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Latest Sailing Stories
The magic atmosphere of classic boat-building - the Dublin Bay 24 Zephyra under re-construction at the Apprenticeshop in Maine, USA.
Dublin Bay has an unrivalled continuous history of One-Design sailing and racing writes W M Nixon. It runs in a golden thread all the way back to 1887, when Ben Middleton launched his little class of Water Wag dinghies to…
The ICRA Nationals returns to Dublin in 2019
The three-day ICRA Championships being held in Dun Laoghaire from June 7 will comprise of four fleets accommodating offshore, traditional and white sail racing. Each fleet will get its own race areas with race management lead by International PRO David Lovegrove. Back…
Sailing award winners at the National Yacht Club on Saturday night. Scroll down for a gallery of images
The National Yacht Club celebrated another year of great sailing by its members at their annual awards dinner last Saturday night in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The awards reflected a great horizon of sailing activity and administration by its members. Commodore…
JV115 Nikata is the largest yacht in the fleet
Irish sailors are competing among the seventy-eight yachts have entered the eleventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, wherein an excess of 700 sailors from six continents and yachts from over 20 nations will compete in the thrilling race around…
Strangford Sailing Club was gutted by fire in September 2017
The Flying Fifteen class will return to Strangford Sailing Club for its Northern Championships this May, the first time the keelboat class has sailed at the County Down venue since the clubhouse was destroyed by fire in 2017. The new club…
SB20 sailing on Dublin Bay
SB20 Ireland Class President Colin Galavan introduces the 2019 Sportsboat season  SB20 Class Dinner The class dinner will be held on Saturday the 6th April 2019. The venue will be the Royal Irish Yacht Club and there will be prizes…
Some of the boat building team with a Lough Erne Cot produced in a joint effort between Cavan Town Men’s Shed and Lough Erne Heritage in 2016
A new community heritage project in Co Fermanagh focuses on raising awareness and preserving the heritage of traditional boat building and the cultural heritage of the people who lived on and around the shores of Lough Erne. The ERNE Programme,…
The J97 Windjammer
Windjammer crew members were in attendance for the Round Ireland Yacht Race lecture by Kenneth Rumball and John White at the Royal Irish Yacht Club last Thursday 7 February, which also highlighted a crew overboard incident on the J97 late…
Laser racing in Howth on Sunday 10 February
Two races were sailed by the Lasers at Howth Yacht Club on Sunday 10 February in demanding conditions, writes Dave Quinn. We had westerly winds against a flooding tide, which generated a small but steep chop. Absolutely brilliant for reaching,…
Harry Pritchard (foreground) in top form at the MBSC league
Cork Laser sailors converged in Monkstown on Saturday, February 9th for the fifth day of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite league sponsored by CH Marine. A cold morning dawned with cloudless blue skies and a light breeze blowing down the bay…
Optimist spring training in Baltimore last year
#Optimist - Baltimore Sailing Club have started preparations for the annual invasion of Irish Optimist sailors for the week from next Sunday 17 February. The International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland’s (IODAI) team of coaches are making plans for training both…
Stars go downwind in Miami, Florida
Royal Cork and Baltimore Sailing Club's O'Leary brothers are making most of their trip stateside and chalked up third overall yesterday in the Miami-based Star Winter Series. They won the Walker Cup sailed as part of the series at the…
Plenty of wipeouts in the second race of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series
With northwesterly winds gusting to 30-knots the 40 boats competing in the second race of DBSC's Spring Chicken series had a wild ride south to Dalkey Island this morning, accompanied, for a while at least, by LÉ George Bernard Shaw…
Phil Lawton (right) and Owen Laverty competing in a Fireball dinghy in the DMYC Frostbite Series
With the Dublin Bay Buoy recording 23 knots gusting to 34 knots seconds ago, the decision to cancel today's DMYC Dinghy Frostbites was vindicated.  The forecast for the afternoon was for winds in the high teens/low twenties but with gusts…
2018 Sailors of the Year Sean Waddilove and Robert Dixon receive their award on stage
#SailorOfTheYear - Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove have been named Afloat Irish Sailors of the Year for 2018 in recognition of their gold medal victory in the 49er U23 Junior World Championships, amid another landmark 12 months for inspiring performances in Irish sailing.…
Damian Foxall presents the inaugural Sustainability Awards at tonight's Volvo Irish Sailing Awards in Dublin
Irish Sailing has named Volvo Ocean race veteran Damian Foxall as its sustainability ambassador. The national governing body for sailing in Ireland says the Kerry sailor — who served as sustainability manager for Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the most…

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]

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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