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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay

One of Ireland’s longest one-day sea swimming events will extend over a month this year, as the annual Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim goes “virtual” again.

The event in aid of Cancer Care West, which is now in its 16th year, raised a record-breaking 185,000 euro in 2020 when it was re-imagined to meet Covid-19 restrictions.

It would normally see 150 people crossing the bay one day in July, swimming 13km solo or in relay teams from Aughinish, Co Clare to Salthill’s Blackrock diving tower.

Since the swim began 15 years ago, a total of 740 people have transited the bay.

As with last year’s format, participants are encouraged to swim a total of 13km during the month of August – which can be broken up, and can take place anywhere in the world.

“The swim is much more than a fundraiser; it's the swimming highlight for so many across Ireland,” Cancer Care West director Brian Thornton has explained.

“Last year, the swimming community in Ireland and swimmers around the world as far as Australia took to the water and made the 2020 Galway Bay Swim one we truly will never forget, for all the right reasons,” he says.

“ We would naturally love to be swimming the bay in one day but until we can do this safely, this month-long event allows everyone to be part of something so positive,” he says.

"The monies raised will help fund support services for cancer patients and their families through our support centres ” he adds.

All year round swimmer Paddy McNamara says the event gives an opportunity to swimmers of all abilities to do something special for Cancer Care West.

“This challenge can be completed anywhere in the world so it would be great to see a local and international element to the event," he says.

Participants are asked to raise €100 for Cancer Care West and those who complete the challenge qualify for a Galway Bay Swim t-shirt and a branded swim cap.

Registration is open now here

Published in Sea Swim
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Galway City Sailing Club started in 2011 with two boats writes Sharon De Bhaldraithe. Now in 2021, as they celebrate its tenth year of sailing in the city, its fleet of modern boats include Argos & Picos, Optibats, and a host of boats owned by members with a dinghy park in the harbour to store them plus three supporting ribs in a hanger and a tractor for launching and recovery!

The club was founded by a group of dinghy sailing enthusiasts from Galway Bay Sailing Club and others who wished to bring sailing into the heart of Galway and who were encouraged and supported by the late Bobby Molloy and by Paul Colleran in the 10 years it took to realize their vision. The Harbour Master; Brian Sheridan, the Harbour Board, and John Killeen of Cold Chon generously provided the facilities to give the club a start. Because of this, the club has given many adults and children the opportunity to learn to sail over the past 10 years.

Furthermore, central to the ethos of the club has been the emphasis on the preservation of the marine environment and the instruction of the children on the importance of marine ecology. The aim and vision of Galway City Sailing Club continues to be making sailing accessible in the heart of Galway City, a city with a rich sailing heritage.

The club sees itself as an integral part of the development of Galway’s marine future with enhanced activity on the sea in the heart of Galway, providing sailing for all including for those with disabilities, and providing an attractive spectacle as well as serious training for the city's keen sailor. 

2021 has been exciting already with one of our founding members Nancy Roe getting the inaugural Irish Sailing Leadership Award, a brand new award to recognise leadership and vision. Nancy won the award on the basis of her long term commitment to making sailing accessible to all. Galway City Sailing Club will host (within covid restrictions) lots of activities on and off the water this our 10th year sailing in the city.

The Mayor of Galway Cllr. Colette Connolly attended our 10 year BBQ on the 10th of July and going out to 'try' sailing on one of our Argos, The Mayor was a great helm!

Surrounding clubs, CRYC, Galway Hooker Sailing Club, GBSC, Nuig Sailing Club were all in attendance to support our 10 years of sailing in the city for everyone!

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Bay Sailing Club is expecting 50 boats or more to participate in the club's August's Lambs Week event that features sailing around the Aran Islands with stopovers in Rossaveal, Kilronan and Roundstone.

The event runs from August 19th to 23rd.

A group of Galway Bay volunteers are working on mooring blocks, berthing arrangements, racing handicaps and schedules, food and refreshments, safety, and fashion (polo shirts!).

More here

Published in Galway Harbour
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A Galway hooker restored with the support of a city publican has joined the local traditional fleet on Galway bay.

Réalt na Gaillimhe or Star of Galway was built in Indreabhán, south Connemara, by the Cloherty boat builders in 1910.

It has been restored by Bádoirí an Chladaigh, one of the two clubs dedicated to Galway hookers in the city, with the help of Johnny Duggan of Taylor’s Bar.

Bádóirí an Chladaigh has been given the full use of the boat to add to a fleet of 14 traditional vessels.

Taylor’s Bar owner Johnny DugganTaylor’s Bar owner Johnny Duggan

“Since 2008, Bádóirí an Chladaigh has been given trusteeship of seven traditional Galway sailing boats within the community boat club,” the club’s secretary Peter Connolly says.

“ Of these, five have been built or restored or are in the process of being brought to full sea-worthiness,” he says.

Réalt na Gaillimhe or Star of Galway was built in Indreabhán, south ConnemaraRéalt na Gaillimhe or Star of Galway was built in Indreabhán, south Connemara

“These seven traditional boats will be joined by seven private boats to create a fleet of 14 boats, and each will represent one of the Galway tribe families,” he says.

“The community of traders in Galway's West will be responsible for the yearly upkeep of the Galway Hooker,” Taylor’s Bar owner Johnny Duggan says.

“ There is a massive natural respect here in Galway’s for the sea and this age-old tradition, but this will help to reaffirm and re-establish these links again,” he says.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Porpoises, dolphins, fin whales, puffins and guillemots near the Cliffs of Moher...master of the new Aran island ferry Shane McCole promises much marine life on the new direct run between Galway city and Inis Mór.

The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na Farraige, commissioned by the O’Brien family of Carraroe, began its 90-minute sailing schedule last month as Afloat reported here.

Passengers leaving from Galway docks in the morning have the option of a return journey via the north Clare cliffs.

The 40-metre vessel Saoirse na FarraigeThe 40-metre vessel Saoirse na Farraige

Saoirse na Farraige claims to have “ the cleanest exhaust emission” of any ferry on Irish waters.

The vessel built in Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Hong Kong has a speed of 20 knots, and can carry 394 passengers – as in 306 passengers on the main deck, and a semi-covered space for 88 passengers on the top deck.

Shane McCole at the helm of the new Aran Islands direct ferryShane McCole at the helm of the new Aran Islands direct ferry

It is fitted with leather seating, a wheelchair lift, charging points and plasma screens – earning it the local nickname of “GoBus sur mer”.

It is almost 150 years ago since the paddle tug Citie of the Tribes run by the Galway Steamship Company took the same route from the docks to Cill Rónain.

The O’Briens of Carraroe, who took their first passengers to the Aran islands on the Galway hooker An Tonaí almost four decades back, are reporting brisk interest in the route. They are continuing the ferry service between Ros-a-Mhíl in Co Galway and all three islands.

Wavelengths took a run on the vessel and spoke to Shane McCole. Listen to Wavelengths here

Published in Wavelength Podcast

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

In the UK plans to save a "unique" D-Day historic vessel moored in Southampton have been unveiled - ending years of anxiety over its future, having as Afloat reported also spent a career tending to trans-Atlantic liner passengers in Galway Bay.

According to the DailyEcho, the tug tender Calshot has been bought by a maritime restoration company, which is drawing up proposals to restore the vessel over the next three years.

Tomorrow Calshot (was towed on 25th May) from Southampton docks to James Wharf at Ocean Quay at Belvidere Road.

(Afloat adds another former Aran Islands ferry, Naomh Éanna (see story) still remains languishing in a poor state in one of Dublin's Grand Canal Docks Basin's notable Georgian built dry-docks).

The Calshot was launched in 1929 and helped manoeuvre the world’s greatest ocean liners as they either entered or left the port.

In 1944 she was one of more than 7,000 vessels which took part in the D-Day landings.

She transported sections of the famous Mulberry harbour across the English Channel to France and also served as a “non-assault HQ ship”.

But the Southampton-built vessel was declared unseaworthy by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in 2017.

For years she was owned by the Tug Tender Calshot Trust (TTCT), which warned she was slowly deteriorating and should be moved ashore in a bid to preserve her for the nation.

For much more on this historic vessel, click on the story here

Published in Historic Boats

The Connaught Telegraph reports that Galway city councillors are tendering for a study on the feasibility of a new blueway for Galway and Mayo.

According to details on the State’s eTenders website, the proposed blueway would extend from Lough Mask to Galway Bay along the River Corrib and associated inland waterways, and include a zone some 5-10km inland.

The deadline for submissions is noon next Friday 11 June with the prospective contractor expected to conduct an analysis of the potential economic and social benefits of such a blueway, among other requirements.

Published in Inland Waterways

RTÉ News reports that gardaí in Galway are examining a list of missing persons in the city after the discovery of a body in the waters of Galway Bay yesterday (Saturday 10 April).

The grim discovery was made by a walker on the causeway to Mutton Island. It’s understood that the body, which was recovered in a multiagency response, had been in the water for some time.

Published in Galway Harbour
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With its new format and course recently announced, RWYC Round Britain & Ireland Race that calls to Galway Bay next summer entry opens this Friday.

Commodore of the Royal Western Yacht Club, Chris Arscott, said, “The new format now allows for either double-Handed or four-handed crews. As the RWYC was the first club to introduce shorthanded offshore racing in the world, it is in our DNA to continue to develop and support this discipline. We are introducing a 4-handed class to offer a step-change from fully-crewed to perhaps tempt others to join the ever-growing double-handed and solo racing world. Partial crew changes are also allowed in each stopover, allowing for more crews to enjoy this amazing race, if not in its entirety but to be part of a Round Britain and Ireland team.”

The course has also been revised to three stopovers which will offer a more balanced, accessible race both to the sailors and supporters alike. From starting in Plymouth, the venues have been announced as Galway, Lerwick and Blyth. The compulsory stopovers will remain at a minimum of 48 hours, allowing crews to rest, repair, replace (whether that be kit or crew), refuel and finally return in top shape to take on their next leg. Lastly, the race will do away with IRC certified handicaps and will instead revert to class splits on length overall.

"The race will do away with IRC certified handicaps and will instead revert to class splits on length overall"

Race Director Adrian Gray said, “Besides crew work, navigation is key to success in these races, so we are moving away from the IRC mentality and returning to our original format of classes based on Length overall as well as multihull and of course monohull. It is a format that we feel will attract real interest. We are also balancing the course to make the race more accessible, more comfortable and less of a time draw to the teams generally.

We have also received some interest from the 2 handed Olympic offshore hopefuls to join us.

After all, this is a race of 4 stages, all of similar leg lengths to that which will be on offer in FRANCE2024.”

The race starts on the 29th May, 2022.

Spaces are limited so do not hesitate in getting in touch with the RWYC team and express your interest to enter here

Published in Galway Harbour
Page 1 of 26

RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge.

For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.

The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish for 2021 is in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001.

The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

Fastnet Race 2021 Date

The 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday 8th August 2021.

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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