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Latest Sailing Stories
Joan Mulloy in the hunt for sailing sponsorship
Irish female solo sailor Joan Mulloy has made a fundraising bid for her Vendee Globe 2020 bid. Mulloy, who became the first Irish woman to compete in the La Solitaire Urgo le Figaro this year is seeking €350k in sponsorship that…
The Bray Sailing Club team at the Inclusion Awards
The Cara National Inclusion Awards 2018 took place in Castleknock last week and Bray Sailing Club were delighted to be one of three shortlisted finalists in the Sports Club category, along with Clontarf Rugby Club and Raheny GAA Club. The…
Gerry Gilligan helming Jana in the LEYC Autumn J/24 Sunday series

Gerry Gilligan, RIP

9th December 2018 J24
Gerry Gilligan, who was very widely known and loved in Irish sailing has died. Gerry was an avid and accomplished GP14 dinghy and J/24 helmsman and sailor, and will be very much missed writes Michael Clarke. He was a good…
J109 White Mischief going downwind in big breeze in race six of the DBSC Turkey Shoot Series
A slightly reduced turnout for the strongest winds of the Winter series so far saw some fine J109 spinnaker handling in race six of DBSC's Citroen South Dublin sponsored Turkey Shoot. With northerly winds gusting to well over 25-knots, the…
National Yacht Club Recruiting Senior Instructor
The National Yacht Club in Dn Laoghaire is currently seeking to recruit a senior instructor for 2019. The successful candidate will lead the team of committed sailing instructors and coaches for the NYC’s summer courses. Instructors will be responsible for…
British yachtswoman Susie Goodall's yacht before she it was dismasted
The crew of Hong Kong registered cargo ship MV Tian Fu has successfully rescued the distressed British yachtswoman Susie Goodall 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn. Susie sent the text: 07 Dec 15:14 UTC: ON THE SHIP!!! Position: 45' 10.711…
Winter? What winter? Veteran skipper George Sisk’s rejuvenated Farr 42 WOW in sparkling form in the Turkey Shoot Series in Dublin Bay
Maybe it’s the fact that the days start to get longer again in only a fortnight, but there’s mood of rising optimism in Irish sailing these days writes W M Nixon. There’s an almost measurable buzz in the air which…
Colm Barrington was elected vice-president of the Olympic Council of Ireland last year
Colm Barrington has formally stepped down as chair of Irish Sailing’s Olympic Steering Group, as The Irish Times reports. Greencore chief executive Patrick Coveney will succeed in the role that Barrington announced he would leave after the Rio 2016 games,…
Susie Goodall -dismasted in the Golden Globe Race
British yachtswoman Susie Goodall remains safe and secure aboard her yacht DHL Starlight after being pitchpoled and dismasted in the Southern Ocean some 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn yesterday. Overnight, Chilean rescue authorities have tasked another ship, the 38,000…
Ruffian 23 Diane is competing in the DBSC Turkey Shoot Series on Dublin Bay
Overall leader Vespucci will be among the first to start in race six of the Citroen South Dublin DBSC Turkey Shoot Series this Sunday on Dublin Bay. The Dehler 31 starts as part of a 21-boat group in the first…
Mid-week East Antrim Boat Club Sessions Organiser, Tom Jobling (left) with Speaker Brian Black (centre) and EABC Commodore Steven Kirby
East Antrim Boat Club's inaugural run of its Mid-week Sessions programme of 'ashore' talks and presentations concluded on 28th November with the ITN broadcaster and high latitudes adventuring yachtsman Brian Black sharing his experiences of Arctic waters... The 'Mid-week Sessions'…
SCORA prizewinners with new Commodore Johanna Murphy
A large attendance of about 40 sailors at the SCORA AGM was swelled by a good contingent from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club who travelled to Crosshaven despite the bad weather writes Bob Bateman. The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) hosted meeting on…
Susie Goodall arriving at the Hobart Golden Globe Race film stop last month
British yachtswoman Susie Goodall was pitchpoled and dismasted in the Southern Ocean some 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn today. A distress signal was first picked up from her yacht by Falmouth Coastguard at 11:00 UTC, who then alerted Race…
Espey Leads RS400 Frostie Series at RNIYC
The RS400 crews gathered in the boatyard, scratching their heads considering if it was even worthwhile bothering to take the covers off as there wasn’t a breath writes Bob Hastings. The 420s were out drifting about and it looked like…
Darryl Hughes of Maybird with Anne-Marie Ryan, wife of the ISORA Chairman Peter Ryan, at the presentation of the historic Penmaen Plate in the National YC
The Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association has a long and varied history extending back to the 1930s writes W M Nixon. For although ISORA, as we know it today, was inaugurated as recently as 1972, it is directly descended from…
Johanna Murphy, Commodore of SCORA
Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here …. “I intend to promote sailing in general and also to promote coastal offshore racing.” That was the declaration of Johanna Murphy from the Great Island Sailing Club in…

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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