Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

afloat sailing header

Aerial view of Royal Malta Yacht Club
The host club of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has been forced to relocate its operations into shipping containers after it was evicted from its premises. As the Times of Malta reports, talks to delay a court-ordered eviction or find…
K-Challenge is now Orient Express Team as ACCOR hotel group signs on as title partner for the team’s America’s Cup challenge
K-Challenge Racing is now Orient Express Team, after the ACCOR hotel group’s commitment to backing their challenge for the 37th America’s Cup. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, K-Challenge — who previously contested for the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007 as…
The aim of the East Antrim Boat Club 'Ladies That Launch' initiative is to engage with existing female club members and get them back to dinghy sailing
A new ladies' sailing initiative at East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough in Northern Ireland got underway at the end of January when Ladies that Launch dusted off the wetsuits and had a fun afternoon trying to find the wind.…
The essence of Irish sailing – participant sport at the Fastnet Rock during Calves Week at Schull, with Brian Heffernan’s Aisling in the foreground
Be careful what you wish for - it might just come to happen. This was the feeling that emerged in much of the rest of Ireland’s sailing community a year or so back, when “America’s Cup Venue Mania” was taking…
Pat Lawless - This time he will enter the Global Solo Challenge Race
Undaunted after being forced out of the Golden Globe Race at Cape Town in November, Pat Lawless is going to try again to sail solo, non-stop around the world. This time he will enter the Global Solo Challenge Race, with…
For the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600, around 70 teams from 16 different countries are anticipated, and the inaugural RORC Nelson's Cup Series is projected to feature at least 12 boats. On February 14—Valentine's Day—the new season's racing excitement gets underway.…
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…
Solo sailor Simon Curwen, sailing the Biscay 36 Clara has reported a major Windvane failure before Cape Horn in the Golden Globe Race
At 1815 UTC on 27th January, 1200 miles Northwest of Cape Horn, Simon Curwen contacted Golden Globe Race control to advise of the total failure of his Hydrovane steering gear in the solo non-stop race round the world. He had weathered…
Lightning was first sighted near the spectator Race Village, which was promptly evacuated before hitting the top of the New Zealand F50 F50 mast
SailGP's 10-strong fleet of one-design F50s is set to reshuffle ahead of racing in Sydney after New Zealand's lightning-struck F50 known as Amokura was deemed unable to compete. The Kiwis' boat was being towed back to the Tech Site shortly…
The 2023 44Cup fleet has five events from March to November in 2023
The 2023 season of the 44Cup has been unveiled, with five events scheduled for the 16th season of racing between the high-performance owner-driver one-design monohulls. The fleet size will kick off with nine entries for the first event and, over…
Howth Yacht Club (pictured above competing in the 2019 Cup) and Royal Cork Yacht Club are in the line-up of twenty teams from 15 countries competing in the 2023 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup
Two top Irish sailing teams, one from Dublin and one from Cork, will contest the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup this September off Rhode Island. Howth Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club are in the line-up of twenty…
The Foyle Punt evolved from the generic Donegal Punt and was the workhorse of fishing Communities along Lough Foyle. The craft was raced by their owners at local regattas along the shores of the Lough. A new punt will be built by student Orlagh Thompson at the Basque Maritime Heritage Association in Pasaia, Spain as part of her boat-building studies
The Portaferry and Strangford Trust (PAST) is a charity, based in Portaferry at the mouth of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, which aims to promote an awareness of the rich maritime heritage and natural environment of the Lough and the…
A jubilant team on Eric de Turckheim's Teasing Machine, Laurent Pages, Quentin Bouchacourt, Bertrand Castelnerac, Aymeric Chappellier, Quentin le Nabour, Paco Lepoutre, Gabriele Olivo, Christian Ponthieu, Jerome Teillet with Nikoyan Roberts (GTA) and Steve Cole (RORC)
Thursday, 19 January, Grenada West Indies: RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim, racing his NMYD 54 Teasing Machine (FRA), is the overall winner under IRC for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race. While 10 boats are still racing, none of them…
Stefan Jentsch and team on the Botin 56 Black Pearl. Black Pearl (GER) with Ireland's James Carroll on the crew, was next, finishing the RORC Transatlantic Race in an elapsed time of 9 days 15 hrs 42 mins and 16 secs
Following the finish of Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), four more monohulls completed the RORC Transatlantic Race in the space of just nine hours. Tired, but elated, the teams have joined in the celebrations at Camper & Nicholsons Port…
I Love Poland completed the RORC Transatlantic Race in an elapsed time of 8 days 23 hrs 37mins 07 secs, taking Monohull Line Honours and winning the IMA Transatlantic Race Trophy
The Polish National Foundation’s Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski, crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada on Tuesday, 17th January 2023 at 13:47:07UTC. I Love Poland has taken Monohull Line…
I love Poland is firmly in pole position for Monohull Line Honours in RORC's Transatlantic Race
Three RORC Transatlantic Race teams are in the shoot-out for Monohull Line Honours and the IMA Transatlantic Trophy. The exquisite 19th-century sterling silver trophy will be presented in Grenada by the International Maxi Association Secretary General, Andrew McIrvine. The winner…

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]