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Thirty Yachts Contest WIORA Champs on Galway Bay

21st July 2015
 docks in Galway City
The docks in Galway City will provide total shelter for the WIORA fleet after each day's racing in the four day championship.

#wiora – The highlight of the offshore racing season on the Atlantic seaboard gets under way tomorrow (Wednesday) with the four day West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association Annual Championship in Galway Bay, with thirty boats from all the main centres between Clew Bay and Tralee, plus one gallant entrant from the inland sea of Lough Derg.

Although the event is being staged by Galway Bay Sailing Club which is headquartered at Rinville near Oranmore, the focus of the championship will see the fleet berthed each evening in Galway Docks, as tide times suit to transit the sea lock morning and evening. With Galway city in full festival mode, and the sailing championship in turn leading on to the fabled Galway Races next week, the partying will be world class, but there'll be more than enough of sailing too.

After weeks of inclement weather in the west, it looks as though the climatic forces are finally relenting to provide some gentler conditions, indeed the organizing committee are slightly concerned that the very light winds forecast for Sunday may arrive too early, but so long as the breeze holds up through Saturday for the final race, that will suit fine.

Last year's championship at Mayo Sailing Club on Clew Bay saw the overall title going to Class 2 winner Liam Burke of Galway Bay SC with the Corby 25 Tribal. In fact, the GBSC contingent did well in Clew Bay, as Class 1 went to the Dubois 32 one-off Nowwhat (Barry Heskin, Jim Grealish et al). But David Buckley of Tralee Bay SC at Fenit redeemed some of the silverware for those from further south, as he won Class 3 with his Sigma 33 Boojum.

The three defending champions are all in the listings coming to the line tomorrow in a fleet which represents seven different coastal clubs. And in total, its eight clubs, with Garrykennedy Sailing Club on Lough Derg represented by Kieran Ruane's Sun Odyssey 32.2 Zephyr.

gal2.jpg
When the weather is good, the waters of Galway Bay provide superb sailing conditions, and along the southwest corner of the bay - as seen here - it's against the unique backdrop of The Burren in County Clare.

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