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Latest Sailing Stories
Waiting for the tide. Even the normally snooty boatyard cat shows a measure of approval for the restored Ilen as everyone waits for the tide
Historic Boats
The east coast of Ireland may have endured vile weather on Saturday, but in West Cork there was almost a touch of sunny spring in the air when the historic restored ketch Ilen completed the final stage of her short…
Turn the Tide on Plastic’s general boat captain genius Liz Wardley saves the day by fixing the boat’s problem water maker pump
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag increased their lead in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Monday as the sprint for the Hong Kong finish line moved inside 1,500 nautical miles. Dave Witt’s team shot to the front…
Liverpool 2018 taken by Ming on board Sanya Serenity Coast yesterday
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - Dramatic weather systems that have dominated much of Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race continue to make conditions challenging for the Clipper Race fleet during the 10th day of racing. While the fleet is enjoying some long-awaited downwind…
Action from yesterday’s Laser Frostbites races off Howth
Laser
#HYC - Conditions for Howth Yacht Club's  Laser Frostbites yesterday (Sunday 14 January) contrasted those of the opening weekend — with the sun shining and a southerly breeze rising from 12 to 19 knots over the course of the day’s…
Spindrift Set for Jules Verne Round the World Trophy Bid
Offshore
Yann Guichard and his crew arrived in Brest last night to start the Jules Verne Trophy. Despite a good though not ideal weather window, after two months on stand-by Spindrift racing has decided to take its chance and will leave…
Rating is what we use in IRC to assess a boat’s potential performance – the ability, or lack of ability of the helmsman and crew is not included writes Peter Wykeham-Martin, Chairman of the IRC Congress
Tom MacSweeney
The IRC Yearbook arrived in the post as I prepared to write this week’s Podcast. It is sent out together with your notice to renew your Handicap for the season ahead. Only, ‘oops’, the word ‘Handicap’ is no longer acceptable.…
Joan Mulloy on her way back to Dun Laoghaire from Cowes in her Figaro race yacht
Figaro
At 18.00 on a cold Friday January evening, west of Ireland solo sailor Joan Mulloy tied up her new Figaro II up in Dun Laoghaire after a 48–hour sail from Cowes on the Isle of Wight. In what is a…
Racing on board Dare to Lead earlier today
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - The Clipper Race teams have been continuing their upwind slog as they tack up the Queensland coast, and positive thinking finally looks set to pay off as the latest weather forecast predicts a front will shortly pass over…
Alex Gough catches a line from his fellow Scallywag crew after they raced to his recovery earlier today
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag retain the lead in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race despite a dramatic man overboard scenario on Sunday (14 January). Crew member Alex Gough was washed overboard by a wave during a sail change,…
Current Leg 4 leaders Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag await the trade winds
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was gearing up to jump on the highway to Hong Kong on Friday (12 January) after returning to the Northern Hemisphere for the first time since mid-November. All seven teams have now crossed…
French winners at the SB20 Worlds
SB20
Time please Ladies and gentlemen. It’s a wrap. Get out. Never quite the latter, no matter how hard we tried, but the 2018 SB20 World Championship of Hobart in Tasmania are now confined to the annals of history writes Ted…
Sunset seen from the deck of GREAT Britain off the east coast of Australia
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - On Day 7 of Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race, the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint has turned into a marathon. Wind holes have halted the progress of the Clipper Race fleet as it battles against the strong East…
Simon Speirs was given a sea burial after the tragedy in the Southern Ocean last November
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has issued a Safety Bulletin on the “use of safety harness tethers on sailing yachts” following the tragic fatality of GREAT Britain crew member Simon Speirs on Leg 3 of the…
Laser sharp – Ewan McMahon from Howth Yacht Club competing in last year's Youth Pathway event at Ballyholme Yacht Club
Youth Sailing
After last year's successful Belfast Lough inaugural staging of the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway National Championships, the regatta stays on the east coast in 2018 with the Irish Sailing announcement today that the event will take place from 5th–8th of…
The start will be given in Barcelona on the 12th January 2019, at 13:00 (GMT+1).
Solo Sailing
With 365 days to go until the start of the fourth edition of the Barcelona World Race (12th January 2019), Barcelona’s round the world event has issued the official document containing details of the key rules of the regatta. This…
The bell of the liner S.S. Laurentic of the White Star Line, which sank in Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal over a century ago will be on display in an exhibition held in the Guildhall, Derry starting today and running to 24 January.
Historic Boats
#HistoricBoats - The bell of S.S. Laurentic, one of the most significant artefacts in local maritime history, will make its return to the Derry this week, following purchase at auction by Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Bell, which…

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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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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