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Displaying items by tag: cong galway race

Taking the top spot this year at the annual Cong Galway Boat Race was Sean and Yannick Lemonnier of Galway Bay Sailing Club, making it three-in-a-row for the father and son duo, who won a luxurious night at the 5-star Ashford Castle for their skilled sailing endeavours.

The Race, sponsored by Ashford Estate, took place last weekend against a backdrop of challenging weather conditions.

Second place was awarded to Gary Mangan and Thomas Mills of Blessington Sailing Club, who won a night at the sister hotel, The Lodge at Ashford.

Cong-Galway Race 2020

Setting off a day later than planned, the high winds and choppy water didn’t put racegoers off, with a bumper fleet of 40 boats registered for the competition. There was strong representation from local clubs including Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club, Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil, Galway City Sailing Club and Galway Bay Sailing Club.

The dinghies underway in the 2020 edition of the Cong Galway raceThe dinghies get underway in the 2020 edition of the Cong Galway race

The longest inland boat race in Europe, The Cong Galway Boat Race started in the picturesque shadow of Ashford Castle at the northern end of Lough Corrib and followed the old steamer route to the city of Galway. Strong winds greeted the competitive fleet as they set off from Lisloughrey Pier. There were very few dry sailors as the boats picked up speed from the windward mark and made their way to the halfway point at Kilbeg.

First across the line at Kilbeg Pier were Yannick and Seán Lemonnier in a time of 54 minutes and 34 seconds, pipping Gary Mangan and Thomas Mills by 28 seconds. Amongst the larger boats, Cóilín Óg Hernon led the way in the gleoiteog Asurnaí, ahead of the Manta 19 of Connor Little and the second gleoiteog, Anam Cara, where Jonathan Curran was at the helm.

After a well-earned break at Kilbeg, the boats faced into the tricky, twisty narrow channel to the lower lake. With no sign of the winds abating, there were several altercations between rock and boat, with the rocks invariably coming out better. After navigating the lower lake and moving into the river Corrib, competitors quickly made their way to the finish line with help of favourable winds.

The 2020 Winners: Yannick and Sean Lemonnier

The winners in the dinghy fleet were determined based on the Portsmouth handicap scheme with Yannick and Seán Lemonnier of Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) awarded first place. As the overall winners, Yannick and Sean were presented with the CRYC trophy as well as a stay in Ashford Castle, presented by Paula Carroll, Director of Sales and Marketing, Ashford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford.

Peter Fergus, Thomas Mills, Gary Mangan, Paula Carroll, Leo Leonard (President, CRYC)Peter Fergus, Thomas Mills, Gary Mangan, Paula Carroll, Leo Leonard (President, CRYC)

Second place, and winner of a stay in the Lodge at Ashford, was Gary Mangan of Blessington Sailing Club and his crew Thomas Mills. The prize was presented by Peter Fergus, Hotel Manager of the Lodge at Ashford.

Third place and first monohull was awarded to Rob Talbot of Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil and NUIG alongside his crew, Rian De Bairéad of Galway City Sailing Club.

LR Peter Fergus, Cóilín Óg Hernon (skipper of Asurnaí), Paula Carroll, Leo LeonardPeter Fergus, Cóilín Óg Hernon (skipper of Asurnaí), Paula Carroll, Leo Leonard

First gleoiteog /cruiser was awarded to Asurnaí, skippered by Coilín Óg Hernon of the Galway Hooker Sailing Club.

Published in Cong-Galway Race
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John Barry, Secretary of Galway Bay Sailing Club, is quite right! Racing down the Corrib from Cong to Galway is "not for the faint-hearted."

There are plenty of challenges and obstacles along the route. From my own experience, the Cong to Galway Race is both highly competitive and a special maritime occasion, with a great variety of scenery as boats speed down the Upper and Lower Loughs, that's if the crews have time to notice it!

To complete what is the longest race on inland waterways in Europe and the oldest such race in Ireland is a great achievement. It once rivalled the equine Galway Races!

As Afloat reported previously, next Saturday, August 22, it's due to be held again, the 137th race. Four Galway maritime clubs are organising it and Ashford Castle is involved, all connecting with the great maritime history of Galway and the Corrib, which there was once a plan to link with Lough Mask by a canal. The first canal in Ireland was cut in the 12th century. The Friar's Cut allowed boats to pass from Lough Corrib to the sea at Galway. Lough Corrib also had its own steamboat ferry services.

The Cong to Galway Race start is from Lisloughrey Pier in Cong, Co. Mayo and is scheduled for 10.30 a.m. on a course through Upper and Lower Lough Corrib to the finish line at Corrib Village on the River Corrib in Galway. Transport will be available to take participants from Galway to Lisloughrey for the start so that sailors can leave trailers and cars in Galway for recovery and transport after the event. The race will make a stop for lunch at Kilbeg Pier, approximately half ways, where timings will be taken for the restart.

If the weather forecast for Saturday indicates that the race cannot be run safely, it may be postponed until the same time on Sunday or another later date. A decision will be made, the organisers say, by midday on Friday. Covid 19 provisions relating to sailing will be in effect and entrants must also abide by the "Check, Clean and Dry" principles when transporting boats to and from Lough Corrib. Portsmouth Yardstick 2020 handicap numbers will apply.

John Barry is my guest on this week's Podcast, discussing the history of the Cong to Galway Race which dates back to 1882.

Listen to this week's Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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