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The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School at Dun Laoghaire is celebrating it’s 40th birthday this year, having been established by Alistair Rumball in 1978. From very humble beginnings above a charity shop on George’s Street in Dun Laoghaire, the school has grown to be one of the largest water sports centres on the British Isles. Now the school is looking to get back in touch with all the staff and course graduates who’ve been through their doors!

On Wednesday the 18th of April at 8pm, school founder and centre principal Alistair Rumball will deliver a talk titled “A life in the Irish National Sailing School”. Reflections on 40 years of teaching, the highlights and plenty of entertaining tales all are on the agenda.

Alistair will also share his views on the future of sailing, both in Dun Laoghaire and more generally. All are invited to attend.

"School founder Alistair Rumball will deliver a talk titled “A life in the Irish National Sailing School”

Then on Saturday the 12th of May the school will host an open day where past staff and graduates are invited to return to get as many of the 250–boat fleet on the water at one time, followed by a small celebration back ashore.

Alistair is looking to see as many old faces, and new ones, as possible on both Wednesday 18th and Saturday 12th May. Let the school know if you're coming along by contacting the school’s office on 01 284195 or [email protected]

Even if you’re not able to make either event, Alistair’s still looking to hear from you and see where your sailing skills or instructing qualification has taken you.

Published in INSS

Go–ahead sailing school, the Irish National Sailing School based in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, that has already opened a new base in Malahide for 2018, announced this week it will stage a new cruiser–racer training programme designed to bridge the gap between introductory sailing courses and competence to a basic level on aboard a cruiser-racer racing predominately inshore.

The course will run on Sunday 8th April and Sunday 15th April (10am-5pm each day). The programme fees are €249.

The comprehensive tweo day course will cover Sailing racing terms and definitions, Layout of a racing boat, General racing etiquette, Rigging of a racing boat, Safe use of winches, Safe use and operation of clutches and cleats on a racing boat and procedures for basic manoeuvres such as tacking, gybing, spinnaker hoists and spinnaker drops. 

This course will be held on an appropriate racing boat based in Dublin Bay. The course will be primarily practical with some small areas covered on the boat in a theory style basis.

Basic racing rules, outline sailing instructions and racing courses, the importance of communication and crew safety topics are also  covered.

More details and to book click here

Published in INSS

The Irish National Sailing School (INSS) on Dublin Bay have published a video showing their highlights from August's 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race on board the Dun Laoghaire School's J109 Jedi.

Skippered by Kenneth Rumball, Jedi (now for sale on Afloat.ie here) finished first in IRC 3B and won the Roger Justice Trophy, as Afloat.ie reported at the time here for the top placed sailing school yacht.

Listen in to Kenny and the crew onboard below:

 

Published in INSS

Go–ahead Irish Sailing School, the INSS, are planning to moor a 50–foot Viking Ship in front of their Dun Laoghaire Harbour premises at the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire.

In August, School Principal Kenneth Rumball co-ordinated a 'Battle of Dun Laoghaire Harbour' fought By 'Viking invaders'. It was a free and family–friendly event that featured battles, longboats and a Viking village that was a collaboration between Dun Laoghaire Harbour, actors from the Viking TV series and the INSS to celebrate the harbour's bicentenary.

As well as sailing instruction, the leading Irish sailing school also provides marine location services, including logistic work for the hit TV series 'Vikings', filmed in Wicklow.

The success of August's battle has led the school to develop plans to moor one of the longships in Dun Laoghaire's Coal Harbour as a water-based tourist attraction.

Read more from WM Nixon here: Dun Laoghaire Sailing's Cage Rattled By Malahide Boating Dynamo

Published in INSS

The final results of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 show that Kenneth Rumball with the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi has won in IRC 3B, where third place has been taken by ISORA’s J/109 Mojito. And RORC Commodore Michael Boyd has been second in IRC 2 with the First 44.7 Lisa.

