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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Racing at the 2019 Scottish Series
Following the earliest ever opening of registration for the Clyde Cruising Club's Scottish Series 2021, ninety-five boats had entered by Monday last for the event scheduled for 28th till 31st May at Tarbert on Loch Fyne in South West Argyll,…
2021 OSTAR & TWOSTAR Races Still Going Ahead as Planned
This year’s OSTAR and TWOSTAR races are going ahead as planned, the Royal Western Yacht Club of England has confirmed. Organisers say that after consultation with finishing hosts Newport Yacht Club in Rhode Island, they are “confident that we can…
Sir Ben Ainslie’s team won their the fifth race in a row in the Round Robins
INEOS TEAM UK stays unbeaten after what was probably the closest race seen so far on the AC75s, with nine lead changes throughout the nail-biting race against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. With that result, Sir Ben Ainslie’s team won their…
The esailing world championships launches today
The 2021 eSailing World Championship will be launched today as the race to win this year’s title – and a prize of USD $10,000 – officially begins. Launched in partnership between World Sailing, the International Federation for the sport, and…
Boot Dusseldorf has been cancelled in April
Germany's Boot Dusseldorf that originally postponed from January to April due to COVID-19 has now been called off for 2021. The world’s largest indoor boat show fell due to the ongoing high infection numbers across all of Europe.  The massive…
Tokyo Olympics Doubtful, Says Man Who Ran London 2012
The head of the organising committee for the London Olympics in 2012 has said the Tokyo Games scheduled for this summer look “unlikely” to go ahead. As the Guardian reports, Sir Keith Mills told the BBC he “would be making…
LUNA ROSSA PRADA PIRELLI and INEOS TEAM UK will race on Saturday
American Magic's withdrawal from racing in the last two round robins of the America's Cup Challenger Selection Series means a revised schedule of racing on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour this week. Following New York Yacht Club American Magic informing the Regatta…
eSailing champion – Howth's Colin Kavanagh spills the beans about successful eRacing online on Wednesday night
It's arguably the case that the best way through lock-down is to assume it's all going to last a bit longer – maybe a lot longer - than most people think. Thus the most effective way to negotiate your way…
Patriot capsized after day three of the Prada Cup in Auckland
After racing into a squall, crashing, capsizing, incurring significant damage and coming close to sinking, American Magic's AC75 racing yacht, PATRIOT, made it back to shore at 10:45 PM NZDT after a herculean effort to save the boat. The arrival…
NYYC American Magic's AC75 'Patriot''s dramatic capsize
The America's Cup is living up to its high drama billing in Auckland at the PRADA Cup, with all the support teams now battling to save NYYC American Magic's AC75 'Patriot' after a spectacular capsize. Local reports from the race…
The British challenger INEOS TEAM UK again surprised many by winning their third race in a row
A tricky and yet revealing day for the Challengers competing in the America's Cup PRADA Cup Round Robins due the to the tricky light wind conditions that frequently forced the AC75’s off their foils. A positive day for the Challenger…
Islander James Coyne in a still from the video series Inishbofin in Lockdown
A new video series is providing vivid snapshots of life among a Connemara island community during lockdown. Filming for Inishbofin in Lockdown was completed last spring — when Inishbofin, off western Connemara, joined the three Aran Islands in agreeing to…
INEOS Team UK lead at the Prada Cup in Auckland
INEOS TEAM UK went from zero to hero by winning both races with solid starts, smooth sailing and protecting their leads over their opponents, both American Magic and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team respectively. It is a result few people had…
Boats are Excluded From State COVID Support Because They are Mobile
It seems logical, boats move, but that is their business. The Department of Finance takes a different view. It has told boat operators that this mobility excludes them from being given the supports offered to businesses which are landbound –…
Rolex China Sea Race 2021 Cancelled Amid Pandemic Concerns
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has cited “continued uncertainty regarding international border openings” amid the coronavirus pandemic in its decision to cancel the 2021 Rolex China Sea Race, which had been due to start on 31 March. In a statement,…
Defenders Team New Zealand nosedived and capsized in an unforced error shortly after gybing
Whether it be for the Challengers or the Defender, the speed at which the whole America's Cup fleet is developing has already taken even the experts by surprise. During the break between the PRADA America's Cup World Series Auckland 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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