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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Tide dragging Lasers over the MBSC line
On Saturday 25th of January, the Monkstown Bay Laser Frostbite league rolled around for day two of the month-long Cork Harbour series. A mixed bag of weather conditions was in store for the competitors, with a dull sky and black…
2016 Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy is one of four Irish sailors seeking Olympic nomination in the Laser Radial class
With Ireland having secured one of the last places in the Laser Radial class at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and with four sailors now set to contest a trials series for the single place, the Irish Sailing procedures for…
The start of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race
So far ten or more Irish sailors have registered as crew members on the following boats for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Caribbean 600 Race starting in less than a month. The inaugural 2009 winner, Royal St. George's Adrian Lee…
Oisin McClelland racing in Miami last week
The RYANI has congratulated Donaghadee sailor Oisin McClelland on his strong showing at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami last week. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Finn sailor from Northern Ireland finished fourth, just shy of the podium,…
Dublin Bay 21 Naneen will be back racing on Dublin Bay this season
There has been excellent progress on the revival of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Twenty One project the world’s oldest intact on design keelboat class as they prepare for a new season racing again on Dublin Bay. Chris Moore of Dublin…
Caubeen, which won the Dinghy World Championships for Ireland in 1924, is being renovated for the Athlone event
There is enormous interest in the revival of the International 12 Foot Dinghy Class both in Ireland and abroad, in advance of the 250th centenary regatta at Athlone Yacht Club/ Lough Ree Yacht Club at the end of May 2020.…
Keith Storey was the 'mug of the day' winner at the Icebreaker Sprint on Belfast Lough
Ballyholme Yacht Club was one of the first to organise winter sailing on Belfast Lough way back in the seventies. It’s called the Icebreaker and in the past, it has indeed at times involved breaking ice on boat cover. The…
International Laser Class Association Announces List Of New Builder Applicants
The International Laser Class Association (ILCA) has announced its provisional list of new builder applicants for Laser class boats amid a process that began last autumn. Manufacturers that have been approved to move forward in the application process are, in alphabetical…
Minister Michael D’Arcy Jnr presenting €400,000 to Dunbrody Experience. Front: Walter O’Leary, Chairman Dunbrody Trust, Sean Connick CEO and Minister Michael D’Arcy Jnr. Back: George Walsh, Frances Ryan and Willie Fitzharris, board members
Funding of around €400,000 from the Government has been allocated towards maintenance works on the Dunbrody Famine Ship over recent years. The funding, according to the New Ross Standard, has been used to carry out essential works to the tallship…
The Great Light is a curved glass interpretive structure designed to resemble a lighthouse lantern room
At the end of the 500 metre Titanic Walkway which connects the Titanic and Olympic Slipways to the Alexandra Dock in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, proudly sits The Great Light, a curved glass interpretive structure designed to resemble a lighthouse lantern…
The replica currach was built by James Madigan (left) with help from club members
The latest build from the West Clare Currach Club was launched at the weekend when a replica four-hand Scattery pilot "canoe" took to the water at Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary. The Club is an umbrella organisation for a growing…
Peter & Stephen Boyle (GP14) pick up their Frostbite Mug from Race Officer Cormac Bradley (centre)
A fleet in the mid-fifties braved a chilly Dun Laoghaire harbour today for the third race of Series 2 of the 2019/20 DMYC Frostbites. Wind strength during the morning in advance of racing wasn’t as brisk as forecast but the…
Glandore Harbour
The entry has opened for July's JPF 2020 Glandore Classic Boat Regatta with a 20% discount for all entries until the end of April.  As Afloat previously reported, recognising that there will be an unprecedented ‘Gathering’ of extraordinary boats in…
Oisin McClelland in yesterday’s Finn medal race in Miami
Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland was resurgent on the waters of Biscayne Bay yesterday (Saturday 25 January) but finished just shy of the podium after the Finn medal race at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami. The Donaghadee Sailing Club stalwart finished…
Oisin McClelland struggles with the lighter breeze in Thursday’s racing
Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland was off form on Friday (24 January) on Biscayne Bay as two seventh-place finishes saw him slip from the third place he’d held in recent days to fourth overall, heading into the Finn medal race at…
Eve McMahon
Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, current Gold Medal holder in the Laser Radial U17s World League after success in Canada last summer, has added yet more valuable metal to her collection by emerging as U17 Gold Medal winner 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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