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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay Sailing Club

Tributes have been paid among the west coast’s sailing community to former RTÉ western editor Jim Fahy who died late last week at the age of 75.

The journalist’s association with Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) since its foundations were recalled at the weekend by Pierce Purcell.

“The early days were noted for the lunchtime gatherings at the Lenihan family ‘Tavern’ on Eyre Square,” Purcell said.

“It was here that so many of those younger members got to know each other, learn about people who had sailed from the docks and on the Corrib,” he said.

“Dickie Byrne who was an early contributor to The Galway Advertiser with the column “There Ye Are Again”, and had some interest in sailing, introduced the local face of the RTÉ to us,” Purcell recalled.

“Jim became a lunchtime contributor to the interests of the enthusiast sailors whose club was developing at a rake of knots, expanding its dinghy and cruiser racing calendar and organising boat shows,” he said.

“By the time Tavern closed and the club group moved down town, John Killeen had recruited Jim to join a few adventures afloat including the “Spirit of Galway” campaign in the Round Ireland Sailing race which listed Government minister Bobby Molloy amongst the crew,” Purcell said.

Bobby Molloy was needed back in Dublin by Taoiseach Charlie Haughey for an important Dail vote and had to jump ship off Westport. Our man Jim was on the spot to inform the nation and GBSC’s involvement in the race in an age before mobile phones,” he said.

“Jim Fahy clocked up more miles cruising with his wife Christina than most members have ever done sailing, with on average 1500 miles a season over the last fifteen years researching places to visit and often imparting local history to the interested crew,” Purcell added.

“Jim became an important member of the Volvo Ocean Race communications team in 2009 and 2012, impressing the Volvo teams with the hourly updates from a small dockside office which was put together on a shoestring,” he said.

Jim Fahy, who began his journalistic career with The Tuam Herald newspaper, was RTÉ’s longest-serving regional correspondent when he retired in 2011.

He reported on national and international events, ranging from his "Looking West" series of interviews to issues affecting Irish emigrants in Britain to famine in Somalia and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York in September 2001.

President Michael D Higgins had described him as "one of Ireland's finest broadcasters, a fact attested to by the over 40 national and international awards which he won over the course of his outstanding career".

"For generations of people he was a familiar voice, indelibly associated with the reporting of events across the west of Ireland during his 38 years as RTÉ’s first western news correspondent,” the president said.

"It will be as RTÉ's voice of the west of Ireland that Jim will be most fondly remembered," he said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that his "distinct voice and eye for a story uncovered every facet of life in the west of Ireland, as well as major international events like 9/11".

Purcell said that “Jim’s many sailing friends extend their deepest sympathy to Jim’s wife Christina , his son Shane and daughter Aideen”.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Bay Sailing Club are looking forward to organising the first stopover for the enlarged four-stage Round Britain and Ireland Race, which starts from Plymouth on May 29th 2022. In time past, the race has been based on two-handed crews. But the interest from fully-crewed boats is such that, with nearly 30 entries already made for the two-handed division including eight multi-hulls, the organisers feel the time is right to add a fully-crewed vision, details from [email protected]

The course is Plymouth to Galway, Galway to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles, Lerwick to Blyth in Northumberland, and Blyth to Plymouth - a seriously demanding offshore and oceanic challenge by anyone’s standards.

As an added incentive, the fully-crewed boats can make crew changes of up to 50% in both Galway and Blyth, and the entry fee discount is available until March 1st.

Published in Galway Harbour

Flexibility has been the keynote at Galway Bay Sailing Club as they wind down their traditional season at a time when activity generally is seeing a stepping-up of the pace as the pandemic recedes. Thus when the time-honoured Junior Regatta scheduled for Sunday 26th September was faced with deteriorating weather and perhaps a fixtures clash, the lines of communication burned red-hot to transfer it to Saturday, September 25th, and despite the widespread locations of sailing clubs along the western seaboard, they were rewarded with a good turnout for four classes drawn from four different clubs.

Overall, it's reckoned the top performers were Adam McGrady and Ally O'Sullivan who scooped the 420 class, reflecting the strength of this important international junior two-person boat at sailing centres around the City of the Tribes. The Fevas were won by Isabel Schumacher and Isolde Hannon, while the Topaz group was led in by Lauren Irwin.

The GBSC Junior Regatta managed to sidestep impending bad weather with some nifty footwork in shifting the date by 24 hours.The GBSC Junior Regatta managed to sidestep impending bad weather with some nifty footwork in shifting the date by 24 hours.

