserved for the medal race for both fleets. This is a single race for each class, 49er and 49erFx. This regatta is special since it was double points for the overall with only the ten best competitors in each division being eligible to race.

The first Medal Race was for the male Olympic skiff class, which started at noon as scheduled. The race course at that time was in a northwest wind and 14 knots in intensity.

The big winners of the championship in the Olympic class 49er were the North Americans Nevin Snow and Dane Wilson who led the leaderboard for a couple of days. Irish youngsters Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were runner ups. In the lowest place on the podium were the North Americans Ian Barrows and Hans Henken.

On their journey to Tokyo in July, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were runners up in CascaisOn their journey to Tokyo in July, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove were runners up in Cascais

After the Men's Medal Race, it was the ladies' turn to take the stage in Cascais. With the weaker wind that made the wind shift on the right more prominent for the 49erFx class race.

Lutz and Beucke had a conservative race having finished the final race in fourth place, this result being enough to overtake Echegoyen and Barcelo by one point and thus conquer the highest place on the podium in Cascais. While Denmark and Holland were glad to compete in the medal race regatta for the supposed third place, the team from Brazil also had a very successful regatta having finished in second place. This good result from Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze was enough to leave the northern European teams out of the podium in this championship. Grael and Kunze ended their show in Cascais in the third position of the overall.

Top ten, 49er

1. Nevin Snow / Dane Wilson, USA, 52.0
2. Robert Dickson / Sean Waooilove, IRL, 54.0
3. Ian Barrows / Hans Henken, USA, 60.0
4. Marco Soffiatti Grael / Gabriel Borges, BRA, 67.0
5. Jorge Lima / Jose Costa, POR, 84.0
6. Revil Theo / Tim Depery, FRA, 94.0
7. William Jones / Evan DePaul, CAN, 101.0
8. Hippolyte Machetti / Sidoine Dantes, FRA, 123.0
9. Robert Solune / Sipan Valentin, FRA, 128.0
10. Joshua Richner / Nilo Scherer, SUI, 141

Top ten, 49erFX

1. Tina Lutz / Susann Beucke, GER, 83.0
2. Tamara Echegoyen / Paula Barcelo, ESP, 84.0
3. Martine Soffiatti grael / Kahena Kunze, BRA, 86.0
4. Annemiek Bekkering / Annette Duetz, NED, 90.0
5. Marie Baad Nielsen / Marie Thusgaard Olsen, DEN, 91.0
6. Charlotte I Dobson / Saskia Tidey, GBR, 92.0
7. Kimberly Lim / Cecilia Low, SIN, 133.0
8. Tanja Frank / Lorena Abicht, AUT, 137.0
9. Isaura Maerhaub / Anouk Geurks, BEL, 141.0
10. Helene Ness / Marie Renningen, NOR, 174.0

 Full results here

In July 2022, one of the largest sailing championships of the year will be held in Aarhus since the Sailing World Championships in 2018. 

The regatta will be one of the important milestones for the Paris Olympics 2024, just three years away.

From 5 to 10 July, three of the classes will thus revisit Aarhus for the European Championships in 49s, 49erFX, and Nacra 17.

As regular Afloat readers will know, there is a new force in Irish 49er sailing since March, the month in which young guns Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove put double Olympian Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle to the sword to claim the last available 49er place for Tokyo

Up to 200 crews from over 35 different nations are expected to compete in 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 in Aarhus, representing a major hosting of an international sailing championship by Denmark. 

Aarhus has previously hosted the Hempel Sailing World Championships, and The Ocean Race 'fly by' in 2018. In 2021, a 29er World Championships, and a SailGP are in the pipeline, while 2023 will be the year of the first Danish stop-over in The Ocean Race's history.

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It looks like Ireland's newly qualified 49er Tokyo pairing of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove will be making a trip to Canada in 2022 if they continue their skiff campaign for Paris 2024.

Nova Scotia will host a 400-strong field of the world’s best sailors from over 35 countries when the World Championships for three Olympic classes, the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17, kick off in September 2022. Taking place in Canada for the first time in its history, the competition will be held on St. Margaret’s Bay during the six-day event.

Sail Nova Scotia won the rights to host the 2022 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships, which will run September 6-11, 2022, in partnership with Hubbards Sailing Club, St. Margaret Sailing Club and Sail Canada.

Building on Nova Scotia’s long-held affinity and connection to the sea, the province is gaining a reputation in the sailing world as an accomplished host of national and international sailing events. The event will be held on the waters of St. Margaret’s Bay, which has played host to numerous national and international sailing events over the years. These waters make an excellent venue for the championship. The venue has clean water and moderate to strong consistent winds in a spectacularly beautiful setting.

It says everything about the quality of the Dickson-Waddilove team's securing of the Tokyo Olympics 49er place, that it not only sent the spirits of the Irish sailing community soaring skywards, but in these difficult times, it helped to raise the mood of the nation generally.

The inspiration has been heightened by knowing that the path of the "Flying Fingallions" to a Tokyo place has been specially challenging. They'd a carefully planned route towards a serious challenge for a full Olympic challenge in 2024. But their unexpected yet convincing victory in the U23 Worlds in September 2018 saw a re-alignment of objectives, with a new programme towards Tokyo which was in turn upset by the Pandemic-induced year's delay in the 2020 Olympics.

It became a continuous character-testing situation in which the two seemed to find new reserves of mindset and performance which, last week in Portugal, produced a showing which went far beyond the minimum required, and was rounded out by a victorious showing in the Medal Race.

We could not ask for more worthy winners of the latest "Sailors of the Month" award.

Read more about this new Tokyo Olympic duo here

Published in Sailor of the Month
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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