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Latest Sailing Stories
Enda is headed back to France from New Zealand in a voyage he excpects to take two months
Vendee Globe
Galway Bay's Vendee Globe sailor Enda O'Coineen left the port of Dunedin in New Zealand this morning local time under a cloudy sky and a wind from 10 to 15 knots in his new boat and is bound for France. As…
 The Dun Laoghaire–based J109 INSS Jedi, the top sailing school boat in the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race and 2017 ISORA Series
UK Sailmakers Ireland
It's the end of January. Some of us are still sailing but most of us are sitting around thinking about it. UK Sailmakers Ireland say now is the chance to take advantage of the down time and read something that…
The Waterford A35 yacht Fools Gold, winner of the 2017 Sovereign's Cup and Welsh IRC Championships
UK Sailmakers Ireland
People seem to think that tuning a fractional rig is very difficult. In reality, it is not that hard as Mark Mansfield, Professional sailor and racing consultant/agent for UK sails Ireland, describes below in the first part of a series of 'How To'…
Light winds for the Radial fleet in Miami
Tokyo 2020
Equipment failure meant an inauspicious start for Trinity College student Aoife Hopkins at the Miami Sailing World Cup yesterday. The Howth Yacht Club sailor did, however, manage a 26th in the third Laser Radial race to be placed 57th from…
Keelboat action at Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Cork YC
With only ten weeks to go to the start of the 2018 sailing Season, Royal Cork Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell has announced some new and exciting changes to the Keelboat committee structure that has well–known keelboat expert Mel Collins serving as a…
Magic from above. A re-creation (above and below) of the classic Kinsale Colleen class is emerging from an Elizabethan 29 hull at Alchemy Marine’s workshop deep in the heart of North Cork.
Historic Boats
When Bill Trafford chose the business name Alchemy Marine for his extremely individualistic combination of skills in transforming vintage fibreglass hulls into a new take on classic designs of yesteryear, he made the perfect brand-name choice writes W M Nixon.…
Enda O’Coineen pictured last November with his new boat, the former Vendée dropout Souffe eu Nord
Solo Sailing
New Zealand’s Otago Daily Times profiles  Enda O’Coineen as he prepares to complete his interrupted circumnavigation of the world. Enda’s dream looked as if it had come to an end last year when Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland dismasted on New Year’s…
Tall ships on Dublin Bay
Tall Ships
In 2017 over 300 trainees went to sea on Tall Ships from Ireland and across Europe. Sail Training Ireland aim to fund a similar number of trainees in 2018. These numbers have not been seen since the loss of Ireland’s National…
Norbert 'Nobby' Reilly submitted his letter of resignation to ICRA on Thursday 18 January
ICRA
#ICRA - Norbert ‘Nobby’ Reilly has spoken to Afloat.ie to clarify his comments over his resignation from the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) last week. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Howth Yacht Club sailor and former ICRA commodore left…
Royal Cork Yacht Club Flag Officers elected – Front row L to R Pat Harte Treasurer/Secretary, Captain Pat Farnan Admiral, Colin Morehead, Vice Admiral. Back Row. Simon Brewitt Chairman of the Marina and Facilities Committee, Mike Rider Rear Admiral Cruising, Kieran O'Connell Rear Admiral Keelboats, Brian Jones Rear Admiral Dinghies. Inset Annamarie Fegan Bar Catering House and Communications
Royal Cork YC
Last night in Crosshaven in Cork Harbour, Royal Cork Yacht Club elected its new Admiral and flag officers writes Bob Bateman  As previously reported by Afloat.ie, Pat Farnan was elected Admiral of the club to lead it in to its…
Dublin Bay Mermaid 123 Vee competing in 2017
Mermaid
The well-attended 66th AGM of the Mermaid Sailing Association was held on 1st December 2017 in Skerries Sailing Club and among the highlights discussed was the Cork Harbour National Championships in 2019. A proposal to amend the rule regarding maximum…
Entries Open For RWYC’s Round Britain & Ireland With June Start In Plymouth
Rd Britain & Ireland
#RB&I - The Royal Western Yacht Club of England is now taking entries for the latest Round Britain and Ireland two-handed race, which starts from Plymouth on Sunday 3 June. This year marks the 14th running of the quadrennial yacht…
Volvo Round Ireland Launch - From left to right – Denise Cummins - Commodore Wicklow Sailing Club, Kyran O’Grady – Wicklow Sailing Club, Theo Phelan – Race Director Wicklow Sailing Club, Roisin Hennessy – Chairperson Volvo Round Ireland Committee & David Thomas – Managing Director Volvo Cars Ireland
Round Ireland
The Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race 2018, run by Wicklow Sailing Club, is a little over 5 months away and is expecting a strong turn out with very positive interest from the off-shore sailing community in Ireland, the UK and…
David Hartshorn replaces Andy Burns who has made the difficult personal decision to step down Australia
Clipper Race
British sailor David Hartshorn, 53, from Chepstow, is to take over as Great Britain Skipper for the remainder of the Clipper 2017-18 Race, replacing Andy Burns who has made the difficult personal decision to step down here in Airlie Beach,…
David Scott Cowper wins an OCC Lifetime Cruising Award for his navigation of the Hecla and Fury Straits, in which he, accompanied by his son aboard the specially designed aluminium motorboat Polar Bound, became the first to navigate this passage since its discovery in 1822. This was his third circumnavigation in Polar Bound.
Cruising
The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has announced the recipients of awards that recognise achievements in blue water sailing over the past 18 months. The recipients of these awards were selected from among those nominated by OCC members. The Club’s premier award, the OCC…
Laser Radial sailor Aoife Hopkins will be in action in Miami, Florida this week
Tokyo 2020
Two Irish Olympic sailing hopefuls for Tokyo 2020 are among 540 sailors have gathered in Regatta Park, Miami, USA, for the second round of the 2018 World Cup Series, running from 21-28 January 2018. Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins 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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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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