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Latest Sailing Stories
The GP14 class  is providing grants for junior boats travelling to the world championships in Cornwall this July
GP14
Five of the seven Irish GP14 fixtures this season will be on the east coast ranging from Donaghdee and Newtownards in the North to the inland venue of Blessington in County Wicklow.  The season starts on April 14th with the…
While the bulk of the SB20 fleet are due back on the water in April, the INSS's Kenny Rumball has been racing his SB20 (above) all winter at both the DBSC Turkey Shoot and Spring Chicken Series
SB20
SB20 Irish sailors will be back on the waterfront next month when the Royal Irish Yacht Club hosts the class dinner. Not only will new year exploits in Tasmania be a hot topic of conversation but there will also be…
The Carlisle Pier (delineated by red line) are in temporary use. The circa 1.1 hectare historic waterfront site is available for imaginative proposals subject to planning
Dublin Bay
Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company is considering how best to proceed with the regeneration of the Carlisle Pier, a major leisure and cultural site that is located between the National Yacht Club and Royal St. George Yacht Club. The pier is…
The last island boat builder on Lower Lough Erne was Douglas Tiernan of Owl Island who built his last boats there in the 1960s prior to his death
Historic Boats
In the 1800s and into the 1930s, double ended Clinker built boats, yawls, were seen and used on Lower Lough Erne. These historic boats were about 17 or 18 feet in length and about 5 feet wide and were propelled…
Despite going to sea, the DBSC Spring Chicken Series was one of three sailing fixtures cancelled yesterday due to strong winds
Racing
Strong and bitterly cold north-westerly winds scotched racing in Dublin Bay and Kinsale yesterday. Winds gusting to 30–knots in snow showers. it was more than enough to put paid to the second race of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series, the…
Peter and Robert O'Leary sailing their new Star boat Dafnie were clear winners of the American Mid Winters in Miami
Star
Cork Harbour brothers Peter and Robert O'Leary have stunned the international Star Keelboat fleet by winning the 'Walker Cup' as part of the Star American mid-winters championships in Miami in their new boat 'Dafnie', beating the famous America's Cup helmsman…
Francesca Clapcich at the helm of Turn the Tide on Plastic
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - Conditions are fast, wet and wild for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Sunday(11 February) as they charge to the southeast, finally heading in a direction where miles sailed translate into miles towards the finish in New Zealand,…
Santa Serenity Coast’s crew caught in a squall
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - Relief is the overriding emotion among the Clipper Race fleet on Day 12 of Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race as the trade winds which continue to boost progress at the front have now also kicked in…
(From left) Regatta organiser Charles Dwyer (and fouth overall) with Darragh O'Sullivan with the Yard of Ale trophy. Chris Bateman second overall and first Junior and Ronan Kenneally first Master and third Overall at the Monkstown Bay Laser League prizegiving
Laser
A westerly wind of ten knots brought Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Laser League to a conclusion on Saturday writes Bob Bateman. Kinsale's Darragh O'Sullivan, who did not contest the final races of the series, was very much in evidence at the…
Day 4 of Leg 6 on board Turn the Tide on Plastic, as Liz Wardley and Bianca Cook rig up some new sheets
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - Saturday 10 February sees the Volvo Ocean Race fleet continuing the perverse scenario of sailing away from the finish line in New Zealand. While the fleet is split in two, reflecting differing tactical choices, all six boats have…
Conor Fogerty receiving the Volvo Irish Sailor of the Year Award for 2017 at the RDS tonight
News Update
#SailorOfTheYear - Conor Fogerty has been named Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year for 2017 for his astonishing performance in the Single-Handed East-West Transatlantic Race last summer during what was a particularly strong year for Irish offshore sailing. June’s Offshore…
The Laser class has a new sponsor for its Munster Championships in Baltimore
Laser
Craftinsure Ltd will be supporting the 2018 Laser Munster Championships taking place over the Easter Weekend at Baltimore, Co. Cork. The Laser partnership builds upon close links already well established with IODAI and the Optimist Class in Ireland by the…
Role reversal. A year ago, when Olympic Medallist Annalise Murphy became Volvo Sailor of the Year 2016, monthly award winner Conor Fogerty got together with her for a quick snap. Now, she is on the high seas, racing the Hong Kong to New Zealand leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. And Conor Fogerty is now Volvo Sailor of the Year 2017
W M Nixon
As he commented at last night’s annual Volvo Sailing Awards ceremony, our Sailing on Saturday columnist reckons that anyone who thinks they really understand every aspect of the Irish sailing and boating scene obviously isn’t a part of it. It’s…
Heavy weather sailing at the DBSC Turkey Shoot last December on Dublin Bay. Graham Curran of UK Sailmakers Ireland shares some sailmaking 'nuggets' below
UK Sailmakers Ireland
In every industry there are 'nuggets' of information which can completely change how you look at things. Sailmaking is no different. Sometimes these nuggets are so obvious that you kick yourself for not noticing them before but often they only…
The Afloat.ie Sailor of the Year Award will be presented tonight at the RDS
Sailor of the Month
Tonight at the RDS in Dublin, over 400 people will gather for the Afloat.ie Volvo Irish Sailing Awards to celebrate some maginificent achievements from 2017. As previewed this morning in the Irish Times, offshore sailing achievements look set to be a…
Howth Yacht Club Commodore Joe McPeake (left) with Derek McCauley of Carroll McCauley Campervans making plans for the accommodation village that will be on site for the duration of the Wave Regatta 2018 over the June Bank-Holiday weekend
Howth YC
With just under four months to go before the inaugural Wave Regatta at Howth Yacht Club, organisers have announced details of the facilities available to visiting sailors and their friends over the June Bank-Holiday weekend. For the most dedicated crews…

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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