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A New Approach To Revive WIORA's West Of Ireland Sailing Championships

19th June 2017
A truly unique venue. The Aran Islands are the location for the staging of the four-day West of Ireland Offshore Racing Championship in July A truly unique venue. The Aran Islands are the location for the staging of the four-day West of Ireland Offshore Racing Championship in July

Cormac MacDonnacha describes himself as “one of the busiest men” in Galway this week as he strives to bring traditional boats and the modern GRP racing variety together in a major sailing event at a fledging club, writes Tom MacSweeney.

That’s his aim as he leads the organising committee of WIORA for the West Coast Championships which will be held for the first time in the Aran Islands, by decision of the twelve clubs whose racing fleets from Kerry to Donegal comprise the Association.

They voted in favour of Aran two years ago in support of Club Seoltóireacht Árainn, the only Gaeltacht sailing club in Ireland, recognised as a Category 1 Sailing Club by the ISA in April. WIORA will start on Wednesday, July 5 and conclude on Saturday, July 8, with a very serious bit of sailing planned on the final day.

Cumann Huicéirí na Gaillimhe has joined forces with WIORA to include the Galway Hookers with ‘modern yachts’ – planned to race side-by-side, on Saturday, July 8.

That should be interesting and there is a belief around Galway and the West Coast that bragging rights are up for grabs!

The hope around Galway is that this year’s WIORA will revive the event following some years of a downturn after the economic crash. It would be appropriate that this should mark the 40th anniversary of an overnight race that was run to Kilronan by Galway Bay Sailing Club back in 1977 when its Commodore was FF minister Bobby Molloy. The late ex-minister remains popular in Aran for his work to develop the islands. To commemorate the event, the WIORA Committee is dedicating a race to his memory. His widow, Phyllis will present the prize.

A 100-metre marina of floating pontoons is being installed for the event. Draft plans have been presented to Galway County Council for a permanent marina. BIM has announced 50% funding to install 16 moorings in Kilronan for the event.

Published in WIORA
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West Coast of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA)

The West Coast of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) objective is to promote an annual programme of yacht racing for the West Coast of Ireland.

WIORA aims to encourage and promote participation in and knowledge of racing and seamanship. It does this by developing yacht racing between yacht clubs on the west coast and hosting an annual regatta known as the West Coast Championships. The championships are rotated between west coast clubs. 

WIORA was formed in 1976. WIORA is affiliated with the Irish Cruiser Racing Association.

The association burgee is a pennant with a background of St. Patrick's Blue and overlaid with an emblem of St. Brendan's Cross, which is of saffron colour. 

WIORA is open to members of yachts clubs located on the west coast of Ireland, from Mizen Head to Malin Head and the waters of Lough Derg and Lough Ree, and sailors outside thee areas who may wish to participate at the WIORA annual regatta.

The membership association has a Commodore and committee.

Annual membership is €10.

WIORA Championships

WIORA 2024 will be held at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary from June 12th-15th 2024

WIORA Championships

WIORA 2022 will run over three days, from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th June at the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland on the Shannon Estuary

WIORA 2023 will be held at Kilronan on the Aran Islands

WIORA 2024 will be held at Foynes Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary

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