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"Cowes & Calves! We Go for Lambs in Galway Bay Sailing Club"

14th August 2021
Lambs Week 2021 - 45 boats entered, 3 Destinations to be visited, a 'King of the Bay Pursuit Challenge' around the islands for both competitive and non-competitive boats
Lambs Week 2021 - 45 boats entered, 3 Destinations to be visited, a 'King of the Bay Pursuit Challenge' around the islands for both competitive and non-competitive boats

I just love the approach of Galway sailors in mixing serious racing and enjoyment.

If British sailors can have Cowes Week and West Cork has Calves Week, in Galway, they have Lamb's Week which has "gentlemanly racing," plenty of "craic," and "something to stick up on the mantelpiece at home for everyone."

What more could you want from a few days sailing and this one in Galway Bay, where there is a rapidly expanding sailing scene?

Two weeks ago I was talking on this Podcast to Nancy Roe, one of the founding members and now Club Treasurer and Membership Secretary at Galway City Sailing Club about their development of dinghy sailing in the city.

That was given great support by Galway Bay Sailing Club which, based at Rinville, Oranmore, ten kilometres from the city prides itself on welcoming "all ages, skill levels and abilities to join us to experience the world of sailing."

And that they certainly do.

Back in 2019, they had a cruise to Lorient and then, responding to pandemic issues, they came up with Lamb's Week, which they intend to follow with a cruise to Scotland next year.

45 boats entered, 3 Destinations to be visited, a 'King of the Bay Pursuit Challenge' around the islands for both competitive and non-competitive boats part of the Galway Maritime King of the Bay series, all happening from August 19 to 23 as the GBSC boats follow the Lamb's course.

gbsc Lamb's Week

"Gentlemanly racing, plenty of craic" and "everyone gets a prize, something for the mantelpiece for everyone," says Galway Bay Sailing Club Commodore, Johnny Shorten, who is my Podcast guest this week.

Podcast here

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for Afloat.ie. He also presents the radio programme Maritime Ireland on radio stations around Ireland.

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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