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Latest Sailing Stories
Peter and Robert O’Leary competing in the 2018 Star Europeans Championship in Flensburg, Germany last August
Baltimore Sailing Club brothers Peter and Robert O’Leary are signed up for the inaugural Junior Star Worlds in Miami’s Biscayne Bay from 3-6 February. Last year’s bronze medallists in the Star Europeans join a list of more than 30 skipper-crew…
The cruiser-racer nationals are getting a revamp
New changes for the format of future ICRA championships are outlined by Irish Times Sailing Columnist David O'Brien with the news that the rule of pro–sailors will be removed given the growing number of 'quasi-pros' now involved in the cruiser-racer scene.…
The 2019 Figaro course features racing in Irish waters
The legendary Figaro URGO sailing show will be coming to Ireland and the Irish Sea big time for its Golden Jubilee season in 2019 writes W M Nixon, with a 20th visit to Kinsale being supported by a subsequent second…
Deaf and hearing-impaired children set out on a six-day sail training voyage aboard the tall ship Pelican of London last summer
Sail Training Ireland chief executive Daragh Sheridan has hailed the recently announced Government funding for young people with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in tall ships training voyages as “a hugely positive development for the charity”. Sheridan added…
Promoted
NSI trialling of new North Sails Tour Xi cruising sails on Strangford Lough recently on Peter Niblock's Moody S31 "Zeelander"
RYA NI is hold its Cruising Conference in Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club in Cultra, Co. Down this Saturday Jan 26th starting at 9.30am. As part of it, North Sails Ireland's Prof O'Connell will be giving a talk on…
Joan Mulloy and Tom Dolan are set to race this year’s Figaro in Irish waters with a stop in Kinsale
Following last year’s performance of ‘Flying Irishman’ Tom Dolan and pioneering woman Joan Mulloy in their Solitaire du Figaro debuts, now the renowned solo offshore race is coming to Ireland. The Solitaire URGO Le Figaro is set to return to…
Even with a damaged rig, Jean-Luc van den Heede’s Rustler 36 Malmut (aka “Little Snail”) now has a lead of more than 300 miles with just 700 miles to go to the finish of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race.
Veteran French skipper Jean-Luc van den Heede (73) has been giving a strategic sailing masterclass in the final 1500 miles of the Golden Jubilee Golden Globe Race writes W M Nixon. A week ago, after enduring flukey and unfavourable conditions…
An Austrlian c5 Laser rig. New rigs for the dinghy are planned for this season by builder Laser Performance
The International Laser Class says it has no plans to replace or remove any of its existing classes in response to recent media speculation on the future direction of the Olympic class boat plus a statement on social media from…
Josh Porter & Katie Kane (Fireball) pick up their Frostbite Mug (in their debut Sunday) for Race 3 of the PY Fleet
After two successive Sundays were lost to the vagaries of the weather, with 6th January lost to no wind at all and 13th January abandoned on the Saturday due to a pessimistic forecast of 30-knot gusts for the Sunday, the…
Rocco Wright received the Seaward Bell Trophy for his stellar performance in junior competition throughout 2018
#HYC - Saturday night (19 January) saw Howth Yacht Club’s annual Achievers Awards to recognise those who have gone above and beyond for the club in the previous year. Junior sailor Rocco Wright was one of the stars of the…
Ronan Wallace competing in the first races of Howth Yacht Club's Spring Laser Series
New Years’ Resolutions and a fresh start for 2019 led to our biggest Laser turnout of the winter so far in Howth Yacht Club. A favourable forecast also helped. Conditions were perfect for Laser racing, with the wind starting off…
Spindrift Crossing the Doldrums
Yann Guichard and his 11 crew on the 40–metre trimaran Spindrift 2 are maintaining a record pace in their quest win the around the world Jules Verne Trophy. They have an advantage of 214.4 nm having covered 734.9 nm in…
There was another successful days racing at Monkstown on Saturday. Scroll down for photo gallery
Laser sailors gathered on Monkstown Bay for Day Two of the Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Laser Frostbite League, sponsored by CH Marine writes Chris Bateman. The morning dawned with a thick dreary fog laying over every inch of Cork Harbour. A…
Spindrift 2 - her record bid is powered by North Sails 3Di sails
Yann Guichard and his crew started their world tour at Ushant on, Wednesday, January 16 at 11h 47min 27sec UTC. To win the Jules Verne Trophy they have to recross the line by February 26 at 11h 16m 57sec UTC…
Ryan Seaton and Seafra Guilfoyle competing in the 49er dinghy. Their campaign has been set back by injury
Selection criteria for the Tokyo Olympics have been announced by Irish Sailing this week in the knowledge that with 553 days to Tokyo, Ireland has yet to reach country qualification in any class. Ireland still has to qualify in the…
The ICRA Committee met in Portlaoise. The executive pictured are (L-R): Simon McGibney, Ric Morris (seated), Liam Lynch, Peter Ryan, Richard Colwell – Commodore (seated), Johanna Murphy, Dave Cullen  John Leech (seated), Rory Carberry, Cxema Pico, Missing from picture are Kieran O’Connell and Mark Mills
The Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) held its first meeting of 2019 in Portlaoise on Wednesday, 16th January. The Committee wasted no time in the new year to get together to finalise objectives for the year and discuss new initiatives…

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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