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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Kevin and Debbie Aitken's First 36.7, Animal is racing at Bangor Town Regatta
Excitement is growing on Belfast Lough with the prospect of next week’s Bangor Town Regatta bringing over 600 sailors to that seaside town, now designated ‘City’, for the resurrected event which has been on hold during the pandemic. Chairman Gavin…
The fleet Locking through in the Shannon One Designs’ Long-Distance Race down the Shannon from Lough Ree to Lough Derg. With a total distance of 40 miles to sail, the few locks between Ree and Derg provide a welcome break
Being involved in Shannon One Design racing in a normal year is a State of Mind as much as it’s a matter of active sport afloat in a highly individualistic 18ft una-rigged open boat, a hard-sailed work of art that…
Horses for courses - Maritime Mystic Meg now makes Cavatina joint favourite with Rockabill VI for the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race
The white smoke has gone up from the chimney on a lonely cottage high in the Wicklow hills, and the word has come down from Maritime Mystic Meg on potential betting movements in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race: "Based…
It is 140 years since the inaugural sailing of Cong Galway race and 50 years since it was revived in its current form
This year's Cong-Galway sailing race, set for Saturday, June 25, will mark two significant anniversaries. It is 140 years since the inaugural sailing of the race and 50 years since it was revived in its current form. It is the…
The Royal Ocean Racing Club's Morgan Cup is from Cowes to Dartmouth, a distance of 110 - 160 nautical miles
The Royal Ocean Racing Club Season’s Points Championship continues with the eighth race of the series, the Morgan Cup Race. Starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line at 1800 BST on the 17th of June. The intention is to start…
Lack of sleep is starting to take an early toll on just the third day of racing in the Vendée Arctique off Ireland
The leaders of the Vendée Arctique Les Sables d’Olonne IMOCA, the race round Iceland and back to Les Sables d’Olonne, are only just north of Ireland - far less at Iceland - but for the solo skippers who have been…
An impressive 60 Irish boats will compete at the 105-boat World Championships in Skerries this August
Host club Skerries Sailing Club in North Dublin has 105 entries for the upcoming GP14 World Championship taking place from the 14th to the 19th of August this year. That number is set to grow further as the event draws…
Royal St. George's Sean and Heather Craig were first race winners in last night's DBSC Water Wag Race at dun Laoghaire Harbour which also counted as the clinker class's 2022 NYC Regatta
Royal St. George's Sean and Heather Craig were first race winners in Wednesday's Dublin Bay Sailing Club Water Wag Race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, a result that also put them in the frame for overall NYC Water Wag Regatta honours.  Race…
In any reasonable world, it would be Rockabill VI’s turn to win the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race from Wicklow, which starts on Saturday. The JPK 10.80, diligently and enthusiastically campaigned by Paul O’Higgins of the Royal Irish YC, has deservedly won just about everything else in the Irish offshore scene
In these hyper-communicated days, we can all follow developing weather situations on a 24/7 basis using input from many sources. Nevertheless, from time to time it puts things in some sort of snapshot focus to watch the scheduled broadcast TV…
Josh Porter and Frank Miller (left) sailing in Brightlingsea at the recent Fireball UK National Championships
14 races have now been sailed in the 2022 AIB DBSC Dinghy series on Dublin Bay as the dinghy season approaches next Tuesday's midsummer's day race. Last night's racing in the Scotsman's Bay race area, attracted a good DBSC fleet…
The winning Fireball sailed by Josh Porter and Cara McDowell at the 2022 DMYC Regatta
After the Covid enforced hiatus, the first one-day regatta hosted by a Dun Laoghaire harbour yacht club in four years took place last Saturday, with the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club “breaking the ice” for the other three clubs. Despite…
Justin Slattery in 2015
2022 has been a busy year so far for Ireland’s top offshore racer Justin Slattery — and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. While the double Volvo Ocean Race champion crewman won’t be taking part in this weekend’s Round Ireland…
Aerial view of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire
The National Yacht Club is holding its biennial Regatta presented by main sponsor Davy this Saturday 18 June, and the Notice of Race and online entry are now available. The Dun Laoghaire waterfront club promises a great programme of entertainment…
The Squib fleet in action off Kinsale, where their premier 2022 Championship gets underway this weekend
The Bandon Co-Op-sponsored week-long British & Irish Squib Nationals getting underway this weekend in Kinsale - with the first racing on Sunday, June 19th - is an eloquent example of the imaginative thinking that is needed to get sailing back…
Wednesday night league racing at Cove Sailing Club in Cork Harbour
Rankins are dominating Wednesday night dinghy sailing at Cove SC in Cork Harbour. Fiona O’Connell’s R21 leads, with David and Richard Marshall’s R30 second and Maurice and Francis Kidney third in R12. Eight boats are entered. There are also eight entries…
Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat
Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat was launched on Sunday 12 June, at the request of Belfast Coastguard to come to the assistance of a small speedboat that had broken down and was drifting out to sea. The volunteer crew were paged and…

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

Featured Sailmakers

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Featured Chandleries

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Featured Marinas

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Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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