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Latest Sailing Stories
Pro-am racing on board Turn the Tide on Plastic earlier today, Friday 16 March
#VOR - Seven Volvo Ocean Race teams will embark on one of the most classic legs in offshore racing on Sunday afternoon (18 March) from Auckland, New Zealand. Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race is an iconic Southern Ocean… skipper Conall Morrison at the Qingdao Welcome Ceremony
#ClipperRace - Yesterday was a day to remember at Wanda Marina and Yacht Club in Qingdao as the full Clipper Race fleet berthed at the brand-new facility, following the arrival of last-placed just before 11pm Irish time/UTC. Crew member…
Enda O'Coineen crosses the equator in time for St. Patrick's Day
In his latest update from the Atlantic Ocean, Solo sailor Enda O'Coineen tells how he took a call from President Higgins as he crossed the Equator on his long voyage back home from New Zealand The President of Ireland's Office…
Enda O’Coineen will cross the equator off the coast of Brazil on Friday morning
After 50 days alone at sea Enda O’Coineen will cross the equator off the coast of Brazil on Friday morning. Crossing the equator is a hugely symbolic event for any sailor and this particular crossing marks Enda entering the final…
Four days of racing in Dublin Bay in the Youth Pathway Championships will decide the six places on the 420 European team who will travel to Sisimbra, Portugal in July to compete in the 420 Junior (U18) European Championships
There’ll be three race courses, five classes, three evening talks, and 32 counties represented at next month's Volvo Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships taking place 5th – 8th April 2018 in Dun Laoghaire, jointly hosted by the Royal St…
Visit Seattle Pips PSP Logistics To The Post In Dramatic Qingdao Finale
#ClipperRace - Visit Seattle has pulled off a sensational victory after a dramatic twist in the tale of Race 8, swooping past PSP Logistics to steal victory in the final few miles of the race to Qingdao, China. PSP Logistics,…
Ilen’s mainmast assembly before most of the steel fittings (except for the mast ring lower right) had been galvanised
You might well say that the Ilen Project has been galvanised into further action writes W M Nixon. The historic 1926-built 56ft ketch’s restoration has been a matter of the hull being re-born at Liam Hegarty’s boatyard at Oldcourt near…
Sigma 33 numbers on Dublin Bay could reach a high of 25 for this June's Championships with boats travelling from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales
Sigma 33 sailors are making their sailing plans in good time for 2018 with 15 entries from 11 different clubs received for the class and Irish Championships being held in the Royal St George Yacht Club from 22nd – 24…
Finn Lynch racing in Miami in January. His main focus this season will be Olympic Qualification at the World Sailing Championships in Aarhaus in August
Ireland's Olympic Laser sailing team has a new multi–medal winning Slovenian coach but will he boost Finn Lynch's upwind speed in a breeze? Is Annalise Murphy going to swap her world–girdling adventures for a chance of Tokyo gold anytime soon?…
Glandore Dragons in action
#Dragon - Dragon class veteran Don Street is calling for Dragon associations the world over to find old or disused vessels for restoration and encourage younger sailors to keep the class going forward. As Scuttlebutt Europe reports, Street’s plans would…
Kenny Rumball (above) will chat about his dinghy sailing and youth racing which was where he learned his skills
As part of the Irish National Sailing School 40th Birthday Celebrations the country's leading sailing school is hosting a series of free talks and events starting tonight when School Principal Kenneth Rumball will share tales about his background and the…
Squibs sailing off Kinsale. The distinctive racing keelboat with mace-coloured sails celebrates its 50th anniversary this year
It’s still cold enough in boatyards to require determination to take off the covers, slide back the hatch and go below to start the annual preparation work. There are some more determined than others to have their boats ready to…
Oisin McClelland (IRL 9) in the first race of the Finn Europeans Championships in Cadiz
Donaghadee Sailing Club's Oisin McClelland opened his Finn Europeans Championships account with a 14th after a first day of big waves and light winds for the Ulsterman in Cadiz, Spain. McClelland is the only Irishman in the 89–boat Olympic class fleet…
Director of Racing Rosscoe Deasy will be part of the Royal Cork organisers launching Volvo Cork Week on the Hamble on St. Patrick's Day
For 40 years Volvo Cork Week has welcomed teams from overseas to the biennial regatta hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, and what better time than Patrick's Day for the UK Launch of Volvo Cork Week 2018.…
IS President Jack Roy speaking at last week's Volvo Cork Week Launch. The abiding impression of Saturday’s IS AGM was that our President has put his enthusiasm and energy into the task of serving all Irish sailing with his customary dedication and enjoyment
Time was when Annual General Meetings were well-attended events with opportunities for the highlighting of grievances among the membership, and even – in the distant past – the possibility of a vigorous and sometimes heated debate writes W M Nixon.…
Team Ireland celebrating with IODAI President Tim Lucas
The Irish tricolour featured very high on the results board at last weekend's IOCA Volvo Gill, Optimist British Spring Championships at Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Ireland's winning weekend of sailing saw nine sailors in the top 20. The Irish Team…

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]

Featured Sailing School

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Featured Clubs

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National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
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Featured Associations

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Featured Events

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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