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.
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 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.