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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Royal Cork Keelboats Launch North Sails April Digital Virtual Regatta
The Royal Cork Yacht Club has been sailing on Cork Harbour for the past 300 years and while boats and their crews are currently unable to take to the wonderful waters of Cork Harbour due to COVID-19 a little plan…
There are signs that by September the current restrictions may be relaxed so KYC continue to work towards delivering a truly outstanding Dragon Gold Cup 2020
Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) and the International Dragon Association (IDA) have today confirmed that planning for the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, to be raced off Kinsale from 5 to 11 September, is still progressing as normal at the current time.…
Belfast's City Hall was lit up in blue as a tribute the healthcare workers
The clapping for carers expression of support during the COVID-19 emergency was repeated at 8 pm last night across Northern Ireland and included applause for NHS workers, as well as the frontline staff who work in the docks – hauliers,…
The new online scene for the National 18 fleet in Cork Harbour
Wednesday, April 1st marked the day that the Cork Harbour National 18 fleet would begin their April League. This league is traditionally marked as the beginning of their racing season. As was predicted, the crewed-by-three 18 footers had their league cancelled.…
Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough
Last week the Quay Marinas/Dean & Reddyhoff Bangor marina closed, a victim of the COVID-19 Government restrictions in Northern Ireland. As Afloat reported previously, the Five Anchor Marina on Belfast Lough announced that from this Spring it would become part…
New UK Lonely Rock Race Will Round Ireland's Fastnet Rock to Port
The first Royal Western Yacht Club Lonely Rock Race will set off from the vicinity of Ryde in the Eastern Solent on 16 August 2020. The course will leave the Isles of Scilly to Port, round the Fastnet Rock to…
The Howth 17 racing schedule is one of the classes affected by the Howth Yacht Club decsion to postpone racing until June
Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin has postponed it Club's Summer racing season, which was due to start on Tuesday, April 28th as a result of the Covid-19 emergency. The clubhouse, boat deck and marina are already closed until April…
Team Ireland Changes Focus to Tokyo 2021
As news of the postponed Olympic Games spread, Team Ireland athletes came together to demonstrate solidarity, optimism and hope. Right now, the biggest battle is not being fought in the pitches, courts and arenas, but it is the fight against…
Laser Masters racing on Dublin Bay
The Irish Laser Class Association Committee has postponed all events until August. It means that the Munsters at Baltimore Sailing Club in April, the Leinsters in Howth Yacht Club in May, the Masters at the Royal St. George YC in…
 Team spirit: the winning UCD Firsts, skippered by Daniel Raymond, after their success at Killaloe
It may seem like another world now, but the energetically-organised Irish Inter-varsities team racers managed to get in their 2020 Championship early in March before the Covid-19 clampdown closed in. The venue was University of Limerick’s watersports facility at Killaloe…
Jack and Rosemary Roy heading for port after fulfilling one of their many voluntary Race Officer assignments
When Jack Roy of Dun Laoghaire (though originally from Greystones) retired from the Presidency of Irish Sailing on March 21st, it marked the conclusion of a hugely successful three years in the top post in Irish sailing. They were three…
Stormont Minister Closes Northern Ireland’s Angling Waters In Efforts To Control Covid-19
All DAERA angling waters in Northern Ireland have been closed with immediate effect in efforts to control the spread of Covid-19, as the Newry Times reports. The confirmation comes from Edwin Poots, Stormont’s Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs,…
Lough Ree Yacht Club's Clinkerfest Postponed
The second oldest yacht club in the world, Lough Ree Athlone, has cancelled a major event planned for the celebrations of its 250th year writes Tom MacSweeney. The Club's Commodore, Garrett Leech, said that Clinkerfest, planned for three days over…
The 2020 race course
On 30th August in Saint Brieuc bay, France it is going to be a demanding and difficult start for the 51st edition of the Solitaire du Figaro for Ireland's solo sailor Tom Dolan and the rest of the foiling Figaro…
The 2020 DBSC sailing season has been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions
The opening of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's summer season scheduled for the last week in April has been postponed due to Government Covid-19 measures. The revised start date is so far unknown.  The club, one of the largest yacht racing…
RYA Urges British Boaters To Think Again Before Cancelling Payments & Support Local Networks
British boaters are being encouraged to support their local boating networks wherever possible during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As Boating Business reports, the RYA is asking people to think again before cancelling payments to sailing clubs, marinas, class associations and…

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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