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Morgan Lyttle and Patrick Whyte were 420 winners on Belfast Lough
For the first time in their domestic event season this year the 420s had some breeze to stretch their legs, it has taken until September for an event to provide moderate to strong breezes and the 2018 Ulster Championships duly…
A 1720 sportsboat competitor deals with the gusty conditions for the first races of RCYC's Autumn League. Scroll down for gallery
Two races in plenty of wind got Royal Cork Yacht Club's Autumn League off to a great start in Cork Harbour today writes Bob Bateman From a combined fleet of 53–boats, fleets were split into Spinnaker, White Sail and 1720 sports boats…
Defending champions Micheál O' Sullivan and Mikey Carroll lead a race at the 2018 All Ireland Junior sailing championships raced inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Royal Cork Yacht Club's Atlee Kohl has won the 2018 Junior Irish Sailing All Ireland Sailing Championships sailed in Firefly dinghies in Dun Laoghaire Harbour today. With only a single point between the top three boats, first and second place…
The Ilen crew onboard in Limerick
The restored Ilen has arrived in Limerick. She was sailed there over the weekend from West Cork, reports Tom MacSweeney. Conor O’Brien’s historic 1926-built tradition ketch, the last of Ireland’s wooden schooners, originally built in Baltimore, was restored in a…
A big gust hits Andy McCleery and Colin Dougan in the last race of the Flying Fifteen Nationals on Dublin Bay
The Deloitte sponsored Championship of Ireland for the Flying Fifteen class ended on Sunday with a sinew- stretching, gut busting race in the strongest wind of the weekend with thrills and spills on the top reach of the triangle! However,…
David Gorman (left) & Chris Doorly take the lead at the FF Nationals by a margin of eight points
Day 2 of the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland at the National Yacht Club saw Race Officer Jack Roy having to deal with westerly winds that were a lot stronger than the forecast for the day. With this being the…
Juggerknot was the J109 Cruiser 1 winner in today's final DBSC race of the 2018 summer season
Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. Hot Cookie, 3. Tsunami Cruiser 0 ECHO: 1. Hot Cookie, 2. Tsunami, 3. Wow Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Juggerknot, 2. White Mischief, 3. Jalapeno Cruiser 1 ECHO: 1. Prima Luce, 2. Gringo, 3. Jalapeno…
The Great Skellig as seen from the Limerick-bound ketch Ilen this (Saturday) afternoon
The restored Conor O’Brien ketch Ilen may have had her first sailing sea trials as recently as yesterday off Baltimore in West Cork, but the current spell of settled weather in the southern half of the country has been too…
‘No Compromise’ On Sustainability In Volvo Ocean Race Says Damian Foxall
#VOR - Kerry sailor and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Damian Foxall had a very different role in the most recent edition of the round-the-world yacht race. As sustainability manager for Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Foxall was responsible for guiding the…
Action from last year’s Flying Fifteen Frostbite Series
The National Yacht Club’s Frostbite Series for Flying Fifteens, sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors, kicks off next Saturday 6 October. The five-race series runs till Saturday 17 November, with breaks for the October Bank Holiday and Lough Derg Regatta on 13…
Flying Fifteens launch for the first races of the NYC-hosted national championships
33-boats registered fleet of Flying Fifteens enjoyed balmy conditions for September on the opening day of their Deloitte sponsored Championship of Ireland writes Cormac Bradley. Two windward-leeward courses were set by International Race Officer Jack Roy and the fleet enjoyed…
The classic view looking aloft – the restored working ketch Ilen sailed again today, the first time in nearly 20 years
The Conor O’Brien-designed 56ft ketch Ilen sailed for the first time in twenty years today off Baltimore writes W M Nixon. Originally built in 1926 at the picturesque West Cork port, and recently restored at nearby Oldcourt by Liam Hegarty’s…
Ready and willing – just 14 weeks ago, this was Gregor McGuckin at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire with Hanley Energy Endurance, about to depart for the Golden Globe Golden Jubilee Race in France
Gregor McGuckin is currently and very deservedly the best-known Irish sailor in the world writes W M Nixon. The sheer gallantry and utter rightness of his efforts to bring aid last weekend to injured fellow Golden Globe competitor Abilash Tomy…
Dublin Bay dinghies will have their final fling of 2018 tomorrow afternoon, Saturday 29 September
Dublin Bay Sailing Club has released further details about this weekend’s end-of-season race day at the Royal St George. Amendments to the sailing instructions will see the Blue Fleet (including Shipmans) start and finish at MacLir, displaying a blue pennant,…
Arthur returns to the Shannon on Friday 28 September for the first time since June
Richard Hayes’ Laser isn’t the only small boat to complete a circumnavigation of Ireland in recent days. This past Monday (24 September), the crew of Arthur — a 40-year-old inland motor cruiser based in Portumna on the River Shannon —…
Fastnet Race Organisers Respond To Rumours That Finish Could Move To France
#FastnetRace - Organisers of the Rolex Fastnet Race have moved to shoot down rumours that the offshore classic was planning a move from its “ancestral home” in Plymouth to France, as the Plymouth Herald reports. Earlier this month the Royal…

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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