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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Team West beat Team East by four races to two at the Ruffian 23 All Ireland Team Racing at the DMYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
There is a new All-Ireland Team Racing event in Ruffian 23 one-design keelboats, between North, South, East & West, hosted by Carrickfergus SC, Wicklow SC, DL Combined clubs & Mayo SC writes Colin McMullen A Sunday evening stroller on the bridge at…
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…
National Yacht Club Ruffian 23 Bandit (Ann Kirwan) was the class winner at the 2022 DMYC Regatta at Dun Laoghaire
The National Yacht Club's Ann Kirwan was the winner of the Ruffian 23 class in Saturday's 2022 DMYC Regatta on a blustery Dublin Bay.  Kirwan, at the helm of Bandit, took two wins from two races in the seven-boat one design…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Liam Owens
Well known Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Liam Owens of Sandycove in County Dublin has died. A former Commodore of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Owens also served as the Convenor of the Dun Laoghaire Combined Yacht Clubs.  Owens led a…
Julie Ascoop (1968-2022) was a breath of fresh air for sailing in Ireland and the larger Irish maritime world
Afloat.ie much appreciates being invited to publish this Appreciation by the IDRA 14 Class Association of the much-mourned Julie Ascoop, whose untimely passing has taken an inspirational maritime enthusiast from among us. We are particularly grateful to Charles and Ian…
The West Bight Marina in which Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club are offering berths to club members
The West Pier based Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club is advertising marina berths as part of its membership package in the West Bight area of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The club caters for all types of craft and sailors, from serious sailors…
Neil Colin (DMYC Frostbites Director and MC, left) with Ian O’Meara of Frostbites sponsor Viking Marine
The final day of the 2021/22 Frostbites, sponsored by Viking Marine and hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club was bathed in sunshine from start to finish. Across Ireland and the UK we were bathed in sunshine (I was in…
Frank Miller leads the Fireballs overall at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
The penultimate Sunday of the 2021/22 Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites, hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club started off with some discussion in the race management group as to whether sailing would take place. Despite a forecast on Friday, published…
Sarah Dwyer, Aero 5 3433 & Damien Dion, Aero 7 3431 in close company downwind
While thirty-five boats had entered the extra Bank Holiday DMYC “Snakes Alive mini dinghy regatta, a slightly smaller number actually appeared on the water in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Of the twenty-five boats that did race, full marks go to the…
This photo from last Sunday’s round of the DMYC Frostbites illustrates the range of dinghies in the PY Fleet, and the unusual order thanks to the “hammer blow” squalls experienced.
DMYC Race Organiser Neil Colin has issued the last shout out for Friday's 'Snakes Alive' dinghy event at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. "It looks like St Patrick is providing us a spectacular day for sailing on Friday, let’s hope the Hangovers…
Yet again, without there being a named storm in the vicinity of Ireland’s East Coast, the forecast from the middle of the week in advance of yesterday’s Viking Marine sponsored Frostbite racing in Dun Laoghaire wasn’t great. For the latter…
Tight ILCA/Laser action going into the first weather mark in Race 1 of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday, March 6th
The statistics for the post-Christmas Frostbites make for sobering reading. In nine Sundays up to yesterday, only five races were sailed across three Sundays. There have been six weekends in which no racing took place and four of those have…
The DMYC plan to run Frostbite Dinghy racing in the harbour under the banner “Snakes Alive” in honour of Ireland's Patron Saint, on Friday 18th March. First Start 1.00 pm
The DMYC on the West Pier at Dun Laoghaire Harbour has announced a 'Pop Up' dinghy race for the Public Holiday on March 18th, in place of the weather-related, lost races in the club's Viking Marine Frostbite Series since Christmas.…
Lough Ree Yacht Club
The Afloat.ie-administered “Sailing Club of the Year” award has been running continuously and successfully since 1979, yet in all its 43 years of honouring outstanding achievement across a wide range of criteria by Ireland’s diverse and nationally-spread yacht and sailing…
Fireballs sailing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Despite an intent to start a race, Mother Nature got the better of today's Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Initially, the race area reconnaissance suggested a breeze in the order of 16.5 knots with gusts marginally in…
The in-harbour racing has attracted a fleet of over 70 boats for winter racing
Strong winds forecast for Sunday's DMYC Frostbites Race have led to the early cancellation of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour dinghy fixture.   Gusts are forecast to reach 50 knots from the south-west for the afternoon in-harbour racing that has attracted a…

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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