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Entry for Royal Cork Yacht Club's ILCA/Laser and Topper dinghy Frostbites Series is building, with over 50 boats entered before the early bird expires at midnight on Wednesday, the 2nd of November.

The series (incorporating the Bill Jones Trophy for the winning RCYC topper) will take place across November, Sunday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th.

Racing will take place for ILCA4, ILCA6, ILCA7 and Topper 5.3 & 4.2 fleets, with separate starts available if numbers allow.

A one-day entry is also facilitated for those that cannot attend the full series.

The series race officer is Tom Crosbie and his crew.

The First warning signal will be 1125 each racing day.

Entry is open to all, with visiting sailors welcome to leave their boats in the RCYC dinghy yard for the duration of the series.

Racing for ILCA7 is included for the first time in a number of years.

Visit Royal Cork ILCA and Topper Frostbite series 2022 to enter here

Published in Royal Cork YC

Thirty-one Junior Topper sailors descended on East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough last weekend for the Northern Championships.

Callum Pollard from the nearby County Antrim BC at Whitehead was in top form again after his Gold at the Worlds on Lake Garda and here he finished first overall in the ten-strong 4.2 fleet. Runner-up was George Doig, more often seen racing an Optimist and third was the far travelled Royal Cork sailor, Rian O’Neill.

Another CAYC sailor, Luke Simpson took top place in the 5.3 fleet. Luke finished fourth overall in the UK National Championships at Weymouth earlier in August. Second place went to Ella Fitzgerald from National YC and in third it was Strangford Sailing Club’s Cormac Byrne who had a good result of 9th at the UK Nationals.

Weather conditions were kind to the fleet with around ten knots on the Saturday with occasional lulls. Race Officer Richard Doig ran four races on that day in case Sunday was too light and in fact it was light and shifty but he got two races completed.

Luke Simpson with EABC Vice Commodore Kathryn BoyleLuke Simpson with EABC Vice Commodore Kathryn Boyle

Commodore Lucy Whitford was delighted with the success of the event. “It was a great experience for our current junior and youth Topper sailors to compete in a home event. With so many other events on in which club members where competing we had initially been worried about resources to run the Northerns but we shouldn’t have been, as members new and old, came forward to support it by volunteering their time over the weekend. And we had two Júnior Optimist sailors trying their hand at Topper racing - one of them, George Doig managed runner-up slot in the 4.2s”.

The free Friday training before the event was very successful. It was run by Lucy Kane and the 14 youngsters who turned up really benefitted with positive feedback which was a real Kane family affair as Lucy’s father Gordon was the Event Manager and Mum Heather provided the Committee boat.

The next big event for many of these sailors will be the RYANI Youth Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club on 10th and 11th September

Results below

Topper Northern Championships Results at EABCTopper Northern Championships Results at EABC

Published in Topper
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With some of the World Championship Toppers appeared to be stuck in a container somewhere, there is some doubt if they'll make it to East Antrim Boat Club in Larne for this weekend's Northern championship. But maybe if they happen to be destined to Larne port they could just be unloaded and wheeled to the nearby Club!

The Topper class is certainly very well-travelled, having had a presence at the Worlds at Lake Garda and also at Weymouth for the Nationals.

The host club is East Antrim Boat Club and Club commodore Lucy Whitford said “We’re delighted to have the Topper family back with us in Larne. This will provide a great boost for our emerging Topper sailors. The organising team led by Gordon Kane and Race Officer Richard Doig has been working tirelessly to ensure that EABC’s reputation for fair and friendly eventing is maintained at the highest level. I am especially delighted to welcome the high-flying Pollards and Driscolls: Callum and Bobby high scoring champion sailors.”

Callum took 4.2 Gold in the Worlds and Bobby took Silver on a countback in the 5.3 division. At the UK Nationals in Weymouth, Bobby was second overall and took Silver again.

The club is also offering – free-of-charge – ‘localised training’ with 420 champion Lucy Kane. This is to acquaint visiting competitors with the vagaries and mysteries of the Larne Lough tides and winds. Interested competitors should pre-book via the club website

Current sailors associated with the club who had their racing grounding in Toppers are Zoe Whitford, Ellen Barbour and Tom Coulter.

Published in Topper

Topper sailors from Northern Ireland made a great impression at the National Championships last week in Weymouth, taking four excellent places in the first ten and several other commendable scores.

In the Gold fleet runner-up to the winner Merryn Attridge of Royal Hospital School, was Bobby Driscoll from Ballyholme and Royal North Yacht Clubs who after the OCS in the first race which was his discard, counted a second, fourth and three sevenths. Bobby took the Silver on a tie break at the Worlds earlier. His young brother Tom finished 7th in the same fleet at Weymouth – their father is the Irish Olympic Finn sailor, John Driscoll who competed in the 1996 Olympics.

