#wiora – How about a major four day cruiser-racer championship based at Kilronan in the Aran Islands? There's no doubt that the Magic Ingredient X would be conferred by the unique location. And boats from all arts and parts – including Continental Europe – could well be tempted to take part.
So with the WIORA Championship 2015 in full swing in Galway Bay and the fleet berthing each night in Galway Docks, a representative meeting of at least one crewmember from each participating boat in the Harbour Hotel tomorrow (Thursday 2rd July, 1830hrs) will decide if a visionary opportunity is going to be grasped.
Michael Gill, Commodore of the Aran Sailing Club at Kilronan, the islands' capital, is one of the moving spirits behind this intriguing idea, and he is receiving the enthusiastic support of Pierce Purcell, Chairman of the Galway Bay Cruising Group, who has issued this invitation for support tomorrow night:
"On behalf of Michael Gill, Commodore of the Aran Sailing Club, I'm making this appeal for your support for our bid to host WIORA 2017. The Aran club, plus a member or two of the Aran Development Committee, will be making a short pitch to the WIORA AGM to be held in the Harbour Hotel on Thursday evening after racing at 18.30. The meeting will be about twenty minutes long, and the vote will follow the short presentations. As a level of their commitment, the team from Aran are planning to stay overnight in town to attend the meeting as the ferries will have stopped by that time!
Voting for the location of the 2017 event is restricted to boats that either participated in WIORA Westport 2014, or are currently taking part WIORA Galway 2015. We need 23 boats in favour to be sure of having a majority. Therefore if your boat supports the idea, it is very important that one of the crew is present at this meeting to help to get it over the line.
The main arguments for Aran are:
1 Central location to all clubs – a day sail from all participating fleets, which should maximize the boat numbers
2 Fantastic sailing grounds, beautiful scenery and waters sheltered from the Atlantic swell.
3 A new, unique venue, with a novelty air to it - 'Mini – Cowes'. There has already been interest from boats in Cork and elsewhere wanting to share the experience.
4 Alan Crosbie has already endorsed the idea and made himself available to act as race officer.
5 It would provide support for the newest sailing club on the western seaboard, helping to generate more participation and sponsorship support for sailing.
6 Plenty of interest from local RIB owners and others to help out, with an enthusiastic local committee.
7 Excellent berthage on the new €50M pier. Sheltered moorings and good anchorage also available. Rosamhil Marina is close by on the mainland for boats that need to arrange an extended stay. There are also plans to run chain lines along the inside of the breakwater so that boats could moor stern to while anchored off.
8 Aran is great craic – when you're there, you're there! The activities will be centralized around theCommunity Hall, the Aran Islands Hotel and three pubs and three restaurants. There are also fastfood outlets and cafes.
9 The prospect of staging such an event would build a stronger case to seek Government backing for the establishment of a permanent pontoon inside the breakwater.
10 It would be generally good for the Aran economy
11 It is likely to get significant backing from Udaras na Gaeltachta, Failte Ireland and others
12 It will help to raise the profile for WIORA and for cruiser racing and sailing generally in the West.
VENUE FOR DECISIVE MEETING: Harbour Hotel, Galway.
DATE: Thursday July 23rd 2015