Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

afloat sailing header

Latest Sailing Stories
Andrew Alego's J109 'Juggerknot' from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire will race as RNLI Baltimore with Olympian Peter O'Leary on board for the 2018 Beaufort Cup
After the success of the inaugural Beaufort Cup for Military and Emergency teams in 2016, this year's entries are approaching 20 boats already, including no less than eight J109's for the Cork Week event. There's an excellent line up of…
In the groove. The 1981-designed Granada 38 Cavatina - a true cruiser-racer - closing in on the finish at Wicklow in the 2006 Round Ireland Race, when she became overall winner for the second time. Under the ownership of Ian Hickey of Royal Cork YC, Cavatina is this year doing the Volvo Round Ireland Race yet again.
The Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018 - in just eight weeks time on June 30th from Wicklow - will be marking 20 stagings of this biennial classic. When first raced in 1980, it was with a fleet of very modest…
Cullaun Sailing Club Building Committee  from right to left  Mick Laffan, Olivia King Kilkishen Development, Stephen Walsh CLDC, Chris Davis founder member, Jim O Sullivan Rear Commodore, Margaret Hynes, Mike Hogan CLDC and Tommy Scott
Last weekend marked a historic event in the history of Cullaun Sailing Club as club Commodore Des McMahon along with forty other members turned the sod on their new clubhouse at an opening ceremony after their spring regatta. There was…
After the longest winter in memory, Spring comes slowly to Connemara, and a new boat is berthed at Letterfrack Pier. Photo: W M Nixon
The wind is at last from the west, the easterlies of the longest winter in memory have finally relented, and it’s time to be in the west of Ireland and Connemara, time to eavesdrop on two senior boat restorers as…
Sargassum on the rail on board Turn the Tide on Plastic, Tuesday 1 May
#VOR - The Volvo Ocean Race teams were enjoying full-speed trade wind sailing on Wednesday (2 May) as they knocked off the miles to the Leg 8 finish in Newport, Rhode Island. Stage leaders Team Brunel continue to set the…
View from on board Visit Seattle during the Le Mans start
#ClipperRace - There’s been an early win for the Clipper Race teams that opted to stay inshore after the Le Mans start to the 4,100-nautical-mile Race 10: The Garmin American Challenge from Seattle to Panama. After choosing to head south…
Royal St. George at the Millennium Bowl: Ben Cooke, Jennifer Andreasson, John O'Connor, Owen Laverty, Martin Byrne, Stephanie Bourke, Paul Maguire, Neil Hegarty, Clare Hogan, Peter Bowring, Charlie Bolger and Ailbe Millerick
This biennial tri-club team racing event championed by the late Harry Maguire for many years was run over the weekend in the Gareloch, Scotland and hosted by the Royal Northern and Clyde YC. The holders Royal St George YC travelled…
Attending ICOYC San Francisco 2018 were (L-R) Colin Morehead, Vice Admiral, Royal Cork YC,  Andy Anderson, President ICOYC & Gavin Deane, General Manager, Royal Cork YC
At the International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) World Forum 2018 in San Francisco, the Royal Cork Yacht Club was selected to host the ICOYC World Forum in September 2019. Vice Admiral, Colin Morehead, and Club General Manager, Gavin Deane,…
Top performers adjust their standing rigging (shrouds and forestay) for every five knots of wind
In his first article in the ICRA /  UK Sailmakers Series, Racing Consultant Mark Mansfield wrote about tuning a fractionally rigged mast. His second article featured changing gears in different wind conditions while racing. In this final article, the four time Olympic helmsman…
Featuring three double-handed dinghy classes, the event will provide the sailor with numerous short, fun, sprint races over a 24-hour period in Cork Harbour.
The first annual 'Royal Sprints Regatta' will be held in just two weeks on May 19th & 20th at the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Featuring three double-handed dinghy classes, the event will provide the sailor with numerous short, fun, sprint…
Sean Craig of the Royal St. George Yacht Club was the winner of both of Tuesday night's DBSC Laser races
IDRA 14: 1. Doody J.Fitzgerald/J.Byrne, 2. Dart P Long 3. Dunmoanin F Hamilton Laser R1: 1. S Craig, 2. R Wallace, 3. R O'Leary Laser R2: 1. S Craig, 2. R Wallace, 3. R O'Leary
Start day on Leg 6 from Hong Kong to Auckland, 7 February 2018
#Microplastic - The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme has found the highest levels of microplastic in the South China Sea during Leg 6 from Hong Kong to Auckland this past spring. Preliminary results show a whopping 360 particles of microplastic…
Tom Dolan is currently in 12th position with co-skipper Tanguy Bouroullec on their yacht Smurfit Kappa-Cerfrance
The National Yacht Club's Tom Dolan has gambled on a southerly route being the fasted as he attempts to climb up the leaderboard in the Transat AG2R La Mondiale. The 30-year-old from Kells, Meath, is currently in 12th position with co-skipper…
The Rolex Middle Sea Race course record has been broken on five occasions since the inaugural edition in 1968. The current record of 47 hours 55 minutes was established in 2007 by George David and his, then, 90-foot Rambler
The 39th Middle Sea Race starts on the 20th October 2018. With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of this remarkable offshore race, the Royal Malta Yacht Club (RMYC) is anticipating its highest entry yet. Some 30…
Matthias Eigenmann from Dare To Lead on Day 1 of the Garmin American Challenge
#ClipperRace - Race 10: The Garmin American Challenge from Seattle to Panama is officially underway after the Clipper Race fleet had a successful Le Mans start off the northwest coast of the USA yesterday, Monday 30 April.  A split emerged…
Justin Lucas of Royal Cork and Tralee Bay Sailing Clubs
A stellar international performance in the Magic Marine Easter Regatta in The Netherlands, and an overall victory in the Irish Sailing Youth Pathway Nationals in Dublin Bay in the Optimist, makes Justin Lucas of Tralee Bay SC and Royal Cork…

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

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

DBSC
Howth Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

corkweek sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton
roundireland sidebutton
wave regatta

Featured Chandleries

chmarine sidebutton
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