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There will be no shortage of thrills 'n' spills at the Autumn League next week with a big fleet of 1720 sportsboats expected to qualify for some new fun RCYC awards
With just over one week to go to the 2018 Royal Cork Yacht Club Autumn Series, things are heating up with good entries from all the south coast clubs including Kinsale Yacht Club, the newly founded Great Island SC, Monkstown…
'Code Red Alert' for Golden Globe Race Fleet in South Indian Ocean
Solo sailors in the 2018 Golden Globe Race have been hit by a vicious storm midway across the South Indian Ocean. The 70–knot winds and 14m seas have left India's Abhilash Tomy and Ireland's Gregor McGuckin dismasted, and twice knocked…
Gregor McGuckin in happier times shortly after the start in July
Irishman Gregor McGuckin’s yacht has just been dramatically rolled 360 degrees in the middle of the Indian Ocean during an extreme storm. The violent roll broke his main mast and will now force him out of the solo round the…
The Destination County Cork stand at Southampton. The boat show runs till this Sunday
#MarineTrade - Cork Harbour is ably represented at the Southampton Boat Show this week. The Port of Cork has teamed up with the Royal Cork Yacht Club and Bantry Bay Port Company to promote the Rebel County’s marinas and cruising…
Now 81 days into this approximate 250-day non-stop race around the planet, McGuckin will have to complete the voyage without a mizzen mast. The mast in question is pictured above next to where McGuckin is standing
Irish Golden Globe Race entrant Gregor McGuckin has lost his mizzen mast during a knockdown in the Indian Ocean. The 32-year-old is currently battling 70 knot (130 kph) winds and over 10m seas as a very severe storm passes over…
The Dublin Bay Dinghy Final Fling event takes place on Saturday, September 29th
The mixed Dublin Bay dinghy fleet will have a four-race final race day on September 29th to round out the summer sailing season. According to organiser Ross O'Leary, the event will provide 'fun sprint racing' for all levels with a party…
Mark Delany sailing Cora in Copenhagen
Royal St. George's Mark Delany is in eighth place at the Vintage Yachting Games in Copenhagen while clubmate George Miller in 11th overall. Four races were held for the 12 Foot Dinghy Class on Thursday, because there is a large…
Thousands of spectators are expected to visit the Route du Rhum race village at St Malo, opening on October 24
There will be no Irish boats in November's Route Du Rhum Transatlantic Race, an important qualifier for the 2020 Vendee Globe writes David O'Brien in this morning's Irish Times Sailing Column. County Mayo's Joan Mulloy had qualified for the 1200-mile race…
Stormy conditions for the Flying Fifteen Spanish Championships
Puerto Pollenca served up the whole gamut of weather conditions including, sunshine, humidity, thunder, lightning and torrential rain at the 2018 Flying Fifteen Spanish (Balearic) Championships held in the Bay of Pollenca at Mallorca between Friday 14th and Sunday 16th…
Mona (Denis Aylmer) and Tir na nOg (Sean Walsh) racing in the inaugural event for the DBOGA’s Leinster Plate in 2013. This Sunday’s planned staging at Dun Laoghaire of the Leinster Plate Race 2018 may be affected by the inclement weather, and a decision will be taken on Saturday morning
This year's Centenary of the wartime sinking of the mailboat RMS Leinster on 10th October 1918 will see a significant Dun Laoghaire and national commemoration on the day itself writes W M Nixon. As part of the buildup to those…
Bailing out the dinghies in Hellerup
Dublin Bay's George Miller moved up to sixth and Mark Delany is tenth but yesterday saw many 12 foot dinghies retiring from the racing at the Vintage Yachting Games due to the weather conditions off Hellerup in Denmark. The dinghies…
Richard Hayes sailing solo on his round-Ireland Laser
#Laser - The Galway Advertiser is reporting that Galway Bay Sailing Club member Richard Hayes has completed a solo circumnavigation of Ireland by Laser dinghy. Hayes sailed 54 days over three-and-a-half months since 27 May to complete the near 2,500km…
Cork Week Wins Gold Clean Regatta Award
Cork Week 2018 has been awarded Gold Certification by the International ‘Sailors for the Sea’ Clean Regatta programme with the event sustainability partners MaREI Centre for Marine & Renewable Energy and An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme. The Clean Regattas programme…
John Twomey and his crew competing in the Sonar Paralympic class in Kinsale
Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney reporting on current sailing and maritime topics and this week, reflecting on how I have been fortunate during my years of sailing and reporting the sport to meet many disabled…
Hellerup Harbour is the venue for this year's Vintage Games
Royal St. George's George Miller is lying ninth overall at the vintage yachting Games in Copenhagen while Mark Delany is 12th after one race sailed. It must be remembered that when the International 12–foot dinghies competed in the Olympic Games…
Extreme conditions during the Sydney-Hobart Race, one of the topics scheduled for the Weather & Sailing Conference in Dun Laoghaire on Friday November 23rd
Ireland’s weather fascinates everyone. But for boat enthusiasts, an informed insight into the workings of maritime meteorology anywhere in the world has many practical and often vital applications writes W M Nixon. With this in mind, Darryl Hughes (best known…

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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