The Optimists, racing in a separate course, had the Gold Fleet won by Micheal Minogue, while the Silvers were headed by Niamh Banes – full results here 

EVENING RACING

In socially-distanced evening racing throughout the season, the club was very lucky in getting an almost unbroken pattern of summery evenings for the keelboats' 12-boat Aquabroker Series, in which Joker was dominant under IRC, while Woofer came through in the final race to win on ECHO.

September in Galway is of course Oyster Festival Time afloat and ashore, and the club's cruisers raced to Galway Docks in the final race of the King of the Bay series for a nautical nosh-up sponsored by Galway Maritime. However, they'd to earn their pints and bivalves, as the course took them on a spectator-impressing circuit of the inner bay, with a final run along the Salthill waterfront until they arrived with neat timing at the finish with a flurry of sail just as the dock gates were opening.

Mark Wilson's Sigma 33 Scorpio has had a good season on Galway Bay, winning the Round Aran Race in August, and the Renville-Galway Race which concluded the King of the Bay series.Mark Wilson's Sigma 33 Scorpio has had a good season on Galway Bay, winning the Round Aran Race in August, and the Renville-Galway Race which concluded the King of the Bay series.

The Kings of the Bay – Ibaraki crew of Eugene Burke, Mike Guilfoyle, Aoife Macken, John Collins, Paddy Ryan and Ciaran Moran with Pierce Purcell Jnr and Piece Purcell III of Galway Maritime.

The winner on the day was the Sigma 33 Scorpio (Mark Wilson) which also won the hugely-successful Pursuit Race round Inismor in the Aran Islands back in August. But overall the King of the Bay series winner is John Collins' Ibaraki, with Scorpio second and Out of the Blue (Lyons brothers) third.

Celebration of this high point of the season continued in the sociable shelter of the dock, with GBSC Commodore John Shorten turning his boat Galypso into Hospitality Central for liquid dispensation, while ashore under the Galway Maritime mega-parasol, it was mussels and oysters galore. But despite these festivities, sailing at GBSC for 2021 is by no means over - their annual Sunday Series is now under way.

"The Brains of the Bay": Out of the Blue crew of Conor, Lisa and Fergal Lyons came third overall in the King of the Bay series , and it was also Fergal who proved to be the ace handicapper when setting the start times for the phenomenally successful Round Aran Pursuit Race in August."The Brains of the Bay": Out of the Blue crew of Conor, Lisa and Fergal Lyons came third overall in the King of the Bay series , and it was also Fergal who proved to be the ace handicapper when setting the start times for the phenomenally successful Round Aran Pursuit Race in August.

Published in Galway Harbour

While good placings in the recent 420 Nationals showed that the Galway Bay SC juniors are a growing force in this demanding class, junior-sailed boats of all kinds are welcome at the GBSC Open Junior Regatta at Renville on Sunday, September 26th.

Doors will open at 9.0am with all sailors set to be rigged and ready for briefing at 10.0 am.

Two courses will be provided, with the Optimists having their own area, while the word is that there are prizes galore…….

Entry is online through the club website here

Optimist numbers at the GBSC Junior Regatta will have their own separate race area.Optimist numbers at the GBSC Junior Regatta will have their own separate race area.

Published in Galway Harbour

A Naval Service officer has paid tribute to the efforts of instructors at Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) who rescued a man off Rinville pier last month.

Lieut Jason Croke from Clarenbridge, Co Galway also spoke to young sailors about pursuing a career in the Naval Service during a visit to GBSC.

Croke, a diver who also works in Naval Service operations, learned to sail at GBSC and qualified as an instructor there.

During his visit to Rinville, he extolled the training which the clubs provide, and the value of the skillsets passed on to young sailors.

He was asked many questions during the 40-minute discussion, and outlined options and career opportunities to the older members of the group of about 30 sailors.

Croke met Callie Ní Fhlannchaidha, senior instructor at GBSC, and 15-year old powerboat driver Cormac Conneely who were involved in pulling a man from a vehicle that shot off Rinville pier near Oranmore on the afternoon of July 3rd last.

Robert Donnelly and juniors after a sail at Galway Bay Sailing Club meet Lieut Jason CrokeRobert Donnelly and juniors after a sail at Galway Bay Sailing Club meet Lieut Jason Croke

The pair had been instructing local sea scouts on the water and had been bringing two groups of the scouts ashore when the incident occurred.

With the assistance of a local Galway hooker sailor Sean Furey, who was on the water in a currach, Ní Fhlannchaidha and Conneely towed the car ashore.

Fellow instructors onshore, including Tom Ryan, Ben Schumaker, Ella Lyons, Veronica O’Dowd and Mattie Kennedy, assisted in the rescue effort.