Doug Rennie, Ballyholme YC Commodore is very pleased with the performances. “Following great results at the Topper Worlds last month, we would congratulate our young sailors at Ballyholme, together with their support teams for continuing their great results at the UK Topper Nationals in Weymouth. With ceaseless dedication and hard work, young Bobby and Tom Driscoll and Cormac Byrne are leading the way and proving once again that BYC is the home of potential world-class sailors”

Northern Ireland sailors (l to r) Autumn Halliday,Tom Driscoll, Bobby Driscoll, Luke Simpson and Cormac Byrne Photo: John DriscollNorthern Ireland sailors (l to r) Autumn Halliday,Tom Driscoll, Bobby Driscoll, Luke Simpson and Cormac Byrne Photo: John Driscoll

Another outstanding performance by Luke Simpson from County Antrim YC on Belfast Lough gave him fourth overall, counting two third places, a fourth, a fifth and eleventh.

Luke Simpson First Junior MaleLuke Simpson First Junior Male

County Antrim Yacht Club was awarded a John Merrick Trust/RYA Topper in 2015. It was assigned to Luke last year when he was accepted onto RYANI and then the Irish Sailing Team. Sheela Lewis, the Club Training Officer and Coach, speaking on the Committee’s behalf, said “The CAYC Committee is delighted at Luke’s success. Fantastic result, 4th overall and 1st Junior male! His parents are obviously delighted and everyone at the club is immensely proud.” She added “Luke learned to sail at CAYC on one of our summer sailing schemes a few years ago. We recognised his keenness and potential, and supported his development with coaching, advice, and resources. The level of his dedication and commitment to this sport which he eats and breathes, is contagious, and it is very rewarding for us to see a talent like Luke's growing and blossoming. Luke's achievements on the water are no fluke and are well reserved. They are something of which he should be rightly proud; we certainly are!”

Waiting for the wind at the Topper Nationals in Weymouth  Photo ITCAWaiting for the wind at the Topper Nationals in Weymouth Photo: ITCA

Tom Driscoll counted as his best result a 6th to finish 7th overall, and Cormac Byrne from Ballyholme and Strangford SC put in a strong performance in 9th place, counting a seventh and a fifth, making the four northern sailors in the top ten. The best of the Northern girls was Autumn Halliday from Strangford Lough YC and at 25th came Emily McAfee (Ballyholme) with her best placing 10th.

No doubt, many of the Topper sailors will be aiming to compete in the RYA NI Youth Championships at Ballyholme on 10th and 11th of September. Entries are now open through the RYANI Facebook page.

Published in Topper
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It’s all change at the UK Topper 5.3 Nationals at Weymouth now that the fleet has been split into Gold and Silver.

Some of the Northern Ireland sailors who were making quite an impression in the huge fleet haven’t fared so well today in the slightly brisker breeze.

Tom and Bobby Driscoll from Ballyholme in Bangor were lying third and fourth before the split and now have dropped back to 10th and 17th in the 55-strong Gold Fleet after three races.

Bobby had a disappointing Race 1 when he was OCS. But climbing up the order is Luke Simpson of County Antrim BC at Whitehead on Belfast Lough who is lying third overall going into the penultimate day.

Also in contention is Cormac Byrne from Strangford Sailing Club who lies eighth and two places behind is Autumn Halliday of Strangford Lough YC.  At 25th is Emily McAfee of Ballyholme.

In the Silver fleet, Isabel Nixon of Ballyholme and Donaghadee is putting up a good show and lies 8th.

The 4.2 fleet had 25 starters and here Hugo Boyd of Ballyholme finished 8th overall.

Published in Topper
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The countback to determine the World champion Topper 5.3 sailor dashed the dreams of Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme and Royal North Yacht Clubs on Belfast Lough when he lost out on the tie break of 22 points to Joe Rowe of Draycote Water SC at the Topper Worlds at Riva del Garda today (29th July).

Bobby had excelled in the qualifiers by scoring six bullets.

These first places didn’t of course count towards the final score and Joe’s single first place in the final series gave him the advantage in the 73-strong Gold fleet which had included twelve sailors from the North. And among those were Bobby's brother Tom and Callum’s brother Rory.

A start at the Topper Worlds in ItalyA start at the Topper Worlds in Italy

The next scoring highest competitor was Liam Duggan of Royal Cork in the Youth section who finished 6th overall and the highest place girl was Lily Browning of Island Barn Sailing Club.

Bobby Driscoll had excelled in the qualifiers by scoring six bullets at the Topper WorldsBobby Driscoll had excelled in the qualifiers by scoring six bullets at the Topper Worlds

Another BYC sailor, Daniel Palmer had finished 3rd in the qualifiers but struggled in the much lighter winds of the final two days finishing 12th despite going into the Final series in 3rd. Cormac Byrne (BYC, Strangford SC, Quoile YC) finished 20th and Luke Simpson from County Antrim YC at Whitehead on Belfast Lough followed in a creditable 22nd slot. Emily McAfee’s 24th and 4th Girl was a commendable result too.

