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#icra – ICRA Commodore Nobby Reilly has issued a last minute appeal for support for Saturday's ICRA conference at the Royal Irish Yacht Club, urging cruiser sailors to help recruit more people to the sport of cruiser racing. It follows a campaign launched in 2013 where ICRA recruited up to 300 for day sails at Howth Yacht Club last April. 

The day long conference on Saturday will hear from keynote speaker Matt Sheahan on foiling at the America's Cup and Philip Bendon and his Irish Match Racing Irish Team who earlier this season won the U23 European match racing championships. 

There will also be news on a Commodore's Cup Team Up Date, Crew Training Programme: Comprehensive Modules for all clubs, a Crew Point: Plan to link Crew to Boats in your club and an ICRA Club Rep Role.

Published in ICRA
The River Mersey's biggest sailing event in living memory will take place when two open regattas are staged during the Liverpool Boat Show.

About 150 boats will compete in a series of spectacular races on each of the two weekends of the show, which takes place from April 29 to May 8 next year.

Up to three races will be held each day on the weekends of April 30 and May 7, with classes for modern racing yachts, ultra-fast multi-hulls, local classes and traditional nobbys.

The regattas – comprising the Royal Dee Yacht Club Spring Regatta and the Liverpool Yacht Club Kindred Clubs Regatta – will be one of the main highlights of the Liverpool Boat Show, which takes place in the splendid surroundings of the Albert Dock.

Competitors from across the UK and Ireland are expected to take part in the regattas, which will see boats racing against each other on courses in front of the Albert Dock.

Today organisers urged enthusiasts and clubs to submit their entries for the races to secure a place in one of the most spectacular sailing events of the year.

Alastair Soane, chair of the race committee, said: "This will be the biggest sailing event for probably 70 or 80 years on the River Mersey and interest is already very high."

Alastair Soane, a past Commodore and President of Liverpool Yacht Club who sits on the steering committee of the boat show, added: "We already have expressions of interest from clubs and individuals in Scotland, Wales and Ireland and we are keen to get representation from the sailing fraternity right across the UK, including the South coast.

"The combination of the festival atmosphere of the show and the spectacle of the racing will make these truly unique events and we'd urge potential participants to register as soon as possible."

A number of North West clubs are supporting the regattas, including Liverpool Yacht Club, the Royal Mersey Yacht Club, the Royal Dee Yacht Club, West Kirby Sailing Club, Wallasey Yacht Club, Dee Sailing Club, Blundell Sands Sailing Club, Liverpool Sailing Club, Hoylake Sailing Club, West Lancs Sailing Club and the Nobby Association.

Mr Soane said: "The entire North West sailing community is throwing its weight behind the Liverpool Boat Show and we are determined to make it a show like no other and to showcase to a whole new generation the pleasure and benefits to be had from sailing."

Published in Maritime Festivals

Whether you're a boat enthusiast, historian, archaeologist, fisherman, or just taken by the natural beauty of Ireland's waterways, you will find something of interest in our Inland pages on Afloat.ie.

Inland Waterways

Ireland is lucky to have a wealth of river systems and canals crossing the country that, while once vital for transporting goods, are today equally as important for angling, recreational boating and of course tourism.

From the Barrow Navigation to the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation, these inland waterways are popular year in, year out for anyone with an interest in rambling; flora and fauna; fishing; sailing; motorboating; canoeing, kayaking and waterskiing; and cruising on narrowboats.

Although most will surely identify Ireland's inland waterways with boating holidays and a peaceful afternoon's angling, many varieties of watersport are increasingly favoured activities. Powerboat and Jetski courses abound, as do opportunities for waterskiing or wakeboarding. For those who don't require engine power, there's canoeing and kayaking, as Ireland's waterways have much to offer both recreational paddlers and those looking for more of a challenge. And when it comes to more sedate activities, there's nothing like going for a walk along a canal or river bank following some of the long-distance Waymarked Ways or Slí na Sláinte paths that criss-cross the country.

Ireland's network of rivers, lakes and canals is maintained by Waterways Ireland, which is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British-Irish Agreement in 1999. The body has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways on the island of Ireland, principally for recreational purposes. It also maintains Ireland's loughs, lakes and channels which are sought after for sailing; the network of canal locks and tow paths; as well as any buoys, bridges and harbours along the routes.

Along the Grand and Royal Canals and sections of the Barrow Navigation and the Shannon-Erne Waterway, Waterways Ireland is also responsible for angling activities, and charges Inland Fisheries Ireland with carrying out fisheries development, weed management and ensuring water quality.

Brian Goggin's Inland Blog

Giving his personal perspective on Ireland's Inland Waterways from present-day activities to their rich heritage, Brian Goggin tells it like it is with his Inland Blog.

From recognising achievements in management of the waterways to his worries on the costs of getting afloat on Ireland's canals, Goggin always has something important to say.

He also maintains the website Irish Waterways History that serves as a repository for a wealth of historical accounts of the past commercial and social uses alike of Ireland's rivers and canals, which were once the lifeblood of many a rural community.