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A Tall Ship for Ireland? - Poll
Should Ireland be represented at the Tall Ships Races at Waterford 2011 and Dublin 2012? We want your vote on our Facebook Poll HERE. Looking for further reading on Tall Ships in Ireland? Click the links below: Click this link…
O'Leary and Burrows Pipped by Single Point for Bacardi Honours
In spite of leading the regatta going in to the final race Cork/Dublin sailors Peter O'Leary and David Burrows were pipped by a single point for overall honours in the Bacardi Cup in Miami yesterday. France's Guillaume Florent and Pascal…
Tall Order for Ireland
Sailing in Ireland could yet have a tall ship to replace the Asgard II and the Lord Rank. A meeting in Dublin in late March represents a major step forward in the process to put an Irish tall ship back…
O'Leary and Burrows Stay Fourth at Bacardi
Another consistent top ten placing in race four of the Bacardi Cup preserves fourth overall for the sole Irish Star keelboat pair competing in Miami today. Although today's eighth place result is being discarded it is another excellent result for…
Youth Worlds Places Up for Grabs on Dublin Bay (Podcast)
April's Mitsubishi Youth National championships is not only going to be a big test for up to 350 competitors seeking a place on the Irish team at the 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds in Croatia, it's also being treated as a…
O'Leary and Burrows Lie Fourth at Bacardi Cup
Peter O'Leary and David Burrows lie fourth overall at the halfway stage of the Star class Bacardi Cup in Miami today having posted a 7, 2 and 5 in the 93-boat fleet. Promisingly for the Cork-Dublin duo their top results…
2011 Irish Coast Sailing Directions Published
The Irish Cruising Club's acclaimed Sailing Directions, in two volumes, offer comprehensive coverage of the entire coast of Ireland, and their price has recently been reduced by £10.00 to £27.50 each (€32.50).These are the only cruising guides for the Irish…
Dun Laoghaire's Royal St. George Yacht Club has announced that its inaugural Junior Spring Open, sponsored by Craftinsure, will be held on the 19th & 20th of March 2011. This event promises to be a great kick start to the…
Unique footage of 1926 Dun Laoghaire Regatta Uncovered
Here's a unique glimpse of a post World War One Dun Laoghaire Regatta in rare newsreel recently archived by British Pathe (below). The shots taken on August 2nd 1926 show a mixture of long shots of yachts sailing across Dublin…
Eleven Races in Busy Irish Sea Offshore Schedule
Chairman of ISORA Peter Ryan sets out the 2011 programme for ISORA that kicks off on April 7th with an introductory evening on April 7th. Spring has come and the days are getting longer. It is now time to be…
Sailing Body Elects First Female President
In one of her last official functions as Minister for Sport, outgoing local TD Mary Hanafin attended the Irish Sailing Association's annual Ball last Saturday in the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire. Attended by 315 people the black tie…
Cruise from Kinvara to Tahiti Wins Sailor of the Month Award
Fergus and Kay Quinlan of County Clare are the Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailors of the Month" for February to mark their fine voyage from their home port, Kinvara on Galway Bay, to Tahiti in the Pacific. Recognised by the senior offshore…
Three Boats arrive in Punta del Este within 80 minutes
THE third ocean sprint of the VELUX 5 OCEANS came to the most incredibly thrilling climax today with Polish ocean racer Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski beating British rival Chris Stanmore-Major to second place by just 40 seconds. It is the closest ever…
Solo Sailing Conference Offers Charter of Performance Yachts
Irish solo sailing fans may be interested in the annual Solo Racing Festival at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble on Saturday 12th March. Given the Figaro race is coming to Dun Laoghaire in August a talk on the Artemis…
Tall Ship Interests Plan Replacement for Asgard II
Ireland could yet have a Tall ship to replace the Asgard II and the Lord Rank, if a new sailing group formed to press for a replacement is successful. The news is in this morning's Irish Times newspaper. Groups representating…
Two Irish Boats for Transatlantic Race 2011
Two big names in Irish offshore racing are among the 30-boat fleet preparing for the Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR 2011) this June. Last night the organisers, the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm…

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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