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Northern Ireland youth sailors selected for the Laser Youth Performance Programme
RYANI has selected a group of young sailors to join its Youth Performance Programmes. The sailors, aged from 12 to 17, will be supported along their sailing journey, in preparation for national and international competition. RYANI Performance Manager James Farrell…
Portsmouth Harbour
Portsmouth Harbour Marine and Portsmouth City Council are in discussions with MaxComm Communication with the aim of hosting an international sailing and yacht racing conference in Portsmouth in November 2020. The annual Yacht Racing Forum draws a rich pool of…
Belfast Lough will, from 25th till 28th June next year, see a repeat of the 2018 reincarnation as Bangor Town Regatta, a four-day multi class event
A ‘Town’ Regatta in Bangor first saw the light of day a century ago and Belfast Lough will, from 25th till 28th June next year, see a repeat of the 2018 reincarnation as Bangor Town Regatta, a four-day multi-class event…
Ariel and Merida at Exploris Aquarium before their release back into the wild at the weekend
Two juvenile seals named Ariel and Merida after the Disney princesses are part of a novel marine research project using the latest technology to record and understand harbour seals’ behaviour. In a first for Northern Ireland, the Exploris Aquarium in…
Topper racing in perfect but cold conditions at Ballyholme
A brisk northerly breeze met the Topper sailors on Saturday afternoon for a cold day of sailing in what was otherwise perfect sailing weather for the fourth week of the Charles Hurst Jaguar Land Rover Ballyholme Yacht Club Junior Icebreaker…
Lerwick lifeboat crew at the scene of the grounded vessel late Friday night
Lerwick lifeboat launched late Friday night (15 November) to the aid of a fishing vessel which had grounded on rocks just north of the Shetland Islands harbour. The 26-metre, Inverness-registered trawler was stuck fast and was listing when the Severn-class…
DMYC Frostbite mug winner Louise McKenna with club Commodore Frank Guilfoyle
For the third weekend of the DMYC Frostbites series, an early call was made that the fleet would race outside the harbour. The move was warmly welcomed by competitors as the wind inside the harbour was quite fragmented. Outside the…
Flags of the nations, including Ireland, at today's opening ARC ceremony in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
With the majority of boats now docked in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and crews busy making preparations for their 2,700 nm Atlantic ahead of start of the ARC next Sunday - 24th November - it was time to mark…
Alan Mulcahy's Runaway Bus (left) and Richard Leonard's Bandit competing in race three of RCYC's third race
In a brisk northerly breeze, Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Group Winter Series reached the halfway stage this afternoon with three great days of sailing so far this November writes Bob Bateman. Crews were back on Cork Harbour waters today after Friday's…
Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep win 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship overall
More than 5,000 sailors from around the world, racing in a dazzling variety of 570 yachts, took part in the 2019 RORC Season's Points Championship. The world's largest offshore racing series comprised 14 testing races and every race had its…
RCYC League winners gathered at the clubhouse with their prizes. Scroll down for photo gallery by Bob Bateman
A Royal Cork Yacht Club members forum at Crosshaven reviewed the 2019 racing season, ECHO handicapping and discussed options for 2020 last night before the club held its league prizegiving. The winners of its series of year-long club leagues in…
The Topper fleet at the 30th RYANI Youth Championships this September
A group of young people have joined together to have their say on sailing and boating in Northern Ireland. The RYANI Youth Forum group, which is being piloted for one year, has been formed as part of an initiative to…
Carlingford Lough as seen from Greencastle in Co Down
The Loughs Agency has organised two morning seminars around the theme of maritime heritage in the Foyle and Carlingford areas later this month. The first will take place at Greencastle Golf Club next Friday 22 November from 9.30am to 12.30pm,…
Revenue Guidance For Compliance With Green Diesel Ban For Pleasure Craft To Come Before New Year
The Revenue Commissioners will prepare guidance material for their website and update relevant tax and duty manuals in advance of the upcoming ban on the use of green diesel for private pleasure craft, it is understood. That’s according to the…
The Bay of Saint-Brieuc in Brittany
The Bay of Saint-Brieuc in Brittany will host the start of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro for its 51st edition on 30 August 2020, it has been announced. As Sail World reports, the schedule for next year’s Figaro was moved…
The abandoned fishing vessel at Ballyhalbert
Ards and North Down Borough Council paid £36,000 to scrap an abandoned fishing trawler in Ballyhalbert harbour on the Ards Peninsula writes Betty Armstrong. Ballyhalbert is a small seaside village on the Irish Sea coast of the Ards Peninsula at…

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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