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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Ireland's brand new 'Green Armada' sailing team will not have the benefit of Olympic talent when it debuts in Switzerland this week at the inaugural SSL Gold Cup. Although the Irish bid to be crowned the world's best sailing nation…
Pictured (l-r) are Athlete Lauren McDowell, Lady Mary Peters and Bethany Carroll, Marketing Executive at Hughes Insurance
The first Northern Ireland athlete selected for Mary Peters Trust funding is Belfast-based sailor, Lauren McDowell, who has received a £500 bursary. Each of the ten athletes will be selected by Lady Mary and her Trust to receive a £500 bursary…
A 'Green Armada' team of Irish Olympians will represent Ireland in the brand new SSL Gold Cup in Switzerland this week. The teams compete in the SSL47 keelboats (above)
Cork Harbour's Nicholas O’Leary captains a squad made up largely of Irish Olympic campaigners – including Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy – in a bid to be crowned the world's best sailing nation in a new competition called the SSL…
The 44Cup Cascais is the second of the 2022 series for the high-performance owner-driver one designs
Normally 44Cup events are decided in the final gybes of the last leg of the last race after four days of competition. But at the 44Cup Cascais, the second of the 2022 series for the high performance owner-driver one designs,…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Cian Guilfoyle sailing on 'Aleph' as Grinder lies third in the 44Cup Cascais
Dun Laoghaire's Cian Guilfoyle stays third overall on Aleph after day three of the 44Cup in Cascais, Portugal. After two days of sun, Atlantic swell and prevailing northwesterlies, conditions turned around for day three of the 44Cup Cascais. Overnight the wind…
Together with Aleph Racing (above in which Dublin's Cian Guilfoyle is the grinder), Artemis Racing was second-lowest scoring RC44 today
Irish sailors are among the crews competing in the 44Cup, the circuit of the high-performance one-design RC44 class in Cascais, Portugal.  Dublin Bay's Cian Guilfoyle is a Grinder on the French entry, Aleph in third place while Simon Johnson is in the Pit of…
“Which way would you lordship like the castle to face this year?” Over the centuries, Howth Castle (left) has faced in different directions
You need to be several different people at once in order to thrive in Howth sailing. A classic case in point is former HYC Commodore Brian Turvey. His current highest-profile role - ahead of other deeply committed personal involvements -…
Scottish Series racing on Loch Fyne
Scotland's top regatta has been cancelled just 20 days before the first race. The scrubbing of the 'premier regatta' is not due to a lack of entries but a lack of volunteers to run the event on Loch Fyne, according…
The 44Cup Cascais sets sail today at noon
Two Irish sailors are among the crews lining up this morning in the 44Cup, the circuit of the high-performance one-design RC44 class.  As Afloat reported previously, Simon Johnson is in the Pit of Black Star Racing and Dublin Bay's Cian…
Mark laying with Howth Yacht Club
If you’re looking for a different way to get involved with this summer’s Wave Regatta, Howth Yacht Club’s rescue and mark-laying team may have a spot for you. The team will be active across the various courses, laying marks and…
Tom Slingsby
Tom Slingsby has signed with New York Yacht Club American Magic for the 37th America’s Cup in 2024. Slingsby, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and multi-class world champion, previously helped an American team win the 'Auld Mug' in 2013. “I’m…
Next week, the 44Cup will return to the Portuguese sailing mecca of Cascais for event two of its 2022 season. Racing for the eight high-performance one-design monohulls will take place from Thursday to Sunday, 11-15 May. The cup features among…
Gavin Watson, Chairman Bangor Town Regatta with Tanya Martin of Title Sponsors IQ&Co. The trophy is the Bangor Town Cup for the best overall yacht in the regatta
A financial services company, IQ&Co, has been announced as Title Sponsor of Bangor Town Regatta which will be hosted by Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough from 23rd till 26th June. Listed entries for the regatta are not only…
Could Cork Harbour be the venue for the 37th America's Cup? The Government is to discuss it
It's emerged that Minister of Sport Catherine Martin was not told about proposals to host the America's Cup in Cork Harbour for three months. According to Saturday's Irish Times, an unpublished Government report also reveals that ministers were warned the…
Tom Jobling's Bolero Prodigal from East Antrim Boat Club
East Antrim Boat Club has a proud record of top achievements in the sport of sailing and come Bangor Town Regatta at the end of June a flotilla of boats from the Larne based club will be hoping to be…
Saoirse Reynolds rounds the Kish Light on Dublin Bay at the helm of Aurelia during the 2021 ISORA Series
The National Yacht Club’s Saoirse Reynolds has continued her winning streak in the UK over the Easter Holidays by scoring first place in the inaugural race of the season run by SORC (Solo Offshore Racing Club) for single and double-handed…

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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