Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

A Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatA Sigma 33 One Design keelboat racing on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Sailing in Ireland. Sailors, Yachting, Clubs, Regattas
The course announced for the Viking Marine ISORA Coastal Race off Dun Laoghaire has been shortened to north Kish and back, passing the Dublin ISORA virtual mark on the relevant side
The absence of a gale warning and a forecasted flat sea state means tomorrow's second ISORA Coastal Race from Dun Laoghaire will go ahead in gusty southwesterly winds, albeit over a shortened course. A straw poll of skippers was in…
Clementine van Steenberge (right) and her crew Jessica Riordan from the George picked up another Europa Cup win in March and sailed to victory at the cut-short Irish Sailing Youth National Championships in Cork Harbour in April
National Yacht Club sailing and performance programmes ran all winter alongside frostbite racing, keeping racing sailors training and progressing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The club had coaching series in almost all the main classes sailed off the NYC platform with…
Emirates Team New Zealand's new AC75 race boat had previously been transported under the cover of darkness from the team’s North Shore build facility to the Wynyard Point base where an intensive fit out programme has been undertaken.
Emirates Team New Zealand's new AC75 race boat has emerged from its building facility after an intensive 10-month programme. The America's Cup boat was wheeled out to prepare for its launch and commissioning phase in Auckland this month. The team's…
Emotional scenes, Pen Duick VI FR (14) taking the treasured double - “provisional” first in line honours and first in Leg four IRC handicap ranking
The French legend Pen Duick VI FR (14), skippered by the indomitable Marie Tabarly, has taken provisional line honours in the final leg of the inaugural McIntyre Ocean Globe Race – and in the days ahead could potentially win the…
The vintage half-tonner 2Farr pictured racing in Calves Week 2023. The boat has recently been refurbished and optimised ahead of competition at July's Volvo Cork Week Regatta where she will face the ICRA Boat of the Year, the half tonner Swuzzlebubble
Competition in Volvo Cork Week 2024's IRC classes are shaping up with some interesting battles developing, particularly in the vintage quarter tonner and half tonner classes. The 2024 regatta intends to embrace its traditional format, with each fleet rotating through…
A sight to behold, the Sørlandet, which arrived in Dublin Bay this morning and took anchorage in Scotsman’s Bay, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, having sailed from the Azores.
Making an impressive sight in Dublin Bay this morning is the world's oldest and most authentic fully-rigged ship still in active service, the Norwegian-flagged Sørlandet, writes Jehan Ashmore. Sørlandet with several sails set aloft approached Scotsman’s Bay, where it anchored…
J109 Ruth (The Shanahan family) is expected to be among the starters of the second ISORA Viking Marine Irish Coastal Race off Dun Laoghaire Harbour this Saturday morning
ISORA cruiser-racers are looking for a 'weather window' to get their 2024 season underway this Saturday morning (13th April). The second race of the Viking Marine Irish coastal series is due to start at 11 am off Dun Laoghaire, but…
De Wadden: After many months of planning by Wicklow maritime enthusiasts, large sections of the former Arklow general cargo sailing vessel ‘De Wadden’ built in 1919 are now back in the vessel’s Irish home port. AFLOAT adds that the schooner was the last to trade under sail in the Irish Sea, calling to ports on both sides, including Liverpool, with cargoes, chiefly coal, pit props, gravel, and burnt ore from Arklow.
A community of Wicklow maritime enthusiasts, after many months of planning, has secured large sections of Arklow's historic last sail cargo vessel ‘De Wadden’ that were returned to the schooner’s home port, having been a static-ship exhibit in the UK.…
The late DMYC sailor Ivor Davies from County Wexford
Tributes have been paid to former Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) sailor Ivor Davies who has died in Rosslare, Co Wexford. Davies was a familiar face and voice in Dublin Bay when sailing, principally with the late Arthur Reynolds.…
Viking axes and Bronze Age spearheads are among the items found, along with vessel remains, after a hydrographic survey of Lough Corrib in which Underwater Archaeologist Karl Brady was involved
Logboats and craft dating from 2,500 BC to the 11th century on Galway’s Corrib is the theme of a lecture by State archaeologist Karl Brady to the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers' Association later this month. Brady is a senior archaeologist…
Adrian Keller's Irens 84 catamaran Allegra enjoyed the breezy conditions of the first two days in the BVI
The first running of the International Maxi Association’s Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series concluded on Sunday with the end of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival held out of Nanny Cay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The new series…
The sizeable crew at work on board Chris Flowers and David M. Leuschen's Galateia, one of three Wallycentos competing this year, which will have Ireland's Justin Slattery onboard
Cork Harbour's Justin Slattery returns to Galateia for the third edition of the IMA Maxi European Championship in seven week's time. So far, 31 registered entries have been received, with 24 firmed up for the event, organised by the Circolo del…
A precision bomb-strike in the heart of Howth village? Not quite. The site of the old Royal Hotel in Howth has now been cleared for an access road to the new Balscadden Apartments
It may have been recently known as the boarded-up Baily Court Hotel. Yet for many in Howth, it was still the modestly-sized Royal Hotel. Once upon a time, it was the heart of the village, a reminder that way back…
File image of Elephant Island off Antarctica
The Ocean Race is providing “critical” data to international scientists studying the impact of climate change and plastic pollution on ocean health. Following the 2022-23 edition of the round-the-world race — when all five IMOCA racing boats gathered over 4.3-million…
The new Pilot Boat Hibernia underway on Belfast Lough
Belfast Harbour has announced the arrival of its latest pilot boat, the Hibernia, marking a significant investment of £1.5m in its marine fleet. The new vessel will be responsible for ferrying pilots to and from ships at the port, helping…
Lara Gillespie (Wicklow Cyclist)/Dean Clancy (Sligo Boxer) pictured at the launch of the Opening Ceremony wear, designed by LW Pearl by Laura Weber for Team Ireland for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Federation of Ireland has officially unveiled the bespoke Opening Ceremony wear for Team Ireland at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. Designed by Laura Weber, a renowned Irish designer based in New York, the uniform is a perfect…

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

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