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Latest Sailing Stories
In a quick report from aboard BAM, Anthony Doyle said the HYC crew were enjoying a leisurely reach past Simpson Bay in St. Martin, all is good aboard, plenty of breeze perhaps too much at times, spirits are good and trying to keep the pressure on for the rest of the race.  Now for the beat up past Aguila and then the long fetch down to Guadeloupe
RORC
There are sailors from the National YC in Dun Laoghaire, and sailors from Howth, and they’re on the other side of the Atlantic to race against boats from many nations on a 600-mile course writes W M Nixon And yet…
Catching up to Brunel puts a smile on Skipper Dee Caffari’s face on board Turn the Tide on Plastic earlier today
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is facing another 48 hours of excruciating sailing as the teams plugged deeper into a massive expanse of windless ocean on Tuesday (20 February). Lying ahead of them is a 400-mile gulf that…
Cruising To Europe? Be Sure To Have An International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft
Cruising
#Cruising - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) wishes to draw attention to the fact that some European Union member states require the operators of pleasure craft operating within their territorial waters to hold an International Certificate for…
A well set–up Beneteau 31.7 racing on Dublin Bay. There are good gains to be made in adjusting the rig regularly – read how how to set up the mast and sails for best performance upwind in different wind conditions below
UK Sailmakers Ireland
Mark Mansfield, Racing Consultant for UK Sailmakers Ireland, previously wrote about tuning a fractionally rigged mast. In this latest article, in association with ICRA, the four time Olympian describes how to set up the mast and sails for best performance upwind in…
The Maxi 72 Proteus – with Gordon Maguire aboard, she was leading IRC Corrected in the RORC Caribbean 600 when she had to retire with damage after nine hours of racing
RORC
Ex-Pat Irish sailing superstar Gordon Maguire may have long since taken out Australian citizenship and built his hugely successful professional career mainly in Australia writes W M Nixon. But when his former clubmates from the strong Howth contingent met up…
Last year's Dun Laoghaire Regatta had up to 20 entries including nine from the home waters and ten visitors from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, the Isle of Man and local boats from Arklow and Waterford. A similar number are expected for this year's Class & Irish Championships at the Royal St.George Yacht Club in June
Sigma
The Sigma 33 class is 39–years–old this year and this June the Royal St. George Yacht Club will host the Class and Irish Championship, the first occasion the Dun Laoghaire Club has held these combined events. Download the notice of…
Greg Slyngstad's Bieker 53, Fujin (USA) at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600
RORC
Greg Slyngstad's American Bieker 53 multihull Fujin has capsized during the RORC Caribbean 600. All eight crew are safe. Stephen Cucchiaro's Gunboat 60 Flow stood by until Dutch/ French authorities organised a rescue vessel. Preparations are now underway to transfer…
The 12 foot class meets on 6th April 2018 in the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire
Historic Boats
There will be a dinner and reunion of the international 12 foot class on 6th April 2018 in the Royal St. George Yacht Club at 20.00hrs. The class is interested in making contact with any owners of these old but…
The new “Sailor of the Year” is leading in Class 3 and 21st overall while reaching fast in a northwesterly direction. Scroll down for tracker
RORC
Conor Fogerty’s Sunfast 3600 Bam! is currently showing best of the Irish still racing in the RORC Caribbbean 600 after this afternoon’s start off Antigua writes W M Nixon. The new “Sailor of the Year” is leading in Class 3…
The Finn is one  of the Olympic sailing classes to be reviewed for Paris 2024. Of the ten events and 350 athletes destined for Paris 2024, half are now known
Olympic
Reports today from the International 49er class say World Sailing will put up for review the events represented by the 470 M/W, Finn, and RSX M/W. By choosing not to review the other 5 events; Laser/Radial, 49er/49erFX, and Nacra 17,…
Black trimming the runner into the squall on board Dongfeng on Saturday 17 February
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - It will have been a massively stressful 24 hours from Sunday 18 to Monday 19 February for the leading pair on Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Auckland, New Zealand. As Team AkzoNobel and Sun Hung…
The power……and maybe the glory, too. George David’s Rambler 88 has what it takes to dominate today’s RORC Caribbean 600, which is expecting to experience tough conditions.
RORC
“It could be the most rugged RORC Caribbean 600 in the race’s ten year history”. That is one of the predictions being made in advance of this afternoon’s start off Antigua at 11am local time writes W M Nixon. And…
‘So Far so Good’ by Paddy Barry deserves to take its place on the book shelf beside the ‘Navigatio’ of St Brendan and ‘Across Three Oceans’ by Conor O’Brien says Round–the–world sailor Pete Hogan
Book Review
Following WM Nixon's review of the launch of Paddy Barry's book So Far So Good, An Adventurous Life last September, artist and Round–the–World Sailor Pete Hogan recommends the memoir of the Irish sailor who has followed St Brendan’s wake both actually and…
Ireland’s solo star Enda O Coineen has successfully rounded Cape Horn through the weekend
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s solo star Enda O Coineen has successfully rounded Cape Horn through the weekend in his combined-resources Open 60 Team Ireland/Soufle du Nord writes W M Nixon. In doing so he has transformed his sailing conditions from a severe 49-knots…
Alex and Daria Blackwell – their contribution to Saturday’s Cruising Conference was outstanding.
Cruising
The day-long Irish Sailing/Cruising Association of Ireland Annual Cruising Conference, organised with energetic enthusiasm by Irish Sailing’s Gail MacAllister, deservedly attracted a full house on Saturday to the Clayton Hotel in Leopardstown in South Dublin writes W M Nixon. A…
The 420 Munster Championships gold fleet winners on the podium in Schull: 1st Gemma McDowell and Emma Gallagher, Malahide Yacht Club  2nd Grace O’Beirne and Kathy Kelly, Royal St. George Yacht Club  3rd Michael O’Suilleabhain and Michael Carroll, Kinsale Yacht Club
420
For many of the 420 sailors travelling to Schull in West Cork at the start of the school half term the week ahead surely had an ominous look as they passed through heavy snow showers on the M8 at Cashel.…

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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