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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
After winning the 24-miler, Robert Rendell's Grand Soleil 44 Samatom now leads the 2022 Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Series with one race to go; a higher-scoring night race
ICRA Coastal Class champion Samatom (Robert Rendell) was the winner of yesterday's ISORA Coastal Race off Dun Laoghaire. Three potent Jeanneau Sunfast 3600s were among the nine-boat fleet that contested Saturday's 24-mile ISORA coastal race along the Dublin and Wicklow coastline, but none could…
Cove Sailing Commodore Niall Hawes (second from right) presents the Titanic trophy to the winning skipper Sean Hanley (right) and the crew of his HB 31 Luas.
Sean Hanley's HB 31 Luas were the winners of the Titanic Trophy cruiser race on Friday evening, the opening race of Cobh's Peoples Regatta weekend in Cork Harbour. In light winds, Hanley's Royal Cork crew won the drifting white sails race…
As Afloat previously reported, the Dublin Bay Mermaid National Championships were held on the 2nd to 6th of August on the Shannon Estuary at Foynes. 16 boats took to the start line with many favourites of old competing for the…
Racing on day three of the Irish Optimist Dinghy National Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire
Dublin Bay turned up the heat again today for the Royal St. George Yacht Club run Irish Optimist National Championships, kindly sponsored by Grant Thornton, Avolon and SeaChange Now. The sea breeze took a little longer to materialize, but when it did,…
Competitors line up for the Cong Galway race
The annual Cong to Galway Sailing Race, Europe’s oldest and longest inland water sailing race, will take place this year on Saturday, 27 August 2022, having been postponed from June due to adverse weather. The race starts at Lisloughrey Pier,…
The Mills 31 Raptor
In an eight-boat turnout in IRC One, Tim Goodbody's White Mischief from the Royal Irish Yacht Club repeated last Saturday's win in the AIB DBSC Summer Series by taking the gun again in race 13. Breaking into the pack of J109s…
Chris Johnston's Prospect crew are the winners of the 31.7 National Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire
Chris Johnston's Prospect from the host club was the overall winner of the Beneteau 31.7 National Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Saturday. After a full series of six races on Dublin Bay, Johnston held on to an overnight three-point lead…
Pat Lawless and Green Rebel ready in Gijon
Goodwill messages have been pouring into Pat Lawless, Ireland’s solo skipper in the Golden Globe Race, over the past week at Gijon, where he has been preparing for the SITraN Challenge Charity event today (Sunday), a 280-mile race to Les…
Some final tweaks in the dinghy park before Sunday's first race of the GP14 World Championships in Skerries, County Dublin
Postponed twice due to Covid, there is now only one day to the first race of the GP14 World Championship hosted by Skerries Sailing Club. With 106 entries, the place is really starting to get busy. The Club with support…
Some of the Irish sailors at Weymouth with their coaches
Topper sailors from Northern Ireland made a great impression at the National Championships last week in Weymouth, taking four excellent places in the first ten and several other commendable scores. In the Gold fleet runner-up to the winner Merryn Attridge…
Stuart McNay and Caleb Paine of the USA won the 5o5 World Championships with a race to spare in Cork Harbour
Finally, after all the frustration in Cork Harbour, the Royal Cork Yacht Club hosted 505 Worlds finish in brochure conditions... The final day again dawned with no wind and again, the wind filled in from the NE out to sea.…
1988 and 1992 Olympian Peter Kennedy from Strangford Lough is lying third overnight at the Southern Championship at Dunmore East
The Flying Fifteen fleet completed three races in light conditions in Dunmore East, County Waterford today for their Southern Championships, together with the 420 dinghy fleet. Thirteen boats are contesting the Championships, with three boats from Northern Ireland, three from…
Racing on day two of the Irish Optimist Dinghy National Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire
Unfortunately, the wind god’s didn’t play ball on Dublin Bay for day two of the Grant Thornton, Avolon and SeaChange Now sponsored Irish Optimist Dinghy National Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club. Just one race was sailed across…
A 12-14kn from the N/E arrived today for three races at the 505 Worlds in Cork
After a long wait, the 505 World Championship fleet in Cork Harbour was greeted with a 12-14kn from the N/E today. It was a gradient breeze and expected to wane a little as the day went on. The PRO could…
A heart-stirring sight – Grace O’Malley under full sail
In recent days, we’ve seen celebrations honouring the super-star young sailors who have brought major international sailing medals of gold, silver and bronze home to Ireland and their rightfully-delighted families and cheering local clubs. These are sailors whose special talent…
Chris Johnston's Prospect crew are leading the 31.7 National Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire
Chris Johnston's Prospect from the host Club leads the Beneteau 31.7 National Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. After two light air races on Dublin Bay, Johnston has a three-point lead over Extreme Reality on 6 points. Michael Blaney's After…

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 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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