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Not One But The Two Oldest Yacht Clubs in The World are Irish

17th October 2018
Lough Ree Yacht Club Commodore, Garrett Leech Lough Ree Yacht Club Commodore, Garrett Leech

Hello and welcome to my weekly Podcast …. Tom MacSweeney here ….

That the Royal Cork at Crosshaven is the oldest yacht club in the world is well-known, even if there are some elements who have challenged, though unsuccessfully, that claim… Perhaps not so well-known is that Ireland has, not one, but the two oldest yacht clubs in the world.

Lough Ree Yacht Club lays claim to being the second oldest.

It has other interesting historical sailing associations. It is one of two clubs on the Shannon where brothers are Commodores at the same time. And their mother was the second woman in the world to become a Club Commodore. That is a lot of sailing commitment in one family.

Lough Ree, in a comparison to the initial formative years to which the RCYC traces its history, has its early days also in formation sailing. This was carried out by Naval personnel in Cork Harbour for the RCYC’s history – By military men on Lough Ree for the formative days to which the Athlone club traces its history.

Lough Ree YC held the All-Ireland Helmsman’s Championships a fortnight ago and has a particular interest in promoting sailing in which more than one person is involved in a boat. While they do have solo sailing, their penchant is to encourage increased participation in the sport.

All of this is outlined by Lough Ree Yacht Club Commodore, Garrett Leech, in this week’s Podcast.

It was a cold, wet day, just after Storm Callum had passed through when I drove the winding roads from Athlone to Lough Ree Yacht Club, to hear more about what the second oldest yacht club in the world is doing to promote the sport and was welcomed to their impressive building by Commodore Garrett Leech:


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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He also presents the maritime radio programme This Island Nation on community radio stations around Ireland.

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