Instructor Olivia Croke watches on as Instructor Isabella Irwin presents a GBSC  burgee to Lieutenant Jason Croke on his visit to the club where he learned to sail.  Instructor Olivia Croke watches on as Instructor Isabella Irwin presents a GBSC burgee to Lieutenant Jason Croke on his visit to the club where he learned to sail.

Conneely expressed his interest in joining the Naval Service on leaving school - and to volunteer for the RNLI Galway lifeboat crew when he is old enough.

On foot of this, an invitation was issued to Lieut Croke by GBSC founder member Pierce Purcell.

Purcell paid tribute to the Naval Service officer for his visit, which he said was inspiring for young members.

GBSC celebrated its 50th-anniversary last year and runs sail training courses for children from six years old up to junior cadet level.

The club’s Optimist and 420 class juniors are particularly successful, according to rear commodore Pat Irwin.

GBSC Lamb's Week 2021

GBSC hosts Lambs Week from August 19th to 25th when some 50 boats will take part in the five-day regatta. It includes a number of races for four classes from Ros-a-Mhíl, with a day’s race around the Aran islands and from there to Roundstone in Connemara.

The Lamb’s Week schedule is:

  • Thu 19 Aug, Galway to Ros a'Mhíl
  • Fri 20 Aug, Ros a'Mhíl to Cil Rónáin
  • Sat 21 Aug, 'Round Aran
  • Sun 22 Aug, Cil Rónáin to Cloch na Rón
  • Mon 23 Aug, Cloch na Rón to Ros a'Mhíl/Galway
Published in Galway Harbour

14 boats will compete tonight in the final race of Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) cruiser-racer McSwiggans Series.

After five races sailed and going into the final race, Ibaraki is the overall leader on IRC and ECHO but points are tight and the final race could well be a decider.

Ibaraki, a modified GK34, is tied on six points with the Joker on IRC and has a two-point margin on the J/24 Running Tide in ECHO handicap racing. 

Full details are here

Lambs Week 2021 Regatta countdown

Meanwhile, GBSC is counting down to five days of great sailing around Galway Bay and the Aran Islands in its Lambs Week from 19th - 25th August 2021.

Club spokesperson Olga Scully says "Boats are arriving from Ros A Mhil, Ballyvaughan, Renville, the Docks in Galway Cloch na Ron, Kilrush and Westport to take part in the unique event".

As Afloat reported previously, over 45 boats in four classes are competing with races to Ros a Mhil, Cil Ronain and Cloch Na Ron.

The club has produced a brochure for the regatta week that is downloadable below as a PDF file.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Bay Sailing Club says its new King of the Bay Series represents the 'pinnacle' of sailing on Galway Bay for cruiser racers.

The summer series consists of seven competitive events for the 'King of the Bay' trophy as well as support events that are open to all boats, and anyone interested in joining the fun. 

SPRING CUP JUNE 13TH
A jaunt around Illaunloo near Ballyvaughan with a finish at Galway Docks.

KINVARA JULY 10TH
An opportunity to explore the stunning south end of Galway Bay.

MORAN'S AT THE WEIR JULY 25TH
Follow the tide into The Weir for an early evening stopover.

BALLYVAUGHAN AUG 8TH
A race across the bay finishing at the new pier ay Ballyvaughan in the shadow of the Burren

ARAN ISLANDS AUGUST 21ST
A flagship event in conjunction with the annual Lamb's Week sailing festival which this year is expecting 60 boats. The King of the Bay race will be on the Saturday and will involve a circumnavigation of the Islands and back to Kilronan.

BARNA SEPT 5TH
A fun sail to the village of Barna, finishing at the pier.

GALWAY OYSTER FESTIVAL SEPT 26TH
Join the Oyster Festival festivities following a challenging course around the bay.

Published in Galway Harbour

Tributes have been paid to the quick thinking of a Galway Bay Sailing Club instruction team for their rescue of a man from a car in the water at the weekend.

As Afloat reported previously, a senior instructor at GBSC worked with a 15-year old powerboat driver to pull the man from a vehicle.

The incident occurred at the club at Rinville pier near Oranmore on Saturday afternoon.

As The Times Ireland edition reports, the pair had been among a team tutoring local sea scouts on the water, and had been bringing two groups of the scouts ashore when the incident occurred.

“Callie and I were on the slip and showing the scouts some sailing knots, when we heard something smash through the railings and a car flew into the air and hit the water,” powerboat driver Cormac Conneely said.

“Callie immediately jumped into the rigid inflatable boat (rib) with me, shouted to the group leader to call 999, and I called to the rest of the team to get the scouts inside the club,” he said.

