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5,000 Sail from City Centre Slipway

17th May 2010
5,000 Sail from City Centre Slipway

More than 5,000 people hit the water with the East Wall Watersports Centre in the year 2009, according to centre principal Billy King. The centre, located in the Tolka Estuary in Dublin's East Wall, has a history of sailing in the area stretching back to the 1800s, but its new premises has allowed it develop a range of watersports over the last few years, with match racing among the items on the agenda for 2010.

The watersports group as it stands was formed in the 1980s with a group of people in the East Wall clubbing together to promote a variety of on-the-water activities. However by teaming up with Dublin City Council and sourcing lottery funding, and monies from the Docklands Development Authority and other groups, the new premises were built in 2007 and now house a fleet of dinghies and kayaks to cater for local school and business groups.

The centre has a new website at, with Rory Walsh aiming to take participation to the next level and even encourage a match racing event at the end of the year, entitled the Docklands Challenge.

Says Rory: "Despite its discrete appearance (the building is earth bermed and can not be seen from the road or air) the building contains a boat shed, a workshop, changing rooms, a kitchen and a bright open plan teaching room, all of which have been fitted out to the highest standard"

The fleet includes two Laser Stratos Dinghies, two GP14s and an Enterprise, along with three Picos, three Oppys and three Open Bics. The centre is planning on acquiring two Laser Bahias in the near future to help develop the clubs activities.
"Regarding the Dockland Challenge; response has been excellent.," says Walsh.
"Companies like Oracle, Enterprise Ireland and Yahoo in East Point Business Park have indicated an interest ( I am presenting to a group of 20 in Enterprise Ireland this week) and we already have two teams signed up from the Central Remedial Clinic the other side of the Bay.
"There seems to be an appetite out there for this type of social, team-based, challenge; the fact that we can marry that up with sailing, an adventurous outdoor pursuit is working to our advantage."


Published in Dublin Bay Team

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore. 

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.