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Latest Sailing Stories
A race start at the Flying Fifteen Championships staged by the Royal St George Yacht Club
The Irish Flying Fifteen fleet had their last provincial event, the South Coast Championships, last weekend before the Subaru sponsored World Championships are hosted by the National Yacht Club at the end of this month writes Cormac Bradley. This time…
Pelican of London on Dublin Bay
Today, 50 young people from all over Ireland head off on a ten-day voyage aboard three Tall Ships, the Pelican of London, Maybe and Brian Boru. The participants were offered the amazing opportunity to become trainees on a tall ship…
 Jackknife - thr current ISORA 2019 series leader
ISORA offshore racing tops the offshore agenda again now summer Regattas and Championships are more or less completed writes Stephen Tudor. ISORA has attracted 60 competitors (so far) in the 2019 series. Top ISORA performer Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) scored…
Ballyholme's first major Laser event since 2014 will be staged this month when the Belfast Lough Club hosts the Irish Laser Nationals
Last week Ballyholme’s Dan McGaughey won the youth title and second overall in the Laser Radial UK Nationals at Largs, Scotland. This followed Howth Yacht Club’s Eve McMahon who won the Under 17 Laser Radial Youth Worlds title the week…
Dr Michael Brogan, Cruinniu organiser, with  the plaque of late Cruinniu founder Tony Moylan designed by John Coll and erected at Kinvara pier.
The Galway man who is regarded as a leading light in the revival of interest in Irish turf trading craft has been immortalised in his home harbour writes Lorna Siggins Figurative sculptor John Coll has designed a plaque depicting the…
Pictured from the left at the launch of the inaugural Pathfinder Women at the Helm Regatta which takes place on 17th and 18th August at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin were Sara Davidson, Marketing Director at Pathfinder, Kate Fahy competitor, Susan Spain, National Yacht Club, Alannah Coakley competitor and Sarah Byrne, Irish Sailing board member and competitor
Women are being encouraged to get involved in sailing and develop skills that will help them in all walks of life at a unique regatta where all of the boats must have female captains. As Afloat previously reported here, hosted…
The winner of class 1 at the Welsh IRC Championships was “Spirit of Jacana” a Carrickfergus based boat
Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club in conjunction with the Royal Dee Yacht Club, was once again delighted to have the opportunity to host the Spinlock IRC Welsh National Championships, as part of our 2019 Celtic Regatta, and Welsh leg of…
'Dodo’s Delight' caught in the ice pack, Bylot Island in 2001
The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has established a Challenge Grant to encourage ambitious cruising expeditions for environmental conservation or challenging oceangoing adventures and is now accepting applications for the 2020 season! The OCC Challenge Grant programme consists of two categories,…
RTE's 'Back To The Rock' Adventure Story of Fastnet '79 Disaster
Last weekend's popular documentary series on RTE Radio One dealt with the 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race disaster. 21 people died, many boats were dismasted, abandoned or sunk as the race became a fight to stay alive.  RTE's Back To The Rock is…
The British team suffered a devastating crash, nose-diving heavily into the Solent and throwing CEO and wing trimmer Chris Draper somersaulting
With the first day of racing at Cowes SailGP called off due to gale force winds and rough sea states across the UK and in the Solent, all six teams competing in this inaugural season of SailGP knew that Super…
Howth 17s revelling in a good westerly breeze – the new 2019 ‘National’ Champion Deilginis is on the extreme right, overall runner-up Leila is third from left, and third-placed Oonagh (yellow hull) is third from right
The classic Howth Seventeens have not survived and thrived since 1898 through having a narrow perception of themselves writes W M Nixon. When they decided some years ago to add an annual two-day championship to their already busy 60-race season…
Simon Speirs died after going overboard from the yacht CV30, aka GREAT Britain, in the Southern Ocean on 18 November 2017
The company that runs the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race has called for an independent inquiry into the official investigation of the death of a sailor during the most recent edition of the race. Clipper Ventures have blasted UK’s…
Calves Week racing in West Cork
The violent overnight thunderstorms certainly cleared the air in Schull for the start of day four of Calves Week writes Michael Murphy. Unfortunately, it also cleared the wind, leaving race officer Alan Crosbie starting his fleets in a falling southeasterly…
The GP14 Sutton Dinghy Club sailors celebrate in Abersoch last night
Sutton Dinghy Club took a haul of awards at last night's GP14 UK National Championships prizegiving in Abersoch including winners of the Club Trophy and with Peter and Stephen Boyle taking quite a few - seventh overall, Top Youth Helm,…
Stately workhorses of the west – the Galway Hookers showcase their highly individual style at the Cruinniu na mBad at Kinvara this weekend in a three day festival
After a week of thinking maybe too much about modern and ultra-modern boats contesting the Fastnet Race and Calves Week at Schull, it’s a comforting relaxation to settle gently into contemplation of this weekend’s annual Crunniu na mBad (The Gathering…
 Act 2 Owners Michael O’Leary, David Andrews and Tom Roche all of the Royal Irish Yacht Club with their crew and supporters celebrate in Schull on their Calves Week win in the Fastnet Race
The successful Dun Laoghaire White Sails Dufour 425 campaigner 'Act 2', was back in the silverware this week with a win in the Fastnet race at Calves Week. Owners Michael O’Leary, David Andrews and Tom Roche, all former international offshore…

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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Featured Clubs

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Howth Yacht Club
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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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