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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Pete Smyth's Sunfast 3600 Searcher at the start of the 2021 D2D Race start from Dun Laoghaire. The boat was back out on the water in January 2022 in two handed set up for some training with sistership Hot Cookie
Wednesday morning saw some early 2022 season double-handed two boat tuning for a pair of Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 keelboats on Dublin Bay. ISORA campaigners Searcher (Pete Smyth) and John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie enjoyed 10-15 knots north-westerlies for a fast reach…
On 15 January in honour of the 200th birthday, coastguards across all four home nations cast throwlines as a symbol of the service’s dedication - past and present.
From its beginnings with coastal lookouts to today’s hi-tech national network of coordination centres, from small localised beginnings to international players – one thing has stayed the same for two centuries – Her Majesty’s Coastguard seeks to search, to rescue…
Former ferry Captain, 84-year-old John Murray features in the first episode of the Chronicles of Strangford
The first of the BBC NI Series, The Chronicles of Strangford aired on Monday, 17th January. The maritime TV series will cover the four seasons on this stunning part of Co Down, beginning with this week's episode on Autumn. It…
Living for the moment – Shannon One Designs giving as good as they get
When a Centenary arrives, most of those closely involved tend to focus on the history they’re celebrating, whether it’s a club or a boat class or whatever. Sometimes they become immersed in potentially challenging and even contentious projects like re-enactments,…
Work on the new Prehen Sailability pontoon
The River Foyle flows into Lough Foyle in the North West of Northern Ireland through the city of Derry and in that area there are already established the Marina, Foyle commercial Port, Lough Foyle Yacht Club and Foyle Search and…
The PY fleet on the first beat of the first race of Series 2 of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
After two Sundays of high wind forecasts leading to the cancellation of racing the Viking Marine sponsored DMYC Frostbites Series 2, post-Christmas, got underway yesterday in bright sunshine and good winds. In contrast to the previous Sundays when the late-week…
Lifeguards are needed for beaches at Benone, Downhill, Castlerock, Portstewart, Portrush West, Portrush East, Whiterocks and Ballycastle on the Causeway Coast and at Tyrella, Murlough and Cranfield in county Down.
The RNLI has launched its search for budding new lifeguards to start their career on some of Northern Ireland’s most popular beaches, as applications open for 2022. Recruitment for this season’s team of RNLI beach lifesavers on the Causeway Coast…
Tally Ho pictured in 2017 before Leo Sampson Goolden began his restoration project
A historic gaff cutter that won the Fastnet Race in 1927 and was saved from the scrapyard in 2017 is gradually being restored to its former glory — but needs support to keep the project going. Tally Ho was built…
Gaff rig leaders Stiofan O Laoire, Paul Keogh and Johnny Wedick in Poolbeg Y&BC. Paul Keogh was honoured by the international Old Gaffers Association at their AGM at the weekend with the prestigious Jolie Brise Trophy for his long years of dedicated service with the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan
For many years until her transfer to Galway in 2021, the Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan was a feature of sailing life in Dublin’s River Liffey at Poolbeg Y&BC in Ringsend, and she was a regular attendee at traditional…
Comanche crew celebrate setting a new race record in the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race after completing the race to Grenada in record time: 7d 22hrs 1min 4secs. The winning crew: Guillermo Altadill Fischer, Mitch Booth, Diogo Cayolla, Pete Cumming, Dom Davies, Damien Durchon, Shannon Falcone, Pavlo Kalynchev, Alexei Kapustin, Pavel Karachov, Campbell Knox, Petr Lipa, Lago Lopez Marra, Paul Magee, Will Oxley, Corrado Rossignoli, Louis Sinclair, Justin Slattery, (far left on front row) Eduard van Lierde, Rudi van Velzen, Konstantin Vasilev, Daryl Wislang
The 30.48m (100ft) VPLP Design/Verdier Maxi Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth and with Cork's Justin Slattery as part of the crew has taken Monohull Line Honours in the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race, winning the magnificent IMA Trophy. Comanche has set…
Patrick Pruniaux (left), chief executive of Ulysse Nardin with Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race
With just one year to go to the start gun for leg one of The Ocean Race 2022-23, the countdown is on and Ulysse Nardin, the pioneering Swiss watch manufacturer, has become the official timekeeper of the race. Ulysse Nardin…
Effortless progress – Rob Mason’s newly-restored 1938-built trawler yacht Blue Hills moves sweetly through the waters of southwest Wales
To say that Rob Mason of Milford Haven has an eye for a boat is a bit like saying that the late Vincent O’Brien was quite a good judge of horseflesh. The retired Milford Haven tugboat skipper turned up from…
Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from RNIYC are one of eight NI Squibs heading for the Kinsale based Irish Nationals in June
It’s a long way for crew and boats to travel from Belfast Lough and Strangford Lough to Kinsale but eight from the northern-based Squib class will be making that 300 mile trip in June for the eight-race Bandon Co-Op Squib…
Laser Winter racing at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club
Saturday, January 15th, was day two of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club’s Laser Winter League in Cork Harbour. A windless morning was in store for the competitors. The bay was calm and clear, and the air had a cold bite. Nonetheless,…
Ireland's multi Volvo Ocean Race round the world champion Justin Slattery has added another line to his world-class sailing CV this morning by setting a new RORC Transatlantic Race Record onboard the maxi Comanche. Five days ago Slattery predicted he…
Maiden’s eagerly awaited departure on the 2021-2024 World Tour took place today when the iconic yacht left the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club on her 90,000nm journey, skippered by the 'legendary' Marie-Claude Kieffer Heys. Together with sponsors DP World, Maiden and…

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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