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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Newly elected Royal St George Yacht Club Commodore Richard O’Connor
Following the AGM at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour earlier this week, a new team of flag-officers led by Commodore Richard O’Connor is preparing for a busy season once Covid restrictions are eased. Like many…
Racing at Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019, two years later the a fleet of 400 is expected off Dun Laoghaire Harbour
July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta on Dublin Bay saw a big surge in early bird entries the last few days of March with the fleet now close to 300 of the expected 400 boats which, organisers say, will really help in…
A 30-foot Half Tonner racing on Dublin Bay in pre-COVID times
The Government's phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April was welcome news but there was also some disappointment expressed in boating circles over a lack of clarity contained in the announcement that makes it difficult to…
Howth Harbour in the 1860s, back to being a fishing port after the Mailboats had been transferred to Kingstown
Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invites you to join their next Zoom session, which will be on The Building of Howth Harbour and presented by Rob Goodbody on Thursday, 8th April at 20:00hrs. The present Howth Harbour celebrated its Bicentenary…
File image of Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
With the Easter holidays now begun in Northern Ireland, Larne RNLI is encouraging anyone planning to visit the coast to know the risks to protect themselves and their families and to heed key sea safety advice. Larne RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat…
Caution Advised on Grand Canal in Celbridge For Canoeing Ireland Selection Event This Saturday
Waterways Ireland advises that a Canoeing Ireland selection event will take place this Saturday 3 April on the Grand Canal at the Celbridge Paddlers Canoe Club–Alymer’s Bridge area. This event is part of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic qualification pathway…
File image of Al Mennie getting a tow out to a big swell
Northern Ireland surfing pro Al Mennie was among the volunteers who joined fire fighters battling a gorse blaze on Castlerock Beach in Co Derry last night (Tuesday 30 March). As the Belfast Telegraph reports, 40-year-old Mennie was out catching the…
Howth Yacht Club
Howth Yacht Club Commodore Paddy Judge says currently the 'only certainty' following yesterdays announcement of the easing of lockdown restrictions is that junior sail training can recommence from the 26th April with more general sailing probably in May. ‘We welcome the…
RCYC in Crosshaven in Cork Harbour
Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour has expressed disappointment that there has not been more clarity on when sailing can see a full return to the water following yesterday's Government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions. RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead…
The magic moment at Vilamoura on March 26th – Sean Waddilove (left) and Robert Dickson have just secured a 49er place for Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics in July
It says everything about the quality of the Dickson-Waddilove team's securing of the Tokyo Olympics 49er place, that it not only sent the spirits of the Irish sailing community soaring skywards, but in these difficult times, it helped to raise the…
DBSC Summer Series racing is expected to return to Dublin Bay in mid May=
Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Ann Kirwan says the club aims to start its 2021 summer race series in mid-May despite the lack of clear guidance for the sport following last night's cautious easing of lockdown restrictions by the Government. …
1720s sailing off Cork Harbour. The class European Championships are scheduled for Waterford Harbour in early June
Although the summer sailing season draws closer and anticipation builds around a returning to training and competition, there was little concrete for sailing in the cautious government easing of COVID restrictions announced last night. On Dublin Bay, Ireland's boating capital, the…
For Cowes Week 2021, there will be eight IRC classes, Black Group One Designs such as the J/109 as well as 17 One Design Day Boat classes in the White Group
Entries for Cowes Week 2021 will open at 12 noon on Monday 29 March. Whilst this is somewhat later than usual, the event is carrying over nearly 200 entries from 2020 and the team have been inundated with questions about…
The National Yacht Club's O'Leary Cup presented for the best performance in one design  was won by Stephen Oram and Noel Butler
Thanks to modern technology and the can-do spirit of National Yacht Club volunteers and staff, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour club held its Awards ceremony last Friday night. Commodore Martin McCarthy told Afloat "We had a lot to reflect on and…
16-year old Malahide Yacht Club cadet, Daniel Flavin
A 16-year-old Malahide Yacht Club cadet has become one of the youngest sailors to be awarded the RYA Day Skipper (Sail & Power Craft) and ICC Certificate. Daniel Flavin, a Transition Year student at the local Community School, was assessed…
Larry Martin

Larry Martin RIP

30th March 2021 RStGYC
One of the most popular longtime sailors in Dublin Bay, former RStGYC Commodore Larry Martin, has died, and our sympathies are with his family and many friends afloat and ashore. A full appreciation of his generously-lived life appears on Afloat.ie…

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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Royal Saint George Yacht Club

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ICRA
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Featured Events 2021

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Featured Chandleries

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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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