Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Round the world ocean sailor Damian Foxall will speak at the Lough Ree Yacht Club hosted Irish Sailing Cruising Conference
The Irish Sailing Cruising Conference heads inland this year so that sailors from around the country can join each other for a day of speakers, presentations, storytellers and a social lunch. Lough Ree Yacht Club is known for their warm…
Irish Golden Globe Race skipper Gregor McGuckin and his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance at the National Yacht Club prior to departure
As previously reported by Afloat.ie last week, plans are moving forward to salvage Irish Golden Globe Race skipper Gregor McGuckin’s yacht Hanley Energy Endurance. Cody Cordwainer, a tugboat captain operating out of Brooklyn Navy Yard is set to arrive in…
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Rolex Fastnet Race has once again lured sailors from around the world to compete in the historic race. 2019 will be the 48th edition
Once again the Rolex Fastnet Race has confirmed itself to be by far the world's largest offshore yacht race. After the entry for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship event was opened at 1200 UTC, the 340 available places for…
Tom Dolan competing in the Solitaire du Figaro 2018 race.
#lectures- An illustrated lecture Sailing in the Fast Lane- What’s Next? by Tom Dolan is to be held next week, Thursday 10 January (20:00) at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club Ringsend, Dublin.  Admission fee of €5 (in aid of Sailing into Wellness).  Tom…
Howth YC’s Conor Fogerty with his Sunfast 36000 Bam! starts the final 47-mile beat of the breezy RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2018, on his way to winning his class (for the second time) just a fortnight after he’d been declared Ireland’s “Sailor of the Year” in Dublin
Howth Yacht Club has become the latest winner of the Mitsubishi Motors “Sailing Club of the Year” Award primarily on the strength of its sailing successes through 2018 - major successes which began in February and continued until well into…
The J109 Jedi starts the 2018 Round Ireland race prior to a man overboard during the 700-mile race
On the 29th of June 2018, Jedi, the highly competitive J109, started the Round Ireland Yacht Race in stunning sunshine and a fresh northerly breeze propelling her down the East coast of Ireland. Little did her seasoned crew comprising of…
Colin Healy (left) and James Lyons, will speak about how their sailing programme helps people in their recovery from poor mental health and addiction.
On Thursday 10th of January County Meath solo sailor Tom Dolan will be giving a short presentation on his 2019 racing season in support of the social enterprise 'Sailing into Wellness' Sailing into Wellness is an award winning not for profit…
Plans are afoot to recover Gregor McGuckin’s Abandoned Golden Globe Yacht
Golden Globe Race Organisers are reporting that Irish skipper Gregor McGuckin has accepted an offer from American Cody Cordwainer, a tugboat captain operating out of Brooklyn Navy Yard, to salvage his yacht currently 1,100 miles west of Fremantle Western Australia.…
Alan Harper  at the helm of “Leaky Roof 2” from Scotland will be back in action on Dublin Bay in July
It looks to be all good news for the Sigma 33 class in 2019 with another strong entry of 16 boats entered to date for next July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, over six months before the event. It promises to…
Barry MacCartin (right) & Andrew Penney were winners of Belfast's RS400 Series
Sunday 23rd December was the final day of the RS400 Frostie Series at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club and it bulged with excitement as there was barely a cigarette paper between the top two boats never mind the…
Jalapeño from the National Yacht Club helmed by Paul Barrington was the RIYC Charity Race winner
There were 20 entries in a light southwesterly breeze for the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Annual Charity Race on Sunday, 30th December 2018 Race officers Henry Leonard and Paul McCarthy laid a triangle/sausage/ triangle course which was completed in an hours…
Lasers racing at Howth
A single race was deemed plenty for sailors to shake off the cobwebs at Howth Yacht Club. The Lasers got off to a great start for the 2019 season with a mild 10-12kt Westerly. The breeze shifted right, bang on…
Niall Coleman's Flying Fifteen 'Flyer' from the National Yacht Club is one of 228 entries already received for next July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
With over six months to the first gun of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, 228 entries had been received by the close of the Super Early Bird Entry deadline of 31st December 2018. The biennial regatta Chairman Don O'Dowd told Afloat.ie "compared to…
Darryl Hughes – restorer and skipper of the classic ketch Maybird
Darryl Hughes is so completely identified with his classic 43ft 1937 Tyrrell-built ketch Maybird (whose superb restoration he project-managed himself) that, as Maybird shares her home port between Crosshaven in Cork and Poolbeg in Dublin, both places can claim this…
Fintan Cairns – his determination to get out in Dublin Bay on November mornings and set attractive courses provided inspirational sailing leadership
Fintan Cairns of Dun Laoghaire is disarmingly modest about his many achievements in cruiser-racing organisation, based as they are on his extensive experience as an active sailor, his own innovations, and his readiness to acknowledge when he has taken an…
Donal O’Sullivan – his extensive contribution to Dublin Bay SC includes compiling the Club’s history for its Centenary in 1984
Donal O’Sullivan’s retirement after 27 years as Honorary Secretary of Dublin Bay Sailing Club provides the opportunity for honours from all sides for someone whose contribution to the continuing vitality of one of the world’s largest yacht racing organisations is…

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]

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton

bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating