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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
The Swiss-flagged Cookson 50 Kuka3 with former Crosshavian Tom McWilliam on the strength
Round Ireland Race Day Three (Monday) 2000 hrs -  As the overnight northerly morphed unevenly into the new breeze from the west today with the fleet strung out between the latitudes of Kerry and the Aran Island, the tacticians in…
Round Ireland Yacht Race competitor Michael Boyd made a special tribute to the lost helicopter crew of Rescue 116 at the Blackrock Island 2017 crash site
Passing Blackrock Island on the County Mayo coast, a mark on the course of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race, leading skipper Michael Boyd has paid a moving tribute to the four air crew of Rescue 116 Irish Coast Guard…
Double-handers on the water at Largs, 18-19 June 2022
As part of the RYA Regional Junior Championships, RYA Scotland hosted Scottish youth and junior sailors at Largs Sailing Club in testing conditions this past weekend of 18-19 June. High west and northwest winds dominated the weekend, with volunteers and…
The Green Dragon crew is a select group of 15 from Dublin, Donegal and Belfast skippered by Conor Ferguson
Enda O'Coineen, the (non-sailing) Round Ireland co-skipper of Green Dragon, writes this year's Volvo 70 entry marks the tenth anniversary of the Volvo Ocean Race coming to Ireland. I am sorry to see the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race leader for line-honours…
The 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race will start on Saturday, 22 October 2022
With little more than four months to go to the start of the 43rd Rolex Middle Sea Race on Saturday, 22 October, the fleet is growing daily. Some 49 yachts from 21 countries have entered the Mediterranean’s premier 606-mile classic…
Ireland’s Tom Dolan and English co-skipper Alan Roberts finish eighth overall in the Sardinha Cup
With a ninth place earned this Sunday morning when, exhausted, they crossed the second leg finishing line back into Saint Gilles Croix de Vie on France’s Vendée coastline, Ireland’s Tom Dolan and English co-skipper Alan Roberts finish eighth overall in…
Marie Tabarly's French 60ft alloy ketch Pen Duick VI off the coast of Wicklow prior to the start of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race on Saturday
Marie Tabarly's French 60ft alloy ketch Pen Duick VI has retired less than 48 hours into the 2022 SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race. As Afloat reported, fifty years after France's legendary Eric Tabarly was winning "just about everything" with his…
The JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI (Paul O’Higgins, Royal Irish YC)
Round Ireland Race day three (Monday) 0830 - The northerly winds have been easing through the night as the bulk of the fleet in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race make varying rates of progress northwards off the coast of North…
The late Gerry Donleavy will be remembered this week at the National Yacht Club
The Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet and the National Yacht Club are hosting an evening of ' Remembering Gerry Donleavy' on Thursday 23rd June after the DBSC race at the NYC clubhouse on the East Pier. Long-time NYC member Donleavy was…
logo of Newport Bermuda Race
The Captain of the yacht Morgan of Marietta has lost his life after going overboard in the 52nd Newport Bermuda Race. The crew of the yacht Morgan of Marietta, a 42-foot sloop, reported that its captain, Colin Golder of New Providence,…
Gareth Martel (right) and crew from Pippa VI, winners of the 60th Anniversary Ailsa Craig Race, missing is Zander Boyd
The light winds forecast for the Ailsa Craig Race from Royal Ulster on Belfast Lough on Friday night turned out to be at times 17 knots, which for Stuart Cranston’s Ker 32 Hijacker appeared just at the wrong time when…
Kuka 3 is closing in toward Loop Head
Round Ireland Day Two 2030 hrs - At 06:30 this morning, came sweeping past the Fastnet Rock, and hardened sheets for the long and rugged slug to windward up the coasts of West Cork and Kerry, fired up to maintain her…
Kinsale locals Colm Dunne and Rob Gill won the ‘Practice’ race of the Squib Nationals in Allegro
Day one of the Bandon Co-op Squib National championships in Kinsale started in a strong 16kt northern breeze with significant gusts. The Traditional Practice race gave visitors a good beat and run across the racecourse before Race 1 officially got…
Donall Ryan's Sunfast 3600 Fujitsu British Soldier has retired from the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race this afternoon, according to Wicklow Sailing Club organisers.  The yacht retired due to 'gear problems' just 30 hours into the race and while on…
Sherkin Irish Offshore Sailing
The Sailing School entry 'Sherkin Irish Offshore Sailing' has retired from the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race this evening with a 'mechanical issue'.  Winds were strong northerlies around 25 knots at the time. The Sunfast 37 yacht skippered by David Hanks…
James Neville's INO XXX is out of the Round Ireland race due to hull delamination say race organisers
British race favourite James Neville – the Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club – and skipper of INO XXX is out of the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race this evening after suffering 'hull delamination' off the County Kerry coast.  The…

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]

Featured Sailing School

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Featured Clubs

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Howth Yacht Club
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National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
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Royal Saint George Yacht Club

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Featured Associations

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Featured Events 2022

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Featured Chandleries

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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