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Displaying items by tag: Bellacrogher

Seamus Butler is, to me, a man who embodies all that is good about sailing. He has a deep love for the sport, he enjoys it and teaches those values to young sailors, building the future of sailing.

I found him after driving to the western shores of Mayo, along the side of beautiful Clew Bay, through Mulrany following the Bangor-Erris Road, Achill Island across the water, to Bellacrogher Boat Club. There I parked, walked around the side of a lake to the Bay of the Plunderer, boarded a rigid inflatable and was taken out to the most unique clubhouse/classroom in Ireland, floating on the lake with its own pontoon and training area.

To tell you more would take from the superb interview which Seamus gave me and which I urge you to listen to below.

He is a man to be admired, as are the club members who have supported the development of this unique club which this Summer hosted Mayo’s first Hobie Cat Championships. They were even listed as one of the European events of the season!

Seamus puts a lot of emphasis on safety in the training of young sailors and the value of that is underlined in another item in the programme, when the Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety criticises – and quite rightly in my opinion – that only one-fifth of the country’s primary schools are teaching swimming and the importance of safety on the water to pupils, evidently because the majority of teachers consider other sports more important. He outlines worrying statistics about the high number of anglers who have drowned and warns about the increased use of kayaks without proper training.

Completing the mix of an interesting programme, you can hear why the national museum favours wheels to support its exhibits, why brides loves the light it provides and about the Round Ireland walker who has raised €25,000 for the RNLI, as well as a bit about the history of shanties.
You’ll enjoy listening.

Published in Island Nation

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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