Clearly, the Irish contingent in this great classic have had a successful time of it despite some extraordinary fluctuations of fortune. But how are such twists of fate to be explained? The Rolex Fastnet Race of modern times can be analysed by the latest technology in so many different ways that, even with the best computers, it can sometimes take much longer to deduce what precisely happened than it took in real time out at sea. So perhaps if we just select a few salient facts, we might be able to get a better overall picture. W M Nixon gives it a try.

If the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 had finished at the Fastnet Rock itself, with the fleet adjourning into Baltimore and Schull to have a party or three, there would have been much for the builders of the successful JPK range to celebrate. And several crews with strong Irish connections would have been quite right in partying to beat the band as well.

nikata at fastnet2Glad morning again….the biggest boat in the race, the JV 115 Nikata (Tom Brewer) rounds the Fastnet Rock at 7 o’clock on Tuesday morning. Photo Rolex

For after an increasingly rugged windward slug the whole way from the start, the overall leader at the Rock was 2013’s winner, the French JPK 10.10 Night & Day, whose achievement was further heightened by the fact that she was being sailed two-handed by father-and-son crew Pascal and Alexis Loison.

And second overall was another seasoned French campaigner, Noel Racine with his JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew. But it’s when we get to third slot that Irish eyes light up, as it was comfortably held by our own Paul Kavanagh’s Swan 44 Pomeroy Swan. She was all of 11 minutes ahead of yet another French boat, Giles Fournier’s J/133 Pintia, which was fourth overall at the Fastnet.

But close behind in sixth overall was the classic S&S 41 Winsome (Harry Hiejst) helmed by Laura Dillon, Irish Champion Helm in 1996. Winsome had experienced her ups and downs since the start, but when it comes to grown-up windward work, there are still very few boats that can do it like the best 1972 Sparkman & Stephens design, and Winsome had been making hay since Land’s End, marching her way up through the fleet.

However, before we move on to see how these leaders-at-the-Rock finally ended in the rankings in Plymouth, casting an eye further down the Fastnet times continues to be rewarding, as we find that the hot ISORA J/109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop and Vicky Cox) was lying 9th overall as she made the turn on Wednesday morning at 7 o’clock, and Kenneth Rumball in command of the Irish National Sailing School’s J/109 Jedi was only a quarter of an hour later, correcting into 11th overall, which put him one place ahead of our RORC Commodore Michael Boyd in the First 44.7 Lisa.

jedi fastnet3Cheerful times aboard Jedi after rounding the Fastnet, where she’d been placed 11th overall of the entire 312-strong IRC fleet. Photo INSS

nikata volvo65s4Nikata at the start with three of the Volvo 65s. The new Volvo boats had a very close Fastnet Race, with Dongfeng winning by 54 seconds from Mapfre. And they’re being kept busy – on Thursday they raced away from Plymouth, bound for St Malo and Lisbon

Yet of the boats which are now figuring at the top twelve of the overall leaderboard in Plymouth, only Pintia, Lisa and the Grand Soleil 43 Codiam were in the top twelve at the rock. The JNA 39 Lann Ael 2 (Didier Gaudoux), which seemed to come out of nowhere at the finish to snatch the overall lead from Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer, was only 29th at the Fastnet Rock.

As for Privateer, she was well back, in 40th. Yet the way the winds, weather and tides developed for the final 247 miles from Fastnet to finish meant the placings continued to be shaken up until the very end, and it looked for long enough as though Privateer has the big prize until Lann Ael 2 came out of the dark in the small hours of Thursday morning, and took it.

lann ael5The JDA 39 Lann Ael making knots on the way to Plymouth

lann ael6The look of a winner. Lann Ael was not showing up on the Race Tracker for some tehnical reason, but she was very definitely right there, zooming past the Isles of Scilly on her way to the overall win

This means that for the third time in a row, the overall Rolex Fastnet Race winner is French. There’s no doubt about it, but La belle France is on a roll on the offshore scene these days, for if they aren’t themselves actually sailing the winning French-built boats, the chances are they were the designers and builders.

This is an impression which is reinforced by going into the class details, and particularly among the smaller boats. In IRC 3 it’s French-produced boats dominant, with two JPK 10.80s – Dream Pearls and Timeline - separated by just two minutes on corrected time, with Timeline having finished first, but losing through a higher rating.

