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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Flags at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
As boating returns to Dun Laoghaire upon the relaxing of coronavirus restrictions, the local authority is asking everyone of all ages to make their own flag with a message of hope for the future. All are invited to tell their…
The J80 class will join Wave Regatta this September for its national championships in the latest details just announced by Howth Yacht Club. Given the seismic shake-up to the sailing calendar this year, Wave Regatta will certainly be a focal…
Roadmap for Reopening of Navigations: Shannon Shannon-Erne Waterway, Royal Canal, Grand Canal & Barrow Line
Waterways Ireland is advising the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Royal Canal, Grand Canal, Barrow Line and Navigation of the following roadmap for reopening of the navigations: Navigational Use It is important to understand that it will take time to fully…
Two-handed superstars. Olympic 49er contenders Sean Waddilove and Robert Dickson (Sailors of the Year 2018) have kept themselves race ready by moving into shared accommodation as the Lockdown was introduced
If you’re a proper Irish sailing enthusiast and you’re not going crackers at the moment, then there’s something seriously wrong with you. For here we are, in as perfect an early summer for sailing as anyone has seen in a…
Harry Hermon Irish Sailing CEO
The Government have established an ‘Expert Group’ with representatives from the Department, Sport Ireland and Sporting Bodies to help with consistency in the approach for returning to sport. Irish Sailing is now working with this group for clarity around the…
European Boating Industry Moves on Maritime Sector Recovery
European Boating Industry (EBI) joined a strategic dialogue with EU Commissioner for Industry and Internal Market Thierry Breton on the recovery of the maritime sector following COVID-19. EBI presented the impacts of COVID-19 on the recreational boating industry and the…
Cruise Ireland, the umbrella brand for Locaboat, Carrickcraft, Waveline and Linnsen Boating holidays, says it will open for business on the 5th June on Lough Erne following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland. It follows the Waterways Ireland…
Newcastle Yacht Club sailor Luke McIlwaine on the wire in  a 29er skiff before the lockdown
Since the RYA announced the launch of the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship at the start of April this year, thousands of club sailors have been taking their tactics and strategies onto the virtual waters in an attempt to represent…
Visiting Sailors Must Complete a Covid-19 Locator Form
Visiting international sailors arriving into Irish harbours and marinas will be subject to complete a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form and are also asked to self-isolate for 14 days. The details are contained in Marine Notice No. 22 of 2020 published today…
Donaghdee Harbour
Good news for those boaters keen to get back on the water in Ards and North Down in Northern Ireland. All the Harbours and slipways operated by Ards and North Down Council will be open from this morning (Wed 27th…
Boot Dusseldorf Prepares for January 2021 Show
Messe Düsseldorf, organisers of Boot, the giant European Boat Show, have begun online registration for the forthcoming boot from 23 to 31 January 2021 under the motto “restart your business @ boot Düsseldorf”. The show is popular with Irish visitors…
HYC Commodore Ian Byrne on the winch and Lea O'Donoghue maintaining social distance on the helm aboard the Commodore's Sunfast 32 Sunburn, all within 5 kilometres of home in the weekend's revival of sailing at Howth
We'll put aside for the moment the fact that Bono's father, the late Bob Hewson, lived out his days in Howth, a place he adored. We'll let it go for now that U2 drummer Larry Mullins lives in an elegantly-restrained…
Ballyholme Yacht Club during lockdown
In what will be a welcome decision by the Ballyholme Yacht Club, members will now be able to proceed, albeit slowly and patiently, towards a return to watersports. Commodore Aidan Pounder has emailed members with the news that SportNI has…
Marine Minister Michael Creed
Marine Minister Michael Creed has defended a new temporary tie-up scheme for fishing vessels which has been condemned by the industry as “designed to fail”. Four Irish fish producers have said the EU-funded scheme to compensate whitefish vessels which tie…
Glandore Harbour in West Cork where July's Classic Boat Regatta has been cancelled
Glandore Harbour Yacht Club in West Cork draws its membership from a wide catchment area. It is surveying the members to get their views on how the club’s sailing season can deal with the current restrictions imposed by government under…
J/109 action at Howth. With many of the members living within 5 kilometres of the clubhouse/marina complex, and with a strong tradition of family and household sailing, Howth Yacht Club is able to get some sailing again within the Covid-19 Protocols
Howth Yacht Club will be testing sailing options this weekend within parameters outlined by Commodore Ian Byrne in a missive direct to members and on the club website, issued late Thursday night. After more than two months of total Covid-19…

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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