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Latest Sailing Stories
Less than five miles separate the seven boats in the Volvo Ocean Race on Day 2 of Leg 8
#VOR - Following a big send-off from Itajai yesterday (Sunday 22 April), the seven-strong Volvo Ocean Race fleet – back up to full complement with the welcome return of Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – faced a…
On the water, Fireball sailors were put under pressure in an intense series of bear aways, hoists, reaches, runs, drops and round-ups and beats
Fireballs enjoyed champagne sailing in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday for a pre-season coaching session with Ger Owens, thanks to the support of Irish Sailing. Ger's wry and funny delivery once again reduced the most complex of questions to the key…
This year the Laser 4.7 team will compete in the class World Championships in Gdynia, Poland
Three of the five youth sailors named by Irish Sailing for its 2018 Laser 4.7 team are from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  Royal St. George's Alana Coakley, Charlie Cullen (also National Yacht Club) and…
Frank Whelan's Eleuthera on her way to ISORA victory yesterday. The Judel Vrolijk design was a Cowes Week 2003 winner, a Rolex Fastnet 2003 class winner, an Antwerp Race 2003 and a Gotland Rund Sweden race winner too
Frank Whelan's Eleuthera, the Grand Soleil 44 yacht that broke the dominance of the J109s to win the first ISORA race of the season yesterday, is the former famous Dutch yacht 'Holmatro' with a race winning pedigree.  The Greystones crew…
In one of his first roles as RIYC Commodore, Joe Costello presented the overall prizes for the 2018 RS Feva East Coast Championships to overall winners Tim Norwood (Helmsman) left and Finn Cleary (Crew)
Counting four first places Tim Norwood and Finn Cleary of the host club won the six race 2018 RS Feva East Coast Championships by a clear margin of eight nett points at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Race over two…
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston returning to Falmouth on Suhaili on this day in 1969
Sunday 22 April marks 49 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston returned to Falmouth after spending 10-and-a-half months racing solo, non-stop around the world on is yacht Suhaili to win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Sir Robin, who went on…
MAPFRE leads the fleet out of Itajaí
#VOR - It was a familiar sight on Sunday afternoon (22 April) in Itajaí, Brazil, where the two red boats at the top of the Volvo Ocean Race leaderboard set the pace at the start of Leg 8 to Newport,…
Kinsale Quarter Tonner 'Runaway Bus' enjoying the great sailing conditions for today's April league at Kinsale Yacht Club. Scroll down for a gallery of photos
Wind and sun provided champagne sailing on day three of Kinsale Yacht Club's Spring Sailing Series 2018. It was a perfect day for the windward leeward course with a blustery 20–knot breeze blowing from Bullen’s Bay. The 1055 first gun…
Frank Whelan's Eleuthera, a Grand Soleil 44, was the IRC overall winner in the first ISORA race from Dun Laoghaire. Scroll down for more photos
Frank Whelan's well sailed Eleuthera, a Grand Soleil 44, was the winner of ISORA's Viking Marine Coastal Series first race in ideal sailing conditions on Dublin Bay this afternoon.  An exotic mix of new and nearly new entries into the 2018…
With a crew of friends and family very much in mind, Conor Fogerty's Silver Shamrock competes in the first ISORA race off Dalkey, County Dublin
The latest addition to Howth’s vintage fleet, Conor Fogerty’s ‘new’ boat is something of an old favourite and one that should be very familiar to Afloat.ie readers. Silver Shamrock, the Ron Holland-designed and Cork-built Half Tonner that took its class…
Ollie and Harry Ferguson, with the help of their father, adapted a Playmobil pirate ship much like this one to sail the open seas for real
#Offshore - Offshore vessels around the Caribbean are being asked to watch out for a toy ship on the waves that’s in need of a recharge. As BBC News reports, the appeal comes from a family in Scotland that launched…
MAPFRE Win In Itajaí To Extend VOR In-Port Series Lead
#VOR - Spanish Volvo Ocean Race team MAPFRE won the Itajaí In-Port Race on Friday in Brazil earlier today (Friday 20 April), after battling with Team AkzoNobel for the lead on the first of three laps of the race course.…
Conall Morrison from Derry-Londonderry
HotelPlanner.com Skipper Conall Morrison from Derry-Londonderry has edged out fellow Clipper Round the World Yacht Race competitor PSP Logistics for fourth place in the 5,600 nautical marathon across the North Pacific Ocean. Some 28 days after setting off from Qingdao…
Conor Fogerty breezing along in the latter stage of the OSTAR as though he hasn’t a care in the world. He’s finally getting into warmer water, the old shorts are out, he’s in his bare feet, and Bam! is going like a train with her familiar twin-tail wake zooming back to the horizon.
For most participants, sailing is a team effort – we sail as part of a crew in a reasonably sociable mutually-supportive environment. Yet increasingly the best-known sailors are those who compete solo. While we’re naturally interested in the great sailing…
Practice racing during the Itajaí stopover yesterday, Thursday 19 April
#VOR - Six Volvo Ocean Race teams will be on the start line later today (Friday 20 April) for the Itajaí In-Port Race in Brazil, with Vestas 11th Hour Racing joining the fleet following its dismasting and subsequent repair and…
Laser sailor Finn Lynch will be hoping for another gold fleet finish in Hyeres, France next Week
The prospect of the ever–looming Olympic qualifier this August in Aarhus will weigh heavy on the minds of Ireland’s Olympic sailors  Finn Lynch and Ryan Seaton who compete in the Sailing World Cup in Hyeres next week. Lynch in the Laser,…

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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