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 Cool performer. Niall Dowling’s Ker 43 Baraka GP at Wicklow Head at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018. Despite being well down the overall rankings off the coast of Mayo, a tactically brilliant second half saw her emerge as line honours victor and overall winner
Anyone who claims to comprehend every nuance of Ireland’s sailing story during 2018 is living in a state of happy delusion writes W M Nixon. For sure, much that happened followed the set path of the annual programme at home…
Tribute Scheme To Support Young Sailors Who Want to Race a Fireball Dinghy
As a tribute to the memory of the late veteran dinghy racer Louis Smyth his family have announced that they will support a young team who are interested in trying a high-performance Fireball dinghy. While full details of the scheme…
The 50th Middle Sea Race starts tomorrow
sThe 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet lies ready to create history as the crews - including Irish sailors  - make final preparations for the 606-nm Mediterranean offshore classic. Some 131 yachts have been registered to take on the Royal…
Vintage Windsurfers Set For Gathering In Dun Laoghaire This Weekend
Vintage windsurfers from all over Ireland are coming together for the first time in more than 30 years in Dun Laoghaire this weekend. Tomorrow (Saturday 20 October) the National Yacht Club plays host to The Gathering, organised by Two Score…
Flying fifteens competing in this month's Flying Fifteen National Championships on Dublin Bay
As David O'Brien reports in this morning's Irish Times here, the Irish Flying Fifteen class have confirmed the seven 'automatic qualifiers' for next September's Flying Fifteen World Championships on Dublin Bay.  After the seasons 4 qualification events, with 3 to…
Conor Fogerty onboard the test keelboat in France
Howth Yacht Club's Conor Fogerty will be the first foiling keelboat in Ireland next season when he sets sail in his new Beneteau Figaro 3 on the Irish Sea next season. Confirmation of the news puts an end to rumours about…
Try Sailing At Howth Yacht Club’s Open Day Next Monday
#HYC - The doors of Howth Yacht Club will be open next Monday 22 October to anyone curious to try sailing or boating in North Co Dublin. HYC will be one of many clubs across Ireland holding open days to…
The Winning IRC One in the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 in Wicklow Harbour, Arto Linnervuo's Xp-44 Xtra Staerk and the Finnish team from Soukan Venekerho
Two of this Summer's Scandinavian entries in the Round Ireland Race are set for the RORC Transatlantic Race next month. Henrik Bergesen's Norwegian Class40 Hydra plus the class one Round Ireland winner, Arto Linnervuo's Xp-44 Xtra Staerk, the all-Finnish eight-man crew. Crew…
Naomh Éanna docked in a Georgian graving dock of Dublin's Grand Canal Dock basin, is seen from the Ringsend Bridge (spanning the River Dodder). The former CIE operated Aran Islands passenger ferry cargoship (in this perspective view) is seemingly swamped by developing property under construction in Dublin's 'Docklands' quarter in the form of offices and apartments. The rare Irish (Dublin) built ship occupies one of two surviving Georgian graving docks as the largest drydock has for many years been infilled.
#HistoricBoats - Afloat has noted work has recently begun in Dublin's Grand Canal Dockyard to transform a former CIÉ Aran Islands passenger /freight ferry as previously covered into a floating 5-star luxury hotel on the Liffey, writes Jehan Ashmore. Commenting to…
 Ilen secure for the winter in the Ted Russell Dock in Limerick, where there are daily reminders that this is very much a working port, and Limerick is a manufacturing town
The restored 1926-built 56ft ketch Ilen proudly tells us on her transom that her home port is Limerick writes W M Nixon. And while Limerick may have come to prominence as a raiding base and trading centre for the Vikings…
Overall winners Rory Martin and Dave Muckilveen wait for the breeze on Lough Derg
After braving the delays due to roadworks on the Motorway heading south, many of the Flying Fifteen fleet assembled for Lough Derg Yacht Club's traditional pre-event supper in the Whiskey Still at Dromineer, followed by some refreshments writes our special…
A Squib race start on Lough Derg at the Freshwater Regatta
Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater Championships in Dromineer last weekend was all about the weather! On Thursday and Friday when the teams were arriving from every part of Ireland, they were told to expect 100km/hr winds. Fortunately, these winds did not…
Incoming Chairman Michael Boyd (centre) with Peter Wykeham-Martin and Alp Doguoglu pictured at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire
Representatives of the International Rating Certificate (IRC) met in Dun Laoghaire for two days of debate and discussion at the beginning of October. The IRC Technical Committee agreed on a number of developments for 2019 as a result of research…
Bray 'Helmsman' Trophy winners Philip and Mick O'Reilly
Bray Sailing Club reintroduced one of the club’s longest standing trophies this weekend as its first 'Senior Helmsman’s' Championship in fifteen years was sailed. The trophy was put on ice when dinghy sailing declined in the early 2000’s but the…
Shannon Estuary Cutter 'Sally O'Keeffe' in winning mode
The largest fleet to have gathered for an October Series along the west coast in a number of years came together this Sunday on the Shannon Estuary in the Combined Clubs October Series being hosted by the Royal Western Yacht…
Irish sailor Gregor McGuckin with his father Randal McGuckin and his mother Lynne McGuckin in Dublin Airport
Heroic Irish solo sailor Gregor McGuckin arrived back in Dublin today to a rapturous welcome in Dublin Airport from his family, friends and members of the sailing community. It is Gregor’s first time on Irish soil since embarking on his…

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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