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Latest Sailing Stories
The 2017 SB20 Nationals are being held in Howth Yacht Club
SB20
Recently crowned Corinthian SB20 World Champions Michael O'Connor, Davey Taylor and Edward Cook are eyeing the Irish National title in Howth Yacht Club next weekend as the class surges ahead of the European Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club…
Anthony O'Leary (white cap) is a tireless campaigner who has twice been named the Irish Sailor of the Year and regularly competes in both small planing one-designs and larger offshore events
Royal Cork YC
For Anthony O'Leary from Ireland's Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is something of a family tradition. O'Leary represented the Royal Cork at the first regatta in 2009 and has returned to each event…
J109 Mojito (Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox) is overall ISORA champion
ISORA
A solid season for Welsh offshore campaigners Peter Dunlop & Victoria Cox was crowned in the pitch dark of Dublin Bay last night when the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race runners–up became overall ISORA champions. The Irish Sea’s Wolf Head Trophy…
Steve Goacher and Alan Green were winners of the Irish Flying Fifteen Championships at County Antrim
Flying Fifteen
Perennial Steve Goacher from Lake Windermere sailed to victory in a single race on the final day of the Flying Fifteen Irish Championships at County Antrim Yacht Club. The multiple World and British Champion, sailing with Dun Laoghaire's Alan Green,…
Alpaca won the biggest class of Royal Cork's August/September League
Royal Cork YC
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Fitzgerald Menswear sponsored August/September League finished last night in autumnal conditions with most boats finishing in the early darkness! The westerly breeze was up and down throughout the race, averaging 14knts. High tide allowed the fleet…
La Bamba approaches Gortmore. The breeze increased to 30–kts at times for this year's Gortmore Bell Race on Lough Derg
Inland Waterways
The Gortmore Bell Race, sponsored by Union Chandlery took place this Saturday on Lough Derg with 23 boats taking part across two classes. This is the lough's longest race in the calendar from Iniscealtra Sailing Club’s base in Mountshannon to…
Optimist dinghies at Dun Laoghaire
Optimist
Recently crowned Irish Optimist champion Rian Geraghty-McDonnell (14) of the National Yacht Club leads a blustery Leinster Championships hosted by his own club on Dublin Bay. Four points behind, Royal Cork's Harry Twomey is second on seven, with Geraghty–McDonnell's club mate Nathan…
Goacher Dominating Flying Fifteens at Whitehead
Flying Fifteen
Visiting World Flying Fifteen Champion Steve Goacher is making short work of the Irish Championships that is otherwise dominated by Northern Ireland crews at Whitehead in County Antrim today. Results to date are downloadable below. Goacher, from Lake Windemere, counts…
Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson) was a DBSC Beneteau 31.7 race winner
DBSC
BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson), 2. Fiddly Bits (Timmins/Quigley/Murray/Breen), 3. Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power) BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Prospect (Chris Johnston), 2. Bluefin Two (M & B Bryson), 3. Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power)  CRUISERS 0 - 1. Wow (George…
The annual sailing race from Cobh to Blackrock once marked the end of the sailing season in Cork Harbour
Cork Harbour
69 yachts have entered for the Cobh-to-Blackrock Race tomorrow writes Tom MacSweeney. This is the annual sailing race from Cobh to Blackrock which once marked the end of the sailing season in Cork Harbour. It no longer is that end-of-season…
Annalise Murphy training on board Volvo Ocean Race entry Turn the Tide on Plastic
Volvo Ocean Race
Irish Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy is shelving her campaign for a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics for the next 10 months as she will be competing in the Volvo Ocean Race. As Afloat.ie reported a month ago, the…
György Fináczy (left) with Gerardo Seeliger, the IFA president of honour who celebrates his 70th birthday this week
Tokyo 2020
#Finn - For the more veteran sailing enthusiasts, Johnny Durcan’s recent brush with death may have brought to mind a similar incident in Dun Laoghaire during the 1970 Finn Europeans. “I was completely waterlogged. My lungs were full of water. I…
Make Your Reservation For NYC Junior Section’s ‘Big Reunion’ Party
National YC
#NYC - Reservations are going fast for the National Yacht Club Junior Section’s Golden Jubilee ‘Big Reunion’ party on Saturday 30 September, as previously reported on Afloat.ie. The celebrations start at 7.30pm on the night and are open to all…
Flying Fifteen champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club have had to pull out of the Whitehead Championships after a mast break in a windy DBSC race last weekend
Flying Fifteen
Defending Irish Flying Fifteen champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club are out of this weekend's Championships at Whitehead in County Antrim following a dismasting on Dublin Bay. The excitement is building for the Flying Fifteen Championships of…
Well steered, sir! A traditional Achill yawl negotiates the narrow passage through Achill’s seldom-opened bridge at the special opening on Sunday
Island News
The Michael Davitt Bridge that connects Achill Island to the mainland was officially opened by leading Irish land reformer Michael Davitt on 31st August 1887, making 2017 its 130th anniversary. Construction began on a replacement Michael Davitt Bridge in 1948,…
National YC Hosts End Of Season Race This Thursday
National YC
#NYC - The National Yacht Club’s End of Season fun race takes place this Thursday 7 September, open to all yachts and dinghies owned or helmed by a member of the NYC. Entry is free, however the club will be…

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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