Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
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…
Oisin McClelland racing in Biscayne Bay this week
Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland maintains third place in the Finn class at the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami as cold temperatures, wind chill, rain, strong breeze, and more typical South Florida conditions challenged the 182 sailors from 45 nations…
Ocean-Tramp at-Anchor
On 1st December last year, ‘Team South’ departed Ushuaia, Argentina, and headed south across the Drake Passage. Damian Foxall, Niall MacAllister and Lucy Hunt are ‘Team South’ - the three-person crew of highly experienced sailors and marine scientists leading a…
Monkstown Bay Laser sailors - (from left to right)  Alan Fehily, Philip Doherty, Ronan Kenneally, William O'Brien, Paul O'Sullivan, Chris Bateman, James Long, Charles Dwyer, Luke Fehily and Richie Harrington
Saturday, January 18th marked the first day of the 2020 Monkstown Laser Frostbite League, with a fleet of Laser sailors gathering to race on the waters of Cork Harbour. A misty-eyed winters morning dawned. The sun shone low in a…
Barry Hayes
Barry Hayes from UK Sailmakers Ireland is at the Royal St George Yacht Club on Dublin Bay to talk about sail trim and boat optimisation for cruiser-racers on January 30th. Hayes worked as a sailmaker in Ireland for five years under…
Mermaid sailor, the late Joe Boylan of Skerries

Joe Boylan RIP

23rd January 2020 Mermaid
The DBSC Mermaid Class and Skerries Sailing Club have lost one of their iconic long-standing members when Joe Boylan (88 years of age) died peacefully last Monday surrounded by his family in his home writes Roger Bannon. Joe will be…
An exhibition of art funded by the UK National Heritage Lottery Fund AFLOAT adds is currently on display on board HMS Caroline as above in Alexandra Dock, Belfast Harbour
On board HMS Caroline an exhibition of artworks produced by a community group in Belfast forms part of a National Heritage Lottery Fund project. As the Belfast Telegraph writes, Members of Forthspring Inter-Community Centre have used their artistic talents to…
Oisin McClelland racing in Biscayne Bay
The 182 sailors embraced the challenge of the uncharacteristically cold and blustery conditions in Biscayne Bay on Day 3 of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami yesterday (Wednesday 22 January). The athletes were faced with similar conditions on Tuesday,…
Back on the podium - Annalise Murphy in second overall at Sail Melbourne
Olympic Silver Medallist Annalise Murphy has shown she has lost none of her spark in Laser Radial racing by taking second overall in the women’s division in the Laser Radials in the major Sail Melbourne 2020 regatta which has concluded…
RCYC Committee (from left to right) Ria Lyden, Chair of the Marina & Facilities Committee; Darragh Connolly, Rear Admiral Keelboats; Annamarie Fegan, Rear Admiral Dinghies; Gavin Deane, General Manager, Colin Morehead Admiral; Michael Rider, Rear Admiral Cruising; Kieran O’ Connell, Vice Admiral and Alex Barry, Chair of the Bar Catering and House Committee
Colin Morehead has been elected as Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club succeeding the outgoing Pat Farnan as the club celebrates its 300th year as the oldest yacht club in the world writes Bob Bateman. At the 299th AGM, …
Upgrade Coming For Loughs Agency eLicence Website
Anglers in the Foyle and Carlingford areas are advised that the Loughs Agency will soon launched an upgraded eLicence website that meets GDPR requirements and includes a number of improvements based on user feedback. When the new site goes live, all…

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]

Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating