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Displaying items by tag: Connacht

For the second year in a row, Comhghairdeas Coláiste Éidne (St Enda’s College) Galway won the Connacht Schools Team Racing Championship on Sunday 3 March in Carraroe, hosted by Cumann Bádóireachta agus Seoltóireachta.

Six teams from in and around Connacht were able to make the event despite the postponement of racing to Sunday due to westerly gale force winds hammering the bay on Saturday.

The schools included St Enda’s, Athlone Community Marist College Athlone, Calasanctius Oranmore and host school Scoil Cuimsitheach Chiaráin Carraroe.

Every team got to race each other in a full fleet of Fireflies, and St Enda’s were delighted to come away with the win up against strong challengers in Athlone Community College and Marist College Athlone, who placed second and third respectively.

The top three teams now go through the Schools National Team Racing Finals hosted by Schull Community School on the weekend of 4-5 May.

Published in Team Racing

#Angling - Wild brown trout in Connacht lakes face extinction due to unchecked numbers of pike, local anglers fear.

According to Galway Bay FM, the Connacht Angling Council says stocks in Lough Corrib and Lough Mask are among those under threat unless measures such as a closed season for angling and a pike cull are introduced.

Ahead of its ‘Pike are Predators – Save our Wild Brown Trout’ campaign launch this Wednesday 20 September from 8pm at the Boat Inn in Oughterard, the council has launched an online petition in the hopes of persuading Inland Fisheries Ireland to take action against the “predator” species.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Connacht hopes to encourage more women sea anglers to compete for the province at All-Ireland level, as the Mayo Advertiser reports.

The Connaught Council of the Irish Federation of Sea Anglers (IFSA) wants to field a full team for the All-Ireland Ladies Interprovincial Shore Angling Championships in February.

To this end, it plans to provide greater support and resources for female anglers in the west, and is open to welcoming women of all levels and experience into the fold.

“If you are not already part of a club, the first step is to become a member, said Connaught Council team manager Brian Reidy. "These clubs are social, fun, and provide great support for novice anglers."

The Mayo Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Days after the tragic death of an angler on Lough Corrib, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Collinamuck Angling Club will donate €5 from every entry in the upcoming open wet fly competition on 22 April to the Corrib Mask rescue boat.

"The important work that is carried out by the volunteers of the Corrib Mask rescue boat is sometimes forgotted by us anglers," the club's Lionel Flanagan told the Galway Advertiser at the launch of this year's contest.

"We hope this small token will help the Corrib Mask rescue boat continue to provide this vital resource to Connacht anglers and visitors alike.”

Published in Angling

#ANGLING - Ciaran Reilly was awarded the title of best all-round fly-dresser for 2012 at the Connacht Youth Fly-Tying Championships in Loughrea, Co Galway recently, The Irish Times reports.

The 12-year-old from Loughrea is now set to captain the Connacht team in the national championships later this year. Runners-up were Conor Cunningham from Loughrea and Ryan Binley from Foxford.

“It was delightful to see so much enthusiasm among the youngsters, all eager to secure a place on the Connacht team,” said judge and former fisheries inspector Danny Goldrick.

The event on 21 January was run by the Western Lakes’ Angling School on behalf of Connacht Angling Council.

Published in Angling

#WEATHER - Met Éireann is warning that more gale force winds will affect many parts of Ireland and the Irish Sea today (28 December).

According to the forecaster, stormy conditions over Connacht, Ulster and parts of north Leinster will see gale force westerly winds with gusts of between 100 and 130 km/h.

The worst winds are expected in exposed coastal and hilly areas of Ulster and Connacht. There is also an increased risk of flooding as a result of high astronomical tides combined with very high seas.

Published in Weather

#WEATHER - The Irish Coast Guard has warned people to stay away from cliff paths and other coastal areas as near hurricane force winds continue to batter the country, the Irish Examiner reports.

As of this morning, Met Éireann was expecting gusts of up to 140 kilometres an hour in Connacht and Ulster.

All Irish coastal areas are expected to experience strong gales. Winds will occasionally reaching violent storm force 11 on coasts from Rossan Point to Malin Head to Fair Head this afternoon, according to meteorologists.

Published in Weather
The 420 Class Connacht Championships took place on the weekend of 18th & 19th September at Cumann Seoltoireachta an Spideil, Spiddal, Galway. In spite of the absence of any of the regular circuit competitors a strong entry of 18 boats makes this the biggest 420 class event in the country this year.

A field of top class visitors and local crews saw former 420 Champion Rob Lehane and crew Tom Mapplebeck, who are currently campaigning a 470 revel in the fresh conditions to take the Connacht title ahead of Patrick Crosbie and crew Thomas Chaix and local father and son team of Stephen & Ronan OGorman.

The silver fleet was hotly contested and CSS Spiddals own up and coming team of Sam Kinirons and Oisin Hamilton took the trophy on a countback from Brendan Gallagher & Rory McAdam of GBSC with a third place overall in the first race.

Racing was cancelled due to strong winds on Saturday and the sailors and supporters enjoyed an evening BBQ hosted by CSS members Carmel & Tiernan OBrien.

4 Races were ran by Race Officer John Leech on Sunday in freshening South Westerlies with at times poor visibility in showers. The fleet and especially the many young 420 crews showed great seamanship in dealing with the testing conditions on this exposed coast, which is no doubt a great encouragement to the 420 Fleet.

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Published in Youth Sailing

Sharks in Irish waters

Irish waters are home to 71 species of shark, skates and rays, 58 of which have been studied in detail and listed on the Ireland Red List of Cartilaginous fish. Irish sharks range from small Sleeper sharks, Dogfish and Catsharks, to larger species like Frilled, Mackerel and Cow sharks, all the way to the second largest shark in the world, the Basking shark. 

Irish waters provide a refuge for an array of shark species. Tralee Bay, Co. Kerry provides a habitat for several rare and endangered sharks and their relatives, including the migratory tope shark, angel shark and undulate ray. This area is also the last European refuge for the extremely rare white skate. Through a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) project, Marine Institute scientists have been working with fishermen to assess the distribution, diversity, and monthly relative abundance of skates and rays in Tralee, Brandon and Dingle Bays.

“These areas off the southwest coast of Ireland are important internationally as they hold some of the last remaining refuges for angel shark and white skate,” said Dr Maurice Clarke of the Marine Institute. “This EMFF project has provided data confirming the critically endangered status of some species and provides up-to-date information for the development of fishery measures to eliminate by-catch.” 

Irish waters are also home to the Black Mouthed Catshark, Galeus melastomus, one of Ireland’s smallest shark species which can be found in the deep sea along the continental shelf. In 2018, Irish scientists discovered a very rare shark-nursery 200 nautical miles off the west coast by the Marine Institute’s ROV Holland 1 on a shelf sloping to 750 metres deep. 

There are two ways that sharks are born, either as live young or from egg casings. In the ‘case’ of Black Mouthed Catsharks, the nursery discovered in 2018, was notable by the abundance of egg casings or ‘mermaid’s purses’. Many sharks, rays and skate lay eggs, the cases of which often wash ashore. If you find an egg casing along the seashore, take a photo for Purse Search Ireland, a citizen science project focusing on monitoring the shark, ray and skate species around Ireland.

Another species also found by Irish scientists using the ROV Holland 1 in 2018 was a very rare type of dogfish, the Sail Fin Rough Shark, Oxynotus paradoxus. These sharks are named after their long fins which resemble the trailing sails of a boat, and live in the deep sea in waters up to 750m deep. Like all sharks, skates and rays, they have no bones. Their skeleton is composed of cartilage, much like what our noses and ears are made from! This material is much more flexible and lighter than bone which is perfect for these animals living without the weight of gravity.

Throughout history sharks have been portrayed as the monsters of the sea, a concept that science is continuously debunking. Basking sharks were named in 1765 as Cetorhinus maximus, roughly translated to the ‘big-nosed sea monster’. Basking sharks are filter feeders, often swimming with their mouths agape, they filter plankton from the water.

They are very slow moving and like to bask in the sun in shallow water and are often seen in Irish waters around Spring and early Summer. To help understand the migration of these animals to be better able to understand and conserve these species, the Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged and mapped their travels.

Remarkably, many sharks like the Angel Shark, Squatina squatina have the ability to sense electricity. They do this via small pores in their skin called the ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’ which are able to detect the tiny electrical impulses of a fish breathing, moving or even its heartbeat from distances of over a kilometre! Angel sharks, often referred to as Monkfish have a distinctively angelic shape, with flattened, large fins appearing like the wings of an angel. They live on the seafloor in the coastal waters of Ireland and much like a cat are nocturnal, primarily active at night.

The intricate complexity of shark adaptations is particularly noticeable in the texture of their skin. Composed of miniscule, perfectly shaped overlapping scales, the skin of shark provides them with protection. Often shark scales have been compared to teeth due to their hard enamel structure. They are strong, but also due to their intricate shape, these scales reduce drag and allow water to glide past them so that the shark can swim more effortlessly and silently. This natural flawless design has been used as inspiration for new neoprene fabric designs to help swimmers glide through the water. Although all sharks have this feature, the Leafscale Gulper Shark, Centrophorus squamosus, found in Ireland are specifically named due to the ornate leaf-shape of their scales.

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