#cityone – Limerick's long tradition of boat building has entered a new phase with the innovative 'City One' design from the Ilen school and network for wooden boat building taking to the water this weekend writes Andrew Carey.
The school, which has built the traditional Gandelows, took inspiration from the traditional Shannon river boat to design the new 'City One' and have it ready for the annual festival of racing on the river.
"The City One is designed for the River Shannon and the city. Limerick has the biggest number of tides in the country and the river demands a dynamic boat and these boats have been designed with that in mind," explained project co-ordinator, Gary Mc Mahon.
Gandelow Races start at 1.30pm this Saturday from Howley's Quay, Limerick City Centre and the organisers are hoping for a fine day for the spectators but a good wind to show the boats at their best.
This year's Gandelow Races include the special 'City One' Limerick sailing challenge, which involves the launch and racing of four of the new and spectacular performance sailing boats, designed for racing between the bridges of Limerick and custom-built at the Ilen School in Roxboro, a Limerick City of Culture #madeinlimerick legacy project.
"In essence, spectators can expect to see dynamic and highly competitive river rowing and sailing - rowing, in the racing of Limerick's unique and elegant traditional fishing-boat," said Gary.
The races this year have entries from familiar and popular teams, coming from the city and beyond - with competition is heating up between the Limerick City and County Clare teams.
The 'City One' races will be held in association with Lough Derg Yacht Club and will have experienced teams competing in an exciting and challenge race format.
The new boats will also be on view on Culture Night (this Friday) at Howleys Quay and there will be yet another opportunity to see them at an exhibition to be launched on September 26 in St Mary's Cathedral, as the 'City One' sail boat decoration was the subject of an international graphic design competition.