“The car was still floating and Callie got her sailing knife and jammed it into the driver’s window to stop it from closing,” he said.

“She then cut the driver’s safety belt, and we pulled him out through the car window and into the rib,”Conneely continued.

Fortunately, a separate first aid course was being run in the sailing club at the time.

A paramedic instructing on the course treated the man until the Galway fire and ambulance service and Galway RNLI arrived on scene.

The Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter had also been alerted after the emergency call.

The senior instructor threw her grapnel anchor and chain in the front window of the car to secure it.

With the assistance of a local Galway hooker sailor Sean Furey, who was on the water in a currach, they then towed the car ashore.

The 15-year old, who is a pupil at Coláiste Iognaid or “the Jez” in Galway, learned to sail with Robert McInerney on Inishbofin, and undertook a number of sailing and powerboat training courses.

Conneely’s dream is to join the Naval Service on leaving school, and to volunteer for the RNLI Galway lifeboat crew when he is old enough.

He emphasised that fellow GBSC instructors and assistants onshore, including Tom Ryan, Ben Schumaker, Ella Lyons, Veronica O’Dowd and Mattie Kennedy, were vital in dealing with the rescue effort.

His mother Teresita Nugent said she was very proud of her son, who had a long-held passion for the water.

Gardaí and fire brigade staff praised efforts of the instructors, as did experienced Galway sailor Pierce Purcell, who has had many years of involved with the Irish Sailing Association.

“ Having been involved with Irish sailing for some 50 years, I am very conscious of the contribution that it makes throughout the island of Ireland - not only with sailing clubs and training centres but scouting and disadvantaged groups,”Purcell said.

Read The Times here

Published in Galway Harbour

Afloat.ie understands that a man was rescued thanks to the quick actions of Galway Bay Sailing Club instructors after a car went off the pier at Rinville East yesterday, Saturday 3 July.

One instructor is said to have freed the driver by cutting the seat belt and pulling him to the surface onto the club’s RIB.

It’s reported that a nurse and paramedic giving a first aid course in the clubhouse assisted by caring for the motorist until rescue services arrived.

Meanwhile, as the submerged car was drifting towards moored yachts, the club instructors were aided by a local boat owner in moving the vehicle back to the club slipway.

Published in Rescue

Galway Bay Sailing Club, comfortably ensconced in their fine clubhouse at Renville New Harbour near Oranmore at the head of Galway Bay, can look back at many ups and downs during the fifty years of sailing development they've experienced from small beginnings in the city in 1970, until now they're one of the pre-eminent clubs on the West Coast in all areas of sailing.

Yet even the most sadistic theatrical director would scarcely have green-lighted a storyline in which – just as the final details for a year's long Golden Jubilee celebration in 2020 were being put into place by Commodore John Shorten and his committee – the Black Beast from the East, otherwise the Pandemic, crept into place to dominate everyone's lives and blast lovingly-crafted programmes into smithereens.

Work in progress? Galway Bay SC's very effective and hospitable  clubhouse at Rinvillle may have looked like "job finished" for this year's Golden Jubilee, but Commodore John Shorten and his Committee are fund-raising for further developmentsWork in progress? Galway Bay SC's very effective and hospitable clubhouse at Rinvillle may have looked like "job finished" for this year's Golden Jubilee, but Commodore John Shorten and his Committee are fund-raising for further developments

But they're a determined lot in Galway. And though initially, their main concern was that their ocean-voyaging heroes, the Quinlan-Owens family on the 43ft steel ketch Danu, should get safely home to Galway from lockdown confinement in the Caribbean, when Danu finally made port in Kilronan in the Aran Islands after a notably successful visit to the Azores during their return from the Americas, the sailors of Galway Bay were carving a season of sorts out of the times that are in it.

In fact, one of the club's most noted members, Aodhan FitzGerald - who has been both the holder (with Galwegian-by-adoption Yannick Lemonnier) of the two-handed Round Ireland Record for 14 years, while also winning the 2008 Round Ireland Race outright) has confided that the gentler pace of the permissible sailing of 2020 actually had its own special enjoyment, and the atmosphere around the club during summery evening training sessions acted as a welcome pressure-release valve for all who took part.

As for Danu's return, it so happened that a socially-distanced cruise-in-company to Inishbofin, co-ordinated by Cormac Mac Donncha (who organised last year's hugely successful Cruise-in-Company to Lorient in South Brittany) was getting under way with Kilronan the second stop as the August weekend approached, and by purest serendipity Danu got the welcome home she so richly deserved before her gallant crew had even entered the inner waters of Galway Bay.

