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Latest Sailing Stories
The Maxi Edmund De Rothschild, has won multihull line honours in the 48th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race
The new breed of Ultime 32 trimarans have lived up to their name and reputation with the leading pair of Gitana XVII and Macif slashing more than four and a half hours off the record time for the 608-mile Rolex…
Action from the 2019 Topper Worlds in Medemblik
A top five finish for Royal Cork’s Cillian Foster in the 5.3 was the best of a number of strong results for Irish youth sailors at the Topper Worlds in Medemblik, Netherlands last weekend. Fellow Royal Cork sailor Neil O'Leary…
Harry Twomey racing with Harry Durcan on Day 5 of the Zhik 29er Worlds in Gdynia, Poland
Harry Durcan and Harry Twomey finished ninth overall at the Zhik 29er World Championships in Poland, which drew to a close yesterday (Saturday 3 August), scoring Ireland’s best result ever in the competition. And it marks another remarkable result for…
Conor Doyle’s handsome Xp 50 Freya from Kinsale (her crew including Olympic campaigner James Espey) was in the limelight as overall leader at one stage
With the leading Fastnet Race multihulls well round the Fastnet Rock this morning (fleet leader Gitana 17, the Ultime 32 aka Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, was first at the turn at 0633 BST) the bulk of the fleet are still…
Mermaid racing in Cork Harbour. Scroll down for photo gallery
After eight races sailed Patrick Dillon in Sail Number 131 leads the Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club this weekend. Dillon leads Derek Joyce (Sail number 187) by three points going into the final day of…
Gerry Ryan's Flying 15 4045 was the winner of the second DBSC race
Race 1 Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Tsunami Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. D-Tox, 2. Tsunami, 3. Lively Lady Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. White Mischief, 2. Jalapeno, 3. Something Else Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Jalapeno, 2. White…
The 100ft Ultime 32 Maxi Edmond de Rothschild seems to have emerged unscathed from a close encounter with the Shingles Bank in the early stages of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2019, despite all those vulnerable appendages
For most sailors a fair wind from well aft of the beam is welcome. But if you happen to be a 100ft trimaran which three hours ago was registering 38 knots on a beam reach, the fact that the wind…
Scroll down for the official Fastnet Race Tracker
Track the progress of the 390-boat 2019 Rolex Fastnet Yacht Race fleet below here on the live tracker when the race starts at 12.30 pm off Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Saturday (August 3) Forecasts show light winds for…
The 48ft American sloop Carina (Rives Potts) rounding the Fastnet Rock in 2011, when she won her class. A successful veteran of the 1979 Fastnet Race, Carina made her debut in the 1969 race, and today she starts in her Golden Jubilee Fastnet Race
The maritime pageantry which is the sequenced start of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race gets underway in time-honoured fashion at 12.30 hrs off Cowes today. And in the almost ludicrously varied 390-plus fleet, there are some sailing machines which are…
Former Fastnet lighthouse keeper Gerald Butler
Former Fastnet lighthouse keeper Gerald Butler is due to represent fellow Irish light keepers at a memorial service for 1979 Fastnet Yacht Race on the Isle of Wight this evening writes  Lorna Siggins Former RNLI Baltimore vessel, The Robert, which…
'After You Too' (Michael Blaney) was the winner of the DBSC Beneteau 31.7 One Design race
Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Wow, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Tsunami Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Wow, 2. Lively Lady, 3. Tsunami Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Bon Exemple, 2. Something Else, 3. Juggerknot 2 Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Bon Exemple, 2. Juggerknot…
Mermaids racing for National Championship honours in Cork Harbour. Scroll down for photo gallery
There were perfect sailing conditions for the first-ever Mermaid National Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club this afternoon. After an upsetting start to the championships this morning, three races were completed in flat water and great Cork Harbour breezes. Overall, defending champion…
Eve McMahon on her way to the U17 World title in Canada
The Laser Radial Youth World Championship at Kingston, Ontario in Canada was something special as Laser designer Bruce Kirby, the man who transformed the world’s solo dinghy sailing, is Canadian. But it was also something special for Eve McMahon of…
David Gorman (left) and Chris Doorly
Very few sailors can ever have experienced anything comparable to the elation of discovering that their racing pride-and-joy has been declared “Boat of the Week” from within the 498-boat fleet at Ireland’s biggest regatta. But this is what happened to…
Summer in Greenland is brief but spectacular – the Limerick ketch Ilen in idyllic conditions off the majestic coast near Nuuk
The traditional 56ft Limerick trading ketch Ilen will shortly begin her long return voyage from west Greenland to the Shannon Estuary, following the successful completion of the several strands of research and exploration in the Ilen Project’s Salmons Wake programme writes…
Jonathan & Carol O’Rourke (NYC) on their successful Mermaid Class Tiller Girl in happier times
The eagerly-awaited national Mermaid Championship getting underway today in Crosshaven with the Royal Cork YC has experienced two shoreside setbacks which have served to underline what a close-knit community is to be found this very special class. Senior skipper 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]

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