But Callum Pollard of County Antrim YC on the north shore of Belfast Lough kept his dreams alive in the Northern contingent topping the 4.2 fleet and scoring only 17 points over 11 races (2 discards). Next of the Irish contingent was Ronan Quinlan of Waterford Harbour SC at 5th.

Callum Pollard of County Antrim YC on the podium on Lake GardaCallum Pollard of County Antrim YC on the podium on Lake Garda

There was considerable enthusiasm amongst the young Topper sailors who ‘volunteered’ their coaches and parents for the breezy evening 'Master's Championship' race, held just of the harbour wall. Forth five boats took to the water in the testing 18-knot breeze – ideal conditions for the ‘larger’ Topper helm, although many keen light-weight Mums also took up the challenge. It was the perfect way to round off the day and a chance for all the patient parents that had spent the week waiting ashore to join in the fun.

Results are downloadable below

Published in Topper
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Northern Ireland's Bobby Driscoll shares the lead Topper World Championships on Lake Garda in Italy after winning six of eight races sailed so far in the 5.3 division.

The Ballyholme sailor from Belfast Lough has a three-point lead over Leo Yates of Great Britain.

The under 18 Irish Topper squad is performing strongly, with Driscoll's clubmate Daniel Palmer in third place.

Joining them in the top ten is Liam Duggan of Royal Cork YC in 7th.

As the fleet combines boys and girls, Riona McMorrow Moriarty lies in 16th place overall but is the second girl.

Cormac Byrne and Autumn Halliday are in 22nd and 23rd, respectively, with Emily MacAfee in 27th. 

Seventeen young Topper sailors from Northern Ireland are taking part and results have been impressive in what was a huge fleet of 170 covering the two divisions – Topper 4.2s and 5.3s.

Riva Del Garda delivered classic Lake Garda conditions for the opening races of the Championships 2022. After a wait of three years, the first wins went to Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme and Royal North YCs  on Belfast Lough’s south shore in the Yellow flight with three straight wins – an impressive result matched by Leo Yates of Island Barn SC, south east of London,  in the Blue fleet who also chalked up three straight wins .

Bobby Driscoll who is the son of the well-known Irish Finn 1996 Olympian and coach John Driscoll, was well ahead of the chasing pack in the 17-18 Knot Ora breeze and 35 degree heat, which dropped a little for the final race. After eight races in which Driscoll scored six wins, he now leads the fleet by three points from Leo Yates of Island Barn SC near London and only one point behind is Ballyholme’s Daniel Palmer.  Cormac Byrne of Strangford SC, Ballyholme and Quoile is well up at 22nd and currently Autumn Halliday from Strangford Lough YC at 23rd is one of the top girls.

And another Northern sailor, Calum Pollard from County Antrim YC on the north side of Belfast Lough in the 24-boat strong Topper 4.2 Championship, leads the fleet and counts four first places in seven races. He has been awarded the Gold Bib twice.

Racing continues until the 29th July.

Download results below.

Published in Topper
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26 competitors, including six from the host club of Lough Erne Yacht Club, competed in the Topper traveller 4 event on Sunday, 17th July.

Four races were completed in glorious sunshine and a steady force 2-3 wind on the Lough.

The 4.2 class saw an incredibly close battle with only 1 point separating the top 3 positions. 1st Adam Green, LEYC, 2nd Jessica Dadley-Young, Ballyholme YC. 3rd Ben McCaldin, LEYC.

The Topper Traveller four event was held at Lough ErneThe Topper Traveller four event was held at Lough Erne

Again the 5.3 class was a close contest with also only 1 point separating the top 3 overall positions.

Michael Brines was the event organiser and JP McCaldin was race officer.

The Topper Traveller prizes at Lough ErneThe Topper Traveller prizes at Lough Erne

Northern Ireland Water sponsored the event with refillable water bottles and goodies for all competitors.

An Irish team will travel to Lake Garda for the Topper World Championships.

Junior Boys 

1st (and 1st overall) Leo O’Doherty, Sligo YC.
2nd Joseph Robinson, Ballyholme YC.
3rd Henry Nelson, Ballyholme YC.

Youth Boys
1st Peter Kenny, WHBTC / WHSC
2nd Peter Doyle, WHBTC / WHSC
3rd Eoin Byrne, WHSC / RCYC

Junior Girls
1st Chloe Craig, Carrickfergus SC
2nd Isabel Nixon, Ballyholme YC / Donaghadee SC

Youth Girls
1st Ella Fitzgerald, Newtonards Yacht Club / Ballyholme YC
2nd Autumn Halliday, Strangford Lough YC
3rd Chloe Cairns, Ballyholme YC

Published in Topper
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A total of 52 boats from a dozen clubs around the island competed in the Topper Irish National Championships hosted by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East from July 1 to 3.

