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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay Sailing Club

Galway Bay Sailing Club says its new King of the Bay Series represents the 'pinnacle' of sailing on Galway Bay for cruiser racers.

The summer series consists of seven competitive events for the 'King of the Bay' trophy as well as support events that are open to all boats, and anyone interested in joining the fun. 

SPRING CUP JUNE 13TH
A jaunt around Illaunloo near Ballyvaughan with a finish at Galway Docks.

KINVARA JULY 10TH
An opportunity to explore the stunning south end of Galway Bay.

MORAN'S AT THE WEIR JULY 25TH
Follow the tide into The Weir for an early evening stopover.

BALLYVAUGHAN AUG 8TH
A race across the bay finishing at the new pier ay Ballyvaughan in the shadow of the Burren

ARAN ISLANDS AUGUST 21ST
A flagship event in conjunction with the annual Lamb's Week sailing festival which this year is expecting 60 boats. The King of the Bay race will be on the Saturday and will involve a circumnavigation of the Islands and back to Kilronan.

BARNA SEPT 5TH
A fun sail to the village of Barna, finishing at the pier.

GALWAY OYSTER FESTIVAL SEPT 26TH
Join the Oyster Festival festivities following a challenging course around the bay.

Published in Galway Harbour

Tributes have been paid to the quick thinking of a Galway Bay Sailing Club instruction team for their rescue of a man from a car in the water at the weekend.

As Afloat reported previously, a senior instructor at GBSC worked with a 15-year old powerboat driver to pull the man from a vehicle.

The incident occurred at the club at Rinville pier near Oranmore on Saturday afternoon.

As The Times Ireland edition reports, the pair had been among a team tutoring local sea scouts on the water, and had been bringing two groups of the scouts ashore when the incident occurred.

“Callie and I were on the slip and showing the scouts some sailing knots, when we heard something smash through the railings and a car flew into the air and hit the water,” powerboat driver Cormac Conneely said.

“Callie immediately jumped into the rigid inflatable boat (rib) with me, shouted to the group leader to call 999, and I called to the rest of the team to get the scouts inside the club,” he said.

“The car was still floating and Callie got her sailing knife and jammed it into the driver’s window to stop it from closing,” he said.

“She then cut the driver’s safety belt, and we pulled him out through the car window and into the rib,”Conneely continued.

Fortunately, a separate first aid course was being run in the sailing club at the time.

A paramedic instructing on the course treated the man until the Galway fire and ambulance service and Galway RNLI arrived on scene.

The Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter had also been alerted after the emergency call.

The senior instructor threw her grapnel anchor and chain in the front window of the car to secure it.

With the assistance of a local Galway hooker sailor Sean Furey, who was on the water in a currach, they then towed the car ashore.

The 15-year old, who is a pupil at Coláiste Iognaid or “the Jez” in Galway, learned to sail with Robert McInerney on Inishbofin, and undertook a number of sailing and powerboat training courses.

Conneely’s dream is to join the Naval Service on leaving school, and to volunteer for the RNLI Galway lifeboat crew when he is old enough.

He emphasised that fellow GBSC instructors and assistants onshore, including Tom Ryan, Ben Schumaker, Ella Lyons, Veronica O’Dowd and Mattie Kennedy, were vital in dealing with the rescue effort.

His mother Teresita Nugent said she was very proud of her son, who had a long-held passion for the water.

Gardaí and fire brigade staff praised efforts of the instructors, as did experienced Galway sailor Pierce Purcell, who has had many years of involved with the Irish Sailing Association.

“ Having been involved with Irish sailing for some 50 years, I am very conscious of the contribution that it makes throughout the island of Ireland - not only with sailing clubs and training centres but scouting and disadvantaged groups,”Purcell said.

Read The Times here

Published in Galway Harbour

Afloat.ie understands that a man was rescued thanks to the quick actions of Galway Bay Sailing Club instructors after a car went off the pier at Rinville East yesterday, Saturday 3 July.

