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Latest Sailing Stories
Always the Bridesmaid……The J/122 Aurelia (Chris & Patannne Power Smith) is seldom out of the frame, and tomorrow’s Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle race will offer a useful opportunity to take the No 1 slot
There was an American Army General who pithily summed up the secret of success in old-fashioned wars as being a matter of victory going to “whoever gets the mostest there the fastest” writes W M Nixon This takes on a…
Niall Dowling's Per Elisa with pink spinnaker
The fifteenth edition of the revived Quarter Ton Cup got underway yesterday, and for the 19-strong fleet it was a tough opener. Light winds of around 8 knots whispered into the sails, creating a game of tactics for the sailors.…
Conor Fogerty and Susan Glenny in Dun Laoghaire ahead of tomorrow's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race
Former Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year, Conor Fogerty arrived onto the dock in Dun Laoghaire from Les Sables de Olinges with “Raw”, a fresh out of the box, foiling Beneteau Figaro 3, Ireland’s first IRC foiling Figaro keelboat. Afloat…
March, 2018. Who would believe this boat could ever sail again?
When photos circulated of the mangled remains of the 1907-built Howth 17 Rosemary in the wreckage of her storage shed on Howth’s East Pier after Storm Emma in March 2018, many unacquainted with the spirit of this 1897-founded class thought…
Elbe No 5 pictured in 2015 before its more recent renovation
A newly restored tall ship dating from the 19th century has been sunk after a collision with a container ship near Hamburg in Germany. The Guardian reports that six adults and two children were injured among the 43 passengers rescued…
Tom Dolan starts leg two
Delighted with the warmth of welcome in Kinsale and the interest shown in La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro and his project Tom Dolan, solo skipper of Smurfit Kappa, put to sea this afternoon on the 545 miles course to Roscoff.…
Anthony Gore-Grimes' Dux from Howth Yacht Club emerged overall winner of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) National Championships
The 2019 ICRA National Championships at Dun Laoghaire may have attracted a total of 93 boats from 24 clubs around Ireland but the spoils were shared between just two Dublin Clubs as five national titles went to Dun Laoghaire's Royal Irish Yacht…
Sean Craig was third overall at a Barcelona Masters warm up event
Royal St. George's Sean Craig has finished third at the BDO Barcelona Masters Laser Radial Regatta today, a warm-up event for the European Masters in Roses, Spain next weekend. The 60-boat event began with a windy and wavy first day, a…
The fleet departs Kinsale. Scroll down for photo gallery by Bob Bateman
The northern latitudes of the Isle of Man once again will remain unconquered by the solo sailors of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro, after the planned course for stage 2 of the 50th-anniversary edition was radically altered to avoid strong…
Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) is the ICRA Class Zero Champion after a three race coastal series at the Royal St. George Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht Club skipper Paul O'Higgins reclaimed the overall lead of the Class Zero (Coastal) division of the ICRA championships on Dublin Bay today to take the title away from the overnight leader Northern Ireland's Jay Colville in the…
The six man Dux crew are Class Three ICRA Champions
Howth Yacht Club X302 campaigner Dux has won the Divison Three title of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay. The Anthony Gore-Grimes skippered entry took the lead in the biggest class of the Royal St. George YC Championships after…
Mata, the new Howth Yacht Club Half Tonner campaign has won class two of the ICRA National Championships on Dublin Bay
The Wright Brothers from Howth completed a consistent series of seven races with six top three results to become Division Two National Champions in their first ICRA outing with their new Half Tonner in Dun Laoghaire. Half Tonners took the top five…
The nine-man Joker II crew on their way to a fourth consecutive ICRA Class One victory on Dublin Bay
The Royal Irish Yacht Club's John Maybury has made it four in a row at the ICRA National Championships this afternoon having sailed a superb seven-race series in which the J109 corinthian skipper and eight-man crew – that included 2004 Olympian Killian Collin…
DMYC entry Maranda competing in Division four of the ICRA National Championships
Among the four boats racing in Division 4 of the ICRA National Championships, Peter Richardson's Dubious of the host club, the Royal St. George Yacht Club, has taken the lead from Philip O'Dwyer's Supernova of the Royal Irish Yacht Club.…
On the water jury - International Judge Gordon Davies (left) who is also chairman of the Protest Commitee and National Umpire Ailbe Millerick
The ICRA National Championships protest committee has listed eight protests so far at the Dublin Bay event but four claims were withdrawn, according to the event website. Of the remaining protests at the Royal St. George Yacht Club, two were initiated by the Protest…
Windfall berthed in Dun Laoghaire Marina. The superyacht, that is longer than the Revenue Customs Cutter she is berthed alongside, competes in the Dun Laoghaire-Dingle race this Wednesday
The largest boat entered for Wednesday's Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race run by the National Yacht Club has arrived into the marina at Dun Laoghaire, dwarfing all others in the 43-boat fleet now assembling at the Dublin suburb. Skipper Mick Cotter is looking…

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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