It’s not until we got down to 9th place in IRC 3 that we break the French stream, and even here the 9th placed Irish J/109 Jedi – which wins IRC 3B - may have been designed in America by the Johnstone team, but I’ve a feeling she was built in France.

The placing means that Jedi got through Mojito in the sometimes wild romp back from the Rock, but all around them positions were changing, and the solid Sparkman & Stephens veterans such as Pomeroy Swan and Winsome, which had shown so well on the dead beat, were losing time all the way while the loghter boats were surfing.

However, while the two overall leaders at the Fastnet, Night & Day and Foggy Dew, slipped down the overall rankings, they maintained their class leads in IRC 4, and let it be noted that Poweroy Swan wasn’t entirely out of the hunt, as she is 4th in IRC 4. But Winsome slipped back to 12th in class.

It’s ironic that of the two former Champion Helms of Ireland whom we know to have been doing the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017, one of them – Laura Dillon – was in a boat which went superbly to windward but wasn’t so competitive downwind, while the other. Nin O’Leary, was in a boat which seemed woeful to windward, but was fastest of the lot as soon as she bore off at the rock.

hugo boss at fastnet7Hugo Boss finally reaches the Fastnet Rock at 3.0pm on Tuesday. Within minutes, she was speeding downwind, up on her foils and making 22 knots
Quite why Nin’s co-skippered IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss was just so poor to windward, even by comparison with other IMOCA 60s, is something for further study. But she’s very much a boat for the wide open spaces, and the relatively short 247 miles from the Fastnet to Plymouth wasn’t nearly long enough for her foils to pick her up properly, and let the big black boat really go like the wind.

It was clearly a race of horses for courses, and while it might be going too far to describe Hugo Boss as a one trick pony, in a complex race like this there were some superb all-round boats which gave a master-class in successfully dealing with a wide variety of conditions and finishing with a mileage which suggested that some other boats were sailing a different race entirely.

malizia racing8The Yacht Club de Monaco’s IMOCA 60 Malizia placed third in class

To re-phrase the great Damon Runyon, the race may not always be to those who sail the shortest distance, but that’s the way the smart money bets. However, the smart money isn’t always completely right. The Fastnet Race course is somewhere between 603 and 608 miles (those pesky Traffic Separation Zones must have changed the classic distance), and it’s of interest to note that the boat which was recorded as sailing the fewest miles, the Italian Mylius 15E25 Ars Una which placed 11th overall, got round in just 655 miles.

pintia start9The French J/133 Pintia (Gilles Fournier) at the start. One of the most consistent boats in the fleet, she was well placed overall at the Fastnet, and went on to win Class 2 while placing fourth overall at the finish

But Winsome, back in 75th overall after being so handsomely placed at the rock, got round in only 656 miles. She pointed higher than most other boats, and made the right tactical choices on the open water outward bound windward leg. But coming back on the fast run, her classic hull shape militated against her no matter how neat a course they sailed.

The detailed results are here

As for the winner Lann Ael 2, she sailed 662 miles, but for the Fastnet-Plymouth stages she had conditions which clearly suited her perfectly, while the Cookson 50 Privateer sailed all of 687 miles, but she sailed them so well she retained second overall. And the great pioneer, the pathfinder in the lead on the water and testing condtions for all those astern, was George David’s Rambler 88. She may have taken line honours in convincing style, but she sailed an astonishing 730 miles to do so, and slipped back to 65th overall when the basic sums were done.

These sums will be re-worked for a long time yet, for this was one very special Rolex Fastnet Race. Our own Michael Boyd captured it so perfectly in his role as Commodore RORC, shortly after he had finished to take second in class, that it’s worth re-running the vid we posted last night, for he did us proud.

Read all of Afloat.ie's 2017 Fastnet Race coverage here 

Published in W M Nixon

Irish National Sailing School's Kenny Rumball, normally found at the sharp end of Ireland's dinghy, one design and offshore fleets, will jump ship this Summer to play his part in a Viking invasion of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The August 20th event, as part of Dun Laoghaire Harbour's 200th anniversary celebrations, will see Viking Longships, as seen in the historical drama TV Show Vikings, assemble at the East Pier.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Irish National Sailing School's connection with the TV drama is well documented on Afloat.ie. The Dun Laoghaire school provides marine technical support for the show.