One instructor is said to have freed the driver by cutting the seat belt and pulling him to the surface onto the club’s RIB.

It’s reported that a nurse and paramedic giving a first aid course in the clubhouse assisted by caring for the motorist until rescue services arrived.

Meanwhile, as the submerged car was drifting towards moored yachts, the club instructors were aided by a local boat owner in moving the vehicle back to the club slipway.

Published in Rescue

Galway Bay Sailing Club, comfortably ensconced in their fine clubhouse at Renville New Harbour near Oranmore at the head of Galway Bay, can look back at many ups and downs during the fifty years of sailing development they've experienced from small beginnings in the city in 1970, until now they're one of the pre-eminent clubs on the West Coast in all areas of sailing.

Yet even the most sadistic theatrical director would scarcely have green-lighted a storyline in which – just as the final details for a year's long Golden Jubilee celebration in 2020 were being put into place by Commodore John Shorten and his committee – the Black Beast from the East, otherwise the Pandemic, crept into place to dominate everyone's lives and blast lovingly-crafted programmes into smithereens.

Work in progress? Galway Bay SC's very effective and hospitable  clubhouse at Rinvillle may have looked like "job finished" for this year's Golden Jubilee, but Commodore John Shorten and his Committee are fund-raising for further developmentsWork in progress? Galway Bay SC's very effective and hospitable clubhouse at Rinvillle may have looked like "job finished" for this year's Golden Jubilee, but Commodore John Shorten and his Committee are fund-raising for further developments

But they're a determined lot in Galway. And though initially, their main concern was that their ocean-voyaging heroes, the Quinlan-Owens family on the 43ft steel ketch Danu, should get safely home to Galway from lockdown confinement in the Caribbean, when Danu finally made port in Kilronan in the Aran Islands after a notably successful visit to the Azores during their return from the Americas, the sailors of Galway Bay were carving a season of sorts out of the times that are in it.

In fact, one of the club's most noted members, Aodhan FitzGerald - who has been both the holder (with Galwegian-by-adoption Yannick Lemonnier) of the two-handed Round Ireland Record for 14 years, while also winning the 2008 Round Ireland Race outright) has confided that the gentler pace of the permissible sailing of 2020 actually had its own special enjoyment, and the atmosphere around the club during summery evening training sessions acted as a welcome pressure-release valve for all who took part.

As for Danu's return, it so happened that a socially-distanced cruise-in-company to Inishbofin, co-ordinated by Cormac Mac Donncha (who organised last year's hugely successful Cruise-in-Company to Lorient in South Brittany) was getting under way with Kilronan the second stop as the August weekend approached, and by purest serendipity Danu got the welcome home she so richly deserved before her gallant crew had even entered the inner waters of Galway Bay.

Danu in the Caribbean last winter. Her escape from "pandemic prison" was celebrated with GBSC fellow-members in socially-distanced style in KilronanDanu in the Caribbean last winter. Her escape from "pandemic prison" was celebrated with GBSC fellow-members in socially-distanced style in Kilronan

Thus like other clubs, GBSC made the best of it afloat and ashore during 2020. But Golden Jubilees being something special, last Friday night they organised a combined Zoom session and socially-distanced clubhouse gathering to honour those who have contributed to Galway sailing for fifty years and more, and they did it so cleverly that they managed to drop a surprise Lifetime Achievement Award on Pierce Purcell totally out of the blue, as he thought he was there for something else altogether.

In a speech of appreciation of Pierce's unrivalled contribution – which pre-dates 1970 – fellow long-server Aonghus Concannon made it clear just how much GBSC and Galway Bay sailing and maritime life generally owe to Pierce Purcell's boundless enthusiasm and total generosity with his time. That said, those of us who know him rather doubt that "Lifetime Achievement" hits the target – "Successful Mid-Term Assessment" might be more appropriate……

Caught on the hop – Aonghus Concannon (left) looking properly pleased after his surprise announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pierce Purcell (right) had gone exactly according to plan Caught on the hop – Aonghus Concannon (left) looking properly pleased after his surprise announcement of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pierce Purcell (right) had gone exactly according to plan

Other speakers (both in person and electronically) and awardees in a ceremony hosted by Andrew Drysdale with music by Lir O'Dowd included John Killeen the Chair of the Marine Institute, Galway Harbour Master Brian Sheridan, former Commodore and noted offshore racer Donal Morrissy, Pierce Purcell Jnr, Fergal Lyons, Dave Brennan, Pat Irwin, Conor Owens, Tom Foote, Vera Quinlan who received the premier cruising award, Pat Ryan and Yannick Lemonnier.

