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Latest Sailing Stories
Tricky First Laser Dinghy Day for the Howth Frostbites
The first two races of the Howth Yacht Club Frostbites were held in beautifully mild but tricky conditions, with a 6-10 knot Southerly clocking right all morning. The key discussion point in the dinghy pen before racing was ‘hat or…
Despite his Figaro ambitions, David Kenefick would be more interested in the Moth than an offshore event at the Olympics
As reported earlier today, World Sailing’s AGM confirmed the inclusion of a new Mixed Two-Person Keelboat event to replace the previously agreed Mixed One-Person Dinghy at the Paris Olympics in 2024. The International Finn Association has released a statement on…
48th DMYC Frostbite Series Gets Underway in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
The 48th hosting of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbite Series got underway yesterday, Sunday 4th November with an entry of 93 boats confirmed during the morning of the first Sunday. This represents a huge increase from last year…
A mixed foiling keelboat, of a type still to be confirmed, has been added to the Olympic Sailing Competition for Paris 2024. Above a French made Beneteau Figaro 3 foiler that may yet fit the bill for the 2024 regatta
A Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore Event will feature at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition, providing a new dynamic to the Olympic movement, following ratification at World Sailing's Annual General Meeting. After a week of meetings, the AGM brought…
Young Finn sailors, including two from Ireland, have had their campaign ambitions for 2024 cruelly shattered
The International Finn Association (IFA) is extremely disappointed to see the decision taken today at the World Sailing AGM in Sarasota, USA, to exclude any event options for the Finn in favour of adopting the Mixed Two-Person Keelboat. Most of…
Paul Meilhat on SMA leads a group of IMOCAs shortly after the start
The 11th edition and 40th-anniversary staging of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race got underway in spectacular style today off the Brittany port of Saint Malo, as a record entry of 123 skippers set sail for Guadeloupe. Conditions…
Anthony O’Leary sailing the modified 1720 Antix Beag was the winner of the Spinnaker one class. Scroll down for more photos from today's race
Coracle helmed by Mel Collins got off to a good start and led across Cork Harbour followed closely by Anthony O’Leary sailing the modified 1720 Antix Beag in the first races of the O’Leary Insurance Group’s sponsored Winter League at Royal…
A Cruiser–Racer start at June's Wave Regatta at Howth Yacht Club
An engaged group of 30 sailors or more gathered at Lough Derg Yacht Club on Saturday for ICRA's annual conference and agm that included a line up of talks as well as the presentation of the ICRA Boat of the…
Tom Dolan - moving into a new boat next season
There were highs, lows, thrills and spills – but Tom Dolan has emerged from his first season in the ultra-competitive Beneteau Figaro class with his head held high as third overall rookie. Despite only taking charge of his racing boat…
Dave Cullen (right) on his way to victory in the Royal Irish Yacht Club Regatta on Dublin Bay in the 2018 ICRA Boat of the Year, the 1985 Humphrey's Checkmate XV
Howth Yacht Club's all-conquering vintage Half Tonner Checkmate XV was the winner of the ICRA Boat of the Year Award at the association's agm held at Lough Derg Yacht Club yesterday. The cruiser-racer award completes a stellar season for the North Dublin…
Open Letter to Delegates at the World Sailing AGM - a Plea from the Finn Class
The Finn class has been part of the Olympics since 1952. It is an undeniable and integral part of the history and culture of the Games and has created more stars of the sailing world than any other class. It…
54 Laser dinghies across three divisions will contest Sunday's DMYC Frostbites Series
54 Lasers across three divisions, out of 86 overall entries to date has prompted a rethink of starts for tomorrow's first race of the DMYC Frostbite Series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. An amendment to the Sailing Instructions has been made and…
Howth's fishing fleet along with other stakeholders will find out what plans are in store in the new year for dredging in the harbour
Monday 12 November is the final date for receipt of tenders for engineering services for the long-awaited dredging of Howth Harbour. Howth Yacht Club Commodore Joe McPeake has confirmed the date after contact with the Department of Transport, Tourism and…
Royal Irish Welcomes ‘Hero’ Canadian Ambassador As International Guest Speaker
The Royal Irish Yacht Club looks forward to welcoming Kevin Vickers, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, as its international guest speaker at a dinner next Friday 9 November. Ambassador Vickers has served as Ambassador of Canada to Ireland since January…
A 1720 gybes during last year's DBSC Turkey Shoot Series
With two days to go to the DBSC Turkey Shoot on Dublin Bay, organisers have issued Sailing Instructions (and an amendment) for the seven race series.  Download the Sailing Instructions below Start sequences for Sunday's first race in the Citroen sponsored…
Colin Byrne's XP33 'Bon Exemple'
Writing in the Irish Times Sailing Column this morning, David O'Brien predicts that Colin Byrne's XP33 'Bon Exemple' will be the winner of the top performing cruiser-racer in the country's biggest racing fleet this season. Dublin Bay Sailing Club has…

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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