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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Poole Harbour Boat Show was last held in 2019
Next year’s Poole Harbour Boat Show has already been cancelled, its organisers citing difficulties with planning around the coronavirus pandemic. Boating Business reports that the largest free-to-attend boat show in the UK, which was also called off this past summer,…
Half Ton skipper Ronan Downing from Cork Harbour is racing in the Hicks esailing league
A group of Irish sailors and ex-pats that have been esailing during lockdown are sailing online again in the second round of COVID-restrictions. Hicks VR sailing club is a group of like-minded people from all over the world that enjoy…
Laser dinghies at Strangford Sailing Club
RYA Northern Ireland is giving sailing and boating clubs across the country the opportunity to access support for club membership and development by providing 'Rediscover Sailing Days'. Following lockdown and a challenging few months, many clubs have seen increased interest…
Brittannia is launched in Auckland
In less than 24 hours a second bold new America’s Cup race boat has been launched on Auckland’s Viaduct in New Zealand. INEOS TEAM UK have today christened BRITANNIA, their second AC75 exactly two months before the start of racing…
Record smiles: Cat Hunt (left) and Pam Lee dockside in Greystones early this morning after setting a new Round Ireland record. See vid below
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Speed Record: The Iarracht Maigeanta Two-Handed Round Ireland Record Challenge by Pamela Lee and Cat Hunt of Greystones Harbour Sailing Club just got better and better through yesterday evening and last night as they swept – with…
The position at 2100. See live tracker below
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Four 2100hrs: The situation became transformed. It was like the clicking of a switch. Or so it seemed to those on the edge of their seats ashore, as they watched on screen as the Figaro…
Handsome is as handsome does – the uncompromising Lombard 45 Pata Negra – used for several Howth YC successes – has been chartered by ISORA's Andrew Hall of Pwllheli for today's (Saturday) 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race from Malta
People have been unobtrusively getting on with sailing in many places during the pandemic, determinedly maintaining social distance afloat and ashore, reducing their interaction with outsiders to such a minimum it's almost non-existent, and doing it all thoughtfully, with properly-located…
As merry as grigs – Cat Hunt and Pam Lee in cheerful mood early this morning as their Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta rides on the flood tide with a good breeze past Rathlin Island, with Islay distant on the horizon
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Four 1500hrs:  The North Channel is one very unforgiving bit of water to go sailing on. It only gives you the gift of a fair tide for just long enough to begin to think that…
When the going was good - Iarracht Maigeanta seen crossing Donegal Bay in steady style yesterday morning
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Four 0900hrs: When Pam Lee and Cat Hunt entered Day 3 of their Magenta Project Round Ireland Challenge at 0745 hrs this morning (Friday), they were nearer the Scottish coast than they were to…
Magenta Project with Pamela Lee on the helm enjoying, the kind of sailing that has brought the Team of Two to North Donegal from Dublin Bay in record time
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Three 2000hrs: When the going is good, the good get going - and they get going fast. This has been the mantra of Pam Lee and Cat Hunt, who brought their Beneteau Figaro 3 in…
The Podesta family's First 45 Elusive 2 on her way to winning yesterday's 30-mile Malta Coastal Race in the buildup to Saturday's Rolex Middle Sea Race
The buildup to the 41st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Offshore Race from Malta on Saturday (October 17th) continues in Valetta in muted style in line with pandemic restrictions, and while yesterday's traditional preview event, the Yachting Malta Coastal…
Cat Hunt (left) and Pamela Lee in Greystones Marina before their unique challenge began
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Three 0900hrs: At 0745 hours this morning, Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt in the Beneteau Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta had put County Mayo's northwest headlands of Eagle Island and Erris Head well astern, and were…
Speeding into the long October night – Cat Hunt and Pam Lee getting the performance from their Figaro 3 Iarracht Maigeanta. They could be nearing the coast of Connacht by midnight
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Two 1800hrs: As Pam Lee and Cat Hunt continue to make good progress on Ireland's west coast northwards towards Connacht with light to moderate winds in the easterly sector, the developing weather for their Round…
Phaedo 3, record breaking Round Ireland in an anti-clockwise direction in 2016, decides that the Great Foze Rock is not an Irish island, but is part of the Azores archipelago, and may therefore be left to starboard
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Two 1400hrs: The Great Foze Rock has come and gone well to starboard at 12.15hrs today in the lengthening litany of marks of the course as Pam Lee and Cat Hunt continue their impressive campaign…
The RYA dinghy show 2021 had been due to take place over the weekend of 27-28 February at its new venue, Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.
The RYA Dinghy Show is to be a virtual event for 2021 due to the current escalation of Covid-19. The show had been due to take place over the weekend of 27-28 February at its new venue, Farnborough International Exhibition…
"Standard conditions" on the Kerry coast. But good fortune is on the side of round Ireland record challengers Pamela Lee and Cat Hunt as they sail along the southwest seaboard in an increasingly favourable offshore wind.
Female Two-handed Round Ireland Record Day Two 0900hrs:  The Magenta Round Ireland two-handed record challenge Record campaign from Dublin Bay by Pam Lee and Cat Hunt of RL Sailing and Greystones has logged an excellent start in its first 24…

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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