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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
HYC Commodore Paddy Judge welcomes the Howth squad home from the ILCA6 Youth Worlds in Texas with (left to right) Luke Turvey, Eve McMahon (Gold) and Rocco Wright (Bronze in U17). A carnival-style welcome home celebration will be staged at Howth YC next Friday (August 12th), starting 4 pm
In some ways, Howth Yacht Club has it easy. It isn’t hampered by being the senior sailing centre in Ireland. That particular burden has been carried since 1720 by Cork. Nor is it sailing’s premier centre. Since the active first…
29er Worlds - 242 crews from 26 countries over three courses are vying for victory at this year's championships
Team Ireland has got off to a flying start at the 29er World Championships in Club Nautic, El Balis Spain with four Irish boats in the gold fleet after the three-day qualifying series. 242 crews from 26 countries over three…
Chris Johnston's Prospect was the winner of the Beneteau 31.7 Thursday night DBSC race on Dublin Bay
Chris Johnston's Prospect was the winner of Thursday night's nine-boat Beneteau 31.7 Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) AIB sponsored Summer series race on Dublin Bay. Winds were northwesterly and up to 15 knots on the Bay. The National Yacht Club skipper…
The RS Aero dinghy class will have a two day six-race event on Belfast Lough
Ballyholme Yacht Club will be the venue over the weekend of 19th till 21st August for an RS championship event which organiser Bob Espey hopes will attract around 60 competitors. The event will be held in the waters of Belfast…
Ritchie and Mike Evans sailing J/99 Snapshot from Howth Yacht Club are top of the Class One IRC leaderboard after two races sailed at Calves Week in West Cork
The notorious variable northerly wind in Schull Harbour, West Cork, created a problem for Calves Week OD Alan Crosbie, who cleverly devised a short cross harbour starting beat before sending the various fleets on an interesting inter-island three-hour course around…
Optimists on the start line for the Harbour Fleet at the RStGYC Cruickshank Junior Regatta on Wednesday 29 July
The Royal St George Yacht Club’s Cruickshank Junior Regatta on Wednesday 27 July was hailed by the Dun Laoghaire waterfront club as “a massive success”. A total of 142 youth sailors across 64 boats in the Main Fleet and 57…
2022 Leinsters - 1st place gold fleet for Adam McGrady and Alistair O'Sullivan of Galway Bay Sailing Club
Howth Yacht Club hosted the Irish 420 dinghy Leinster championships racing over the August bank holiday weekend. As Afloat reported previously, the Leinster Championships are the second regional event of the year for the class, with the Connaught Championships having…
All in a row at the 2022 National 18 British and Irish Nationals at the Royal Cork
After a two-year hiatus, the National 18 British and Irish National Championships were hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club from Sunday 24 to Friday 29 July, with the Irish fleet bolstered by 20 boats entered from England, Scotland and…
Laura Dillon collects her Cowes Week trophy
Lady's Day at Cowes Week may sound like a charmingly old-fashioned Victorian concept, but there was nothing old-fashioned about the way that top women sailors of the calibre of Laura Dillon of Howth contested the time-honoured event yesterday in the…
A great day's sailing for the first race of Calves Week 2022 for a race around the Fastnet Rock in West Cork. Scroll down for a photo gallery of racing action
After a miserable 48 hours of fog and rain, the weather gods finally cast a benevolent eye on Schull on Wednesday. Calves Week competitors were greeted with a clear blue sky and steady 15 knots of westerly wind. Race Officer Alan Crosbie started all seven fleets in the inner…
5o5 sailing in Cork Harbour at Monkstown Bay
Measurement and registration is underway at the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven today (Weds) and tomorrow (Thursday) for the 505 World Championships, in which racing gets underway on Monday. This is the fourth time the Championships will be held…
Tom Dolan, the Irish solo offshore sailor, will start the 400 miles Solo Guy Cotten race on Thursday with high hopes of repeating or bettering his fifth place result in this final ‘dress rehearsal’ race before La Solitaire du Figaro…
Red Bay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Red Bay RNLI has rescued three people this afternoon (Wednesday 3 August) after their inflatable dinghies were swept out to sea off Cushendall on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast. The volunteer crew were requested to launch both their all-weather and…
Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland rescued a teenager after he drifted more than half a mile out to sea on an inflatable unicorn on Tuesday afternoon (2 August). The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat promptly at 3.45pm and made…
Go to the islands for the sun – bright morning for the GBSC Lambs Week boats at Kilronan while the clouds hang out over nearby Ireland
It can sometimes take quite a bit of tough windward slugging to get to the islands out in the Atlantic off the Connacht coast. But those boats that do are usually well rewarded, as rain-bearing clouds from the west will…
Adam and Aly examining the Sheaffer Cup with Keelan Darby (middle left, Blessington) and Robert Jephson (middle right, Waterford)
The young sailors in the Irish 420 fleet continued their Summer itinerary last weekend with a visit to Howth Yacht Club, where the Leinster Regional Championships were hosted in warm sunshine.  Galway Bay Sailing Club was represented by Adam McGrady…

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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