Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Blackhead Lighthouse in Carrickfergus
A Northern Ireland fisherman who landed a blue lobster last week says it was a “one in two million” shot, as Belfast Live reports. Stuart Brown made the marine wildlife discovery of his lifetime on Friday (3 February) while hauling…
Will Harris in the cockpit of Team Malizia watching the waves covering the boat on Day 14 of Leg 2 (Tuesday 7 February)
It’s been a productive and fast 24 hours for the IMOCA fleet in The Ocean Race 2022-23 as the teams are diving south towards an ice exclusion zone and into the Roaring 40s, named for the area south of 40-degrees…
Oisin Murphy (foreground) making the best of the breeze-sharpening weather-going tide and a neat job of keeping tabs on Dave Kirwan, and Tristan Nelson in the RS600
While the Howth 2023 "Spring Series" section of the annual dinghy frostbites saw every race completed in January, at times, the weather was anything but Springlike. Yet the new Bank Holiday of St Brigid's Weekend saw Sunday's first races of…
The 2023 Irish J109 Class events are the J109 Eastern Championships, to be held 10th - 11th of June on Dublin Bay, and the J109 National Championships to be held as part of the Key Yachting J-Cup from the 26th - 27th of August
In order to encourage greater participation by female sailors in the Irish J109 fleet, the class has voted to amend the crew weight limit to permit up to two female crew members to be excluded from the combined crew weight…
Busy people – Alex and Daria Blackwell of Clew Bay have won several awards over the years for their contributions to international cruising
Daria and Alex Blackwell of County Mayo have been a significant power couple in global voyaging for many years now, operating from their base at Port Aleria among the many islands of the inner reaches of Clew Bay, and voyaging…
Abhilash Tomy (IND) gearing up for the storm
With 20,000 miles and five months at sea — 70% of their voyage complete — the leading yachts in the Golden Globe Race are starting to show little signs of fatigue requiring constant maintenance, just as they are undertaking the…
Monday 6 February: Leg 2, Day 13 onboard Team Holcim-PRB as Tom Laperche shakes out a reef in the main
It’s been a long, exhausting but also thrilling second leg of The Ocean Race 2022-23 and the pattern is not going to change in the final stages, with the five IMOCA crews bracing themselves for one last push to Cape Town.…
In Auckland, New Zealand, Emirates Team New Zealand is practicing with two AC40s
All of the America's Cup teams have had an extremely busy January due to their training regimens being notably more intense. Data gathering and analysis are more crucial than ever, with only a few months till sign-off for the AC75…
The Sonata is a well-known and much-loved cruiser racer in the Lough, as is the growing Impala fleet, which numbered 11 at EDYC early last year. 
East Down Yacht Club welcomes Impala and Sonata keelboats to a two-day combined racing event on the 27th and 28th of May. The club is situated near Killyleagh on the west side of Strangford Lough on a nine-acre site, including…
Kieran Dorgan from Cove Sailing Club leads at the Monksotwn Bay Laser League in Cork Harbour
At Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour, where eleven races have been sailed in the club’s Winter Laser League, racing resumed on Saturday when Kieran Dorgan from Cove Sailing Club just around the corner at Whitepoint, continued to lead…
Squib racing at the Kinsale Yacht Club Frostbite Series 2023
Cinnamon Girl, the two-handed cruiser crew of Sam Hunt and Cian McCarthy, sailed the Squib, Breakaway, to first place in the first race of Sunday’s Custom Rigging Frostbite Series at Kinsale Yacht Club. This was the second day of racing,…
Aerial view of Dublin Bay
Members of the National Yacht Club are invited to a talk on safe navigation in Dublin Bay, hosted by Dublin Port Company on Thursday 23 February at 7.30pm. The talk will be will be presented by members of the port…
Clarisse Crémer by her Vendée Globe IMOCA with the branding of her now former sponsor Banque Populaire
Vendée Globe competitor Clarisse Crémer says she is “in shock” after being dropped by her main sponsor just weeks after having a baby. According to Marine Industry News, the record-setter was let go by Banque Populaire in the wake of…
The Melges 15 won Sailing boat of the year in 2022 and has been Melges's best-selling design. With over 600 boats already built, they have quickly established strong fleets wherever they have been established
The Melges 15, a new double-handed dinghy, will launch in Europe this summer, with its first European fleet set for Dublin Bay. The drive for the new class is being led by John Sheehy of the Royal Saint George, who hosts a Zoom call…
Wayfarers (x2), Fireballs, ILCAs and the IDRA mixing it at the weather mark. In the background, ILCAs are running towards the weather mark
There are days when it is difficult for competitors, there are days when it is difficult for the Race Officer, and then there are days when it is difficult for everyone! Sunday, 5th February, was one of these latter days!!…
Racing at Kinsale's 2021 Sovereign's Cup Regatta. The 2023 event runs from 21st to 24th June
Kinsale Yacht Club has 30 registered entries to date for its biennial Sovereign's Cup 2023 Regatta.  One of the latest entries for the Simply Blue sponsored Cup from 21st to 24th June is George Sisk and Tim Kane's Dun Laoghaire-based Wow!  The…

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]