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Latest Sailing Stories
Luke Turvey (left) in action in Torrevieja last weekend
Optimist
#Optimist - Howth YC/National YC sailor Luke Turvey secured third place in the Under 13s fleet in Spain’s Torrevieja Trophy last weekend (26-28 January). Turvey, who travelled as part of Irish Sailing’s 16-strong Optimist squad, topped the Irish contingent by…
Former Olympic 49er pair Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern sailing with Providence Team IRL ahead of Rio 2016
ISA
#IrishSailing - Irish Sailing has received the second-highest allocation from Sport Ireland for High Performance Programmes in 2018. On Thursday 1 February, Sport Minister Brendan Griffin announced this year’s around of investment for 2018, which sees Ireland’s national governing body…
The Monkstown Laser League fleet jostle for position at the start of one of yesterday's three races in Cork Harbour
Laser
Another three race wins at the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser League in Cork Harbour on Saturday means Kinsale Yacht Club's Darragh O'Sullivan has it all sewn up before the final race and he'll claim the traditional 'Yard of Ale' first…
The Hanse 351 Hanse Off is one of 36-boats for tomorrow's first race of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series
DBSC
Keelboats ranging in size from 20–foot keelboats such as Flying Fifteens right up to 35–foot J109s are back on the water tomorrow (Sunday, 4th February) on Dublin Bay for the DBSC Rathfarnham Ford Spring Chicken Series, a forerunner to the…
Clipper Race Teams Get Tactical In Fast Doldrums Corridor
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - And they’re off! Much to the delight of the majority of Clipper Race skippers and their crews, the fourth day of Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race to Sanya, China has brought about some long-awaited breeze which…
Wire-to-wire racing in Guangzhou
Volvo Ocean Race
#VOR - There is a new leader in the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series, after MAPFRE won the Dongfeng In-Port Race in Guangzhou, China today (Saturday 3 February). The win puts the Spanish race leader alone at the top…
Pata Negra, a Marc Lombard-designed IRC 46. This interesting boat has been chartered by Howth’s Michael Wright for the RORC Caribbean 600 in two weeks’ time
W M Nixon
The annual RORC Caribbean 600 in late February is now a pillar event of the international offshore racing programme, despite the fact that it was only first sailed – and on a rather experimental basis at that – as recently…
The new Cork Week 2018 gear
Cork Week
Following the recent announcement of the Volvo Cork Week ‘Super Early Bird’ competition winners who won back their full entry fee for the regatta, event organisers have announced a new enticing deal for those who sign up before March 31st.…
At 31, Gregor McGuckian he will be one of the youngest participants in the Race and will be one of only 200 people who have sailed solo around Cape Horn.
Solo Sailing
Gregor McGuckin (31) is attempting the gruelling feat of becoming the first Irish man to sail non-stop single handed around the world using no modern technology in the upcoming Golden Globe Race. In 150 days, Gregor will set sail from…
Gary MacMahon of Limerick: for twenty years, his developing vision for the future of the Irish 1926-built 56ft trading ketch Ilen has evolved into a successful and expanding programme for maritime education of all kinds.
Sailor of the Month
In the depths of this winter, traditional boat enthusiasts worldwide were thinking of Oldcourt in West Cork, where the traditional ketch Ilen, having completed her basic restoration, had to be moved in difficult and cramped conditions out of her building…
 The largest J109 fleet is in Dun Laoghaire with 13 boats
J109
Last October there were 15 boats at the Irish J109 National Championships, a very impressive turnout for a 35–foot Cruiser Racer. What's more 109s have won ISORA overall in the last three seasons and filled the first four places last…
The modern appearance of Lady Min’s hull makes it all the more remarkable that she was designed and built in Schull in 1902
Historic Boats
When the 30–ft gaff–cutter Lady Min was newly-launched in Schull in 1902, she was something of a sensation writes W M Nixon. Designed by local sailing enthusiast Maurice O’Keeffe and built to his requirements by local shipwrights under his own…
Working hard to catch what little breeze available on board Visit Seattle
Clipper Race
#ClipperRace - A testing first 24 hours of Race 7: The Forever Tropical Paradise Race has seen the Clipper Race fleet make slow progress at the mercy of a light wind lottery. With soaring temperatures to contend with and only…
 Scroll down for 'The Mercy' - Official Trailer (2017) starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz
Maritime TV
The trailer for the much awaited film, The Mercy, which stars Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz as Donald and Clare Crowhurst, have been unveiled. The movie opens nationwide on 9 February. The film recounts the story of Crowhurst disastrous attempt to…
The legendary Dave FitzGerald (foreground) celebrates his 90th birthday with old Galway friends and shipmates (left to right) Tom Foote, Peter Fernie and Pierce Purcell
Cruising
His many friends in international sailing and the global mining industry will be delighted to hear that the legendary Dave FitzGerald celebrated his 90th birthday at a very convivial gathering of family and close friends in the Royal St George…
Who will be Sailor of the Year for 2017? All will be revealed on February 9
ISA
Nearly one week to go before the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards, and the judges have been weighing up the nominations for the very last time. You still have time to register for tickets for the Awards, taking place in the RDS…

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]

Featured Sailing School

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Featured Clubs

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Featured Events

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Featured Chandleries

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Featured Sailmakers

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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