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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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John Leech of Water Safety Ireland
The Government has been warned of the risks of an increase in drownings in the next few weeks during an easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Water Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech has expressed concern about the risks if weather is…
The ultimate goal – Howth YC’s eRacers are looking forward to the time when they can celebrate their successful ongoing Masts & Rigging Spring eSeries with the post-Lockdown prize-giving in the clubhouse
Howth Yacht Club has had 59 members sign up to take part in their Masts & Rigging-sponsored Virtual Regatta eRacing Spring Series. Thus with each eRace accommodating up to 20 “helms”, this past week saw three leagues being run side-by-side…
John Blair is the Alliance Party’s MLA for South Antrim
A South Antrim MLA says fisheries staff in Northern Ireland have not been given enough time to prepare for the safe return of angling in the region, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. Alliance’s John Blair was responding to the decision…
CH Marine Counter Sales Partially Reopening This Week
“Safety is our priority — let’s reopen safely” is the message from CH Marine, which has announced its stores will partially reopen for counter sales with the start of the first phase of relaxing coronavirus restrictions from tomorrow, Monday 18…
McIlwaine Wins RYA eSailing Northern Ireland championships
Luke McIlwaine from Newcastle Yacht Club in County Down was the winner of the Northern Ireland region eSailing Championships held yesterday. McIlwaine will now go on to represent the area at the finals on 30th May. Luke is a software…
LÉ William Butler Yeats in Dublin on COVID-19 duties on the River Liffey
Naval Service patrol ship LÉ William Butler Yeats left Dublin today to return to routine security operations as Covid-19 community testing centres on ships are stood down. Six ships have rotated duty in the three ports of Dublin, Galway and…
Cushendall Sailing Club in County Antrim
In response to Tuesday’s announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive Office launching their “Approach to Decision Making” document, RYANI has been analysing and seeking clarity from government officials on the potential for boating activity in NI. In preparation for any…
Launching of boats will resume  from the high performance purpose-built pontoon in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy could be back on the water next week as the Irish Olympic Sailing Team returns to its Performance Head Quarters at Dun Laoghaire Harbour from Monday, May 18. Murphy, along with three other single-handed trialists, had…
The Cork Harbour One Design Elsie (Patrick Dorgan) at a previous Glandore Regatta. She was designed by William Fife in 1895
Glandore Harbour Yacht Club has cancelled its Classic Regatta which had been scheduled to start on July 18. Since it was first held on a July weekend in 1992 Glandore Classic Boats Regatta has developed into an outstanding event, “where…
Ronan Beirne
With the easing of access regulations on May 18th, a recent boat purchaser asked yacht broker Ronan Beirne of Leinster Boats what should he be looking out for not having been on board his boat for some weeks. Here is…
Mirror Sailing Ireland has postponed a second event in its 2020 calendar
Mirror Sailing Ireland has postponed another event in its summer regionals calendar amid the current Covid-19 disruption. The Mirror Western Championships, which had been scheduled for the weekend of 6-7 June at Galway Bay Sailing Club, will now take place…
RYA & RNLI Pave The Way For Safe Return To Boating In England
Following changes in UK government guidance for England, which allow people to travel to the coast and use the water, the RYA says it is engaging with the RNLI and representatives from the ports and leisure marine industry to help…
Castletownbere fishery harbour in West Cork
Marine Minister Michael Creed has called on the European Commission to strengthen its support for the fisheries sector in the fight against Covid-19. Speaking at a video conference of EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers earlier today (Wednesday 13 May), Minister…
Download the 'Return to Sailing' plan below
Harry Hermon, Irish Sailing Chief Executive, has published the "Return to Sailing” Scheme today (May 12 2020). The PDF document is downloadable below. The CEO says:  The Phase 1 Guidelines from the “Return to Sailing” Scheme are designed to support…
RYANI chief operating officer Richard Honeyford
The RYANI says it continues to support the Northern Ireland Executive’s guidance on coronavirus lockdown measures. It comes after the weekend announcement by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson easing lockdown restrictions in England only. The announcement, which followed the Republic…
Cruiser racing on Dublin Bay in 2019 in a Class Zero yacht (40-foot and above)
Olympic helmsman, professional sailor and coach Mark Mansfield takes a look at how it may be possible to return to keelboat racing while maintaining social distance onboard. The latest Government five-phase programme appears to allow the reinstatement of boating and…

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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