Foynes Yacht Club lost a stalwart this season with the untimely passing of Alan McEneff in early May. Alan, who was actively involved in promoting sailing to newcomers in the Club, will be greatly missed by all in the Shannon Estuary Club.
Alan moved to Galway in the eighties for a number of years and became a member of Galway Bay Sailing Club, where he sailed cruisers. He finally moved to Limerick in the early nineties, and with his good friend Ger Hobbs they successfully campaigned, the cruiser Whisper for many years. Alan then teamed up with Liam Madden and Rurai Buckley and brought an X332 Dexterity to Foynes which he campaigned for 12 years on the West and South coast of Ireland.
Many sailors in Foynes can thank Alan for the skills and confidence they acquired under his leadership in the learn to sail programme he set in Foynes. He was very proud of his so called newbies. Alan gave his time freely to all he encountered at the Club and the various Committees he served on over the years.
Close to Alan’s heart was racing, having cut his teeth on the GP14 class; it was inevitable he would graduate to cruiser racing. Each year Alan would make plans for big events, WIORA and Cork Week and Sovereigns Cup. Delivery to these events was carefully planned, delivery crews enjoyed expert tuition in navigation and boat handling skills under his watchful eye. Alan also took great pride in cooking great meals at sea. These trips to Cork and Galway were the highlight of the Sailing season for Alan and his crew.
Alan was also keen to learn new skills himself, having raced in the Round Ireland Yacht Race 2000 with the late Joe English and crew from Sligo Yacht Club. He often recalled the bad broaches off Eagle Island, Mayo Coast in the middle of the night with the kite up in near Gale conditions. When called on to help with delivery trips, Alan was always keen to take on new adventures, such as his cruise from Dun Laoghaire to Bordeaux to deliver a yacht to the Med for his good friend Marcus Higgins.
It was testament to the high regard and respect Alan was held in by the large number of yachts that turned out on a lovely Sunday in September for Alan’s final farewell.
His ashes were released into his beloved Shannon Estuary by his Loving Wife Noelle, daughter Lindsey and son Andrew on the going tide. It was nice to see the wonderful respect shown to Alan and Family, and the remarkable display of genuine gratitude and love for a remarkable one off individual who leaves such a void in all of our lives.