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The essence of effective simplicity – the schooner America as she was in 1851, when her victory in the race round the Isle of Wight resulted in the trophy becoming the America’s Cup.
There must be very few people in sailing who don’t know something of the America writes W M Nixon. She was the “low black schooner” which came across the Atlantic from New York in 1851, and won a race around…
Carmel Winkelmann, Dun Laoghaire receives the President's Award from Jack Roy, President Irish Sailing at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards 2018
Already we’re at the end of April and there’s a busy summer season ahead. The year got off to a great start in February with the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards, celebrating all types of sailing achievement. As well as the…
Tom Dolan in the pit, Tanguy Bourouulec at the mast as Smurfit Kappa-CerFrance gets away from Concarneau
Tom Dolan and Tanguy Bouroullec’s intro to two-handed Figaro sailing with Smurfit Kappa-CerFrance was always going to be a very steep learning curve writes W M Nixon. They had very limited time to prepare their boat and hone their skills,…
Finn Lynch lies 16th after day one in Hyeres
The National Yacht Club's Olympic sailor Finn Lynch is in the top quarter of his Laser fleet after the first two races of Sailing’s World Cup Series in Hyères, France yesterday.  In what amounts to a good start for the…
Frank Miller's Blind Squirrel from the DMYC was the winner of both of last night's DBSC in harbour Fireball races
Fireball Race 1: Blind Squirrel (F Miller), 2. Incubus (C Power/M Barry) Fireball Race 2: Blind Squirrel (F Miller), 2. Incubus (C Power/M Barry) IDRA 14 Race 1: Dunmoanin (F Hamilton), 2. Doody (J.Fitzgerald/J.Byrne) IDRA 14 Race 2: Dunmoanin (F…
Martin Stromberg on the helm of Turn the Tide on Plastic with Annalise Murphy and the rest of the team standing by for a peel
#VOR - Dongfeng Race Team snuck into the lead on Tuesday (24 April) as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet continued to skirt Leg 8’s first major obstacle – the St Helena High. The famed anticyclone is renowned for dominating the…
Owners are getting boats ready in Cork Harbour but this one hasn't moved for a while, it has a tree growing out of the boarding ladder
The sailing season in Cork Harbour is getting underway - slowly it has to be said - the effects of the long Winter weren’t encouraging owners to get their boats ready…… That is happening and launching is underway, but owners…
A screen grab from Conor Fogerty's Vendee Globe video. Scroll down the page to watch the video.
Irish Sailor of the Year Conor Fogerty has launched a Vendee Globe 2020 campaign, bringing to four the number of Irish sailors now working towards the non–stop solo round–the–world race in two year's time. 'Boat selection, physical training and preparation…
Less than five miles separate the seven boats in the Volvo Ocean Race on Day 2 of Leg 8
#VOR - Following a big send-off from Itajai yesterday (Sunday 22 April), the seven-strong Volvo Ocean Race fleet – back up to full complement with the welcome return of Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – faced a…
On the water, Fireball sailors were put under pressure in an intense series of bear aways, hoists, reaches, runs, drops and round-ups and beats
Fireballs enjoyed champagne sailing in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday for a pre-season coaching session with Ger Owens, thanks to the support of Irish Sailing. Ger's wry and funny delivery once again reduced the most complex of questions to the key…
This year the Laser 4.7 team will compete in the class World Championships in Gdynia, Poland
Three of the five youth sailors named by Irish Sailing for its 2018 Laser 4.7 team are from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.  Royal St. George's Alana Coakley, Charlie Cullen (also National Yacht Club) and…
Frank Whelan's Eleuthera on her way to ISORA victory yesterday. The Judel Vrolijk design was a Cowes Week 2003 winner, a Rolex Fastnet 2003 class winner, an Antwerp Race 2003 and a Gotland Rund Sweden race winner too
Frank Whelan's Eleuthera, the Grand Soleil 44 yacht that broke the dominance of the J109s to win the first ISORA race of the season yesterday, is the former famous Dutch yacht 'Holmatro' with a race winning pedigree.  The Greystones crew…
In one of his first roles as RIYC Commodore, Joe Costello presented the overall prizes for the 2018 RS Feva East Coast Championships to overall winners Tim Norwood (Helmsman) left and Finn Cleary (Crew)
Counting four first places Tim Norwood and Finn Cleary of the host club won the six race 2018 RS Feva East Coast Championships by a clear margin of eight nett points at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Race over two…
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston returning to Falmouth on Suhaili on this day in 1969
Sunday 22 April marks 49 years since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston returned to Falmouth after spending 10-and-a-half months racing solo, non-stop around the world on is yacht Suhaili to win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Sir Robin, who went on…
MAPFRE leads the fleet out of Itajaí
#VOR - It was a familiar sight on Sunday afternoon (22 April) in Itajaí, Brazil, where the two red boats at the top of the Volvo Ocean Race leaderboard set the pace at the start of Leg 8 to Newport,…
Kinsale Quarter Tonner 'Runaway Bus' enjoying the great sailing conditions for today's April league at Kinsale Yacht Club. Scroll down for a gallery of photos
Wind and sun provided champagne sailing on day three of Kinsale Yacht Club's Spring Sailing Series 2018. It was a perfect day for the windward leeward course with a blustery 20–knot breeze blowing from Bullen’s Bay. The 1055 first gun…

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

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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