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Royal St George Yacht Club Launch Wing Foil Programme at Dun Laoghaire

16th April 2024
Six brand new wing foilers from the Royal St George got their first taste of this extraordinary and fast-growing sport
Six brand new wing foilers from the Royal St George got their first taste of this extraordinary and fast-growing sport

To fly over water, almost silently is an amazing feeling. That’s according to Brendan Foley, Wing Foiling Class Captain at the Royal St George Yacht Club. Just this weekend six brand new wing foilers from the Royal St George got their first taste of this extraordinary and fast-growing sport.

Wing foiling, uses an inflated wing held in the hands as a power source and the foiler stands on an oversized surfboard, equipped with a hydrofoil under the board. Once foiling, speeds of 15-20 knots are achievable even by beginners. The speed, portability and low cost of the foiling gear has led to wing foiling becoming one of the fastest growing watersports in the world. So much so that it is under Olympic consideration as a sport for Los Angeles 2028.

The six debutant wingers hail from keelboats, dinghies and many had windsurfing backgrounds. Under the expert tutelage of Francois Colussi of Pure Magic Watersports, all six sailors managed to sail with a wing on an inflatable board and all foiled alongside a boat. The participants were buzzed and exuberant following a fun 2-hour session in Dun Laoghaire. Brendan Foley and Lorcan Little of the host club, both experienced wingers provided coaching and support alongside Francois.

Under the expert tutelage of Francois Colussi of Pure Magic Watersports, all six sailors managed to sail with a wing on an inflatable board and all foiled alongside a boatUnder the expert tutelage of Francois Colussi of Pure Magic Watersports, all six sailors managed to sail with a wing on an inflatable board and all foiled alongside a boat

Foiling has been growing in Dun Laoghaire over the past 2 years, with the INSS’s Kenny Rumball teaming up with Francois from Pure Magic Watersports to offer lessons. With Salthill beach at the back of the West Pier, Dun Laoghaire is ideally situated for flat water and westerly winds - all very conducive to learning the sport.

The debutant Royal St. George wingers hail from keelboats, dinghies and many had windsurfing backgroundsThe debutant Royal St. George wingers hail from keelboats, dinghies and many had windsurfing backgrounds

The Royal St George is running introduction programmes for members all through Spring and over 50 people have expressed interest in getting into this new sport. Many parents of Oppie and ILCA sailors see the benefit in bringing the highly portable kit to events around the country where they can get on the water while their children sail. The weight of all the kit combined is less than 10kg. Other members are simply drawn by the buzz of foiling and challenging themselves to learn a new water sport.

Irish Sailing has also noted the sport's rapid rise, with Dave Garvey, Head of Training for IS, running instructor courses for wing foiling. The first one is happening this weekend in Kerry at Jamie Knox Watersports. A Dublin-based instructor training is planned for later this Spring.

With the rapid rise in the sport, gear is evolving rapidly, and choosing the right gear can be a minefield. The quick deal on online sites can sometimes lead to getting gear that is either too advanced or too easy. Talking to a Wing dealer in Ireland such as Pure Magic Watersports, Jamie Knox Watersports or Surfdock will allow you to research the correct gear. Also, talk to other wingers who have been sailing for two years or more, as they have great knowledge to share.

If other clubs around the country are interested in developing their own programmes, Brendan Foley is happy to connect and share what they have learned from the Royal St George Programme. For example, using plastic safety boats is much better than using inflatable semi-rigid boats when dealing with hydrofoils, as one member unfortunately found out with a burst sponson! As always, safety is key and again getting lessons from a club, registered school or watersports centre to get started are hugely helpful.

You can get more information on the Royal St George Wingfoil Programme here 

Published in RStGYC Team

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Royal St. George Yacht Club

The Royal St George Yacht Club was founded in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) Harbour in 1838 by a small number of like-minded individuals who liked to go rowing and sailing together. The club gradually gathered pace and has become, with the passage of time and the unstinting efforts of its Flag Officers, committees and members, a world-class yacht club.

Today, the ‘George’, as it is known by everyone, maybe one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, but it has a very contemporary friendly outlook that is in touch with the demands of today and offers world-class facilities for all forms of water sports

Royal St. George Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal St George Yacht Club — often abbreviated as RStGYC and affectionately known as ‘the George’ — is one of the world’s oldest sailing clubs, and one of a number that ring Dublin Bay on the East Coast of Ireland.

The Royal St George Yacht Club is based at the harbour of Dun Laoghaire, a suburban coastal town in south Co Dublin around 11km south-east of Dublin city centre and with a population of some 26,000. The Royal St George is one of the four Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs, along with the National Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC).

