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195km Sailing Raid Begins on Ireland's Inland Waterways

17th September 2012
195km Sailing Raid Begins on Ireland's Inland Waterways

#sailing raid – A gathering of international sailors set off for the start of the first Lakelands & Inland Waterways Ireland Sailing Raid on Friday (14 Sept). The skipper list for the seven-day event on the Shannon River includes a former Olympian, a transatlantic record breaker, a Whitbread sailor, and a former world windsurf champion.

Two local classes, the Shannon One-Design and the Water Wags, joined a mixed fleet of boats in the Open Class to race the 195km course. In a spirit of cross-border cooperation, the first two days of the event took place in Northern Ireland, before the boats crossed the border into the Republic of Ireland and resumed racing down the Shannon River.

Early indications were that the local classes were proving very competitive against the Open Class - which includes everything from a 75-year-old Solent centreboarder to a brand new Wayfarer. Local knowledge plays an important part in the tricky inland conditions, where sudden downdraughts and wind shadows are a regular occurrence.

Crews are required to navigate the waterways themselves using the usual channel markers, and race buoys are only used at the start and finish of each leg.

Crews from seven countries are taking part in the raid: Ireland, UK, Germany, Sweden, Japan, France and the Netherlands. Notable personalities include: Albert Schiess (Swiss Olympic sailor), Jochen Krauth (German/French windsurf world champion), Koji Ikeda (Japanese Tornado champion), Patrick Morvan (transatlantic record-breaker), Sylvie Viant (Whitbread sailor), and Martine Gahinet-Charrier (transatlantic racer).

Published in Inland Waterways Team

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