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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

When you sail west past Mizen Head in the deep south, or Malin Head in the far north, you know you’re getting into the real Atlantic territory, where they do things differently afloat and ashore. For although the hundreds of boats competing in July 22’s RORC Fastnet Race from Cowes in 2023 will assume that they’ve savoured something of this specially challenging maritime frontier as they round the rock, it is those that have already competed in the National YC’s biennial Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race next year on June 7th who’ll know that the Fastnet Rock is just the rather spectacular gatepost for even more impressive sailing waters further west.

Thus it’s not until you’re sailing in and among and through and around the Blasket Islands – as competitors were doing in last May’s inaugural staging of Kinsale YC’s Inishtearaght Race, won in style by Cian McCarthy and Sam Hunt in the Sun Fast 3300 Cinnamon Girl of the host club – that you become fully aware that this is somewhere utterly different about the Atlantic seaboard, and the further north you go, the more impressive it can become.

Approaching the turn. For the hundreds of competitors in the RORC Fastnet Race, the Fastnet Rock is as far west as they get in approaching Europe’s real Atlantic frontier…….Photo: RORCApproaching the turn. For the hundreds of competitors in the RORC Fastnet Race, the Fastnet Rock is as far west as they get in approaching Europe’s real Atlantic frontier…….Photo: RORC

…..but for Cian McCarthy’s Cinnamon Girl (KYC), winner of the first Kinsale YC Inishtearaght Race in 2022, the Fastnet was just one of the staging posts in a spectacular course. Photo: Robert Bateman…..but for Cian McCarthy’s Cinnamon Girl (KYC), winner of the first Kinsale YC Inishtearaght Race in 2022, the Fastnet was just one of the staging posts in a spectacular course. Photo: Robert Bateman

SHELTERED SCENIC SAILING WATERS

Yet between the great rugged outcrops, there are extensive areas of scenic sheltered sailing water providing quality sailing without extreme seafaring conditions. So inevitably, as Ireland’s prosperity has spread slowly westward, recreational sailing in more modern craft has developed to thrive side-by-side with the long-established racing of the local lines in traditional boats.

This has resulted in sailing clubs with a genuine local emphasis becoming healthily established, as opposed to the familiar “summer visitor sailing club”. One rough and ready way of identifying the summer visitor club is that it’s the one which holds its AGM during ’Twixtmas, that limbo time between Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day, when members will have retreated from the sheer weight of endless festivities at the main home base, and are just in the mood for a spot of business-like matters on the morning of New Year’s Eve in their holiday club.

The West’s Awake. Flying Fifteens in strength at Carraroe in Connemara Photo: Maria Ui BhrianThe West’s Awake. Flying Fifteens in strength at Carraroe in Connemara Photo: Maria Ui Bhrian

The genuinely local club, on the other hand, can hold its AGM about ten days before Christmas like clubs elsewhere, or even in the more anciently traditional April period. Either way, there’s no doubting the spread of clubs in new areas, with a good example being the formerly very workaday and TradBoat-minded Carraroe in Connemara. There, they now have a veritable rash of Flying Fifteens racing regularly to such good effect that Connemara’s Niall O’Brien and Ronan O’Brien won the FF Southerns at Dunmore East in August, they logged third in the Nationals at Dublin Bay in September, and then - slightly nearer home - they won the FFs in the 2022 Freshwater OD Keelboat Regatta in October with Lough Derg YC.

LONG DISTANCES MEAN LOCAL ISOLATION

Nevertheless, distances along the west coast are so great – and the passages between the popular sailing areas sometimes so oceanically challenging – that each little focal point of sailing can easily find itself tending to function in isolation, such that its annual programme can be arranged without any thought of interacting with the programmes of other clubs further along the coast.

This is certainly the case with inshore keelboat classes, and even with trailerable dinghy classes. But the cruiser-racer brigade inevitably feel that they should be co-ordinating with similar groups nearby, and while the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association sees its remit as extending from Rathlin O’Beirne in Donegal south all the way to the Blasket Islands, within that area the Northwest Group extending from Sligo through Mullaghmore to Killybegs and maybe even Teelin has its own sense of cohesion. Clew Bay meanwhile is so extensive with its many private anchorages in addition to the main base with Mayo SC at Rosmoney that it’s a world of its own, while Galway Bay to the south is the same, only more so.

Summer evening racing at Mullaghmore in County Sligo. Photo: Discover IrelandSummer evening racing at Mullaghmore in County Sligo. Photo: Discover Ireland

Further south, the Shannon Estuary is a universe, while areas south of the Blaskets may look to the glamour sailing area of West Cork as soon and as readily as they’d think to look north.

All this is in addition to the time-honoured local neighbourhood regattas, with their additional traditional boat and coastal rowing input, which are mostly in August – and mostly in the first weekend of August at that – though a more modern peak, built up during the past 40 years, is reached with the tide-dictated Cruinniu na mBad at Kinvara, which in 2023 is 11th to 13th August.

Yet if it’s the 24 carat pure gold Galway Bay tradboat experience that you seek, then the only immutable fixture is the 16th July, Mac Dara’s Day at the island of the saint’s name seaward of Roundstone. This is the very essence of traditional sail in the west and its interaction with just about every spiritual, maritime and cultural aspect of Connemara. And though July 16th 2023 happens to be a Sunday, that’s purely coincidental – Mac Dara’s Day is marked with the same fervour regardless of the day of the week.

A sense of anticipation – and a beautifully-setting mainsail….Having stowed her staysail, this handsome Galway Hooker is approaching the pier at Kinvara at the head of Galway Bay as the annual Cruinniu na mBad gets under way. Photo CnBA sense of anticipation – and a beautifully-setting mainsail….Having stowed her staysail, this handsome Galway Hooker is approaching the pier at Kinvara at the head of Galway Bay as the annual Cruinniu na mBad gets under way. Photo CnB

However, not all dates in western sailing are set in stone in the same sacred way - theoretically there’s, initially, an element of fixture choice for newer events. So when we talk of the west sailing to its own wild tunes and rhythms regardless of other main sailing centres, sometimes the reality seems to be that we’re looking at is conflicting tunes and competitive rhythms clashing both nationally and locally on a majestic seaboard where the shared hymn sheet is only in its infancy.

WIORA CHAMPS AT ARAN ISLANDS TO CLASH WITH VOLVO DUN LAOGHAIRE REGATTA

Back in 2017, a magic new location was added to Ireland’s pattern of regattas venues when Kilronan in the Aran Islands was temporarily fitted with marina pontoons, and from July 5th to 8th, it brilliantly hosted the 43-strong fleet in the 2017 WIORA Championship.

With such a unique venue, it would have been reasonable to expect easily-trailered cruiser-racers from other areas – notably the U25 J/24s – to want to attend. But owing to a combination of an already busy multi-event programme afloat and ashore on the islands, together with a crowded western sailing programme, these seemed the only dates available.

Unfortunately, they clashed exactly with the big one on the East Coast, the biennial Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, thereby eliminating any significant element of national-level sport. But now, six years later and with a pandemic survived, the Aran Islands are again tops of the WIORA agenda for 2023, with Galway Bay SC the hosts.

The late Jack Roy, President of Irish Sailing, with Organising Chairman Cormac Mac Donncha at the morning of the opening day of WIORA Championship 2017 at Kilronan in the Aran Islands. That same evening, Jack Roy attended the Opening Ceremony for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 in Dun Laoghaire Town Hall.The late Jack Roy, President of Irish Sailing, with Organising Chairman Cormac Mac Donncha at the morning of the opening day of WIORA Championship 2017 at Kilronan in the Aran Islands. That same evening, Jack Roy attended the Opening Ceremony for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2017 in Dun Laoghaire Town Hall.

Back in 2017 it was Cormac Mac Donnacha of Gaway who did much of the heavy lifting in organising this pioneering effort at Kilronan, to such an all-involving extent that he says if he undertook it again for 2023, he would return home to his house in Moycullen to find the locks had been changed. And in any case, he’s already devoting much energy to organising another one of his noted GBSC Cruises-in-Company to Brittany for 2024.

But meanwhile GBSC under Commodore Johnny Shorten have a busy team in full action. There’ll be convenient pontoons back in place in Kilronan comfortably in time for July, and already the entry list has pushed through the 50 mark, so good participation is ensured to challenge the host club’s Liam Burke for the overall title (won in 2022 in Kilrush) with his Farr 31 Tribal.

Liam Burke’s Farr 31 Tribal (GBSC) was winner of WIORA 2022 at Kilrush. Photo: Robert BatemanLiam Burke’s Farr 31 Tribal (GBSC) was winner of WIORA 2022 at Kilrush. Photo: Robert Bateman

Yet believe it or not, the dates are Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th July 2023. On the other side of Ireland, the dates for VDLR 2023 in Dublin Bay – set as long ago as anyone can remember - are Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th July. The diary clash is total.

PARTICULARLY TOUGH ON YOUNG J/24 CREWS

It’s doubly hard for the young (and sometimes not so young) teams racing the J/24s. One of their strongest performers is Headcase with her strong Mayo SC western connections, while in the Shannon Estuary, the McCormack clan from Foynes would enjoy taking on the east and south coast’s J/24 power in the neutral waters around the Aran Islands, but may find a clash with other events.

Back in 2017, the newly-elected sailing President, Jack Roy demonstrated his energy and enthusiasm by being personally present for the morning’s racing at opening day in WIORA, and then he turned up that evening on the other side of Ireland, on stage at the Opening Ceremony in Dun Laoghaire Town Hall for VDLR 2017. It was utterly remarkable. But in a maritime nation with a well-organised national sailing programme, surely it is something which surely should have happened only the once?

Yet perhaps with those 50-and-counting expressions of serious interest already in, the organisers reckon they’re going to have as big a fleet as they can cope with in Kilronan with their catchment area largely limited to the western seaboard. And at least they’re making it highly likely that the WIORA Champion 2023 will be from the west…

Published in W M Nixon

A spinning vortex filmed moving over Galway Bay last weekend was caused by “globular “ cumulonimbus clouds, Met Éireann’s head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack has said.

As Afloat reported earlier, the vortex or water spout was filmed by Mark Purcell from Galway docks with Rabbit Island and the Leverets rocks in the background at 11.08 am last Saturday, October 15th.

Ms Cusack, who viewed the video, said that the spout is an intense columnar vortex - usually appearing as a funnel-shaped cloud - that occurs over a body of water.

She said that most waterspouts do not suck up water, and are “small and weak rotating columns of air over water spinning down from the cloud”.

She said that the cold, unstable southwesterly airflow covering Ireland on October 15th last generated heavy, squally showers and some thunderstorms also.

On Saturday, 15th October, 2022 a cold, unstable southwesterly airflow covered Ireland. This generated heavy, squally showers. Some thunderstorms also. The clouds were cumulonimbus clouds which are strong convective clouds with strong updrafts and downdrafts and rotating columns of air or vortices. On Saturday, 15th October, 2022 a cold, unstable southwesterly airflow covered Ireland. This generated heavy, squally showers. Some thunderstorms also. The clouds were cumulonimbus clouds which are strong convective clouds with strong updrafts and downdrafts and rotating columns of air or vortices.

“The clouds were cumulonimbus clouds which are strong convective clouds with strong updrafts and downdrafts and rotating columns of air or vortices,” she explained.

Radar images from Saturday, October 15th, show the intense echoes, and the crosses on the images indicate the thunderstorms/lightning, she noted.

The Radar images from Saturday show the intense echoes and the crosses indicate the thunderstorms/lightningThe Radar images from Saturday show the intense echoes and the crosses indicate the thunderstorms/lightning

Waterspouts have been known to suck fish, frogs and even turtles all the way up into the cloud, and they may not fall back to earth until after the spout stops spinning.

There have been reports of people witnessing “raining fish” caused by this phenomenon as far as 160km or 100 miles inland. Much depends on how fast the winds from a waterspout are whipping.

This satellite image shows the ‘globular’ cumulonimbus clouds which produced the spinning vortex descending from the cloud towards the surface of Galway Bay. This satellite image shows the ‘globular’ cumulonimbus clouds which produced the spinning vortex descending from the cloud towards the surface of Galway Bay.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Challenging weather tested the skills of sailors who took to the water in Galway Bay for the Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS) annual regatta on Sunday, Oct 16.

The forecast for fresh to strong south-easterly winds restricted regatta entries to the mixed fleet of 420, Laser, Pico and Topaz dinghies, as conditions were deemed too difficult for the Optimist fleet.

Four 420 crews, one Laser and two Topaz crews competed in two races on a course set with race officer Stephen O’Gorman and commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle.

It had been hoped to run three races, but the freshening winds and gathering swell forced an early finish on safety grounds.

First 420 and overall winners were Mark and Denise de Faoite of CSS, with fellow club members and under-18 420 sailors Charlie Donald and James Harvey coming a close second.

CSS 2022 regatta first 420 and overall winners Denise and Mark de Faoite with CSS commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley FanninCSS 2022 regatta first 420 and overall winners Denise and Mark de Faoite with CSS commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin

 CSS regatta 2022 420 second place sailors Charlie Donald and James Harvey with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin CSS regatta 2022 420 second place sailors Charlie Donald and James Harvey with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin

The sole visiting crew - Ava McCarthy and James Malone of Galway City Sailing Club- came third in the 420 class, and third overall.

CSS regatta 2022 420 fleet third place sailors Ava McCarthy and James Malone (Galway City Sailing Club) with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley FanninCSS regatta 2022 420 fleet third place sailors Ava McCarthy and James Malone (Galway City Sailing Club) with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin

CSS under-18 420 sailors Catherine Harvey and Sadhbh Laila Riggott performed well in the heavy conditions, coming fourth overall.

 CSS regatta 2022 Laser winner Tomás Ó Culáin with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin CSS regatta 2022 Laser winner Tomás Ó Culáin with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin

CSS sailor Tomás O Culáin was first in the Laser class, and fifth overall, while Katie Gaynor and Catriona Kearns, also of CSS, were first in the Pico/ Topaz Uno fleet and sixth overall.

CSS regatta 2022 Topaz winners Katie Gaynor and Caitriona Kearns with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley FanninCSS regatta 2022 Topaz winners Katie Gaynor and Caitriona Kearns with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin

Awards were given to Kate Ní Chonghaíle (CSS), sailing solo in the Topaz, and to CSS Pico sailors Sarah Donald and Rory McHale, and Éabha Mae and Liam Simon Riggott.

CSS regatta 2022 Topaz second place sailor Kate Ní Chonghaíle with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle (Bartley Fannin).jpgCSS regatta 2022 Topaz second place sailor Kate Ní Chonghaíle with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle Photo: Bartley Fannin

The committee boat had advised the Pico sailors not to launch when weather began to deteriorate as they prepared to leave the Sean Céibh beach.

CSS regatta Pico entrants Rory McHale and Sarah Donald with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle (Bartley Fannin).jpgCSS regatta Pico entrants Rory McHale and Sarah Donald with commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle

It is hoped to run a regatta for Picos and for Optimists within the next week to fortnight, if weather permits.

The John and Stephanie Hannan Award, which was commissioned by Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS) in 2020 as an annual prize in memory of the late John Hannan, will be given at the end of the season.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Any young reader of the Arthur Ransome children's novel Peter Duck will know that waterspouts are - more or less - tornadoes over the sea which quite frequently occur in tropical waters, and they can build a mighty column of water between ocean and sky which - in Ransome's book - resulted in the villian's treasure-chasing schooner Viper being swept up into the sky in ever-smaller pieces.

In recent days in Ireland's current phase of very unsettled weather, some attempts at waterspout building have been spotted. Pierce Purcell Jnr recorded this one doing its very best as it came up Galway Bay on Saturday. However - most regrettably - no research boat was readily available to head straight for the middle of it to see what might happen.

The only time your correspondent witnessed an almost-made-it waterspout off the Irish coast was on August 11th 1999. The date is clear, as a total solar eclipse occurred at 1100hrs when we were still in Lawrence Cove on Bere Island - believe me, total darkness coming in fairly quickly at morning coffee time is distinctly spooky. As the light returned, we made our departure for Crookhaven to continue a round Ireland cruise. In moody and distinctly foreboding weather off Mizen Head, the sky to weather turned as black as pitch. Under its darkest part, the sea started to boil up into the waterspout "stalacmite", while down from the cloud came the "stalactite" element.

The two met for a second or two, then it all collapsed, and in improving weather we went on round to Crookhaven. Never, before or since, has O'Sullivan's looked so warm and welcoming.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Galway City Council has imposed a ban on swimming at two beaches due to E.coli contamination.

The bacterial contamination was detected during tests at Grattan beach in Lower Salthill and Ballyloughane beach on the city's east side near Renmore.

The samples showed up high levels of E.coli after they were taken from water at the two beaches on Tuesday of this week, the city council says.

It has said this may be due to “suspected contaminated urban runoff” in its public notice.

Heavy rain in the city earlier this week would have released storm drains into the Corrib estuary and out into Galway Bay.

The city council said it took further samples on Wednesday.

It said that it would issue updates on the swimming ban when these test results become available.

Published in Galway Harbour
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The ultra-oceanic Galway Bay - with the Aran Islands in its midst, the complex coast of Connemara to the north, and the mighty Cliffs of Moher to the south – is so fixed in most people’s minds as an awe-inspiring sort of place that the idea of using it as a sailing playground and race-course is almost a shock. Yet in Galway Bay SC, that’s how they think of it, and in 2022 they’re staging the third annual Lamb’s Week which – for the early birds at least – is getting under way this (Wednesday) evening as they start making their way westward to Kilronan on Inishmor.

Held over five days, Lambs' Week is a mixture of casual racing, cruising and fun along the shores of Galway Bay with one night in Ros á Mhil, two nights in Cill Rónáin on Inís Mór in the Aran Islands, and the final night in Galway Marina for the Commodore's Ball at the Bill King Clubhouse. This is the re-purposed dockside warehouse in the heart of Galway city which was brought into commission to welcome the participants at the Galway Stopover in the Round Britain & Ireland race two month ago, and proved to be a successful and versatile party centre.

An awe-inspiring race area – Galway Bay with the Aran Islands on station as Guardians of the PortAn awe-inspiring race area – Galway Bay with the Aran Islands on station as Guardians of the Port

The highlight of the weekend is a pursuit race where the boats sail the challenging circuit around Inis Oírr and Inis Mean and return to Cill Rónáin for food, music and plenty of craic. Last year the winner by just 30 seconds from Jackie Cronin’s Jimmy Burn from Kilrush was Mark Wilson’s Sigma 33 Scorpio (GBSC). With handicaps taken at the start, the pursuit race time calculations made by GBSC’s Fergal Lyons were a work of genius, as most of the fleet finished within a very tight time-span.

Event sponsors include Corio Generation, a leader in the development of offshore wind farms, Gaeltacht na hÉireann, Aerogen, the world leader in high-performance aerosol drug delivery, and the Port of Galway, who are instrumental in making the event possible.

In addition to providing the best of sport and sailing for west coast boats, the organisers are keen to promote the excellent cruising grounds of the West Coast while highlighting the need and opportunity for better facilities for the many visiting boats at the Aran Islands and other anchorages. 

Part of the fleet in Kilronan Harbour during Lambs’ Week 2021Part of the fleet in Kilronan Harbour during Lambs’ Week 2021

Published in Lambs Week
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The Atlantic Life Boat Swim fundraiser raised over €5,000 last Saturday (July 23rd).

Held at Rinville, Oranmore on Galway Bay, over 150 sea swimmers braved the bad weather for the annual event held in aid of Galway RNLI Lifeboat and the Oranmore Maree Coastal Search Unit.

Organisers have thanked volunteers, swimmers and Galway Bay Sailing Club for supporting the community event.

Published in Sea Swim
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Galway RNLI rescued six people who got into difficulty in the sea off Rabbit Island on Monday evening (18 July). The group who had walked over to the island at low tide became stranded by the incoming tide and were attempting to swim back to shore when they got into difficulty.

The volunteer crew at Galway RNLI were requested to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat at 5.30 pm by the Irish Coast Guard after a member of the public spotted one of the group getting into the water and attempting to swim back to shore. Concerned that the group was going to get into difficulty, they immediately raised the alarm.

The lifeboat helmed by David Oliver and with crew members, Brian Niland, Martin Oliver and Cathal Byrne onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to the scene approximately 10 minutes from the station.

Weather conditions at the time were good with hot weather, flat calm seas, clear skies and good visibility.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew observed six people in the water attempting to swim the quarter of a mile back to shore.

With one of the group struggling and in great difficulty, the crew first went to their rescue taking the casualty out of the water and bringing them safely onboard the lifeboat. The crew then rescued the five others onto the lifeboat before returning them all safely back to shore at Murroogh House.

Speaking following the call out, Barry Heskin, Galway RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Time was of the essence this evening and we need to commend the member of the public who had the foresight to raise the alarm as soon as they thought the group might get into difficulty, that made a difference and helped to ensure we were on scene at the right time.

‘The group had walked out to Rabbit Island at low tide but then got stranded when the tide came in and their access to the mainland was cut off. It was when they attempted to swim back that they experienced difficulties. While was one of the group was in danger, we were thankfully able to rescue them from the water in good time and no casualty care needed to be administered. We would like to wish the group well following what was a frightening experience for them.

‘We have some beautiful weather at the minute, and we want everyone to enjoy it, but we would urge everyone to think safety first and respect the water. Before planning an activity on or near water, check weather and tide times to ensure it is safe to proceed. When going out always carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back.

‘We are also experiencing some spring tides at the minute, and it is very easy for people to get cut off. If you do happen to become stranded, don’t attempt to swim to shore yourself, rather use your means of communication to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. And if you do get into difficulty in the water, try to float to live. To do this, lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Swimmers transiting Galway Bay and tight rope walking across the city’s Claddagh basin will make for busy activity on Galway’s waterways today (Sat July 16) during the hot weather spell.

A total of 130 swimmers have registered to cross the 13km from Aughinish in Clare to Blackrock in Galway for the 16th Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West.

In the city, funambulists or high wire/tight rope walkers trained by Galway Community Circus group will demonstrate their skills on the Claddagh basin as part of the Galway International Arts Festival.

Due to Covid-19. the 2020 and 2021 bay swims became virtual events, where swimmers raised money by covering a total distance of 13km during August of those two years.

Stephen Early is first to arrive at the Blackrock diving tower from Aughinish in Co. Clare in a time of 2 hours 35 minutes at the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West in August 2011Stephen Early is first to arrive at the Blackrock diving tower from Aughinish in Co. Clare in a time of 2 hours 35 minutes at the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim in aid of Cancer Care West in August 2011 Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

The most recent Galway Bay Swim was held in 2019 when 144 swimmers crossed Galway Bay, (49 solo swimmers, 31 relay teams (95 relay team swimmers), and this a new record!

As in 2019, the swimmers will be supported by over 100 boats and 150 crew in the bay, giving of their time voluntarily for the charity event.

Paddleboards and kayaks will guide the swimmers for the final 100 metres into Blackrock diving tower, and spectators on land will also cheer them on.

Fiona Thornton after completing the Frances Thornton Galway Bay Swim, in memory of her late mother, in aid of Cancer Care West. Her sister Claire and their brother Kevin also swam the bay from Aughinish in Co. Clare. Kevin swam both ways, from Balckrock to Aughinish and back.Fiona Thornton after completing the Frances Thornton Galway Bay Swim, in memory of her late mother, in aid of Cancer Care West. Her sister Claire and their brother Kevin also swam the bay from Aughinish in Co. Clare. Kevin swam both ways, from Balckrock to Aughinish and back. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

Safety on the crossing is provided by a team of local boat owners, sailors, fishermen, Civil Defence, Oranmore-Maree Coastal Rescue, Doolin Coast Guard, and the RNLI, Cancer Care West says.

Since the event was initiated by the Thornton family, some 900,000 euro has been raised for Cancer Care West.

Seven high lines over the Claddagh and a cast of 150 people of all ages and backgrounds will serve the water stage and cast for “Lifeline”, the Galway Community Circus tightrope walking event which had been proposed for the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

The event aims to promote the importance of mental health wellbeing at a popular city location close to the banks of the river Corrib, where there have also been many personal tragedies over the years.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Johnny Shorten, Commodore of Galway Bay Sailing Club, has no doubts about the importance of the Optimist dinghy class Connacht Championships which his club is hosting this Saturday and Sunday,

As Afloat reported previously, a hundred competitors are expected at what is one of the biggest scheduled events at the Oranmore Club this season.

“It’s a testament to the wonderful spirit of co-operation between all the sailing clubs around Galway Bay that they can come together to ensure such a worthwhile event can be hosted in the Bay.

Johnny Shorten, Commodore of Galway Bay Sailing ClubJohnny Shorten, Commodore of Galway Bay Sailing Club

“The Optimist Class has been the starting point for generations of sailors and continues to grow and prosper. The enduring popularity around the world and in Ireland is a testament to the foresight of its creators and the great work done by the IODAI to foster competition, development and camaraderie for young sailors,” says Commodore Shorten.

The main fleet race area is likely to be west of the Marine Institute location and south of Ballyloughane strand near Renmore. Competitors in these fleets will be under the watchful eye of Race Officer John Leech. The Regatta fleet will race inside Rinville point, where Margot Cronin will be in charge of proceedings. Safety Officer John Collins will be co-ordinating operations.

Published in Galway Harbour
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