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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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A festive maritime scene at Arklow Harbour
Boats lit up for Christmas at Arklow Marina are certainly proving a popular draw at the County Wicklow Harbour. In COVID-19 lockdown, boat owners have responded to the need to brighten up peoples lives by decorating their boats for the…
Team New Zealand's new AC75
If there's one hard fact in a sea of uncertainty, this is identifying the team that needs to be beaten to win the America's Cup, the current Defender representatives, Emirates Team New Zealand. Their new second boat took many by…
Yachts on moorings in Drakes Pool, Crosshaven in Cork Harbour
Non-contact organised training and coaching for sailing can resume in pods of 15 when a move to Level 3 COVID Restrictions (modified) take effect from Tuesday 1st December according to a Government announcement. The main points of these restrictions as they…
Ineos - Team GB
In less than three weeks four international teams from New Zealand, Italy, United States, and Great Britain will line up for the first time on their second generation of flying AC75’s for the Prada America’s Cup World Series Auckland and the…
Peter Burling helming Team Brunel on the approach to New Zealand during the 2017-18 edition of The Ocean Race
New Zealand sailor Peter Burling has been announced as the 2020 winner of the prestigious Magnus Olsson Prize. Awarded annually by the Mange Olsson Foundation to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing, the…
Team New Zealand's 'Te Rehutai'
A first sail is not usually a year in the planning, but when New Zeland America's Cupper 'Te Rehutai' hit the water for her first outing today, that was exactly the case with many areas of her new design having…
Swanage RNLI’s second coxswain Gavin Steeden wearing PPE
The RNLI says its volunteer crews faced an “unprecedented” summer as statistics reveal a big increase in callouts to people in distress compared to the same time last year. Based on provisional incident reports from lifeboat stations around the UK…
Catherine Hunt and Pamela Lee of Greystones aboard Iarracht Maigeanta. Their new double-handed Round Ireland Time has added significance when set in the full historic framework
The Round Ireland Sailing Record is a bit like Ireland herself. It's complicated by Partition. It's a case of there being not one but two sets of records, two elephants in two rooms. But for interested parties, the relevant elephant…
Great Britain Wins eSailing Nations Cup Championship
Great Britain have been crowned the world’s best eSailing nation following a 6-3 victory over Spain in the inaugural eSailing Nations Cup Final. After a month-long competition that featured 13 leading eSailing nations, Great Britain, captained by Mike O’Donovan aka…
Great Britain & Spain Go Head-to-Head in Inaugural eSailing Nations Cup Final
On Friday 6 November, Great Britain and Spain will go head-to-head in the inaugural eSailing Nations Cup Final starting at 21:00 UTC. Great Britain captain, Mike O'Donovan, and Spain captain, Carlos Paz, will lead their teams of ten in a…
Catherine Hunt (left) and Pamela Lee are World Record holders for speed sailing round Ireland
The World Speed Sailing Record Council Council (WSSR) has announced the establishment of a new World Sailing Record established by Pamela Lee and Catherine Hunt for the 'Around Ireland doublehanded Outright World Record'.  Ireland's World Speed Sailing Commissioner Chris Moore made the…
Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy with Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, Sport Minister Catherine Martin and Sport Ireland chairman Kieran Mulvey at the launch of the €85 million funding package for national governing bodies
Sailing in Ireland is set to benefit from an “unprecedented” €85 million funding package for the sports sector. Sport Ireland chairman Kieran Mulvey said the announcement — made today (Monday 2 November) by Sport Minister Catherine Martin and Minute of…
The time to beat for the current Vendée Globe monohull entrants is 74d 03h 36' set by fellow Frenchman Armel Le Cléac’h in his IMOCA 60 Banque Populaire
As 33 potential Cape Horners prepare for the start of the 9th Vendée Globe solo non-stop round the world race from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 8, The International Association of Cape Horners (IACH) has taken on the mantle of…
IRC yachts start a race on Dublin Bay, Ireland's largest sailing centre is among the many harbours where racing has been heavily curtailed by COVID-19
Four-time Olympic keelboat helmsman Mark Mansfield, a regular competitor at Irish IRC and one-design regattas and Irish agent for some well-known sailing brands, reviews how the 2020 sailing season 'happened' in pandemic and considers what could be done to keep the…
Radial Euro championship silver medalist, Anne Marie Rindom is reported to have tested positive for COVID-19
An outbreak of COVID-19 at the European Championships in Poland a fortnight ago has led organisers to contact all 300 competitors alerting them to the outbreak of the virus at the event. Sailors competing in Gdansk received an email communication…
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,…

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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