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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Belfast Harbour Marina
On 15th June the Northern Ireland Executive announced further relaxations to the Coronavirus Regulations and subsequently Bangor Marina updated its information yesterday on Northern Ireland Marinas and Harbours. These developments make some changes to the information here. From 26th June,…
Further Lifting of COVID Restrictions from 29th June
This evening An Taoiseach announced plans to “accelerate the reopening of our society and economy with most things in roadmap now being moved to Phase 3 on 29 June”. Although the statement included a commitment for all sporting activities including…
Irish Sailing Waits for Sport Expert Group’s Response to Phase 3 & 4 Return to Sailing Proposal
Irish Sailing is waiting to hear back from the Government's Sport Expert Group to see if mixed household crew (in a pod system) and using regular crew with effective contact tracing as the mitigating factor will be allowed. Irish Sailing…
Sport Ireland Support for Clubs Includes Free Awareness eLearning Course
As Ireland moves through the various phases of the Government Roadmap, Sport Ireland is providing training & support resources to the sector in relation to Covid19. A Sport Ireland COVID-19 Awareness eLearning Course is now available on Sport Ireland's website…
File image of boats at Shannon Harbour
Locks will reopen for longer and winter mooring will end on the Shannon Navigation from Monday 29 June, Waterways Ireland has announced. Following this past week’s changes in the wake of phase two of Ireland’s coronavirus recovery roadmap, daily lock…
All quiet at Carrickfergus Marina this past April
UK sailing clubs are still struggling to get back on the water under more relaxed coronavirus restrictions, according to SailWeb. While the blanket shutdown on sailing activity lifted in England four weeks ago, and rules amended in Wales, Scotland and…
Laser sailor Adam Fernor of Strangford Lough Yacht Club
Adam Fernor is a junior member of Strangford Lough Yacht Club and having not been able to sail his Laser dinghy during Lockdown, he joined a community of 8,000 volunteers, through 3D Crowd UK, who are using their 3D printers…
Surfing at Colaiste Uisce in County Mayo
How to improve surfing with “pop-up” training is one of a number of “online” activities that a north Mayo Gaeltacht outdoor pursuits centre is offering to students this summer, The Irish Independent reports. Coláiste Uisce, which teaches surfing, sailing, windsurfing…
Quest trainees are facing a schedule shake-up this summer
Howth Yacht Club has made clear its current provisions for members under phase two of the roadmap to recovery which began this past Monday 8 June. Boat owners and members can now access the hard and marina to work on…
The UK Moth Nationals comes with an open invitation to sailors from any nation to come and race if they can make it to the UK
The 2020 International Moth World Championships scheduled for The UK's Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The Organising Committee felt that the chances of being able to hold a Worlds event in September with…
Portaferry Marina has been open for residents and visitors since 25th May
The situation around the opening of marinas and harbours in Northern Ireland in COVID-19 appears fluid but the latest news is good for those wanting to relax, sail and visit. Bangor Harbour Master Kevin Baird says that Bangor, Carrickfergus, and…
Cork Harbour Marina at Monkstown Bay
The sight of more masts appearing on the marina in my village of Monkstown on the edge of Cork Harbour was encouraging this week. Not that I have any disregard for the motorboat community who populate the Cork Harbour Marina…
Dublin Bay J109 Dear Prudence rounds the Fastnet Rock during a previous edition of Calves Week Regatta
In a brief statement issued this evening to sailors, Schull Harbour Sailing Club has cancelled its annual Calves Week regatta 'due to the ongoing COVID 19 situation'. It was one of the last remaining key fixtures of the Irish 2020…
Cowes Week 2020 has been scrubbed
Cowes Week Limited (CWL), organiser of the UK's largest and best-known sailing event, has today announced the cancellation of the 2020 Cowes Week regatta. The move was largely anticipated given the size of the regatta (over 1,000  boats) and large…
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced Phase 2 plans will go ahead on Monday
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced that plans to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being accelerated and the country will move to 'Phase 2 Plus' on Monday 8th June. Irish Sailing, as the national governing body for the sport, has issued its…
Luke McIlwaine’s virtual boat racing in last weekend’s Spring Club Championship final
Newcastle Yacht Club’s Luke McIlwaine has claimed fifth spot in the RYA eSailing Spring Club Championship after battling it out against nine other competitors. The other sailors came from right across the regional and home countries. Instead of taking to…

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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