The Royal St George was founded by members of the Pembroke Rowing Club in 1838 and was originally known as Kingstown Boat Club, as Kingstown was what Dun Laoghaire was named at the time. The club obtained royal patronage in 1845 and became known as Royal Kingstown Yacht Club. After 1847 the club took on its current name.

The George is first and foremost an active yacht club with a strong commitment to and involvement with all aspects of the sport of sailing, whether racing your one design on Dublin Bay, to offshore racing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, to junior sailing, to cruising and all that can loosely be described as “messing about in boats”.

As of November 2020, the Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club is Peter Bowring, with Richard O’Connor as Vice-Commodore. The club has two Rear-Commodores, Mark Hennessy for Sailing and Derek Ryan for Social.

As of November 2020, the Royal St George has around 1,900 members.

The Royal St George’s burgee is a red pennant with a white cross which has a crown at its centre. The club’s ensign has a blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and a crown towards the bottom right corner.

Yes, the club hosts regular weekly racing for dinghies and keelboats as well as a number of national and international sailing events each season. Major annual events include the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, hosted in conjunction with the three other Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs.

Yes, the Royal St George has a vibrant junior sailing section that organises training and events throughout the year.

Sail training is a core part of what the George does, and training programmes start with the Sea Squirts aged 5 to 8, continuing through its Irish Sailing Youth Training Scheme for ages 8 to 18, with adult sail training a new feature since 2009. The George runs probably the largest and most comprehensive programme each summer with upwards of 500 children participating. This junior focus continues at competitive level, with coaching programmes run for aspiring young racers from Optimist through to Lasers, 420s and Skiffs.


The most popular boats raced at the club are one-design keelboats such as the Dragon, Shipman 28, Ruffian, SB20, Squib and J80; dinghy classes including the Laser, RS200 and RS400; junior classes the 420, Optimist and Laser Radial; and heritage wooden boats including the Water Wags, the oldest one-design dinghy class in the world. The club also has a large group of cruising yachts.

The Royal St George is based in a Victorian-style clubhouse that dates from 1843 and adjoins the harbour’s Watering Pier. The clubhouse was conceived as a miniature classical Palladian Villa, a feature which has been faithfully maintained despite a series of extensions, and a 1919 fire that destroyed all but four rooms. Additionally, the club has a substantial forecourt with space for more than 50 boats dry sailing, as well as its entire dinghy fleet. There is also a dry dock, four cranes (limit 12 tonnes) and a dedicated lift=out facility enabling members keep their boats in ready to race condition at all times. The George also has a floating dock for short stays and can supply fuel, power and water to visitors.

Yes, the Royal St George’s clubhouse offers a full bar and catering service for members, visitors and guests. Currently the bar is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Royal St George boathouse is open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm during the winter. The office and reception are open Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 5pm. The bar is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Lunch is served on Wednesdays and Fridays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3pm.

Yes, the Royal St George regularly hosts weddings and family celebrations from birthdays to christenings, and offers a unique and prestigious location to celebrate your day. The club also hosts corporate meetings, sailing workshops and company celebrations with a choice of rooms. From small private meetings to work parties and celebrations hosting up to 150 guests, the club can professionally and successfully manage your corporate requirements. In addition, team building events can utilise its fleet of club boats and highly trained instructors. For enquiries contact Laura Smart at [email protected] or phone 01 280 1811.

The George is delighted to welcome new members. It may look traditional — and is proud of its heritage — but behind the facade is a lively and friendly club, steeped in history but not stuck in it. It is a strongly held belief that new members bring new ideas, new skills and new contacts on both the sailing and social sides.

No — members can avail of the club’s own fleet of watercraft.

There is currently no joining fee for new members of the Royal St George. The introductory ordinary membership subscription fee is €775 annually for the first two years. A full list of membership categories and related annual subscriptions is available.

Membership subscriptions are renewed on an annual basis

Full contact details for the club and its staff can be found at the top of this page

©Afloat 2020


  • April 13th Lift In
  • May 18th & 19th Cannonball Trophy
  • May 25th & 26th 'George' Invitational Regatta
  • July 6th RSGYC Regatta
  • August 10th & 11th Irish Waszp National Championships
  • August 22- 25th Dragon Irish National Championships / Grand Prix
  • Aug 31st / Sept 1st Elmo Trophy
  • September 6th End of Season Race
  • September 7th & 8th Squib East Coast Championships
  • September 20th - 22nd SB20 National Championships
  • September 22nd Topper Ireland Traveller Event
  • October 12th Lift Out

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