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Laser racing on Dublin Bay is part of a number of events cancelled in the capital
Some key end of summer Dublin sailing events have been cancelled with immediate effect this weekend as a result of the Government's level three restrictions announced this evening. The announcement led the country's largest yacht racing club, Dublin Bay Sailing Club,…
Contenders For eSailing Worlds & National Playoffs Revealed
The latest Irish Sailing eSailing National Championship leaderboard reveals the top 10 qualifiers for the Nations Cup playoffs — and the challengers nipping at their heels for the coveted national title. Irish Sailing’s first eChampionships were launched in early April,…
Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire, England
Portsmouth Harbour will be the venue for the UK’s first hosting of the annual Yacht Racing Forum this November. The event on 23–24 November will be based around the harbour, with the main conference taking place in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s…
One of the tunnelled bridges of The Gobbins cliff path
Co Antrim’s famous coastal path at The Gobbins is set to reopen next week on Tuesday 1 September. months after it was closed in the initial wave of coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland. As RTÉ News reports, the cliff path…
 Simon Knowles' J/109 Indian has put in a gallant showing for Howth to take fourth overall in this year's only big offshore race, the Fastnet 450
Ireland's sports organisations are taking a battering during the pandemic, and the operating model of sailing clubs, in particular, makes them especially vulnerable to a downturn in all activities afloat and ashore. Afloat.ie's W M Nixon wrote this piece yesterday…
Father and son winners Sean (left) and Yannick Lemonnier of Galway Bay Sailng Club
Taking the top spot this year at the annual Cong Galway Boat Race was Sean and Yannick Lemonnier of Galway Bay Sailing Club, making it three-in-a-row for the father and son duo, who won a luxurious night at the 5-star Ashford…
History redeemed….the Royal Cork YC have been denied much of their Tricentennial Celebration during 2020, so it was a very special moment when Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (RCYC) crossed the line at Roche's Point this (Monday) morning to win the Fastnet 450 Race
Day 3, Monday, 1600 hrs: The demanding Fastnet 450 course kept crews working very hard indeed until the last couple of miles running in towards the finish in the entrance to Cork Harbour under the iconic Roche's Point Lighthouse this…
Royal St. George's line honours leader, Chris Power Smith's Aurelia at the Daunt Buoy at 0930 hours this morning on her way to the Cork Harbour finish of the inaugural Fastnet 450 Race
Day 3, Monday, 0900hrs Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia may have had nearly two miles in hand on Denis and Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 when she led the Fastnet 450 fleet round the Fastnet Rock at 0040 hrs in…
 The Dubois 40 Irish Independent with Tim Goodbody as lead helm rounds the Fastnet Rock in August 1987, on the way to overall victory in the Fastnet Race. Tonight, Tim's son Richard and grandson Max will be racing rounding the Rock as crewmembers on Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia in the Fastnet 450.
Day Two, Sunday, 2030hrs:  After a stimulating day's sailing along the length of the south coast, turning to windward in very sailable breezes and enjoying more sunshine than much of the rest of Ireland, the leaders in the Fastnet 450 are…
Dunmore RNLI escorting the dismasted yacht Red Alert
At 7.26 am Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat launched on service to assist a stricken yacht in the Fastnet 450 Race which had suffered a dismasting 36 miles South of Dunmore East on the County Waterford coast. On reaching the Greystones-based…
Chris and Patanne Smith's J122 Aurelia from the Royal St George Yacht Club
Day two, Sunday 1400 hrs: Chris Power Smith’s J/122 Aurelia was the first of the three on-the-water leaders in the Fastnet 450 to tack far offshore for the longboard that will take her from the area of stronger west wind…
Fastnet 450 race leader - Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil Niueulargo
Sunday, day two, 0930hrs: After yesterday (Saturday) afternoon's swift ebb-assisted close reach down the East Coast from Dun Laoghaire to the first major turn at the Tuskar Rock, the fleet in the Fastnet 450 have found a determinedly west wind of…
Nieulargo (Denis & Annamarie Murphy) at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race
Day One 1830 - As the onset of the adverse flood tide approaches with the leaders sluicing south past Cahore Point with the last of the ebb and more than 50 miles of the Fastnet 450 course already sailed, an…
Cian McCarthy's Cinamonn Girl from Kinsale is front row after the 1pm start today of the Fastnet 450 Race on Dublin Bay
A brisk sou'wester provided a fast reaching start for the 266-mile Fastnet 450 Race at 1300 hrs today in Dublin Bay, with Chris Power Smith's J/122 Aurelia (RStGYC), John O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600 Hot Cookie (NYC) and Robert Rendell's X45 Samatom…
Denis & Annamarie Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (Royal Cork YC) racing off Dublin Bay, which this weekend sees her start as one of the favourites in the 270-mile Fastnet 450 Race.
The Fastnet 450 starts today (Saturday) at 1300hrs in Dublin Bay, and sends the fleet on a 270-mile course southward, taking them all the way to the Fastnet Rock before finishing back at the entrance to Cork Harbour, clear of…
The Saltram Saga 36 – Pat Lawless’s Iniscealtra is one of this special type, based on the Colin Archer all-weather concept.
While Ireland is battered by the multiple surges of Storm Ellen, the irrepressible Pat Lawless of Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula is riding it out on the southern fringes of the huge weather system, halfway home from the Azores in…

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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