Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Jalapeño from the National Yacht Club helmed by Paul Barrington was the RIYC Charity Race winner
There were 20 entries in a light southwesterly breeze for the Royal Irish Yacht Club's Annual Charity Race on Sunday, 30th December 2018 Race officers Henry Leonard and Paul McCarthy laid a triangle/sausage/ triangle course which was completed in an hours…
Lasers racing at Howth
A single race was deemed plenty for sailors to shake off the cobwebs at Howth Yacht Club. The Lasers got off to a great start for the 2019 season with a mild 10-12kt Westerly. The breeze shifted right, bang on…
Niall Coleman's Flying Fifteen 'Flyer' from the National Yacht Club is one of 228 entries already received for next July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay
With over six months to the first gun of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, 228 entries had been received by the close of the Super Early Bird Entry deadline of 31st December 2018. The biennial regatta Chairman Don O'Dowd told Afloat.ie "compared to…
Darryl Hughes – restorer and skipper of the classic ketch Maybird
Darryl Hughes is so completely identified with his classic 43ft 1937 Tyrrell-built ketch Maybird (whose superb restoration he project-managed himself) that, as Maybird shares her home port between Crosshaven in Cork and Poolbeg in Dublin, both places can claim this…
Fintan Cairns – his determination to get out in Dublin Bay on November mornings and set attractive courses provided inspirational sailing leadership
Fintan Cairns of Dun Laoghaire is disarmingly modest about his many achievements in cruiser-racing organisation, based as they are on his extensive experience as an active sailor, his own innovations, and his readiness to acknowledge when he has taken an…
Donal O’Sullivan – his extensive contribution to Dublin Bay SC includes compiling the Club’s history for its Centenary in 1984
Donal O’Sullivan’s retirement after 27 years as Honorary Secretary of Dublin Bay Sailing Club provides the opportunity for honours from all sides for someone whose contribution to the continuing vitality of one of the world’s largest yacht racing organisations is…
Class of 18 – A special year of Irish sailing achievements will be celebrated at the RDS in February. To read each sailors achievement click on their names in the poll on the right hand side  of the screen
Who gets your vote as Afloat Sailor of the Year 2018? The past year, in the view of Winkie Nixon, has produced some 'extra-special sailors', and over the past 12 months we have picked out 26 individual sailors and pairings who have excelled in…
The yacht GRACE O'MALLEY, (Zoe Taylor) a Cookson 12 design, competing in this year's Sydney Hobart Race
In offshore yacht racing the margins are fine, permutations seemingly infinite and influence of unpredictable factors like the weather significant. Concentration, resilience and a deft ability to react to unforeseen change and adversity are a prerequisite for any successful crew.…
Pat Kelly’s Storm won the inaugural Celtic Cup at the Welsh Nationals this past summer
Save the dates 9 to 11 August 2019 in your calendar for the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championships, which promises a long weekend packed full of great racing and fun ashore Once again the Welsh Nationals have been selected as…
Wild Oats X1 approaching the finish in the heart of Hobart harbour to take line honours in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race 2018. Thanks to her speed, though the actual wind is from aft of the beam, she seems to be on a close reach
Hobart in Tasmania is a characterful port with a certain style to it, picturesquely located in handsome scenery on the estuary of the River Derwent writes W M Nixon. It’s home to a goodly fleet of sailcraft and motorboats of…
Oisin McClelland (bottom row, third from left) pictured with Finn sailors around the world who are too heavy for the new offshore keelboat class
Minutes of the meeting that decided the inclusion of an Olympic keelboat event in place of the Finn class have been confirmed by the World Sailing council, according to Sail World. Controversy has arisen after last month’s decision at World…
Gregor McGuckin's abandoned yacht Hanley Energy Endurance photographed by Golden Globe Race skipper Mark Sinclair as he sailed passed the yacht a month after McGuckin was rolled and dismasted in the South Indian Ocean. Her Position on 27 Dec is Lat/Lon: 32° 31.53 S, 091° 49.54 E - less than 1200 miles west of Fremantle, Western Australia. As an incentive to potential salvors, there is a barrel of Irish Whiskey onboard!
Golden Globe Race retiree Gregor McGuckin is not the only person keen to recover his boat still drifting in the South Indian Ocean some three months after his evacuation. As David O'Brien reports in today's Irish Times Sailing Column, there…
Wild Oats XI, the line honours winner in the Sydney Hobart Race
Val Oatley described Wild Oats XI’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours victory perfectly alongside the dock in Hobart this morning: “Three years of misery to this moment,” and you could not wipe the smile from her face or…
Maybird on the finish line at Wicklow in July, the first gaff-rigged boat to complete the Round Ireland Race since its inception in 1980
Darryl Hughes’ renowned 43ft ketch Maybird, built by Tyrrell of Arklow in 1937 and superbly restored in substantial works project-managed by the owner himself in 2009-2011, has had – at 81 years old - probably her best year ever for…
Jim Cooney's Comanche at the start of the Sydney Hobart
In the closest contest in the history of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the four remaining super maxis in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race were separated by just five nautical miles this morning - Comanche…
Sailing in the Optimist Worlds at Limassol earlier this year
#Optimist - The International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) is seeking expressions of interest from coaches interested in coaching the Irish Optimist teams at international events in 2019. The IODAI is recruiting suitable qualified and well organised sailing coaches…

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]

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2018?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating