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Displaying items by tag: Galway Hooker

Weather has once again forced the postponement of Féile an Spidéil, the regatta for traditional craft in Co Galway.

The regatta, which was originally set for June 12th off An Spidéil on the northern shores of Galway Bay, had been due to take place today, June 19th.

However, a forecast of force five winds gusting to force six from a north-west to northerly direction been issued for the west coast from Mizen to Erris Head for Sunday afternoon.

A large fleet of traditional craft had been anticipated for the 2022 event, but safety of crew and boats dictated another deferral to a date yet to be agreed.

In a statement issued in Irish on Saturday evening, organiser Jimmy Keady said that “ de bharr cúrsaí aimsire agus sábhailteacht na mbád agus criúnna, tá geallta an lá amárcah curtha ar athló”.

“Tá fórsa 5 le gustaí fórsa 6 geallta ag a 3 [a chlog] amárach,”the statement read.

The regatta programme aimed to include races for báid mhóra and leath bháid in the Galway hooker class.

Bádóirí an Cladaig, based in Galway city, had also planned to send several craft to the event, availability of crews and weather permitting.

The three city-based boats include the recently refurbished 31 ft leath bhád Mairtín Joe, the 32 ft leath bhád Croí an Cladaig, and the 40 ft Naomh Cronáin.

The Mairtín Joe was originally built by the Cloherty brothers in Mweenish, Carna in 1979 for Noel Ó Tuairisc in Indreabhán, Co Galway, and was sold on to Judge John Lindsay in Dublin. Before his death, he donated the vessel to Galway for promotion of sail training and tourism.

Published in Galway Hookers
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Féile an Spidéil, the regatta for traditional craft in Co Galway, has been postponed by a week due to weather.

A large fleet of traditional craft is anticipated for the 2022 event, which has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 19th.

It had been due to take place this weekend, but weather factors dictated a decision to put it back a week.

The regatta programme will include races for báid mhóra and leath bháid in the Galway hooker class, according to organiser Jimmy Keady.

Bádóirí an Cladaig, based in Galway city, aims to send three craft to the event, availability of crews and weather permitting.

The three city-based boats include the recently refurbished 31 ft leath bhád Mairtín Joe, the 32 ft leath bhád Croí an Cladaig, and the 40 ft Naomh Cronáin.

The Mairtín Joe was originally built by the Cloherty brothers in Mweenish, Carna in 1979 for Noel Ó Tuairisc in Indreabhán, Co Galway, and was sold on to Judge John Lindsay in Dublin. Before his death, he donated the vessel to Galway for promotion of sail training and tourism.

Peter Connolly of Badóirí an Cladaig said that the community group had the vessel since 2010, with Galway company Cold Chon sponsoring transport west.

Master builder Joe Joyce completed what is now effectively a replica of the original, he said.

Feile an Spideil is scheduled for 2 pm on June 19th.

Published in Galway Hookers
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A large fleet of traditional craft is anticipated for Féile an Spidéil which takes to the water off An Spidéil, Co Galway, on June 12th.

The regatta programme will include races for báid mhóra and leath bháid in the Galway hooker class, according to organiser Jimmy Keady.

Bádóirí an Cladaig, based in Galway city, aims to send three craft to the event, availability of crews and weather permitting.

The three city-based boats include the recently refurbish 31 ft leath bhád Mairtín Joe, the 32 ft leath bhád Croí an Cladaig, and the 40 ft Naomh Cronáin.

The Mairtín Joe was originally built by the Cloherty brothers in Mweenish, Carna in 1979 for Noel Ó Tuairisc in Indreabhán, Co Galway, and was sold on to Judge John Lindsay in Dublin. Before his death, he donated the vessel to Galway for promotion of sail training and tourism.

Peter Connolly of Badóirí an Cladaig said that the community group had the vessel since 2010, with Galway company Cold Chon sponsoring transport west. Master builder Joe Joyce completed what is now effectively a replica of the original, he said.

Feile an Spideil is scheduled for 2pm on June 12th.

Published in Galway Hookers
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Slipping out into Galway Bay before sunrise, several traditional craft from Galway Hooker Sailing Club participated in the Darkness into Light national fundraiser on  Saturday.

“When a community comes together, it’s amazing what can be done,” the club said after the highly successful event took place.

The vessels were on the water even as hundreds of people gathered from 4 am on Saturday in Salthill to walk the promenade and shoreline in aid of the charity Pieta.

The city-based club was one of a number of sailing and boating clubs around the country to support the national event, which raises awareness about suicide and fundraises for the support work conducted by Pieta.

Galway City Sailing Club and Galway Bay Sailing Club also responded to the on-water appeal.

“This morning the Galway community came out to walk, run, sail and motor into the day as the sun rose,” Galway Hooker Sailing Club said.

“It was a beautiful morning and we would like to thank everyone,” it said.

Over 3.7 million euros had been pledged to the charity last night, close to its 4 million euro target. Some 54,000 euros of this was raised across 19 venues in Galway, on and off water.

Founded in Dublin in 2006, Pieta was established to provide free, accessible one-to-one counselling to people suffering from suicidal ideation, engaging in self-harm or to those bereaved by suicide.

Published in Galway Hookers

Tributes have been paid to Badóirí an Cladaigh for illuminating their fleet of Galway hookers for the St Patrick's Day festival.

Galway-based photographer Pat Cantwell captured images of the fleet of vessels on the Claddagh basin in Galway city.

The group, which is one of two organisations in Galway city dedicated to restoration of the traditional craft, also lit the Naomh Crónán in Ukrainian colours as a mark of solidarity with the people of Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24th.

It also illuminated the gleoiteog Rosabel, named after the charity Rosabel's Rooms and moored at Raven Terrace. The gleoiteog was restored by Bádóirí an Cladaigh after it was acquired in 2008.

Rosabel's Rooms was established by Suzanne McClean and Gary Monroe in memory of their daughter Rosabel, who died suddenly in April 2017 when she was just 16 months old.

The charity provides family-focused bereavement suites in hospitals, designed in collaboration with the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Cantwell's photos can be viewed on Facebook here

Published in Galway Hookers
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One of Galway’s fleet of traditional craft has been lit in Ukrainian national colours in support of the people of Ukraine

The Naomh Cronán is decked out in yellow and blue on Galway’s Claddagh basin each evening after sunset.

The 40 foot Naomh Cronán was built to the design of the traditional craft once used for fishing and turf-carrying along the Atlantic coast.

It was constructed as part of a project among Irish language schools in the Clondalkin area of Dublin under the supervision of the late legendary boatbuilder Joe Murphy.

“We were preparing lights for our fleet for St Patrick’s day on March 17th, and decided to light one of the vessels for Ukraine,” Peter Connolly of Bádóirí an Chladaigh, the Claddagh Boatbuilders, said.

The initiative mirrors responses across Ireland in support of Ukraine, with thousands of families offering to take Ukrainian nationals fleeing conflict.

Public buildings have been illuminated in Ukrainian colours across Ireland since Russia launched its invasion on February 24th.

The Claddagh boatbuilders are one of two groups in Galway city involved in the construction and restoration of the traditional vessels.

The boatbuilder group is involved in the annual “greening” of Galway as part of the St Patrick’s Day national festival over four days.

The wooden craft with the signature “tumblehome” hull has been synonymous with Connemara and Kinvara, host to the annual Cruinniú na mBád regatta.

However, as Connolly says, the craft was fished from the Claddagh in the 19th century, until it was gradually displaced. Connolly’s group was formed in response to the sight of several hooker hulls languishing on the Claddagh quay wall.

They formed a partnership with skilled traditional boatbuilders in Rosmuc, Co Galway, and beyond.

Published in Galway Hookers
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There are times when somebody is so skilled in doing good work by stealth that their achievements tend to be hidden in plain sight. We were all reminded of this is in mid-January at the annual international AGM of the Old Gaffers Association, when Paul Kehoe of the Dublin branch was awarded the Jolie Brise Trophy for an exceptional contribution to preserving traditional gaff rig as a viable part of the contemporary sailing scene.

