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Annalise Murphy Launches Mum's New Water Wag Dinghy 'Mariposa' at Lough Ree

28th April 2017
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Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey toast the launching of the new Water Wag, Mariposa,  while fleet members including daughter Annalise Murphy (right) applaud. The launch will feature on RTE Nationwide on May 5 Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey toast the launching of the new Water Wag, Mariposa, while fleet members including daughter Annalise Murphy (right) applaud. The launch will feature on RTE Nationwide on May 5

Olympic Silver Medalist Annalise Murphy was on hand last Saturday to help parents Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey launch the new family dinghy, a traditional clinker–built Water Wag dinghy, a class that celebrates its 130th season this year.

The champagne corks were popped on the shores of Lough Ree as the travelling Wag fleet welcomed the new addition. Mariposa, Number 45. 

Mary Kennedy from RTE's Nationwide TV programme sailed the first race with Cathy. Kennedy helmed in the light winds (even though she has never sailed before) and Mariposa actually led most of the way to the Wineport Lodge hotel finish but just got pipped at the line. The race and a piece on Cathy's new Wag wil be screened on Nationwide on Friday, 5th May. The new dinghy, that Cathy built herself, has already featured on the cover of influential French maritime heritage magazine, Chasse–Maree.

Water Wag RTE NationwideRTE's Mary Kennedy takes the helm of the new Water Wag for an item on Nationwide to be aired next Friday, May 5

The Wags were holding a training sesssion at the freshwater venue with coaching by the UK's Mark Rhodes. The foiling Moths were also sailing but unfortunately there was too little wind for them.

The new boat is only the latest of new arrivals to the fleet with number 46, Madamoiselle, launching in 2015 at the Royal Irish Yacht Club.

The class is the oldest one design in the world and can still boast to be onf of the most successful, with regular turnouts of 20 boats and more for Wednesday night racing in Dun Laoghaire harbour.

Last year, a 110 –year–old model, Pansy, was the winner of the Royal Irish YC regatta.

Vincent Delany

About The Author

Vincent Delany

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Sailing historian Vincent Delany is a member of the Association of Yachting Historians, and an active sailor in Water Wag, SOD and Squib classes. He has written a thesis on 'Yachting and yachtsmen on the River Shannon 1830-1930.' He has lectured on the history of The Water Wag Club, Royal St.George Yacht Club, and the Killinure Yacht Club, He has written two sailing books 'The Water Wags 1887-2012' and 'The International 12 foot class in Ireland' both of which are available from blurb.com

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