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Optimists in action at the 2015 Crosbie Cup in Dunmore East
#Optimist - Waterford Harbour Sailing Club will host the IODAI Optimist Munster Championships 2019 in Dunmore East on the weekend of 20-21 July. Regatta, Junior and Senior fleets will race in the event which is open to all boats of…
Paul Heys (pictured centre with sheet)
On behalf of the team at Key Yachting, we would like to say a huge thank you, for the astounding number of cards and messages we have received since we told you the news of Paul's passing writes Emma Dunn.…
Laser racing off Howth in the annual Round the Island Race
Due to heavy winds, the annual Howth Yacht Club ‘Round the Island’ Laser Race was postponed last weekend until this Saturday, 16th March writes Dave Quinn. Entry is still open, with the first gun scheduled for 10:55. We plan on having a…
An early Laser start photo from Howth’s West Pier
While most sailors pack up their boats in October and look forward to a cosy and relaxed winter, there are a few hardy sailors who actually look forward to the Winter months writes Dave Quinn. The Laser dinghy was unveiled…
 "The more help we can get, the better," says Rob Cotterill, campaigning the J/109 Mojo Risin' again at the RORC Easter Challenge
You can pay for new sails. You can pay for keel fairing and a good bottom job. You can pay a specialist to try and optimise your IRC rating. Any of the above will help you to get around the…
The new chart showing the 2019 DBSC Mark locations including the optional positions for Harbour and Zebra marks close to the new anchorage for cruise liners off Dun Laoghaire's Harbour Mouth
A Dublin Bay risk assessment carried out by Dublin Port Company has led to the removal of some of Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) yacht racing marks and the upgrading of others. Some courses in next month's busy DBSC summer…
Close racing in the RC 35 class
The exciting RC35 class is entering its third year of racing with another close season on the cards. Many of the members are taking advantage of unseasonal weather and getting an early start on boat prep hoping to shave off…
ICRA Event Chairman Ian Simington (left) with Ronan Adams, David Bolger, Brendan Foley, Derek Ryan and Gina Luizzi
With four days to go on discounted early entries to the ICRA National Championships, a strong fleet representing fifteen clubs and all four provinces have already entered the June Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club on Dublin Bay.…
Tom Dolan and Damian Foxall will race the new Figaro Beneteau 3
Tom Dolan will form an all-Irish partnership with the vastly experienced Damian Foxall for the first race for the new Figaro Beneteau 3, the Sardinha Cup which starts on March 27th. After last year’s promising first season in the Figaro…
A scene from last year's inaugural symposium
After the success of the inaugural Club Symposium last year Irish Sailing is planning a bigger and better conference focusing on how we connect with our members and create a tribal culture as we adapt to changing times. The symposium…
UCD winners - The team consisted of helms Jack Higgins, Patrick Cahill, Daniel Raymond and crews Alanna Lyttle, Lucy McCutcheon and Katie Cassidy
UCD Sailing Club has won Irish University Sailing Association (IUSA) team racing Inter-Varsities 2019. They beat Trinity Sailing in a nail-biting semi-final and moved to face UCC in the final. After two extremely competitive races, UCD came out on top,…
Northabout returns from her Arctic circumnavigation to her home port of Clew Bay in Mayo with a welcome from the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick
Eight Irishmen and their 47-foot boat Northabout left Westport in June 2001 to sail the Northwest Passage north of Canada and Alaska. Nobody had ever sailed this in an East/West direction which is against the prevailing tides and winds. The…
Captains shake hands after the final race in Carraroe on Sunday 3 March
For the second year in a row, Comhghairdeas Coláiste Éidne (St Enda’s College) Galway won the Connacht Schools Team Racing Championship on Sunday 3 March in Carraroe, hosted by Cumann Bádóireachta agus Seoltóireachta. Six teams from in and around Connacht…
The 81-year-old gaff ketch Maybird on the finish line of the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018
The talk by Darryl Hughes of his veteran gaff ketch Maybird’s much-celebrated participation in the Volvo Round Ireland Race 2018, to be hosted by the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club on Tuesday 12th March,…
Nicholas and Robert O'Lewry competing in the Star keelboat class
Anthony O'Leary and his Cork Harbour crew of David Hassett and Niall Rafferty in Antix have finished seventh overall at the Bacardi Cup Invitational Regatta in Miami at the weekend in the 19-boat Viper 640 class. His sons Nicholas and Robert, sailing…
INSS Spring Chicken winners from left to right: Kylie McMillan, Kenneth Rumball, Stephen Oram, Conor Kinsella, Lucy Dowling and Alexander Rumball.
With winds gusting to 40–knots from the northwest on Dublin Bay this morning, there was little prospect of a final race in the six-race DBSC Spring Chicken series, especially as a flooding tide created a rough sea state for the…

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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