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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…
Dublin Bay Sailing Club Announces 2019 Season Dates
Dublin Bay Sailing Club has announced its key dates for the 2019 sailing season, which kicks off right after Easter. Tuesday races will begin on 23 April with the last races taking place on 27 August. Thursday racing takes place…
Promoted
INSS Hosts Christmas Holiday Junior Powerboat Course Next Week
Young sailors can make the most of the Christmas holidays with the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School’s junior club powerboat course. The two-day course runs next week on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 December from 10am to 5pm each…
The barrel of Glendalough 7-year-old 777 single malt Irish whiskey onboard Gregor McGuckin's abandoned yacht in the Indian Ocean
Following Afloat.ie's update on Gregor McGuckin’s Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance this week, Golden Globe Race organisers now say two groups have expressed interest in salvaging the yacht currently drifting some 1,200 miles West of Fremantle. The main attraction it…
Waterways Ireland Issues Notice Of Ban On Green Diesel For Personal Pleasure Craft From January 2020
Waterways Ireland has issued a notice for masters and owners of vessels that the Department of Finance intends changing the law regarding the use of marked gas oil, or MGO, in private pleasure craft from 1 January 2020. The change…
 Black Soul 2 - Michel de Franssu's Code 1 3.02 Foiler will compete in IRC One
Early entries for the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 reveal a stunning fleet of famous professional teams taking part alongside passionate Corinthian crews. Famed for spectacular sailing conditions on an intricate and mesmerizing course, the 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean…
Hanley Energy Endurance - has a barrel of Irish whiskey onboard
Gregor McGuckin's abandoned yacht Hanley Energy Endurance photographed by Golden Globe Race skipper Mark Sinclair (above) cuts a lonely sight in the South Indian Ocean. Sinclair photographed the yacht as he sailed passed it a month after Gregor was rolled and…
Irish Shipping's general cargoship 'Irish Poplar' from the collection of the Irish Naval Service painted by Kenneth King.
#HistoricBoats - As the trumpeter sounded the Last Post reports the Evening Echo, it was an emotional time as those attendent and sang ‘Abide With Me’, while the names of five men who died in Cork Harbour just before Christmas…
In the UK, the future of the historic steam powered tug, Danny Adamson, is to be safeguarded thanks to a donation. The veteran vessel used the canal network with cargoes to and from the Port of Liverpool, featured in recent months on Channel 4's 'Great Canal Journeys' along with the impressive Anderton Boat lift which links the Trent & Mersey Canal and the River Weaver.
#HistoricShips - One of Liverpool’s most significant historic vessels will have a more secure future thanks to a donation from the the operator of the UK north-west port, the Peel Ports Group. The safeguarding of the steam-powered former tug Daniel…
UCD Sailing Alumni & Friends Event At National YC This February
The National Yacht Club will host UCD Sailing Club’s second Alumni and Friends Regatta on Saturday 2 February. The event will involve a team racing round robin in the NYC’s Firefly dinghies, followed by a three-course dinner in the clubhouse. All…
Mirror dinghy racing on Sligo Bay under Ben Bulben in 2016
The International Mirror Sailing Association Ireland (IMCAI) has announced that Sligo Yacht Club will host the Mirror World Championships in 2021. The Rosses Point club will welcome the world’s top Mirror dinghy talent from 16-22 August 2021, preceded by the…
Irish Sailing Cruising Conference Heads Inland To Lough Ree In 2019
Irish Sailing’s annual Cruising Conference is headed inland in 2019, with Lough Ree Yacht Club hosting the day-long event on Saturday 16 February. Speakers and presenters confirmed for the day include Paul Scannell and Mary Healy, who cruised round Ireland…
Laser racing at Howth
Archives are being checked as I write this, but it has certainly been the first Howth Laser Winter Series in recent memory where we didn’t even miss a single race. I suspect we may have to go back more than…
The J109 Ruth emerged top of the DBSC Turkey Shoot after the seven race series
The Shanahan family's J109 Ruth was the overall winner of the DBSC Turkey Shoot sponsored by Citroen South Dublin yesterday. All the ingredients for a spicy winter series finale were dished up on the capital’s water for the concluding race…
Monica Schaeffer (L) and Miriam McCarthy – 3rd Overall, Series 1, PY Fleet
With howling gales on Saturday, courtesy of Storm Deirdre, the weather forecast for today was a lot more benign with a base wind of 9 knots with gusts up to 15 knots from a WSW direction. Or at least that’s…

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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