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Latest Sailing Stories
Finn Lynch: "I had 3 good starts but put my boat in the wrong place on the upwinds"
Irish Tokyo Olympic trialist Finn Lynch admits that after a tough day in gold fleet racing, Miami's World Cup medal race may now be out of reach for the Irish Laser sailor. We had three races today and I scored…
73-year-old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede became the oldest man ever to complete and win a solo non-stop round-the-world race
I enjoyed watching world sailing history being made this week as 73-year-old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede became the oldest man ever to complete and win a solo non-stop round-the-world race. After 212 days alone at sea he won the Golden…
Finn Lynch is sailing fast in the light and shifty conditions in Miami
After two days of shifty qualifying rounds and dealing with a neck injury, the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch is through to gold fleet racing in the Laser class at the Miami World Sailing Cup as he describes here Day two…
Liam Shanahan's Ruth at the start of the 2017 D2D on Dublin Bay
The 2019 Volvo Dun Laoghaire to Dingle “D2D” Race starts from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday, June 12th 2019. The 300–mile race along the Irish coastline is a great mini-offshore challenge for cruisers and racing boats…
Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring will host Sail Training Ireland for its annual prize-giving and season launch at The Mansion House this Saturday
Sail Training Ireland will hold its seventh annual prize-giving and season launch event this Saturday 2 February at the Mansion House in Dublin, courtesy of Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring. The event will see awards being presented to trainees…
Finn Lynch competing in the first rounds of the Miami World Sailing Cup
There was a solid start for both Irish Lasers competing in the first two races of the World Sailing Cup in Miami yesterday. Finn Lynch is sitting in 16th overall and teammate (and rival for the single Tokyo berth) Liam…
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede crossed the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne to win the 2018 Golden Globe Race
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wrote his name into the record books by not only winning the 2018 Golden Globe solo non-stop round the world race today, but becoming the oldest in history to complete such a race. The 73-year old…
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The RCYC U25 team sporting North Sails T-Shirts
North Sails Ireland enjoyed a great day out last Friday with the Royal Cork Yacht Club Under 25 Academy. We were looking at some new 1720 3Di Nordac upwind sails and the North 1720 T-6 Class spinnaker writes Nigel Young.…
Safely home and a clear winner - Jean–Luc van den Heede in the all-conquering "Little Snail”, his well-tested Rustler 36 Matmut
Jean-Luc van den Heede safely berthed his Rustler 36 Matmut in the Vendee Marina in Les Sables-d’Olonne shortly after 1100 hrs today to confirm him in first place in convincing style in the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race writes W M…
Finn Lynch is looking forward to the Miami World Cup despite recovering from a neck injury
Tokyo Olympic Laser trialist Finn Lynch goes into the second round of the Sailing World Cup nursing a neck injury sustained in training earlier this month but the National Yacht Club ace says he is ready to race on Biscayne Bay…
Dutch sailor Mark Slats faces time penalty for actions taken by his Team Manager in contravention of Race Rules
Second-placed Golden Globe Race skipper Mark Slats tonight is facing a time penalty for a breach of satellite communication rules, and direct outside assistance from his Dutch team manager Dick Koopmans writes Barry Pickthall. Slats is facing a dilemma: To…
Jean-Luc van den Heede: the veteran skipper has kept his cool - and his lead. He is expected to finish the 30,000 mile Golden Jubilee Race non-stop round the world tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at Les Sables-d’Olonne
France’s stellar senior sailor Jean-Luc van den Heede (73) is such an experienced long-distance racer that the last thing he’d welcome is a premature celebration of his expected victory in the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race tomorrow morning writes W…
Last year's Sailor of the Year winner Conor Fogerty (second from right) is presented with his trophy at the ceremony by Irish Sailing President Jack Roy, (left) Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Patricia Green of Volvo (right)
Tickets are still available for the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards in a little over a week's time. Join Irish Sailing for an evening of fun and celebration at this year’s Volvo Irish Sailing Awards with categories for the young talent…
Finn Lynch will be hoping to better his 2018 performance in Miami this week
The National Yacht Club's Laser sailor Finn Lynch is the only Irish Olympic trialist for Tokyo 2020 competing in tomorrow's 2019 World Cup Series Miami, held out of Coconut Grove from 29 to 3 February. The first big event of 2019…
The leeward mark saw gusts of thirty-five knots hitting the Lasers
Saturday, January 26th saw tough conditions on Monkstown Bay for day three of the Monkstown Laser Frostbite League sponsored by CH Marine. The third day of the Monkstown Laser league was a story worth telling. The skies appeared at daybreak…
Next weekend's Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Spring Chicken Series kick starts the 2019 sailing season on Dublin Bay
With next weekend's Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Spring Chicken Series ready to kick start the 2019 sailing season on Dublin Bay, there has been a shout out for any last minute entries. The series follows a pre-Christmas record turnout in…

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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