This unusual but successful ceremony was brought to a conclusion by Commodore Johnny Shorten, who in best Commodorial style congratulated the many recipients, and in talking of what the club has done and achieved in fifty years, neatly reminded everyone that no club ever thrives by standing still. He and his Officers and Committee have interesting plans for further development, and GBSC recently opened a GoFundMe page to help get the resources in place.

GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten reminds the members that the best way to celebrate a club's Golden Jubilee is through worthwhile plans for the futureGBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten reminds the members that the best way to celebrate a club's Golden Jubilee is through worthwhile plans for the future

Isobella Irwin winning the Junior Female Sailor of the MidShipMan award at the Galway Bay Sailing Club presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin of Galway Bay Sailing ClubIsobella Irwin winning the Junior Female Sailor of the MidShipMan award at the Galway Bay Sailing Club presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin of Galway Bay Sailing Club

Rory Collins winner of the Junior Male Sailor awarded the MidShipMan award presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin Galway Bay Sailing ClubRory Collins winner of the Junior Male Sailor awarded the MidShipMan award presented by Johnny Shorten Commodore and Pat Irwin Galway Bay Sailing Club

Pat Ryan presented with the Michael Donohue Memorial Trophy for Volunteer of the year by Johnn Shorten Commodore and Captain Brian Sheridan Harbour Master Port of GalwayPat Ryan presented with the Michael Donohue Memorial Trophy for Volunteer of the year by Johnn Shorten Commodore and Captain Brian Sheridan Harbour Master at the Port of Galway

Vera Quinlan (Director of Cruising Irish Sailing Association) and Peter Owens (boat Danu) won the David Baynes Cruising Award for the best log. Presented by Johnn Shorten Commador Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary AwardsVera Quinlan (Director of Cruising Irish Sailing Association) and Peter Owens (boat Danu) won the David Baynes Cruising Award for the best log. Presented by Johnn Shorten Commador Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards

Pierce Purcell Awarded the Lif1D0A0699 - Copy: Pierce Purcell -  Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Johnny Shorten Commador of the Galway Bay Sailing Club and Aonghus ConcannonPierce Purcell - Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Johnny Shorten Commador of the Galway Bay Sailing Club and Aonghus Concannon

Fergal Lyons presenting Cian and Rian Baynes of Joker, winners of the Oyster Festival Race Galway Bay Sailing ClubFergal Lyons presenting Cian and Rian Baynes of Joker, winners of the Oyster Festival Race Galway Bay Sailing Club

Fergal Lyons presenting Liam Burke, Tribal receiving the Spring Cup - Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards night.Fergal Lyons presenting Liam Burke, Tribal receiving the Spring Cup - Galway Bay Sailing Club 50th - Anniversary Awards night. 

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Bay Sailing Club will celebrate its Awards Night tomorrow night, Friday 11th December. 

Guests tomorrow include Donal Morrissy, Galway Harbourmaster Brian Sheridan and Pierce Purcell Junior.  Prizes to pbe presented include cruiser racing awards and a number of special recognition prizes. 

Galway Bay Sailing Club is based in New Harbour, Renville Oranmore, a mere 7 miles from Galway City. It is a very active Dinghy and Cruiser Sailing club which is open all year round. The club offers year-round Racing, Sail and Powerboat Training and Social Events from Juniors to Adults.

GBSC recently created a Go Fund Me page to raise funds for vital club development.

