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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove
With Ireland's Olympic place secured in fleet racing, Robert Dickson (HYC) and Sean Waddilove (SSC) showed a clean pair of heels to the 10-boat fleet and propelled themselves back onto the podium with a medal race win at the 49er…
Tokyo bound: Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove
Preliminary results from the 49er Olympic Qualifying event in Lanzarote this morning indicate that the Howth and Skerries pairing of Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have done enough to secure not only Ireland's Olympic slot in the 49er skiff, but…
Sean Waddilove (left) and Robert Dickson a stand out performance in Lanzarote has landed them Olympic berths in the 49er skiff
Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove's mission for Tokyo 2021 was accomplished yesterday when they took the last Olympic berth in the men's skiff class but the way it was achieved has been revelatory not only to the 49er fleet itself but…
File image of a ship docked at Dublin Port
The Department of Transport has confirmed limited exemptions for maritime crews from mandatory hotel quarantine for those entering the State from high-risk countries, which comes into effect from tomorrow, Friday 26 March. As detailed in Marine Notice No 16 of…
RYANI Gives Statement on Easing of Restrictions in Northern Ireland From 1 April
The RYANI has broadly welcomed the news of easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland from 1 April, as announced last week by First Minister Arlene Foster. The sailing and boating body saidL: “This is very welcome news and follows…
Ireland's Robert Dickson (HYC) and Sean Waddilove (SSC)
The penultimate day of racing at the 49er Olympic Qualification regatta in Lanzarote proved to be a very nervy one for the Irish teams seeking to secure Tokyo Olympic qualification. What appeared to be a comfortable lead was quickly eroded…
IRC Two-Handed is expected to be the largest class racing in the RORC Spring Series
The ‘stay at home’ rule in the UK will end on the 29th March allowing the Royal Ocean Racing Club to organise a Spring Series of racing in April and early May. With some government restrictions still in place, three…
The
The good ship Ilen, the 56ft Trading Ketch of Limerick, has been in the slipway cradle at Liam Hegarty's boatyard in Oldcourt upriver of Baltimore in West Cork this week, enjoying the relatively dry weather and the attention of her…
Tom Dolan was pleased with the first race’s opening seventh place but he was nearly as happy to have kept his head on the second race and recovered after a bad start
The annual Solo Maître CoQ, the traditional curtain-raiser for the Figaro season, has never gone very well for the Irish racer Tom Dolan but the skipper of Smurfit Kappa has this time made a strong start to the early season…
Deb Fish racing Sun Fast 3600 Bellino Two-Handed with Rob Craigie in the Rolex Fastnet Race
This Friday’s RORC interview guest is with Deb Fish - one of the most successful Two-Handed sailors racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club. Like most of the thousands of RORC members, Deb is an amateur sailor who enjoys the…
The J/24 World Championship scheduled for September 26-October 1, 2021 has been cancelled
The International J/24 Class Association (IJCA) and the Parkstone Yacht Club in Poole in Dorset have announced that the 2021 J/24 World Championship scheduled for September 26-October 1, 2021 has been cancelled. It follows a previous decision to postpone the…
2020 Blue Water Medal Winner Randall Reeves
The Cruising Club of America couldn't hand out its 2020 awards in person, so the club made it a special event and gathered a pantheon of great sailors on Zoom. In early March in a normal year, Cruising Club of…
Dubliner's Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove have a 38 point cushion for Olympic selection entering the final stages of the Lanzarote International Regatta
Ireland's Robert Dickson (HYC) and Sean Waddilove (SSC) mixed good with bad in today's three races, a disqualification for premature starting following 3rd and 1st place finishes.  However, the chasing fleet didn't improve enough to displace the Irish from their…
The 100-year-old River Class was looking forward to celebrating its centenary last year, but the Pandemic scuppered that
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, James Nixon's Strangford Lough Yacht Club's River Class history was published in December last and has proved so popular that a re-print of another 100 copies has been ordered. Already 50 of these have been…
Les Sables d'Olonne Press Conference to launch the 2022 Golden Globe Race and feature the Vendee Globe and Mini Transat all starting from Les Sables.
The 1968 Golden Globe was the first-ever around the world yacht race. Since then, legends like the only finisher and winner Sir Robin Knox Johnston, and Bernard Moitessier have inspired many sailors and created new Around the world races. Philippe…
The failure of the UK government to negotiate a fair deal with the EU means that UK citizens can now only visit Schengen countries for 90 days in every 180
A survey carried out amongst Cruising Association (CA) members who keep their boats on the rivers and canals of Schengen countries has revealed that 80% are likely to sell their boats and give up cruising altogether, or move their base…

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

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Featured Clubs

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Howth Yacht Club
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Royal Saint George Yacht Club

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Featured Events 2021

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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