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Latest Sailing Stories
James Dwyer Matthews of RCYC / KYC
The weather gods conspired against sailors on the final day of the 2019 Optimist Nationals At Howth YC. The senior fleet were sent out first this morning on their own in a strong breeze, to race and to test the…
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Cathaoirleach Shay Brennan presents the 'Spirit of Sailability' trophy to Mary Duffy for her 'determination and sportsmanship competing solo in very challenging conditions'
Today's second day of racing at the Sailability President’s Cup and Hansa National Championships was cancelled in anticipation of more than 20 knots of breeze forecast at the Royal St George Yacht Club on Dublin Bay this morning. As Afloat reported…
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (right) - their lowest result out of five races so far is a fourth, with two second places today to add to yesterday’s two wins
The Royal Irish Yacht Club's Saskia Tidey from Dun Laoghaire leads the 'Ready Steady Tokyo' regatta competing for Team GBR in Japan where Irish team results to date are mixed. A day of light wind saw a slightly disrupted race…
When the weather settled down, the RS 400 class had excellent racing in the RS Western Regatta at Galway Bay SC.
Ireland’s expanding RS Classes are in acceleration mode as they build towards the Irish & UK RS 400 Nats at Royal North of Ireland YC at Cultra on Belfast Lough from 25th to 29th August, and the all-classes RS Southerns…
HYC 2 skippered by Jenny O'Leary representing the Howth Yacht Club competing in the SportboatsJ80 at the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm 2019 regatta hosted by the National Yacht Club.
The first Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at the Helm finished in Dun Laoghaire today with 61 boats and well over 200 people taking part at the National Yacht Club. The “All Female Crew” prize was won by The Lady Caroline,…
The victory for “Rockabill VI” (above) tightens the top of the ISORA Overall Championship
Race 12 of the ISORA Offshore Series 2019 took place from Dun Laoghaire on the 16th August 2019. The race was a Night Race with a 20.00 hrs start. The race was part of the ISORA “Viking Marine” sponsored Irish…
James Dwyer Matthews leads the Irish Championships and is chasing the USA hard for the lead in the Open Championships at Howth
Saturday brought a change of fortune for sailors at the Optimist National Championships at Howth Yacht Club with champagne sailing conditions that overflowed a little for some. The seniors were the main action of the day. They got four races…
George Sisk's Wow from the Royal Irish Yacht Club was the IRC and ECHO winner of DBSC's Class Zero
Race 1 Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. D-Tox Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Wow, 2. D-Tox Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. White Mischief, 2. Gringo, 3. Bon Exemple Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. White Mischief, 2. Gringo, 3. Bon Exemple Cruiser 1…
Hansa dinghies racing in the first day of the President's Cup at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay
This weekend the Royal St George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour is hosting the President’s Cup and Hansa National Championships. Inaugurated by Paralympian John Twomey this Irish interprovincial regatta is the highlight of the Sailability calendar. Promoted by Sailability…
For the first time in sailing’s Olympic history, a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the programme at the Olympic Sailing Competition in 2024
As the Irish Olympic Sailing team embark on this week's Pre-Olympic regatta in Enoshima, Japan the fact that only one of four Irish campaigns have yet qualified will be occupying minds just a year out from Tokyo 2020. The prospect…
Optimist sailing off Howth on day two of the national championships
Day 2 was a difficult day at the Optimist National Championships at Howth Yacht Club for all concerned with the vagaries of the Irish sailing conditions making it very challenging for both sailors and organisers alike. Sailors were held ashore…
Skellig Michael, with the Little Skellig and the coast of Kerry beyond. The patch of white water in the foreground indicates the location of The Washerwoman Rock, and it has been demonstrated that it is possible to sail – indeed, to race – between it and the Skellig itself.
It is ironic that the internationally-recognised abbreviated sail number identification on Irish racing boats should be IRL writes W M Nixon. For in global tech-speak, IRL is the acronym of “In Real Life”. If the rather intriguing way of existence…
Flying Fifteen racing on Dublin Bay
SB20: 1. Venuesworld.com, 2. Carpe Diem, 3. So Blue Sportsboat: 1. Jitterburg, 2. Jheetah, 3. Zelus Dragon: 1. Zin Zan, 2. Phantom Flying 15: 1. Betty, 2. A Mere Triffle, 3. Snow White Ruffian: 1. Shannagh, 2. Bandit, 3. Alias…
Irish sailors and coaches line out for Tokyo 2020 test in Enoshima
Irish Olympic Sailing campaigners are now in Japan with two big events in Enoshima. With only one Irish boat qualified and a year to go to the Olympic regatta itself, the race is well and truly on to try and…
Howth Yacht Club Race Officer Harry Gallagher among the 185 Optimist competitors at the National Championships Opening Ceremony at HYC
Day one completed at the 2019 Optimist Nationals in Howth Yacht Club, with three good races in a real mix of conditions for the main fleets - senior and junior. The day started with 16-20 knots of breeze but this…
J24s at Howth Yacht Club
ICRA has announced further initiatives and support for under 25 development programmes throughout the country. These initiatives include further funding for Under 25 team entries to events, this time at the J24 Nationals plus the launch of development grants and…

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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