Danu in the Caribbean last winter. Her escape from "pandemic prison" was celebrated with GBSC fellow-members in socially-distanced style in KilronanDanu in the Caribbean last winter. Her escape from "pandemic prison" was celebrated with GBSC fellow-members in socially-distanced style in Kilronan

Thus like other clubs, GBSC made the best of it afloat and ashore during 2020. But Golden Jubilees being something special, last Friday night they organised a combined Zoom session and socially-distanced clubhouse gathering to honour those who have contributed to Galway sailing for fifty years and more, and they did it so cleverly that they managed to drop a surprise Lifetime Achievement Award on Pierce Purcell totally out of the blue, as he thought he was there for something else altogether.

In a speech of appreciation of Pierce's unrivalled contribution – which pre-dates 1970 – fellow long-server Aonghus Concannon made it clear just how much GBSC and Galway Bay sailing and maritime life generally owe to Pierce Purcell's boundless enthusiasm and total generosity with his time. That said, those of us who know him rather doubt that "Lifetime Achievement" hits the target – "Successful Mid-Term Assessment" might be more appropriate……

Caught on the hop – Aonghus Concannon (left) looking properly pleased after his surprise announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pierce Purcell (right) had gone exactly according to plan Caught on the hop – Aonghus Concannon (left) looking properly pleased after his surprise announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pierce Purcell (right) had gone exactly according to plan

Other speakers (both in person and electronically) and awardees in a ceremony hosted by Andrew Drysdale with music by Lir O'Dowd included John Killeen the Chair of the Marine Institute, Galway Harbour Master Brian Sheridan, former Commodore and noted offshore racer Donal Morrissy, Pierce Purcell Jnr, Fergal Lyons, Dave Brennan, Pat Irwin, Conor Owens, Tom Foote, Vera Quinlan who received the premier cruising award, Pat Ryan and Yannick Lemonnier.

This unusual but successful ceremony was brought to a conclusion by Commodore Johnny Shorten, who in best Commodorial style congratulated the many recipients, and in talking of what the club has done and achieved in fifty years, neatly reminded everyone that no club ever thrives by standing still. He and his Officers and Committee have interesting plans for further development, and GBSC recently opened a GoFundMe page to help get the resources in place.

GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten reminds the members that the best way to celebrate a club's Golden Jubilee is through worthwhile plans for the futureGBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten reminds the members that the best way to celebrate a club's Golden Jubilee is through worthwhile plans for the future

Isobella Irwin winning the Junior Female Sailor of the MidShipMan award at the Galway Bay Sailing Club presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin of Galway Bay Sailing ClubIsobella Irwin winning the Junior Female Sailor of the MidShipMan award at the Galway Bay Sailing Club presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin of Galway Bay Sailing Club

Rory Collins winner of the Junior Male Sailor awarded the MidShipMan award presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin Galway Bay Sailing ClubRory Collins winner of the Junior Male Sailor awarded the MidShipMan award presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin Galway Bay Sailing Club

Pat Ryan presented with the Michael Donohue Memorial Trophy for Volunteer of the year by Johnn Shorten Commodore and Captain Brian Sheridan Harbour Master Port of GalwayPat Ryan presented with the Michael Donohue Memorial Trophy for Volunteer of the year by Johnn Shorten Commodore and Captain Brian Sheridan Harbour Master at the Port of Galway

Vera Quinlan (Director of Cruising Irish Sailing Association) and Peter Owens (boat Danu) won the David Baynes Cruising Award for the best log. Presented by Johnn Shorten Commador Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary AwardsVera Quinlan (Director of Cruising Irish Sailing Association) and Peter Owens (boat Danu) won the David Baynes Cruising Award for the best log. Presented by Johnn Shorten Commador Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards

Pierce Purcell Awarded the Lif1D0A0699 - Copy: Pierce Purcell -  Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Johnny Shorten Commador of the Galway Bay Sailing Club and Aonghus ConcannonPierce Purcell - Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Johnny Shorten Commador of the Galway Bay Sailing Club and Aonghus Concannon

Fergal Lyons presenting Cian and Rian Baynes of Joker, winners of the Oyster Festival Race Galway Bay Sailing ClubFergal Lyons presenting Cian and Rian Baynes of Joker, winners of the Oyster Festival Race Galway Bay Sailing Club

Fergal Lyons presenting Liam Burke, Tribal receiving the Spring Cup - Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards night.Fergal Lyons presenting Liam Burke, Tribal receiving the Spring Cup - Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards night. 

Published in Galway Harbour
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