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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Gerry O'Sullivan and his shipmates on the Formula 28 Animal capture the moment of sunrise in Howth Yacht Club's
There was much movement ashore and afloat pre-dawn on Saturday, with many groups and crowds all over Ireland gathering in preparation to mark the Pieta House-supporting "Darkness into Light" initiative. At HowthYC, the nautical version was "Sailing Into Light", and…
Rea’s Wood on the shore of Lough Neagh near Antrim town
Local authorities are investigating after two dogs died following contact with the water at Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, as BelfastLive reports. In the separate incidents on Thursday (5 May), a five-month old golden retriever and a 15-month-old cocker spaniel…
Traditional craft from Galway Hooker Sailing Club participated in the Darkness into Light national fundraiser on  Saturday
Slipping out into Galway Bay before sunrise, several traditional craft from Galway Hooker Sailing Club participated in the Darkness into Light national fundraiser on  Saturday. “When a community comes together, it’s amazing what can be done,” the club said after…
Paul Keogh (centre) speaks of what the Naomh Cronan project meant to the Clondalkin community after receiving the Jolie Brise Cup from Old Gaffers Association President Patrick Vyvyan-Robinson (right), with Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association Hon Sec Darryl Hughes (left) in  Ringsend's Poolbeg Y&BC in Dublin Port
The saga of the building and sailing of the traditional Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan by Clondalkin Community in west Dublin goes back nearly thirty years. And though the story has regularly featured in Afloat.ie,the various lockdowns had made it difficult…
Connie Wilson from East Antrim Boat Club in her Topper provided by the John Merricks Sailing Trust
Enthusiastic young sailors from across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to apply to be in with a chance of being awarded their own boat. Through an ongoing partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard, 10 boats…
Aurelia returns to DBSC racing with a win in the Cruiser 0 Saturday Series IRC Race   
Royal St George Yacht Club skipper Chris Power Smith, won the Cruiser 0 DBSC Saturday Series Race in IRC today on the J122 Aurelia. The race which was nearly three hours long was sailed in light to medium winds against…
Johnny Mordaunt skippered the Fast40+ Tschuss at Antigua Week
Dubliner Johnny Mordaunt skippering the Fast40+ Tschuss was the overall winner of division CSA - Racing 2 at Antigua Sailing Week in the 2022 Caribbean regatta season. Dun Laoghaire's Adrian Lee in the Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II of the Royal St. George Yacht Club took…
An Eel fishing boat on Lough Neagh
The eel fishing season on Lough Neagh began last week. And in a conservation measure, the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-Operative Society was involved in helping restock the Lough with "glass eels" (one and a half million of them), the juveniles…
Finn Lynch's silver medal at last year's ILCA 7 World Championships has promoted him to the Podium level which awards him €40,000 per annum through to Paris 2024
This week's confirmatory announcement of Sport Ireland High-Performance funding allocation is good news for sailors who have benefited from improved performances and an increase in the amounts awarded to International and World Class level athletes. Finn Lynch's silver medal at…
Tom Slingsby
Tom Slingsby has signed with New York Yacht Club American Magic for the 37th America’s Cup in 2024. Slingsby, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist and multi-class world champion, previously helped an American team win the 'Auld Mug' in 2013. “I’m…
Skinny, innit? The first Cape 31 in Ireland looks thin and deep
The camera does not lie, they say, but it depends on how you hold it and angle it, and which lens you use. If you see the Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 sailing, you'll reckon she's a reasonably beamy and sensible…
The ketch Ilen adds something exotic to the already complex London skyline
These past few days have been purest serendipity for historic Irish boatbuilders. Just two days after the 1926-vintage West Cork-built Limerick ketch Ilen was celebrated beside the River Thames in London on Wednesday, the 1937 Tyrrell of Arklow 43ft ketch…
The Round Iceland Yacht Race (RIR) - first edition - will start on Sunday 14th May 2023
Royal Western Yacht Club has announced a new race to its four-year cycle of oceanic events. The Round Iceland Yacht Race (RIR) - first edition - will start on Sunday 14th May 2023 from Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. The…
A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway from this weekend
A French yawl built from a late 18th-century replica will be on display in Galway as part of a “Mini Brittany Fest” which runs from May 7th to 14th. Mayor of Lorient Fabrice Loher will lead a delegation to Galway…
The 60ft French alloy ketch Pen Duick VI may race Round Ireland in June
Fifty years after France's legendary Eric Tabarly was winning "just about everything" with his 60ft alloy ketch Pen Duick VI, his daughter Marie is "99% certain" to race the boat in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race 2022 from…
David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne in Ignus Caput Duo were the DBSC Flying Fifteen race winners
After the first Saturday was blown out due to high winds, DBSC’s subsequent fixtures have been characterised by light and fickle winds. And last night was no exception, with the addition of a strong ebbing tide on the start line…

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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W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
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