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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Leg 2, Day 7: King Neptune visits Biotherm for the first Equator crossing ritual of The Ocean Race 2022-23 on Tuesday 31 January
As January comes to a close, so does one chapter of Leg 2 of The Ocean Race 2022-23. The IMOCA fleet has burst into the southern hemisphere, crossing the equator overnight and escaping the calms of the doldrums. GUYOT environnement…
South African Kirsten Neuschäfer (39)onboard her Cape George 36, ” MINNEHAHA”
149 days ago, on Sept 4th 2022, 15 men and one woman set out from Les Sables d’Olonne. Their dreams and aspirations were to circumnavigate solo in the extreme Golden Globe Race. In 1968, nine set out on the first…
Howth's Ewan McMahon in the ILCA 7 is signed up for competition at the Olympic classes Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca in March
More than 560 crews from 54 countries have already pre-registered for the 52 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mallorca. In the history of Mallorca's classic Olympic class regatta, this is already an unprecedented level of interest in the showcase regatta, which runs…
British windsurfer Sam Sills scooped a silver medal in a thrilling finale to the first Olympic class regatta of 2023
British windsurfer Sam Sills scooped a silver medal in a thrilling finale to the first Olympic class regatta of 2023. Sills, 29, from Launceston in Cornwall, dominated the opening round of the iQFOiL Games in Lanzarote but had to settle…
An initial order of 12 boats has been placed for 12 Melges 15s for Dublin Bay this summer
The Melges 15 dinghy, a new double-handed dinghy taking the US by storm, is due to launch in Europe this summer, with its first European fleet set for Dublin Bay. Leading the class launch is John Sheehy of the Royal Saint…
Crews pictured at a previous Ocean to City event on the River Lee. Organised by Meitheal Mara, youth races included over 50 young people in 22 traditional currachs
Cork Harbour's Ocean to City race is taking entries from February 15th for its 19th annual event on June 3rd. Over 500 people participated in last year’s event, which returned after a two-year break due to Covid-19. The all-inclusive rowing…
River Liffey All in a Row organiser Dave Kelly with the IUSRU at the prizegiving at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club
The All In A Row Liffey Challenge was held in early December on the capital’s River Liffey with the challenge for the rowers to smash a 1,000km target in eight hours. Fifty skiffs, kayaks, canoes, dragon boats and currachs were…
Trainee of the Year Marissa O’Sullivan-Irwin receiving the award from Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy and Sail Training Ireland Chairman, Seamus McLoughlin
Trainees who made outstanding contributions to the Tall Ships voyages organised in 2022 by the charity Sail Training Ireland were recognised at the Annual Awards Ceremony at the Mansion House, courtesy of Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy (on Saturday, 28th January…
Dinghies compete in a strong wind edition of the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on January 29th
With “Frostbites Director” Neil Colin off on a sporting holiday, the decision on whether to race yesterday fell squarely on the shoulders of the day’s Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, and while I had been monitoring the weather as early as…
Team Holcim-PRB making their way through the doldrums on Sunday 29 January
It’s been a difficult 24 hours for The Ocean Race fleet as the five IMOCA teams become fully engulfed in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, better known as the doldrums. The light, fickle winds, random storm cells and clouds that bring…
Let's hear it for Wexford! Despite a gear failure in one race, Ronan Wallace of Wexford continues to be a star in the Howth Frostbite
Whatever about weather extremes being experienced elsewhere in the world, Howth is apparently in its own little magic microclimate. January has served up four Sunday mornings on the trot with good racing for the MG Motor "Sailing Club of the…
The Irish Jaguar Dragon team of Martin Byrne, John Simms and Adam Winkelmann were  third overall at the Coupe de l'Amitié at at the Yacht Club de Cannes in France
The Irish Jaguar Dragon team from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour took third overall at last weekend's Coupe de l'Amitié in France.  The keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, John Simms and Adam Winkelmann were in the…
The new water-ballasted JPK 1030
Alan Hannon's beautiful North Sails-powered "Coquine" has just taken to the seas in Bangor. She is a brand new JPK 1030 design from the JPK yard in France - a not-so-little sister to Paul O'Higgins' Dun Laoghaire-based all-conquering JPK 1080…
A Fireball dinghy sails past a capsized dinghy as big winds sweep through the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbite Series  race course at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
There was a big breeze and plenty of capsizes at the in-harbour racing of Sunday's Viking Marine DMYC dinghy Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay today. Frank Miller captured the action in this photo gallery below that features the…
Micheal O'Suillieabhain (left) and father, Michael O'Sullivan lead the Squib Class at the Kinsale Yacht Club Custom Rigging Frostbite Series
After three races sailed in the Squib Class at Kinsale Yacht Club's Custom Rigging Frostbite Series, a father and son duo sailing Mucky Duck lead the 12-boat fleet on seven points. The O'Sullivan's, Micheal and Michael take a four-point advantage over Colm…
Onboard 11th Hour Racing Team during Leg 2, Day 3 on Friday 27 January: Justine Mettraux, Charlie Enright and Jack Bouttell on the bow during a spinnaker peel
Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm was the first boat to feel the impact of the doldrums overnight as his crew saw their speed plummet from 14 to four knots just after midnight UTC. It wasn’t long before Team Holcim-PRB, 11th Hour Racing…

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]