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Drama as defending champion Storm' hits the pin end of the first race of the J109 National Championships in Howth today
In a dramatic start to today's J109 National Championships at Howth Yacht Club, defending champions, Storm, hit the pin end of the starting line in the first race. The error meant the Pat Kelly team was in an untypically low…
Six short races are scheduled as a two-race mini-series for the Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay
Fresh from last weekend's national championships on Dublin Bay, the National Yacht Club stages the first race of its Flying Fifteen 2018 Frostbite Series this Saturday. There will be back-to-back races on each day of the series that runs until November…
Henry Start and Elysia O'Leary in the 29er on Belfast Lough
Last weekend saw the final event in the Irish 29er class calendar with the fleet competing at the RYANI Youth Championships at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. The event also drew on a number of classes including Lasers, 420’s,…
73-year-old French Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede
At 08:00 UTC Friday, (18:00 local time) French Golden Globe Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede was 40 miles from the film gate at Hobart, Tasmania, his Rustler 36 Matmut making 3.7knots. the 73-year old skipper is expected to sail…
The Northern Ireland RS Elite fleet competing at the 2017 Dun Laoghaire Regatta
In 2019 the RS Elite fleet will travel to Ireland to hold its National Championship as part of the popular Dun Laoghaire Regatta. The regatta has been held biennially since 2005 and is the largest regatta in Ireland. This is…
An 11-boat J109 fleet is due in Howth this weekend
Irish Times Sailing Correspondent David O'Brien reports in today's newspaper how some of the top crews in the country are in demand this weekend for the All Ireland Sailing Championships on Lough Ree and the J109 Nationals in Howth. Yesterday,…
Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Dave Sullivan (left), Regatta Director Ruth Ennis and Vice-Ccommodore Michael Walsh at the launch of #Squib2020Kinsale
The Squib fleet in Kinsale Yacht Club has announced that KYC has been chosen as the venue for the 2020 British National Squib Championship. It will take place from 21st to 26th June 2020. This event comes to Ireland every five…
A fleet of eight SB20s – racing without gennakers – will be used to decide the All Ireland Sailing Title this weekend on Lough Ree
Saturday's All Ireland Sailing Championships run by Irish Sailing at Lough Ree Yacht Club has attracted some of the top sailing names in the country for the annual battle of the champion of champions event that will be sailed on…
A computer blueprint of the F50 catamaran - touted as the world’s most advanced racing vessel
America’s Cup winners Larry Ellison and Sir Russell Coutts have launched a new stadium yacht racing league to challenge the Auld Mug’s dominance of inshore team racing. Described by Oracle co-founder Ellison as “the evolution of sailing”, SailGP will begin…
Racing for centreboard monohull dinghies will be one design for the Lasers and based on PH handicaps for the mixed dinghy fleet
The DMYC has published the Notice of Race and online entry system here for its long-running Winter Dinghy Frostbite Series on Dublin Bay. In response to feedback from competitors over the past three seasons, gathered from a survey earlier in the…
Myfanwy shows her sweeping curves to best advantage as she races to success in Dublin Bay. Photo
The memorable Dun Laoghaire Regatta of 2017 included celebrations for the Bicentenary of the great harbour, and the Kingstown 200 Trophy in its honour became something very special for racing among the Classics writes W M Nixon. In a popular…
AK Ilen arrives in Limerick City
Limerick was in celebratory mood once more as another long wait ended with the arrival of the historic sailing vessel Ilen, which first sailed Shannon waters some 92 years ago. As Afloat.ie previously reported, In an autumn of great homecomings…
Classic schooners prepare for battle at last week's Régates Royales in Cannes
The grace, power and complexity of classic schooners engender great passion in all who see these wonderful examples of naval architecture, mostly heralding from that golden age of yacht construction in the first decades of the 20th century. In recent…
Two Lough Erne Cots racing with Enniskillen Castle in the background
On the 22nd and 23rd September, as a major part of Festival Lough Erne, two regattas for Lough Erne Cots were organised in Enniskillen by Lough Erne Heritage. Lough Erne Heritage is a registered charity formed as a constituted group…
Optimist spring training in Baltimore earlier this year
#Optimist - The International Optimist Dinghy Association Ireland (IODAI) is now recruiting both national and international coaches for its annual spring training week in Baltimore in February 2019. Coaches must be available from Sunday 17 to Friday 22 February for…
Over 30 dinghies competed on the water in the 4 race no discard format
DBSC dinghy fleet came out in force for the end of season race on Saturday in the Harbour. Over 30 dinghies competed on the water in the 4 race no discard format. The fleet starts were designed to have plenty of…

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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