Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Lough Ree and Shannons share top prize

11th June 2008

The Mitsubishi Motors/Irish Independent “Sailing Club of the Year 2008” award has been presented jointly to the Shannon One Design Association and Lough Ree Yacht Club in a ceremony at LRYC’s clubhouse in Ballyglass near Athlone.

LRYC Commodore Eileen Brown and SOD chairman Stephen O'Driscoll

The annual award dates from 1979, and aims to highlight achievement in sailing, and the successful functioning of clubs both for their own membership, and within their communities. Dual club awards have occurred before, and class associations have been also been highlighted, but this is the first time a club and a class association have been linked.

Lough Ree YC can trace its origins in the Athlone area back to 1770, while the concept of the 18ft Shannon One Design emerged from a meeting of Shannon sailors from all the river’s lakes in Athlone in 1922. Today, Lough Ree YC is a thriving organization with a very attractive riverside clubhouse where the river emerges from Lough Ree at Ballyglass. The club is notable for its high level of voluntary input, and though much of the new clubhouse was officially opened in 2006, work is in hand on the continuing improvement of facilities.

The Shannon One Design, a notably beautiful classic boat, is traditionally constructed in clinker planking, yet new boats continue to be built. The level of racing is intense, with the 2007 Championship – spread across the annual race weeks on Lough Ree and Lough Derg in August – being won by Lough Ree’s Philip Mayne.

Lough Ree YC in 2007 also hosted the Waterways Ireland Clsssic Boat Regatta in September, and in October the first Midlands Championship of the Laser SB3. This is now one of several classes which race regularly at the club, which has a thriving junior section and a growing cruiser-racer fleet.

The “Club of the Year” ship’s wheel trophy was presented jointly to Eileen Browne, Commodore of Lough Ree YC, and Stephen O’Driscoll, Chairman of the Shannon One Design Association, at a reception hosted by Gavin Flood, marketing manager of Mitsubishi Motors, in the LRYC clubhouse. Team

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