Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Kieran O’Donoghue of Glandore Guides Street Along the Right Dinghy Road

20th April 2021
Richard Street takes a pandemic regulations-compliant test row with the newly-acquired Glandore dinghy on Blessington Lake
Richard Street takes a pandemic regulations-compliant test row with the newly-acquired Glandore dinghy on Blessington Lake  

You may remember a little while back, we were recording the sad yarn of Don Street losing his beloved vintage clinker-built service tender Red Rocket when a freakish October gale swept over Glandore pier, and removed everything in its way, including boats stowed where they’d been safely stowed for many a year. Well, Red Rocket was among them, gone to smithereens after 41 years of faithful service. But after a farewell libation or two in honour of her memory at the outer pierhead as soon as things had settled down a bit, 90-year-old Don set to with an almost nationwide search for something similar, as he wouldn’t dream of bringing anything manufactured in synthetic rubber alongside his beloved vintage International Dragon Gypsy.

We thought the search had become too intense when we got a brief email from him recently saying he’d got the dengue, for dengue fever is no laughing matter. But it turned out that the accursed predictive text, which those of us bewildered by much of modern IT find a hellish nuisance at the best of times, had struck yet again. It seems Don was only in a bit of a rush to tell everyone that he had the dinghy, that his son Richard in West Wicklow had managed to acquire possession of an ideal dinghy which had been sourced via the more obscure corners of the internet by the man who is the real foundation of just about everything worthwhile that has happened in Glandore for several decades, the Blessed Kieran O’Donoghue of the Glandore Harbour Inn and much other good work that is largely done by stealth.

The circumstances were such that this 14ft edge-glued epoxied sweety had to be taken untested. But Richard like his father has an eye for a boat - as too had Kieran O’D in viewing the first vague image on-screen - so it wasn’t until now that Richard felt he’d be within the pandemic regulations taking the new boat for a test row on Blessington Lake, aka Lough Poulaphouca, where he is one of the stalwarts of the thriving GP14 class. The photo says it all. Thanks to the clever construction, she’s as light as a feather, thanks to the classic design the transom sits properly clear of the water when there’s just a solo oarsman aboard, and yet it’s obvious she’ll be capable of carrying a good load when required, and at a handy speed too.

So despite the pandemic, the job has been done - and done well.

Published in News Update
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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