The event offered sailors an opportunity to show what they are capable of in a range of weather conditions, from Friday’s strong gusts and heavy swells to Sunday’s much lighter
winds and calmer seas.

Friday’s conditions in particular offered some challenging and exhilarating moments for the junior fleet. A southwesterly wind ranging from 15kt to 18kt in the first race had begun gusting 25kt by the second race. On the downwind leg in race 2, one Topper was clocked at 11.5kt.

 Topper Irish National Championships

The gusts and the 2m-3m swell made for a tough day for all involved, and the safety team were kept busy under the careful oversight of Safety Leader Philip Scallan.

Race Officer Michael Conway and Philip Scallan assessed conditions after race 2 and decided to postpone the planned third race and let everybody come ashore.

On Saturday, there was still a good strong SW breeze of 15-18kt, and while the bright sunshine made for more pleasant conditions, the sailors still had a big swell to contend with during the day’s three races. The strong wind took its toll on the junior fleet with quite a few retiring after the 2nd race.

On Sunday, the fleet was greeted with a complete contrast of calm conditions and a wind that barely reached 8-10kts. The change in wind strength also brought a change in the results pattern over the three races, with some sailors taking the opportunity to show what they can do in lighter winds.

 Topper Irish National Championships

Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme Yacht Club led the fleet throughout Friday and Saturday with an impressive 5 bullets by the end of Saturday, and a 10th and 2nd on Sunday, to claim the overall title. RCYC’s Liam Duggan maintained his second place spot through the first four races to eventually come second overall, while clubmate Riona McMorrow Moriarty remained a strong contender throughout, taking third place overall and first junior female.

In the 4.2 fleet, Calum Pollard of County Antrim Yacht Club had an unbroken run of seven first place positions, with lively competition for the second and third spots. WHSC’s Lúí Ivory took second place, and clubmate Niamh Lynch was third.
With as many as 40 sailors competing in the Topper Nationals also due to take part in the World Championships, many spent Sunday evening packing their boats into a container fotransport to Lake Garda. Competitors praised the well-organised event, which was sponsored by Toyta Waterford and Suirway, and warm WHSC welcome they got over the weekend, including a youth disco on Saturday.

Selected overall Topper Irish National Championships results

Main fleet
1 – Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC/BYC)
2 – Liam Duggan (RCYC)
3 - Riona McMorrow Moriarty (RCYC)
4.2 fleet
1 - Calum Pollard (County Antrim Yacht Club)
2 – Lúí Ivory (WHSC)
3 – Niamh Lynch (WHSC)
Youth female
1 - Autumn Halliday (Strangford Lough YC)
2 – Katie Brow (BYC)
3 – Isabelle Passberger (WHSC)
Youth male
1 - Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC/BYC)
2 – Liam Duggan (RCYC)
3 – Rian Collins (RCYC)
Junior female
1 - Riona McMorrow Moriarty (RCYC)
2 – Emily McAfee (BYC)
3 – Chloe Craig (Carrickfergus SC)
Junior male
1 – Cormac Byrne (Strangford SC / BYC)
2 – Joseph Robinson (BYC)
3 – Henry Nelson (BYC)

Full results here

Published in Topper

A fleet of more than 50 Toppers from ten sailing clubs around the country will be arriving in Dunmore East on Friday to compete in the three-day Irish Topper National Championships, from July 1 to 3 at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club (WHSC).

Racing starts at midday on Friday, 11 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday, with three races planned per day. Eight sailors are expected to sail in the 4.2 class.  The remainder will be in full rig 5.3 boats.

Fourteen WHSC boats will be competing, but the biggest contingent is from Royal Cork Yacht Club. Nineteen are registered from the Cork club.

For some participants, the event is an opportunity to get in some final competitive sailing ahead of the Topper World Championships in Riva Del Garda in Italy. The event was due to be held in 2020, but was cancelled due to Covid 19.

With 40 sailors competing in the Topper Nationals also due to take part in the World Championships, an all-Ireland container of Topper boats will be leaving from Dunmore East on Sunday. It will transport boats from Waterford, Cork, Galway, Tipperary, Dublin and Bangor and is expected to arrive in Lake Garda on July 20.

The event there runs from Monday, July 25 to Fri 29. Twelve WHSC sailors are among those travelling to Italy.

Commodore Roy Power said: “It’s great to see such enthusiasm from our younger members. Conditions currently look good for some really competitive sailing over the weekend and another chance to showcase the best of what sailing in the south east has to offer.

Published in Topper
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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 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]