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Historic Boats
Sailing traditional boats at Baltimore, West Cork
West Cork's annual celebration of traditional boats has joined the ever-lengthening list of cancelled sailing events writes Tom MacSweeney The organisers of the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, scheduled for the end of this month, on the weekend of Friday, May…
Historic departure – the ill-fated Titanic is manoeuvred out of her berth in Belfast Harbour on April 2nd 1912 to sail for Southampton and her maiden Transatlantic voyage, brought to a tragic end by an iceberg in mid-ocean just twelve days later
An ambitious project to retrieve the most famous marine radio in the world from 2.5 miles down in the Atlantic has finally secured legal approval. The saving of the Marconi radio which sent out the distress signals from the sinking…
The new Ilen Tetra Pak models have sailed on the Rhine and the Shannon
The restored Limerick trading ketch Ilen may have already voyaged to Greenland in 2019, but this year the distinctive vessel – or at least a model of her – has also been seen sailing on the Rhine in Germany. For…
Ernest Shackleton - key characteristics for successful exploration-optimism, patience, idealism and courage
“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton..” The words of British geologist Raymond Priestley,…
The hugely popular Cruinnui na mBad gathering of traditional boats at Kinvara in Galway Bay celebrated its 40th Anniversary last year
The annual Cruinnui na mBad (the Gathering of the Boats) at the very hospitable port of Kinvara in the southeast corner of Galway Bay is one of the most popular events in the western sailing programme, and it was hoped…
 The restored Ilen in Greenland last July with her squaresail featuring the Salmons Wake logo which has become a symbol of the ship
Our story last week, about how Gary Mac Mahon of the restored trading ketch Ilen of Limerick has launched a unique ship’s model-making competition to express the Ilen spirit, has rung a bell in Ballinasloe in County Galway, at the…
Seeing things differently. Who’d have thought a Tetrapak was actually the Ilen in disguise?
Junior and very junior sailors who’d like a special indoor Do-it-Yourself Challenge in these locked-in times will find something of special interest in the latest idea from current Irish Sailing Presidential Award holder Gary MacMahon of Limerick. Gary received his…
The Dublin Bay 21 Garavogue in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. During the 1930s, she was owned and raced by Lord Glenavy with his crew including his son, the writer Patrick Campbell
With hopes being expressed that we’re approaching peak COVID-19, there’s concern that people will relax their vigilance in maintaining the proven quarantine precautions, and that numbers will start to rise again. One of the most frighteningly effective ways of spreading…
There was a packed house for Lough Ree Yacht Club's Historical Symposium in February
As part of the many events planned to mark the Club’s 250th anniversary, Lough Ree Yacht Club had scheduled a historical talk at the Club on the 15th February 2020, the presentations proved to be very popular with a full…
The Stealaway built in Ballyholme
Betty Amstrong explores past boatbuilding ventures in Ballyholme in the seaside town of Bangor on Belfast Lough. Did you know that before Enrico Caproni built his famous ‘Palais de Dance’ in 1928 on Seacliff Road that there was a shipyard…
Lough Ree Yacht Club's Clinkerfest Postponed
The second oldest yacht club in the world, Lough Ree Athlone, has cancelled a major event planned for the celebrations of its 250th year writes Tom MacSweeney. The Club's Commodore, Garrett Leech, said that Clinkerfest, planned for three days over…
J Boats Collide Despite Last Minute Effort to Bear Away
The skipper of a 40-metre J class yacht describes the damage following a collision between rivals Topaz and Svea. Peter Holmberg, the skipper onboard Topaz relayed the incident which occurred shortly before the first race on March 12: "As we…
The restored 1926 ketch Ilen takes her departure for Greenland from the MacMahon stronghold of Carrigaholt Castle on the Shannon Estuary
There were several notable Irish sailing families with their names up in lights more than once at Saturday evening’s virtual awards ceremony for the annual achievements in Irish sailing. But none could match the seaborn diversity of an ancient tribe…
Shantax in a 1925 cruise en route from Clontarf to the North Shannon Yacht Club (towing Water Wags), and then down the Shannon to Athlone for the LRYC regatta, to Shannon Harbour and returning to Dublin via the Grand Canal. The picture was taken at Lock 35 on the Grand Canal. Club member Jack Stephensi is in the yachting cap
While we are in 'shutdown' mode due to Covid19 I have taken the opportunity to write a book about 'THE MOTOR YACHT CLUB OF IRELAND' which thrived from 1907 until its demise in about 1935. The club was active in…
Mark Bushe at the mast of Elsie shortly after launching her following restoration
What motivates a man to buy a wreck over a hundred years old and decide that he can repair her? Why bother and was he ‘mad’ to think of doing so? My Podcast this week is with a man who…
Galway Hookers Macdara and An Tonaí will feature in the second series of Bádóiri starting tonight on TG4
On the western edge of Europe lies a unique culture that depended and fought with the Atlantic Ocean for thousands of years. It is the native sailboat, the Galway Hooker, that sustained this poorest of communities, and the new generation…
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