Members can access the awards by zoom with a link here on Facebook live too.

Galway Bay Sailing Club  Awards Night Running Order

  • Andrew Drysdale (MC)
  • Opening Address Commodore
  • Video Reel -1
  • Fergal Lyons / Dave Brennan Cruising awards
  • Cruiser 1
  • Cruiser 2
  • Cruiser 3 
  • Lir O Dowd (music)
  • Pat Irwin (Junior Awards)
  • Junior 1
  • Junior 2
  • Video Reel 2 (photos)
  • Conor Ownes (photo winner announced)
  • Tom Foote (talk and cruising award)
  • Vera Quinlan
  • Pierce Purcell Snr (M Moore tribute)
  • Johnny Shorten M Donnoue Award
  • Pat Ryan
  • Brian Sheridan (Talk and Special award)
  • Yannick Lemonnier
  • Video Reel 3 
  • Aonghus Concannon (Into to lifetime achievement award)
  • Johnny Shorten
Published in Galway Harbour

A group of onlookers gathered at the Quincentennial Bridge across the River Corrib immediately north of Galway city last Saturday evening were bemused by the sight of a series of sailing dinghies toppling themselves over to float underneath reports John Barry. The boats were completing Europe’s oldest and longest inland sailing race, having battled for 30 miles against a sometimes freshening south to southwest wind from Lisloughrey near Cong on the Galway-Mayo border.

The race was inaugurated over a hundred years before the bridge was built and, after several disappointing years where conditions forced the cancellation of the event, there was huge enthusiasm and a big fleet for this year’s event.

lough corrib2The course is more complex than this basic chart suggests

Competitors managed to sample every challenge that sailing could offer, with light airs at the very start and finish, a fast downwind stretch with spinnakers flying in the upper lake, and a long beat into the wind in narrow channels during the afternoon. Many of the centreboards and rudders acquired a few new bumps and bruises thanks to the notorious rocks throughout the course.

"The boats were completing Europe’s oldest and longest inland sailing race"

There was a great range of boats competing. In the catamaran fleet, an 18 ft Hobie Tiger was joined by a number of Dart 16s. The 420 was the most popular design in the monohulls with six competing. They were joined by a Wayfarer, Fireball, Laser Stratos, RS200, Topper Sport 14 and the only wooden boat in the race, Bryan Armstrong and his daughter Beth from Sligo with their immaculate GP 14 Solstice, inspired to join this very special “Bucket List” event by the last-minute call on Afloat.ie on June 26th.

corrib cats away3The catamarans were asserting their dominance from the start. Photo: Pierce Purcell

Light airs getting away from Lisloughrey pier made for a slow departure, but the breeze freshened up in time for an upwind start in the wide expanse of the upper lake. Initially, the Hobie Tiger of Tim and Cormac Breen made the early running and pulled away from the chasing pack. As the morning wore on, the wind veered around to the south west and sailors took the opportunity to get the kites flying and the pace picked up substantially.

The wind freshened further after a well-earned lunch break and a refreshment or two at Kilbeg pier, making for a tricky upwind passage for the first part of the second leg through the narrowest part of the channel. This was followed by a long stretch close hauled on a starboard tack as the lake opened up. The Dart 16s took full advantage of the fresh and gusty breeze during this leg before the shelter of the river beckoned.

420 corrib4Jack Lee & Jack Nolan with their 420 placed sixth on both stages, and sixth overall at the finish. Photo: Pierce Purcell

First across the finish line at Corrib Village and overall race winners on adjusted time were Yannick Lemonnier and his son Sean – the youngest competitor in the race - from Galway Bay Sailing Club. Their total sailing time was an impressively fast 2 hours and 41 minutes. Second were Neil Mangan and Simon Griffin from Blessington with Johnny Murphy from Galway City Sailing Club in third. The prize for the best junior boat went to Rob Talbot from GCSC and Rian De Bairéad from Cumann Seotóireachta an Spidéil who came in fourth, while best senior went to Colm McIntyre and Mícheál Ó Fatharta of GCSC.

sean yannick5Overall winners – young Sean Lemonnier with his dad Yannick, who skippered the winning Mini 650 Port of Galway in the recent Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race
Since 1882, sailors have raced the length of Lough Corrib. While the origin of the wager which prompted the first races is shrouded in myth and lore, the early races were hotly contested and a great social occasion. These races were very much a test of stamina as well as skill, with competitors completing a round trip of over 60 nautical miles from Galway to Ashford Castle and back again. It was raced annually until 1914 and the outbreak of World War I.

