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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
Next week, the 44Cup will return to the Portuguese sailing mecca of Cascais for event two of its 2022 season. Racing for the eight high-performance one-design monohulls will take place from Thursday to Sunday, 11-15 May. The cup features among…
Ger Owens & Mel Morris were the GP14 Spring Open winners
28 boats, six races, eight OCS’s and a whole lotta racing got the 2022 GP14 Ireland season off to a bang on the waters off Rosses Point in County Sligo over the weekend of 30Apr/1 May writes Ryan Devitt The forecast was…
Gavin Watson, Chairman Bangor Town Regatta with Tanya Martin of Title Sponsors IQ&Co. The trophy is the Bangor Town Cup for the best overall yacht in the regatta
A financial services company, IQ&Co, has been announced as Title Sponsor of Bangor Town Regatta which will be hosted by Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough from 23rd till 26th June. Listed entries for the regatta are not only…
Paul O'Higgins JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI
There was an impressive turnout of seven of the ten Cruisers Zero class yachts entered for the second Thursday Race of the AIB DBSC Summer Series on Dublin Bay tonight. The weekend winner of the light wind ISORA coastal race…
Tom Dolan and Alan Roberts on Smurfit Kappa-Kingspan
Tom Dolan and his English co-skipper Alan Roberts were taking the many positives from the seventh place finish that they secured early this morning (Thursday 5 May) when the Trophée Banque Populaire Route Sur La Route Iles Ponant finished into…
Darkness Into Light banner
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Howth Yacht Club will be hosting a special ‘sunrise sail’ as part of this weekend’s Darkness Into Light event in aid of Pieta. They’re just one of many sailing and boating clubs around Ireland that…
Francis Joyon of IDEC Sport
Past winners of the La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe highlight their love for the race at six months before the start of the 12th edition In exactly six months and one day 138 sailors will line up off…
Any images of the award-winning restored Dublin Bay 21 Naneen show a traditional rudderhead which you'd assume to be the original, going all the way back back to first owner T. Cosby Burrows in 1905. But Afloat.iereader Richard Dixon wonders…
Santiago Sesto-Cosby and Leo Wilkinson racing in the GBR 29er Skiff
Sixteen of the UK’s most promising young sailors have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Youth Sailing World Championships. The talented youngsters, all aged 18 or under, will represent the British Youth Sailing (BYS) Team in eight classes…
Waterford Harbour local Ian Kelly will compete at this weekend's Laser Connaught Championships at Dunmore East
A fleet of more than 70 Lasers (ILCA class) from 20 clubs around the country will be arriving in Dunmore East this weekend to compete in the two-day Port of Waterford Laser Connaught Championships, which is taking place on May…
Seán Craig leads the DBSC Water Wag Race in Number One with Vincent Delany second in Number 3 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. There was a fine turnout of 25 Wags
Laser ace Sean Craig of the Royal St. George Yacht Club took the gun in his first DBSC Water Wag Race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Wednesday night. With a turnout of 25 boats and a course of four rounds set…
Adrian Lee and crew of the Swan 60 ‘Lee Overlay Partners II’ racing on the podium at the 53rd edition of Antigua Sailing Week
Royal St. George Yacht Club’s Adrian Lee aboard his Swan 60 ‘Lee Overlay Partners II’ racing in the 53rd edition of Antigua Sailing Week has been a regular on the prizegiving podium as the internationally renowned regatta takes a break…
Youth sailing at Donaghadee Sailing Club
Donaghadee Sailing Club in Northern Ireland recently signed up to become an OnBoard club, as part of the RYA’s grassroots programme to get young people aged 8-18 into sailing and windsurfing. With the club in the focus of RYA’s Spotlight…
Team racing at Howth Yacht Club
Cadets and Young Ordinary members of Howth Yacht Club who are looking for a way to flex their competitive muscles can take to the water for weekly Pico team racing from 6pm this Friday 6 May. Non-members are also welcome…
Thomas Chaix at speed in the RS700 singlehander
Over the May bank holiday weekend, Tralee Bay welcomed a few speed addicts for the first Skiff West event (also incorporating the second edition of the 29er westerns). Saturday set the scene with the TBSC opening regatta. The local dinghy…
On Monday, May 2 Lough Neagh Rescue was alerted by Belfast Coastguard to reports of an overturned Jetski in Antrim Bay on the Northeast corner of what is the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles and Ireland. Two casualties…

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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Royal Cork Yacht Club
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Royal Saint George Yacht Club

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