Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Mixed classes for junior sailing at Howth – a supervised initially non-racing programme begins next Tuesday (June 9th)
When Howth Yacht Club Junior Organiser Sara Lacy posted a notice on the club website on Wednesday about a controlled post-COVID-19 resumption of Junior Sailing at the club scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th, she was swamped with enquiries as the…
Cowes Week 2020 has been scrubbed
Cowes Week Limited (CWL), organiser of the UK's largest and best-known sailing event, has today announced the cancellation of the 2020 Cowes Week regatta. The move was largely anticipated given the size of the regatta (over 1,000  boats) and large…
 Living history. Michael Creedon’s classc 54-year-old S&S 36 Sarnia being lifted-in at the National YC last weekend
The generally accepted view of the 1950s in Ireland is of an economically grim period when everything - including the spirit of the inhabitants - withered in the face of a seemingly permanent financial recession, with desperate emigration the only…
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced Phase 2 plans will go ahead on Monday
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that plans to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being accelerated and the country will move to 'Phase 2 Plus' on Monday 8th June. Irish Sailing, as the national governing body for the sport, has issued its…
An injured guillemot is cared for
Harbours by their nature attract a myriad of marine wildlife and Bangor on Belfast Lough is no exception. Most people would associate Bangor with the guillemots that make their nests in holes in the marina wall but there is so…
Luke McIlwaine’s virtual boat racing in last weekend’s Spring Club Championship final
Newcastle Yacht Club’s Luke McIlwaine has claimed fifth spot in the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship after battling it out against nine other competitors. The other sailors came from right across the regional and home countries. Instead of taking to…
MarkSetBot in use during the SailGP even in Marseille last September
US Sailing has partnered with the company behind the sport’s first robotic marker to help get America’s sailing community back on the water. Afloat.ie previously reported on the MarkSetBot, an invention by US sailor Kevin Morin that essentially combines a…
Cork Harbour is a popular Irish cruising destination for UK Boats but the Cruising Association say unwelcome restrictions to cruising in EU countries lie ahead for UK boats
A cruising issue that has been bubbling away for some time is the change in access rules for UK citizens travelling in the EU after the completion of our exit scheduled for the end of this year. At present, the…
When Garry Crothers goes voyaging alone, the categorization of “single-handed sailing” has extra meaning.
Garry Crothers of Lough Swilly YC, who voyages extensively with his 2003-built aluminium Ovni 435 cutter Kind of Blue despite having only one arm as the result of a particularly catastrophic car accident in 2007, was facing a severe problem…
SuphubNI is a mobile venture based in Bangor
 Another water activity on the go again under Step 1 of the Northern Ireland Executive’s plan is Standup Paddleboarding. SuphubNI is a mobile venture based in Bangor on Belfast Lough run by Iain McCarthy and he is delighted to get…
Last of the early-season sunshine – the 1896-originating Colleen Class Colleen Deas (Dermot Flynn & David Williams) in south Dublin Bay yesterday (Tuesday)
Although West Cork is home to several clusters of classic boats and the boatyards of the master-craftsmen who build and maintain them, they’re at scattered locations. Thus it can take quite a bit of encouragement and persuasion, plus much pre-planning…
Boating on the Shannon-Erne Waterway
Waterways Ireland is advising masters and users of the Shannon-Erne Waterway of the following information regarding the reopening of the Locks from 8th June 2020: Lock Operating Hours 8th June - 19th July 9am – 5pm daily 20th July -…
Flags at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
As boating returns to Dun Laoghaire upon the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions, the local authority is asking everyone of all ages to make their own flag with a message of hope for the future. All are invited to tell their…
Oceanic sailing experience personified – Alex and Daria Blackwell have been providing advice and assistance from their base on the shores of Clew Bay for long-distance voyagers caught in COVID-19 regulations
Daria and Alex Blackwell of Mayo Sailing Club are highly-experienced ocean voyagers, and they’re Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore respectively of the Ocean Cruising Club, the global body which currently has hundreds of members’ boats currently on long cruises. During…
 Ian Byrne, Commodore of Howth Yacht Club, has provided a practical lead and guidance in the gradual resumption of sailing
With the complex COVID-19 regulations, many sailors with boats to fit out and get into commission had difficulty in assessing just what they could and couldn’t do. But Ian Byrne, Commodore of Howth Yacht Club, made it his business to…
Howth Yacht Club and its Marina in north County Dublin
Howth Yacht Club, in County Dublin is one of Ireland’s premier yacht clubs, wishes to recruit a Club Manager. Although previously advertised last March, the recruitment process was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. The position is now being…

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 Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating