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Latest Sailing Stories
Racing in Abersoch has been postponed
Racing today at the GP14 UK National Championships at Abersoch in North Wales has been postponed due to strong winds. Southwest winds are gusting to over 35 knots at the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club venue. Races 4,5 and 6 for…
The Juan K-designed Volvo 70 Wizard, overall winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019
When veteran French skipper Gery Trentesaux’s JPK 11.80 Courrier Recommande crossed the Rolex Fastnet Race finish line in Plymouth at 11.22 BST this morning and corrected into fifth place overall a clear 2 hours and 16 minutes behind Peter &…
Gerry Ryan was the winner of the Facet Trophy for Flying Fifteens
With the Subaru sponsored Flying Fifteen World Championships only 26 sleeps away, the enthusiasm for racing on Dublin Bay has continued apace writes Cormac Bradley. After a light wind session on the preceding Thursday that prompted a very shortened course…
The new JPK 10.30 Leon rounds the Fastnet Rock at 5.0pm yesterday. Sailed by her builder Jean-Pierre Kelbert and Alex Loisson, she currently leads the Fastnet Race Two-Handed Division and is first in IRC3 and IRC3B
Strong southwest winds last night – with Met Eireann issuing a Small Craft Warning at 2100 hrs – gave the more determinedly sailed smaller craft a fighting chance of significantly improving their overall standing in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019,…
Pretty in pink - Thomson's new Hugo Boss is launched
Welsh sailor Alex Thomson, who has strong links with Cork Harbour, has announced the completion of the new racing yacht, which it hopes will lead the team to victory in the 2020-21 Vendee Globe round-the-world race. For five formative years of…
GP14 International President - Curly Morris of East Antrim Boat Club
Curly Morris of East Antrim Boat Club in Larne has been elected as President of the International GP14 Class. The Class AGM held in Abersoch last night voted for the GP14 Ireland stalwart during its 2019 national championships, a year…
GP14s converge at a weather mark on day two of the national championships in Abersoch
Sutton Dinghy Club father and son pairing Peter and Stephen Boyle had a very good second day at the GP14 UK National Championships in Abersoch to be top Irish boat in 14th place writes Andrew Johnston. The Boyles had just competed…
The GP14 UK Nationals are being held by South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club in Abersoch, North Wales
The GP14 UK Nationals kicked off yesterday with a practice race and the first of 9 races at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club in Abersoch, North Wales writes Andrew Johnston.  With 10 Irish crews in the 56-boat fleet, hopes are high for…
IMOCA 60 line honours for Jérémie Beyou and Christopher Pratt and their shore crew after arriving in Plymouth
While IMOCA 60s are renowned for racing non-stop around the world in the Vendée Globe, the doublehanded crews of these extraordinary space-age craft appreciate the Rolex Fastnet Race as it offers most conditions of a round the world race within…
Rambler 88 rounds the Fastnet on her way to monohull line honours victory
American Owner George David, skipper of Rambler 88 the monohull line Fastnet Race winner has again paid tribute to the RNLI Lifeboat crew in Baltimore West Cork who rescued him after he capsized at the rock eight years ago. "We know…
Naomhóg crew Liam Holden (grey cap), Eamonn Ó Muircheartaigh (red cap), Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich and Sean Mac an tSíthigh during their row and sail across Cape Breton in Nova Scotia
When Kerry Blasket islanders built the naomhóg for fishing, they would never have dreamed the same craft might transit Nova Scotia writes Lorna Siggins However, four Irishmen have now rowed and sailed a similar design across Cape Breton in northern Canada.…
Last gasp victory – the Ultime 32 Gitana XVII aka Maxi Edmond de Rothschild (left) snatches a 58 second victory from Macif to establish a new Mulithull Course record in the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019
The great George David’s Rambler 88 – holder of the Round Ireland monohull record – finished the Rolex Fastnet Race at 0955 this morning to take mono-hull line honours, but the final run into Plymouth from the Scillies put paid to a…
The Irish and US Virgin Island teams at the Championship ceremony
Youth sailors from the Irish 29er fleet travelled to Gdynia, Poland to compete in the Zhik 29er World championships held last week, from Friday 26th to Saturday 3rd August writes Chris Bateman (17), a member of the Irish contingent that…
Paul Smith President Mermaid Sailing Association with the 2019 Mermaid Champions, the Foynes Yacht Club triplets Darragh, Noel and Mark McCormack
There were jubilant scenes at Royal Cork Yacht Club on Sunday evening when Paul Smith, President of the Mermaid Sailing Association presented the Foynes Yacht Club triplets Darragh, Noel and Mark McCormack with the National Championship trophy writes Bob Bateman. The…
Patterson & Nolan Win 50th Anniversary Squib Irish National Championships
Day 1 of the 50th Anniversary Squib Irish National Championships at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough had all the hallmarks of champagne sailing, sun out, blue skies and a steady breeze but only for a few…
Darragh McCormack of Foynes Yacht Club has retained his National Mermaid title in Cork Harbour
Mermaid National Champion Darragh McCormack of Foynes Yacht Club has successfully defended his national title at Royal Cork Yacht Club moving from third place and into the overall lead in today's final races of the ten race championships.  McCormack eeked…

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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