Published in INSS

The powerboat business in Ireland seems to be getting busier so the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School are appealing for more powerboat instructors. School Principal Kenneth Rumball says the Dun Laoghaire–based school is also looking for some full time admin staff to help in the office. 

The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School has an ever-expanding powerboat market and requires enthusiastic instructors to help deliver these courses from our main base in Dun Laoghaire however we also deliver courses in other locations on request. We have a unique opportunity this year for those persons who may be interested in teaching powerboating.

 

The INSAPS is offering to cover the cost of training for powerboat instructors and then give these instructors the chance to teach on our busy courses that run year round in our state of the art RIBs as seen in many of our promotional videos. Previous instructing experience is not necessary however previous powerboat experience is required.

As our powerboat and other courses continue to grow, we are also looking for a charismatic enthusiastic office administrator to join our busy bookings and enquiries team. Applicants should have a keen interest in sailing. Instructing experience is not necessary for this position however computer literacy and willingness to help in sales is required.

If you are interested in teaching powerboat courses this year or joining our busy office team, do not hesitate to contact [email protected] for more information.

Published in Jobs
5th December 2016

Arthur Rumball 1961–2016

When we remember that Arthur Rumball was one of the definitive backroom boys of the Irish maritime world, it is remarkable and heart-warming to reflect on just how many lives he influenced for the better, and how many young people – aspiring sailors and would-be boatbuilders alike – he helped guide towards sailing and career fulfillment.

In his professional life, his work lives on in Viking Marine, while he was the main force in keeping the Irish National Sailing School’s fleet operational. In any size of business operation functioning within the challenges and restraints of the Irish market and our sometimes decidedly quirky sailing world, that would have been a demanding task. But these days the INSS fleet numbers 250 vessels in all, ranging from tiny dinghies up to 1720s and three fully-fledged offshore yachts. Yet in each case, Arthur could be relied on to assess exactly the right level of maintenance and finish required to keep the boat at the optimum level for the task for which it was required, and he did it with a minimum of fuss utilising sometimes very basic facilities.

He was the younger brother of INSS’s founding father Alistair Rumball by seven years, but as there were only the two siblings in this Malahide sailing family, inevitably they shared many experiences, although their sailing careers were to diverge during the period when the age gap seemed at its widest.

INSS Squib keelboat Dun LaoghaireThe Arthur Rumball technique well-demonstrated in some of the INSS’s Squibs which he has specially adapted to be the robust workhorses for introducing thousands of people to sailing. Photo: W M Nixon

However, after Alistair began operations with the Irish National Sailing School with a sailing dinghy or two launching from the public slip in the Coal Harbour in Dun Laoghaire in 1974, Arthur helped now and again on a part-time basis, but by 1980 he was working with Alistair full-time with the INSS and their retail outlet Viking Marine.

Much and all as the brothers had enjoyed an idyllic Malahide childhood, as they both had business training they readily accepted that the greater density of population and affluence meant that any commercial sailing school, with its supporting shop, would have to be Dun Laoghaire-based. Over the years they have introduced thousands of people to sailing in a friendly, non-fussy way which nevertheless turned out hundreds of competent sailors, and reached a new height in 2016 when the INSS’s Reflex 38 Lynx – skippered by Alistair’s son Kenneth - was the top school boat in the Volvo Round Ireland Race, placing 10th overall in a very competitive fleet of 63 boats.

INSS Dinghy fleet Dun Laoghaire The remarkable variety of the INSS training fleet is well shown in just a few of its dinghies crowded together ashore in Dun Laoghaire Photo: W M Nixon

floating dinghy park INSSSpace is so limited along the Dun Laoghaire waterfront that Arthur Rumball had to introduce a floating dinghy park for some of its boats. Photo: W M Nixon

But that was only the peak of an astonishingly varied range of activities, all of which were supported by the ready availability of a fleet of boats whose maintenance Arthur oversaw and took an active involvement in working with. Indeed, there were few in the Irish boat-building and repair business who could rival Arthur’s breadth of experience and ability. His determinedly can-do approach – a Rumball family characteristic – was as inspiring ashore as his colleagues efforts afloat were in developing a practical “get-on-with-it” attitude to boats among those who benefitted from the INSS experience.

