Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

A Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatA Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on and users of the Erne System in Northern Ireland that the Henry Street Jetties in Enniskillen will be closed this Friday 23 to Saturday 24 February. This is to accommodate the annual Fishing Tackle…
Clarisse Crémer
Solo yachtswoman Clarisse Crémer has denied accusations of cheating in the 2020-21 Vendée Globe. According to France 24, it comes on the foot of claims in an anonymous email sent earlier this month to the French Sailing Federation (FFVoile) that…
Finn Lynch is one of two Irish sailors competing in the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens that is also serving as the second Irish Olym[pic trial for the Paris 2024 Olympic Regatta
The ILCA European Championships in Athens has experienced another day without racing due to light winds. The event, which began on Sunday, has completed just three out of the planned eight races for the women's ILCA 6 class, while the…
Last weekend, Trinity Sailing competed in the IUSA Southern Championships at Dingle Sailing Club, with 21 teams from colleges around Ireland competing in County Kerry
The 2024 university team racing season has started with a bang for Trinity College’s Sailing Club. On the 10th of Feb, the club made a remarkable showing by dispatching three teams to three separate events, dubbing the weekend ‘Super Saturday’.…
The immaculately restored 1954 eight-metre cruiser Marian Maid competing in the DBSC Spring Chicken Series on Dublin Bay
A third race win last Sunday means the J80 'Jambon' moves into the  AIB DBSC Spring Chicken Series lead on Dublin Bay. The Dun Laoghaire Harbour sportsboat crew are five points ahead of second-placed Just Jasmin, a Bavaria Match 35, on 32 points. Derry…
A J109-specific IRC optimization talk to be held at the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on February 27th
The Irish J109 fleet is gearing up for an action-packed season on Dublin Bay with an early season IRC optimisation talk this month. As Afloat reported previously, Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht Club will host the ICRA Nationals and Key Yachting's…
Ultim Challenge leader since January, Charles Caudrelier on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild
With less than 1,200 miles to finish the Ultim Challenge, Charles Caudrelier on the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, leader of the race since the end of January, has elected to take shelter in the Azores, thereby making a technical stopover.…
Two ILCA 7 European Championship races were completed in between spells of near-calm conditions. The 140-boat fleet was only at sea for a few hours when they were recalled to shore as the wind died
Paris 2024 Irish Olympic trialists, in their second of three trials, posted close results after the first races sailed at the ILCA 7 European Championships in Athens today. Finn Lynch (National Yacht Club) and Ewan McMahon (Howth Yacht Club) had almost…
After three races sailed, Howth's Eve McMahon lies in 20th place at the ILCA 6 European Championships in Athens
After three races sailed, Paris 2024 qualified Eve McMahon of Ireland lies in 20th place at the ILCA 6 European Championships in Athens.  In light and flukey conditions that have delayed the racing schedule, the Howth star scored a consistent…
Séafra Guilfoyle (left) and Johnny Durcan of Royal Cork Yacht Club have won sponsorship for their Olympic Trials Series starting next month
UCC graduates Séafra Guilfoyle and Johnny Durcan will contest the Irish 49er Olympic trial with the backing of a new sponsor next month.  The Royal Cork duo have bagged €10k in sponsorship from the National Business Machines Group headquartered in Cork. The…
Aeros at the leeward mark -  Stephen Oram (Aero 3288) and Paul Phelan (Aero 4230) take a direct route to the leeward mark, while ILCA 6 189319 (Glen Fisher) takes a more circuitous route at the DMYC Viking Marine-Sponsored Frostbites
Races 13 & 14 of the Viking Marine-sponsored Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour saw a change of Race Officer, with DMYC Commodore Ian Cutliffe taking over the reins of race management from Cormac Bradley, who had the day off. A…
Kinsale Yacht Club is looking forward to welcoming Dragon sailors from all corners of the globe for what promises to be an exceptional week of racing at the 2024 Dragon Gold Cup
Kinsale Yacht Club has announced entry is open for its staging of the Dragon Gold Cup, sponsored by Astra Construction Services Ltd, from September 6 to 13, 2024. This year's event will attract over 60 teams from more than 20…
Not the HYC you are thinking of as a Houston Yacht Club Melges 15 dinghy fleet cut quite a dash on starboard tack
As part of the ongoing promotional pricing to launch the Melges 15 dinghy class in Ireland, new customers who order a boat by the end of March will receive a free full deck cover and launching trolley writes Irish agent…
The chase boat alongside INEOS Britannia’s AC40 training boat Athena as its crew tackled a battery fire onboard on Friday 16 February
Britain’s challenger for the 37th America’s Cup suffered a setback during training off Barcelona last Friday (16 February) when an electrical fire broke out on one of its boats. According to Marine Industry News, the crew onboard INEOS Britannia’s AC40…
Lough Foyle’s native oyster population is important locally and internationally, economically and environmentally
Suspension of the native oyster fishery in the Foyle area will continue for another month, with the closure extended until 6pm on Sunday 31 March. The Loughs Agency says it made the decision following an analysis of the latest stock…
Royal Cork Rear Admiral Rob Foster says the “level of interest in Non-Spinnaker/White Sail classes is high
There is a very strong interest from the owners of Whitetail yachts for this year’s Volvo Cork Week, according to the Royal Cork YC organisers. Keelboats Rear Admiral Rob Foster says the “level of interest in Non-Spinnaker/White Sail classes is…

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 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]