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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Gary Mills at the helm of the Shipman 28, Tonga
At Cove Sailing Club, racing in the Friday evening GI Motors Cruiser League Gary Mills skippering the Shipman 28, Tonga, has shaken off the tie at the top with the Sadler 25, Netta J (Des Corbett) and so holds the…
Laser sailor David O’Connell
After five races and with one discard allowed, Laser sailor David O’Connell continues to hold a big lead in Class 1 of the Monkstown Bay SC July dinghy league in Cork Harbour on a total of four points. Second is…
Dragon Moonshine is one of three boats tied at the top of the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club Dragon league
The Dragon Derby was founded by Don Street in 1987 at Glandore Harbour Yacht Club in West Cork. Fourteen races were sailed over two days in this year’s event, the 35th Derby. Challenging light winds dictated the first day of…
Eric Cathcart cuts the ribbon as the Lough Erne Cots are launched at Enniskillen Castle
The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership focuses on the conservation and promotion of Lough Erne’s landscape character and unique heritage, and it recently celebrated, along with the Belleek Men’s Shed and West Island Cot Heritage Group, the launch of community-built traditional…
The DBSC Water Wag evening race start at Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday, July 20
Laura and William Prentice sailing Tortoise were the winners of Wednesday night's DBSC Water Wag race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The wind was 10 to 13 northwesterly on the Harbour course. Race Officer Harry Gallagher set three rounds (four beats) for the 26-boat fleet.…
The Royal Irish Yacht Club expanded its fleet earlier this year with the addition of eight new Teras into its fleet
The RS Tera fleet in Ireland continues to grow and build on the success of this little boat. The Royal Irish Yacht Club expanded its fleet earlier this year with the addition of eight new Teras into its fleet to…
The eye-of-the-needle in the Bull Rock off Kerry is so clean-cut that you’d wonder if some ancient people didn’t tunnel it through
The Bull Rock in the open Atlantic three miles northwest of Dursey Head in West Cork is one of many massive milestones on the Round Ireland Race. And it has the added distinction of having a tunnel clear through it,…
As well as winning Cork Week's IRC Two division, John Maybury (pictured with one of his trophies) and his Royal Irish J109 Joker II crew were crowned ICRA IRC 2 champions and ICRA's overall winner for 2022
Last week's Cork Week regatta incorporated the Irish Cruiser Racer National Championships for 2022 and produced a list of National Champions that reads like a who's who of the Irish cruiser-racer scene. As previously reported, in IRC 2, the immaculate scoreline of…
Northern Ireland Water sponsored the event with refillable water bottles and goodies for all competitors
26 competitors, including six from the host club of Lough Erne Yacht Club, competed in the Topper traveller 4 event on Sunday, 17th July. Four races were completed in glorious sunshine and a steady force 2-3 wind on the Lough.…
Malizia - Seaexplorer is lifted out for the first time in Lorient, France on Tuesday 19 July
Boris Herrmann’s offshore sailing team launched their new IMOCA race yacht as scheduled today, Tuesday 19 July in Lorient, Race some 18 months after design began. Designed by VPLP, Malizia - Seaexplorer was built at Multiplast in nearby Vannes over the…
A peaceful summer afternoon at Wineport Lodge on Lough Ree. It will be a different picture at lunchtime this Saturday when the Shannon One Designs - in the midst of their Lough Ree YC Shannon OD Centenary Regatta – descend on Wineport as the finish point in a passage race, and then apply themselves to enjoying its renowned hospitality.
When we remember that in the class’s early days, the hundred-year-old Shannon One Designs were accustomed to cramming much of their racing into the first half of August with the two traditional Regatta Weeks at Lough Ree and Lough Derg,…
The ultimate moving target - the current Clipper Fleet have got ahead of themselves (and everybody else) by crossing the Atlantic to Ireland quicker than expected
While the Robin Knox-Johnston-led Clipper Fleet Round the World Race organisation is a remarkably effective body, even its most experienced executives can only give a ball-park figure as to when the leading boats are going to complete a transoceanic leg.…
Pat Lawless in Crosshaven before departing for the Golden Globe solo round the world race
The mast is everything to Pat Lawless. So, before his yacht, Green Rebel, went back into the water this week on Valentia Island and he headed for Dingle in “a nice light breeze” on his final preparations to take part…
Dinghy racing at Greystones Sailing Club
Greystones Sailing Club has announced the return of the Taste of Greystones regatta on the weekend of 27-28 August. A big change to the event this year will be racing on both the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, in an…
Japan SailGP Team racing in San Francisco in the closing event of Season 2 this past March, where they finished second overall
SailGP organisers made the surprise announcement on Friday (15 July) that they were pausing the participation of Japan SailGP Team “indefinitely”. According to Sail-World, the move was prompted by a shortage of boats, with only nine vessels ready to sail…
David Gorman's Flying Fifteen (4099)
Thirteen Flying Fifteens enjoyed fabulous conditions on Saturday past on Dublin Bay. Race Officer Barry O’Neil set himself up well to the west of the harbour to avail of a wind that was blowing around the 130°mark. The day saw…

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 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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