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'Ibaraki' is 2023 WIORA Champion on the Aran Islands

15th July 2023
The crew of Ibaraki winning WIORA 2023 IRC Overall on the Aran Islands
he crew of Ibaraki winning WIORA 2023 IRC Overall on the Aran Islands

Ibaraki won last weekend’s West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) regatta off the Aran islands.

The Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) yacht helmed by John Collins in the class 1 Echo fleet also took the Clifford Cup.

GBSC’s Scorpio, helmed by Mark Wilson, won the Class 2 Echo fleet overall and was awarded the Charlie McGibney Cup.

In spite of inclement weather, the regatta was a “fantastic success”, according to press officer Erin Killeen.

Three races were held on July 5th, and a coastal race was held on July 7th – the same weekend as the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

Killeen says that a great effort was made to get pontoons in situ for WIORA 2023 on Inis Mór, the largest Aran island.

Galway Bay Sailing Club under 25's team sailing on 'Tribal' and Sligo Yacht Club under 25's team sailing on their boat 'Lady J' at the WIORA 2023 competitionGalway Bay Sailing Club under 25's team sailing on 'Tribal' and Sligo Yacht Club under 25's team sailing on their boat 'Lady J' at the WIORA 2023 competition

“The pontoons provided sheltered berthage for the crews and the visiting boats in Cill Rónain harbour, especially with the severe weather conditions, which unfortunately resulted in two days of racing being cancelled for safety reasons,” she said.

Boats sailed in rough weather conditions from all over the west coast to gather for WIORA 2023 in Galway Bay on the Aran Island of Inis MorBoats sailed in rough weather conditions from all over the west coast to gather for WIORA 2023 in Galway Bay on the Aran Island of Inis Mor

WIORA commodore Ray McGibney presented two under-25 teams with a cheque for €1,000 each.

Killeen said that special thanks were due to principal race officer Scorie Walls and her team, who “expertly guided and supervised the various classes of races”.

“The WIORA-GBSC committee would also like to thank islanders Tommy Flaherty and Niall Boland for their deft assistance on Inis Mór,” she said.

Porpoises undeterred by weather during WIORA 2023 off the Aran islandsPorpoises undeterred by weather during WIORA 2023 off the Aran Islands

The event was sponsored by Monaghans and Sons, Lasta Mara Teo, Galway County Council, Port of Galway, Inland and Coastal, Dubarry, Óstan Oileain Arainn, along with support from local businesses and State bodies, including Údarás na Gaeltachta and Fáilte Ireland.

No date is fixed as yet for the next WIORA event, but it has been pencilled in for July 2024 in Foynes, Co Limerick, and Mayo in 2025, she said.

WIORA 2023 Aran Results;

  • Ita McGibney Cup – Overall Winner IRC – Ibaraki (GBSC)
  • Clifford Cup – Overall Winner Class 1 IRC – Ibaraki (GBSC).
  • Charlie McGibney Cup – Overall Class 2 IRC- Scorpio (GBSC).
  • ECHO Class 2 – Yachtzee (FYC)
  • J/24 – Yachtzee (FYC)
  • White sails Class 5 – Disaray (FYC)
  • White sails Class 6 – Poitin (FYC)
  • X Cup - ELIXIR (Mayo SC)
  • Aki Cup – IRC Coastal – Hijinks (GBSC)
  • BJ Marine Trophy – Beneteau – Movita (Mayo SC)
  • White sails Overall – Poitin (FYC)
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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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