Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
First overall - Pat and David Kelly's Storm
National YC
Three wins from five races in conditions ranging from heavy to light winds kept the Irish J109 Trophy in Howth Yacht Club hands as Pat and David Kelly's Storm succesfully defended its title at the National Yacht Club today. A…
Dublin University Sailing Club hosted the first of the four League events with the goal to grow team racing in the Leinster region
Team Racing
The first round of the Dublin Team Racing League was sailed in blustery conditions yesterday in the relative shelter of Dun Laoghaire Harbour's Carlisle Pier where up to 76 short, sharp races were scheduled. Dublin University Sailing Club hosted the…
Clarisse Cremer
Solo Sailing
Clarisse Cremer, continually rising star of French women’s offshore sailing and a formidable performer in the Mini-Transat fleet’s Transgascogne Race at the end of July, is currently the leader in the 1350-mile Stage 1 of the Mini-Transat from La Rochelle…
Aoife Hopkins
Laser
Day five of the Senior European Laser Championships in Barcelona started with the usual postponement as the sailors waited for the thermal breeze to build. It was another tricky day with light winds, big shifts and a large sea swell.…
A 29er junior skiff dinghy flies past the Royal St. George Yacht Club during try–out sessions in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
RStGYC
Youth sailors were on the water for a breezy set of 29er skiff 'try–out sessions' in Dun Laoghaire Harbour today. The initiative, by the Royal St. George Yacht Club (RStGYC), is to help 'keep sailors in the sport at a…
Pat and David Kelly's Storm from Howth Yacht Club has started a successful defence of it's J109 title at Dun Laoghaire
National YC
Defending champion Pat Kelly's Storm from Howth Yacht Club is three points clear at the top of the J109 leaderboard after the first three breezy races at the National Yacht Club.  In a testing opening day on Dublin Bay, winds…
Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins leads the fleet around the Weather mark in race two of the Laser European Championships in Barcelona
Laser
19–year–old Aoife Hopkins from Howth Yacht Club started the her first day in gold fleet at the Laser European Championships in Barcelona with a mid-fleet result in race one followed by a 31st (discarded) in race two. Hopkins currently lies 20th…
Mullingar SC Fleet Captain Michael Collender and Hon. Treasurer Brian Walker are into GP 14 racing on Lough Owel
W M Nixon
It has had at least two different event descriptions since it was first sailed all of seventy years ago. Back then, Irish sailing was finding its feet in the late 1940s, becoming re-energised in the exciting developmental world of modern…
Tom Dolan – his resilience, skill and determination in pulling himself up from 56th to 11th in the current Stage 1 of the Mini Transat 2017 has become one of the highlights of the race.
Solo Sailing
The leaders of the Mini-Transat 2017 are now at the latitude of Lisbon, but well offshore in trying to keep in a line of the fading north to northeast wind writes W M Nixon. The pace in this first 1350-mile…
PSP Logistics is returning to port for emergency rudder repairs
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - PSP Logistics is returning to Punta del Este today (Thursday 5 October) after a collision with a whale in the first 24 hours of the Clipper Race’s second leg caused damage to the starboard rudder. All crew on…
Aoife Hopkins in 11th leads Irish hopes at the Laser Euros
Laser
Dublin sailors Aoife Hopkins and Finn Lynch currently lead Irish hopes at the Laser European Championships in Barcelona after a delayed start this week.  Racing started yesterday with two races completed. Yesterday was cloudy and the sailors launched in a…
Richard Honeyford Is New COO Of RYA Northern Ireland
Youth Sailing
#RYANI - Richard Honeyford has been appointed as the new full-time chief operating officer of the RYA Northern Ireland. Previously performance manager for the RYANI for the last 11 years, Honeyford “has played an integral role in the organisation” during…
Tom Dolan busy putting boats astern – since Sunday, he has moved from 56th to 14th overall.
Solo Sailing
A large area of lighter winds and calms currently developing around the Canary Islands may hamper the closing speeds of the Mini Transat fleet as they near the finish of their 1350-mile race from La Rochelle through this weekend and…
Galway Bay Confirmed As Hosts Of 2018 ICRA Nationals
ICRA
#ICRA - The Irish Cruiser Racing Association has reaffirmed its decision to allocate the 2018 ICRA National Championships to the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) and Galway Bay Sailing Club. The event from 16-18 August 2018 will be…
Although only twenty years old, Erwan Le Draoulec has emerged as one of the key pace-setters in the Mini Transat 2017 campaigns
Solo Sailing
Ireland’s solo sailor Tom Dolan and the other contenders in the leading group in the Mini Transat have finally been able to start exiting the Bay of Biscay at better speeds this morning as new east to nor’east winds have…
Mark Turner
Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner has spoken out about last month's decision to leave the race just weeks before it starts in Alicante. Turner also talks in the video below about how the proposed 2019-20 Volvo Ocean Race in…

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
nyc sidebutton flag

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

chmarine sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating