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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
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…
Mark Robinson MBE
Heralding a new era for RYA Racing, today sees the announcement that Nick Scott will be taking up the Director of Racing position this autumn and Mark Robinson MBE is assuming a new role as Performance Director following the British…
A new ILCA/Laser Sprint Tri-Series is coming to Cork this Sunday
This Sunday sees the first of three ILCA (Laser) Sprint Regattas being held in Cork by Bantry Bay Sailing Club, Inniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club, and the Royal Cork Yacht Club. This Sunday's Sprint event is in Bantry Bay Sailing…
Competitors in Calves Week, Schull in West Cork were greeted with damp grey conditions on Tuesday morning and the sight of the dreaded AP flag flying from the event centre as OD Alan Crosbie contemplated on how to deal with…
Jerry Dowling, SB20 World Council President and Royal Irish Yacht Club Commodore (left) and John Malone CEO Provident CRM Dublin
Provident CRM has been announced as the title sponsor of September's Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted SB20 World Championships 2022 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The RIYC will host the event on Dublin Bay from the 5th to the 9th of…
Almost 50 boats had amassed to get their Worlds practice in, gate starts and all...
In final preparation for the World Championships in Skerries in a fortnight, the Irish GP14 fleet enjoyed the O'Tiarnaigh Challenge on the Worlds race track The O'Tiarnaigh Challenge has always been a different kind of event. Pioneered by the late…
Breandán Mc Conamhna and Skerries resident Mary Bunnion at the Béal Deirg currach in Ballycastle, Co Mayo
An historic race involving the rare Belderrig currach resulted in a victory for Mayo emigrants over the August bank holiday weekend. Oarsmen with Mayo links from Currachaí na Sceirí, a club based in Skerries north Dublin, secured first place in…
Top Lone Sailor in the Lone Star State – Eve McMahon on her way to a convincing Gold Medal victory in Texas
July 2022 will be remembered as the ultra-crowded month in which sailing in Ireland really did leap back to pre-pandemic levels, something that has been reflected in it recording an unprecedented number of Afloat.ie “Sailors of the Month” in six…
Staying cool. Rocco Wright on his way to Gold in The Netherlands
It seems like only yesterday that Rocco Wright (15) of Howth was a World star in the unmistakably junior Optimists. Yet in what seems like less than a year, he has established himself as a force to be reckoned with…
The crew of the 1720 Rope Dock Atara (Aoife English & Ross McDonald) celebrate class success at Volvo Cork Week’s conclusion afloat, unaware that it was going to be enhanced by the “Boat of the Regatta” award that evening
Volvo Cork Week 2022 was July’s regatta highlight, and with the Royal Cork YC’s Tricentenary cancelled in 2020, the Tri-Centenary +Two had much to celebrate, not least the remarkable revival of the 30-year-old 1720 Sportsboat Class, which in 2022 is…
Chris Moore continued an unprecedented record of serving sailing administration by guiding Dublin Bay SC through the pandemic
As we emerge from the pandemic and gradually become accustomed to unfettered sailing, it is right and proper that we should salute those who guided our sport through the various regulations and restriction of the last two years and more.…
At the heart of it – John Maybury in the midst of crew and Flag Officers at Volvo Cork Week with one of the many trophies won by ICRA Nats 2022 Champion Joker II
The complexities of Volvo Cork Week 2022 may have obscured some of the important National Championships taking place within it and its many classes. But aboard the more serious boats, the “hidden target” was the ICRA Nationals 2022, and 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]

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