This year's celebratory WIORA regatta is marking its 40th year at Kilrush on the Shannon Estuary. With just four weeks to go, the fleet stands tantalisingly close to reaching its 40 boat target with 31 competitors entered so far.
The Shannon was closed to navigation from Parteen Weir to Limerick in mid March by Waterways Ireland due to flooding and related "infrastructural deficiencies" on the waterway following this winter's storms.
These include damaged pontoons upstream of the railway bridge that have broken free of their moorings.
But sailors on Lough Derg claim that the real reason for the continued closure is financial – and the result is the effective exclusion of five boats from this summer's WIORA schedule, not to mention six other boats waiting to sail up-river.
More on this story as it develops.