The race was revived in its current format - sailed in one direction from Lisloughrey to Galway - in 1972, and again became a staple in the Galway maritime calendar. However, the weather gods have not been good to the race in recent years. This year, the sailing and boating clubs of Galway came together and moved the race to earlier in the Summer. There was a huge volunteer effort put in from all of the Clubs involved to make the day one to remember.

The organisers and participants were particularly grateful to Aoife Lyons, David Vinnell and John Lillis on the committee boat, Calie Clancy and Mark Francis who co- ordinated safety for the event, the flotilla of RIBs and motor boats who contributed to keeping everyone safe on the water, particularly the huge contribution from CRYC, Martin Roe for on-site catering at Kilbeg, the Civil Defence and all the Clubs who contributed equipment and made facilities available for the day.

armstrong crew6“We’re nearly there, Daddy….” Bryan and Beth Armstrong from Sligo found frustrating conditions in the last mile to the finish. Photo: Pierce Purcell

The clubs involved in the organization were Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club, Galway Commercial Boat Club, Galway Bay Sailing Club,
Galway City Sailing Club and
Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil. As for the only wooden boat competing, the GP 14 from Sligo, Beth & Bryan Armstrong managed 7th in the first leg and 14th in the second making them 11th overall but with the crew - as he put it himself - “completely knackered” by the time he stepped ashore in Corrib Village seven hours after leaving Lisloughrey.

Results here

Published in Galway Harbour

Sailors and boating enthusiasts from Galway’s sailing and boating clubs are coming together next month to follow their forebears in Europe’s oldest and longest inland sailing race.

On Saturday 29 June the fleet of dinghies will pit their wits against the elements and each other on the historic route along the length of Lough Corrib from Lisloughrey near Cong to Galway city.

Since 1882, sailors have raced the length of Lough Corrib. While the origin of the wager which prompted the first races is shrouded in myth and lore, the early races were hotly contested and a great social occasion.

They were very much a test of stamina as well as skill, with competitors completing a round trip of over 60 nautical miles from Galway to Ashford Castle and back again. It was raced annually until 1914 and the outbreak of World War I.

The race was revived in its current format, sailed in one direction from Lisloughrey to Galway, in 1972 and again became a stable in the Galway maritime calendar.

However, the weather gods have not been good to the race in recent years.

So, to ensure a successful event this year, the boating and sailing clubs around Galway have come together and moved the event to an earlier slot in the calendar.

It will take place this year on 29 June and follow the traditional steamer channel through the lake.

Full details of the race and the online registration are available on the Galway Bay Sailing Club website.

Transport will leave Corrib Rowing and Yacht Club and the Galway Commercial Boat Club at 8am to bring sailors to the start line in Lisloughrey. From there, the boats will make their way to Kilbeg for lunch and then continue on to the finish line in the lower Corrib.

However, the challenges don’t end there, with the Quincentennial Bridge providing a final obstacle to be negotiated — usually with the mast, sails and sailors in the water!

Following the race, there will be the chance to relive the decisive moments of the race at a reception hosted by the Commercial club after the historical silverware has been presented at CRYC.

Galway Bay Sailing Club has a link to the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, as well as the online registration form. For more details about the 2019 Cong-Galway Sailing Race, see the Facebook event page HERE.

Published in Racing

#Laser - The Galway Advertiser is reporting that Galway Bay Sailing Club member Richard Hayes has completed a solo circumnavigation of Ireland by Laser dinghy.