Despite his busy life around boats, Arthur had other interests and a very complete home life with Amanda and their three children, now all in their twenties. When it became known some time ago that he was battling gallantly with cancer, the thoughts of many worldwide were with him. And a shared hope was raised when it was known that the cancer had been cleared, even though a long struggle lay ahead for his weakened body to re-build itself.

Until a week ago, the outlook was promising, but then his condition suddenly deteriorated, and on Sunday, Arthur Rumball slipped quietly from among us all too soon at the age of 55. Our heartfelt condolences are with his family at this great loss which we share with his many friends, whose feelings have been best expressed both by Nick Bendon and his team in CH Marine, and by former colleague and pupil Rory Kelleher in Seattle.

From CH Marine, the message was: “From those early pioneering days of Dublin Boat Shows and Viking Marine, we always enjoyed his friendship and support, and while not wanting to use the word “legendary” too lightly, Arthur was that in our eyes, and a larger-than-life figure in the marine industry. This is the passing of a whole era, and we will miss him very much”.

Rory Kelleher spoke from the heart in a message to Alistair Rumball: “Please understand that he lives on in me, by the skills that he taught me. He is – as you are – one of the stones in the foundation of my life. And for that I am very grateful”.

WMN

INSS Lynx round Ireland raceA long way from a sailing dinghy or two being launched from the public slip in Dun Laoghaire in 1974 ……the Irish National Sailing School’s Reflex 38 Lynx at the start of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2016, in which she was winning sailing school boat, and tenth overall in a fleet of 63

Published in News Update

Ever wanted to rent a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) for a blast on Dublin Bay? Here's your chance. The Irish National Sailing School's 4.5m RIBTECs fitted with Yamaha 40hp engines are ideal for trips around the capital's waters. Included in the price of a three hour charter at €115 is a full tank of fuel. 

The operating area for these boats is Dublin Bay, south of the shipping lane and as far East as Dalkey Island. The minimum qualification required to rent the boat is a National Powerboat Certificate (Level 2).

For more details on the offer check out the listing on Afloat's Marketplace here.

Published in RIBs

The Irish National Sailing School is offering new after schools learn to sail programmes for children of all ages. There are two new programmes available, an after schools club for children of all ages and our all new Wednesday afternoon’s transition year programme to allow children to tackle new challenges during transition year.

The after school club is specifically aimed for primary school children in the South Dublin locality as a facility to cater for supervised homework with the added bonus of a number of land and water activities. These activities include launch trips to feed the seals, some sailing if time allows or some on the water fun in our new water park. The INSS are also able to offer a collection service from local schools. 

The Transition Year/Second Level programme is designed to help students make the transition from dinghy sailing to be competent on both racing and cruising yachts. With LYNX its highly successful racing yacht and Beaufort Venture, its dedicated cruising yacht the INSS says it is perfectly suited to both ends of the yachting spectrum. The programme will cover navigation, practical sailing skills on both yachts, use of VHF radio and can also include the National Powerboat Certificate course.

Of particular interest to many children and yacht owners alike will be the opportunity for children to undertake the keelboat and yacht racing module which will teach children all the skills, tricks and knowledge to be competent crews and helms on racing yachts and keelboats, This training will take place on 1720 keelboats and its offshore racing yacht LYNX.

The programme is modular in format allowing students to undertake different sections as they please. The programme in the perfect solution for young students to gain work towards obtaining the Gaisce President’s award. The programme will conclude with a weekend long passage on-board one of its yachts lasting from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening, again this is in keeping with the requirements of the Silver Gaisce Award. The destination of the trip will be up to the students, who will use their new found skills to plan and execute the voyage, all under the guidance of one of its Cruising Instructors.

Further information on the INSS website here

Published in How To Sail
Page 2 of 3

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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