Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Concentrating hard on board Sanya Serenity Coast
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - For the sixth day in a row, Qingdao maintains its lead over the rest of its competitors at the front of the Clipper Race fleet, as the leading pack turns to the west for the final 700 nautical…
Justin Ferris in action on board Team AkzoNobel on Saturday 10 February
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - Team AkzoNobel and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag are the big winners over the past 24 hours as both have had a relatively fast transition through the doldrums. This has allowed them to gain about 100 miles on the chasing…
Irish Sailing President Jack Roy sailing a Squib with his daughter Jill on Lough Derg. Roy will host a Commodore's forum immediately after the association's March 10th agm at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
ISA
The Annual General Meeting of the Irish Sailing Association will be held at the National Yacht Club at 1100 hrs on 10th March 2017. The AGM will be immediately followed by a Commodores Forum chaired by Irish Sailing President Jack…
Maire Breathnach at the helm of the Swan 44 King of Hearts off Cape Horn in 2004 during the circuit of South America, when she was first awarded the Irish Cruising Club’s Faulkner Cup
W M Nixon
Irish cruising under sail and power is being celebrated and developed this weekend. Last night’s AGM of the Irish Cruising Club in the National YC in Dun Laoghaire saw this 1929-founded organisation moving its many activities forward on all fronts…
Enda O'Coineen on the deck of his IMOCA 60
Solo Sailing
In the coming 24 hours, Enda O’Coineen is on course to sail solo around the notorious Cape Horn as he endeavours to complete his solo sailing lap of the planet. Enda restarted his voyage in late January a little over…
National Yacht Club To Host Sailing Awards Dinner Next Weekend
National YC
#NYC - Eleven accolades for outstanding achievement by its members will be presented at the National Yacht Club’s annual Sailing Awards Dinner next Saturday 24 February. Among those to be recognised on the evening are Anne and Michael Madsen, who…
Paul O’Higgins's Rockabill VI is an early entry in the inaugural Wave Regatta
Howth YC
The Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race Winner, a top Dublin Bay J109 as well as a leading overseas entry hve sign up for Howth Yacht Club's June Bank Holiday Wave Regatta.  As entries for the inaugural event continue to build,…
Aoife Hopkins at the announcement of her partnership with Mercedes-Benz, with chief executive Stephen Byrne and commercial vehicles sales manager Fergus Conheady
Tokyo 2020
#Tokyo2020 - Mercedes-Benz has extended its involvement in sailing with its support of Howth Yacht Club’s Aoife Hopkins as she prepares her challenge to qualify for Ireland’s team at the forthcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The arrangement sees Mercedes-Benz…
 A spectacular start in Antigua is expected on Monday 19th February as the record-breaking fleet of 88 boats sets off on the 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600
RORC
The Afloat.ie sailor of the year Conor Fogerty is among Irish crews in a record entry of 88 yachts has entered the tenth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 which has grown both in stature and entries since the race…
Day 8 of Leg 6 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic, with Dee Caffari and Annalise Murphy on the sunrise watch
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - With the Volvo Ocean Race fleet racing south in trade wind conditions on Wednesday 14 February, Team AkzoNobel leads the charge towards the doldrums, still some 600 miles away. The fleet is becoming more aligned from north to…
Conor Fogerty’s Bam! flying her North Sails A5 kite
North Sails Ireland
#NorthSails - New Volvo Irish Sailor of the Year Conor Fogerty has hailed North Sails Ireland’s role in his offshore success. Following his award win last Friday, the Howth Yacht Club stalwart said: “North Sails have been a part of…
The fleet positions as of noon Irish time/UTC on Wednesday 14 February
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - The two Chinese teams in the 2017-18 Clipper Race continue to lead the race to their home country on Day 15 of Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race to Sanya. Shifting winds have meant that many in…
One of the most attractive boats to be built in Ireland in the past decade, the 25ft Shannon Estuary cutter Sally O’Keeffe will be the focal point of a pub gathering in Carrigaholt on the Loop Head peninsula on the night of Friday 23rd February.
Shannon Estuary
Though it may not look it on a map which emphasises the extensive low water limits, at high water the Loop Head Peninsula in southwest County Clare is almost an island writes W M Nixon. Only a couple of small…
A RIB attempts a rescue of an Optimist Team Dinghy in Dun Laoghaire Harbour during Storm Brian last year. A person on the pier holds a lifebuoy. Two capsized Optimists are just visible in the top right of the picture. An independent report into the incident is published today
ISA
#Optimist - An independent report into an incident involving Irish Sailing’s junior Optimist squad last year, during which almost half the dinghy fleet sustained significant damage, has criticised the organisation’s coaching systems. Scroll down the page to download the full…
Extraordinary General Meeting of ICRA Called
ICRA
An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association has been called for Wednesday, March 21. It will be held in the Maldron Hotel in Portlaoise at 7.30 p.m. and a new Executive Committee will be voted into…
 The modern International Star fleet continues to give superb racing
Star
Usually when a boat fills a very special niche in the world sailing scene, the standard response is that if it didn’t exist, then somebody would just have to invent it writes W M Nixon. But in the case of…

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
Howth Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

corkweek sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton
roundireland sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

chmarine sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating