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Cruinniú na mBád Gathering for the 44th Year Opens in Kinvara, Co Galway

11th August 2023
Only three races left in the Galway Hooker calendar.. these boatmen are heading to Kinvara, for Cruinniú na mBáid this weekend
Only three races left in the Galway Hooker calendar.. these boatmen are heading to Kinvara, for Cruinniú na mBáid this weekend Credit: Máire Ní Éinniú

Kinvara’s annual Cruinniú na mBád takes to the water this weekend, with racing confined to Sunday due to weather conditions.

A small craft warning for Saturday means the festival’s activity will be shore-based for the first day of the 44th annual event.

A barbecue will take place at Parkmore Pier on Saturday from 2 pm, and Bord Iascaigh Mhara and Cuan Beo, the south Galway environmental awareness group, will be among the exhibitors on Kinvara Pier.

Tight competition can be seen in the gleoiteoga beaga class, where the overall winner of the year  is still up for grabs, and the points are tight between the McHugh, Naomh Stiofán and the Naomh Feichin.Tight competition can be seen in the gleoiteoga beaga class, where the overall winner of the year is still up for grabs , and the points are tight between the McHugh, Naomh Stiofán and the Naomh Feichin Photo: Máire Ní Éinniú

The regular sean-nós singing event will be one of the musical highlights of the programme, taking place on Saturday night in Kinvara’s community centre.

A mass and blessing of boats is scheduled for 12 noon on Sunday, and the gleoiteog race starts at 2 pm.

The fleet of Galway hookers carrying turf across the bay is due in from 4 pm on Sunday, and visitors can bring a bag and “take home some unique Connemara sods”, organiser Dr Michael Brogan says.

McHugh.  Built by Paraic O Cathasaigh in 1917 helmed by Dónal Mac Donncha and his crew of Keith Ridge and Seán Éinniú. One of the oldest boats still competing. McHugh. Built by Paraic O Cathasaigh in 1917 helmed by Dónal Mac Donncha and his crew of Keith Ridge and Seán Éinniú. One of the oldest boats still competing Photo: Máire Ní Éinniú

Racing for the leath bhád and bád mór classes is scheduled from 5 pm on Sunday.

During Sunday afternoon, the Green Island swim is due to start at 3.30 pm, and the climín (seaweed raft) race is scheduled for around 3 pm.

“This has to be the longest-running maritime event in the country, as we even managed to take a few sods of turf over the bay during Covid-19, “Dr Brogan, its chief organiser, says.

Four years ago, a plaque dedicated to the late festival founder Tony Moylan, designed by sculptor John Coll, was unveiled at Kinvara pier to mark the 40th anniversary of the Galway hooker gathering.

Last weekend, Galway hooker skippers competed in a regatta hosted by Bádóirí an Cladaigh, as part of the Cumann Huicéirí na Gaillimhe series of sailing racing competitions.

Published in Galway Hookers
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At a Glance -  Galway Hooker 2024 Calendar

July 16th, Mac Dara’s Day in Connemara Galway Hooker Association

August 9th - 11th,  45th Cruinniu na mBad, Kinvara

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