Hayes sailed 54 days over three-and-a-half months since 27 May to complete the near 2,500km challenge last Friday 14 September in aid of heart and stroke charity Croí — and he is still raising funds for the remarkable effort online.

“This is one of the smallest boats ever to have circumnavigated Ireland and to have successfully done so without a support team on the water,” Hayes shared on Facebook of the achievement.

W M Nixon's Sailing On Saturday this weekend (22nd September) takes a detailed look at Richard Hayes’ great achievement, and other notable small boat voyages round Ireland

Published in Laser

#ICRA - The Irish Cruiser Racing Association has reaffirmed its decision to allocate the 2018 ICRA National Championships to the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) and Galway Bay Sailing Club.

The event from 16-18 August 2018 will be run in conjunction with the 2018 WIORA West Coast Championships from 15-17 August.

This marks the Galway Bay Sailing Club’s first time hosting the ICRA Nationals, which were held at the Royal Cork this past summer, and members will be eager to show off their club’s revamped facilities in Galway Docks.

Reduced early entry fees with free cranage and berthage, accommodation packages, details of two prizegiving parties, the Notice of Race and entry form will be made available shortly, according to the GBYC.

Published in ICRA

In the Committee Room of Galway Bay Sailing Cub there hangs a neatly-framed flag writes W M Nixon. But the flag itself is no longer neat – it has been battered by the winds. This flag has been about, and then some. But how did Galway Bay SC come by it, and what is it?

Apparently they acquired it from their first Commodore, who was one of an old local landed family, the Waithmanns. But as the flag is the burgee of the Rear Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club, he in turn can only have been gifted it, as no Waithmann was ever Rear Commodore of the Royal St George YC.

So what Rear Commodore of the Royal St George had any links with Galway? Step forward the Hon. Arthur Ernest Guinness (1876-1949). He was Rear Commodore Royal St George YC from 1821 to 1939. His main club was actually the Royal Yacht Squadron. But as his family also happened to include Ashford Castle on Lough Corrib in their very considerable property portfolio, he kept a steam yacht on the lake and was a member of the old Royal Galway Yacht Club as well.

In fact, he’d a personal fleet of yachts, including the square rigger Fantome which, properly speaking, was a ship. And one of the odder vessels in his ownership was a flying yacht. You soon become accustomed to the unusual in considering the A E Guinness flotilla. But a flying yacht? Yes indeed.

It seems that in the 1920s the Danish government was experimenting with a substantial flying boat designed and built R J Mitchell, who later designed the Spitfire. The Danes wanted a flying and floating machine capable of carrying large torpedoes, and they called Mitchell’s 1927 prototype Nanok, which means polar bear in Inuit. But while Nanok without the torpedoes flew well, when they were suspended from the machine ready for attack, their presence so distorted the flying characteristics that Nanok became a menace.

So the whole project was called off. But Mitchell was left with this rather fine flying boat with nothing to do. Then Ernest Guinness got to hear of it, and he had her converted with yacht-style accommodation for 12. Yet even with all the luxuries and fripperies, the machine – now re-named Solent and reputedly registered as a yacht, though we’ve yet to find evidence of this – gave Ernest Guinness and his chums a very handy way of getting to Ashford from the south of England.

They would take off from the Solent in Solent, and fly to what most of them still thought of as Kingstown Harbour. Then after lunch in the Royal St George Yacht Club, they’d take off again and land at Lough Corrib off Lisloughry, up beside Ashford Castle. This was all became so agreeable that the word is that the comings and goings of the flying yacht Solent on the Corrib occurred so often that it was scarcely considered worthy of local mention.

guinness flying yacht2Ernest Guinness’s flying yacht Solent at Lisloughry on Lough Corrib

But now, what we’re left with today is the intriguing thought that the battered burgee up on the wall in Galway Bay Sailing Club once flutterd proudly atop a moored flying yacht on Lough Corrib. Or are purists going to insist that the special burgee could only have been flown if the owner was actually on board?

Published in Historic Boats
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