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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
ISAF Seeks Olympic Reform
ISAF has published its report into how best to promote sailing as an Olympic sport. The Olympic Commission draft report (here) identifies making sailing a better spectator sport as a major priority for Olympic events from now on. The section…
Royal Cork's Jamie McWilliam Heads up Team Hong Kong
Cork's Jamie McWilliam will lead this year's Hong Kong Commodore's Cup team made up with former Irish Cup boats. Having finished fifth overall in 2008, surprising many of the more seasoned campaigners in the process, McWilliam and his teammates were…
Entries go to the Wire for ICRA feeder
RCYC has issued a last reminder for anyone still wishing to take part in the feeder race from Cork to Dun Laoghaire on Friday. ICRA members will be interested to know that this promises to be a challenging and exciting…
Irish Skippers Share Solo Spoils
Irish skippers Paddy Cronin  and Peter Olden won the out and return races of the Solo Offshore Racing Club's Poole and Back coastal race. Cronin won the out leg, being port hoist spinnakers the whole way to Poole,  sailing Rod…
Pinocchio Out in Front in Howth Yacht Club
Noel Davidson's Puppeteer Pinocchio emerged as winner of Tuesday night's Howth Yacht Club race with Cloud 9 (C Feeley) second and Enigma, D. Butler third.  HOWTH YACHT CLUB TUE + SAT  SERIES 1 (RACE) 11/05/2010  17 Footer  SCRATCH:  1, Rita…
Light Airs No Obstacle in DBSC
As wide a selection of Irish dinghy classes as you could imagine struggled around a light air Dublin Bay Sailing Club course this evening but in spite of its feeble strength the north westerly breeze held and allowed everything from…
Groupama - The Green Team?
It's still more than a year until the start of the next Volvo Ocean Race, but we're aready looking at the runners and riders. With Groupama having snaffled two of the most experienced Irish heads in the game, namely Damian…
ISORA Fleet Head for Holyhead
After two successful outings for the ISORA sailing fleet, now at 20 boats, next weekend's fixture starts on the far side of the Irish Sea at Holyhead. Commodore Peter Ryan has posted the entries for the race back to Dun…
New Adult Sail Training Programme in Howth
The country's biggest club, Howth Yacht Club, has launched an adult Sail Training Programme to introduce beginners to the sport at the north Dublin Club. The course also allows newcomers to avail of all Howth Yacht Club's facilities for  €240. The…
One week until Kish double-hander
The annual DMYC 2-handed Kish race takes place this Sunday, building on the double-hander class that has fond favour with ISORA racers this year. Doubleandsolo group president Olivier Prouveur today sent out a missive to interested parties, saying: "Already two…
Commodore's Cup Team Join ICRA Feeder
The waiting is over for ICRA members writes Claire Bateman and this is the last sailing reminder for anyone still wishing to take part in the feeder race from Cork to Dun Laoghaire on Friday next. This promises to be a challenging and…
Last day for Development Officer applications
Today is the last day for applications for the Irish Sailing Association development officer post, to be based in its Dun Laoghaire offices. The role involves supporting clubs and teaching establishments in growing their activities and membership and promoting the…
Fowler wins Investwise HYC Open
Andrew Fowler took his first win in a truncated weekend of match racing, dominating a light and tricky Sunday of racing in Howth Yacht Club for the Investwise.ie Dublin Match Race Open. With Saturday's sailing canned due to high winds…
Two RSGYC teams in Wilson last eight
Two teams from the Royal St., George YC in Dun Laoghaire made it to the last eight of the 339-race Wilson trophy after 20 rounds of competition at West Kirby Sailing Club this weekend. It is the 16th appearance for…
Seaton Wins Ulster Laser Championship
Racing in the waters of Red Bay in County Antrim, Ballyholme Yacht Club's Ryan Seaton won this weekend's Ulster Laser sailing championships, which was hosted by Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club. Some 88 boats took part in the two-day provincial…
Raging Bull Wins Blustery ISORA Race
Matt Davis sailing Raging Bull (a Sigma 400) took first place overall  in the second race of the ISORA series sailed in blustery conditions on Saturday. ISORA newcomer Ken Grant and “Tigh Soluis” took second overall and first in Class two.…

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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