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Latest Sailing Stories
Summertime at Arklow. The vintage Arklow-built Round Ireland racer Maybird takes the local Sea Scouts for a sail as part of the celebration of her achievement in becoming the oldest and first gaff-rigged boat to complete the Round Ireland race
The many strands of Arklow’s maritime life, and its seafaring and boat-building traditions, have been getting together this week to celebrate the achievement of Darryl Hughes’ veteran ketch Maybird writes W M Nixon. Last week, the 1937-vintage Arklow-built Maybird became…
Mark Lees is the new J/70  UK national champion
Boats equipped with the d10 digital tactical instrument from Irish start-up Racegeek finished first and tenth at the UK J/70 National Championships at the weekend. The winning team fitted the d10 to their new boat the day before the National…
Mixed cruiser racing in Cork Harbour
The Cork Harbour Combined Clubs July Sailing League will conclude tomorrow night (Friday). First Gun will be at 7 pm and the start area for the race will be in the vicinity of No.9 buoy off Whitegate. Monkstown Bay Sailing…
Cork Week's Class Winner Eleuthera. The Grand Soleil 44 also made a clean sweep of the Dublin Regattas this season
Early 2018 season success in ISORA racing revealed the potency of the new Greystones Harbour Cruiser, Eleuthera. In its former life, this Grand Soleil 44 had a strong pedigree and skipper Frank Whelan and his young 11–man crew set about…
A full repaint using Jotun Yachting products has helped breathe new life into the classic yacht Lively Lady
Fifty years after her first single-handed global circumnavigation, the 36ft cutter Lively Lady is once again back in the water in an as new condition having recently undergone a long and extensive refit at Hayling Yacht Company by volunteers from…
Qingdao keeps a close eye on the competition off Ireland’s West Coast
#ClipperRace - The 13th and final stage of the 2017-18 Clipper Race remains anyone’s, with the fleet still tightly packed as the upwind beat down the western Irish coast continues. And with now less than 36 hours left until the…
Schull's new North Harbour pontoon has been completed ahead of schedule
Calves Week Regatta in West Cork gets a boost when it begins in two weeks time with the completion of the new North Harbour pontoon in Schull this week. The new pontoon that comes complete with a purpose-built walkway was…
Laser racing on Dublin Bay
Cruiser 3 ECHO: 1. Maranda, 2=. Saki, 2=. Cacciatore Combined Cruisers ECHO: 1. Elandra, 2. Jalapeno, 3. Pastiche Sportsboat: 1. Finding Saoirse, 2. NYC2 Ruffian: 1. Alias, 2. Carmen, 3. Diane II B211 One Design: 1. Beeswing, 2. Yikes, 3.…
Double Ree regatta was made up with 8 29ers, 16 420s, 15 RS Fevas and 18 Mirrors
Lough Ree Yacht Club (LRYC) have created an event that brings all competitive youth double-handers to one location for a weekend of fun and racing. Now, after the inaugural success of 'Double Ree' last weekend, the only question for the…
Ireland’s best boy and girl Fiachra McDonnell and Clementine van Steenberge with coach Dara O’Shea after the French Nationals in Bordeaux
#Oppy - Fiachra McDonnell of the National Yacht Club and the IDT France team won the Optimist French Nationals after a fantastic week of sailing against some of the best sailors in Europe. Fellow NYC and IDT Team France sailor…
Ewan McMahon (left) winner of the Laser Standard Rig division at the Leinster Championships at Howth Yacht Club from Vice Commodore Ian Byrne
Light and challenging conditions greeted the 95 entries for the Leinster Laser Championships at Howth Yacht Club over the weekend. Local Howth sailor Ewan McMahon took the honours in the Standard fleet, Peter Fagan (RStGYC) won the Radials and Alana…
Nell Staunton of the National Yacht Club
Nell Staunton's consistent performance in the Laser Radial at the Youth Sailing Worlds was rewarded at the weekend with an eighth place overall in Texas, USA. The Corpus Chisti result marks Ireland's highest finish in the girls' discipline, a top class result for…
Claus Landmark drove his Wicklow designed Landmark 43 'Santa' to a runaway victory
A County Wicklow yacht design has won the inaugural Offshore Sailing Worlds at the Hague last weekend. The Landmark 43, from the drawing board of Kilbride–based Mark Mills, produced a stunning win in Class B at the Dutch event.  Claus Landmark drove…
Nikki Henderson and Wendy Tuck are in the running to be the first female winner of a round-the-world yacht race
#ClipperRace - Since leaving Liverpool almost a year ago, the 11 teams in the 2017-18 Clipper Race have battled each other in 12 races, experiencing everything from frustrating wind holes to “phenomenal” sea states, boat speeds up to 35 knots,…
420 Girl Crews in Top Form at Lough Ree Yacht Club Connaught Champs
420 girl crews claimed the top three places at the Connaught Regional Championships that took place this weekend as part of the Double Ree initiative at Lough Ree Yacht Club. Race Officer David Dickson did a magnificent job in running…
43 boats and over 70 youth sailors enjoyed four races at last year’s Junior Regatta in Bray
#YouthSailing - Bray Sailing Club has announced details of its 2018 Junior Regatta, taking place this coming Friday 27 July. Last year’s regatta was Bray’s largest open event, and this year the club hopes to welcome even more visitors from…

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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