Paul had been “the-man-who-kept-the-show-on-the-road” for so long with the much-travelled Clondalkin community-built classic Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan that the rest of us simply took it for granted. And this attitude persisted even when he organised ace traditional shipwright Donal Greene to give the Cronan a major up-grade in Malahide before she was trucked across Ireland to the new custodianship of the badoiri of Galway City.

The Clondalkin team had moved on to a new Bermuda-rigged vessel more suited to their changing demographic. But with Paul still in the key role, it seemed almost like a seamless change from the “people involved” point of view. Thus it took the Jolie Brise Trophy award to shake us out of our blinkered viewpoint, and we are honoured to make Paul Kehoe the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month (Services to Sailing) for January 2022.

The Naomh Cronan re-fitted in Malahide Shiyard, and ready for trucking to new custodianship in Galway. Included in photo are Paul Kehoe (fourth right), DBOGA President Johnny Wedick (left) and master shipwright Donal Greene (right). Photo: Cormac LowthThe Naomh Cronan re-fitted in Malahide Shipyard, and ready for trucking to new custodianship in Galway. Included in photo are Paul Kehoe (fourth right), DBOGA President Johnny Wedick (left) and master shipwright Donal Greene (right). Photo: Cormac Lowth

Published in Sailor of the Month
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For many years until her transfer to Galway in 2021, the Clondalkin community-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan was a feature of sailing life in Dublin’s River Liffey at Poolbeg Y&BC in Ringsend, and she was a regular attendee at traditional and classic boat events throughout the Irish Sea and further afield.

Maintaining both her seaworthiness and the high level of activity which was central to her successful existence involved many people, but the one man who became known as “The Keeper of the Show on the Road” was Paul Keogh, who was her Sailing Manager for eighteen years after joining the building team which brought her construction to completion.

The result of a remarkable community effort – the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in Dublin Bay. Photo: W M NixonThe result of a remarkable community effort – the Clondalkin-built Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan in Dublin Bay. Photo: W M Nixon

Paul’s quiet yet very determined enthusiasm, and his sometimes heroic patience as he ensured that Naomh Cronnan was always fully crewed - with newcomers being steadily recruited to the cause - was something for celebration. So when it came to a close in the summer of 2021 with the Cronan’s satisfactory transfer to Galway City custodianship, his fellow members of the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association began preparing a proposal that Paul’s unique contribution should receive the ultimate recognition, the Jolie Brise Trophy, which is the supreme award of their central organisation, the Old Gaffers Association.

She really is breath-taking – the magnificent Joile Brise making knotsShe really is breath-taking – the magnificent Jolie Brise making knots

The award was confirmed in the online and partly active Annual General Meeting of the OGA in Newcastle in northeast England at the weekend, and will be followed by a further presentation in Dublin in due course. Meanwhile, it is timely to note that in celebrating Paul Keogh’s achievement, we are also celebrating what is arguably the greatest working gaff cutter ever built, the 56ft 1913-vintage Le Havre pilot cutter Jolie Brise. She served only briefly on pilot duties before being superseded by powered vessels, but since then has gone in to an unrivalled career as an offshore racer – she won three Fastnet Races – and sail training vessel.

An impression of latent power – Jolie Brise in Belfast Lough in 2015, on her way to being overall winner of that season’s Tall Ships Races. Photo: W M NixonAn impression of latent power – Jolie Brise in Belfast Lough in 2015, on her way to being overall winner of that season’s Tall Ships Races. Photo: W M Nixon

Jolie Brise is a frequent visitor to Ireland, a notable occasion being in 2015 when she was in Belfast Lough during that year’s programme of Tall Ships Race, in which she excelled herself by being winner of both her class and the overall fleet when the series concluded. She is a magnificent vessel which never fails to excite admiration, and young Tom Cunliffe - the John Arlott of English sailing – captures it well in this enthusiastic video

Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

The Conamara family of sailors known as Clann Johnny Jimmy Pheaitín are profiled in a documentary on TG4.

Pádraig, Jimmy and Seáinín are “Na Jimmys”, associated with the Galway Hooker An Mhaighdean Mhara.

The programme “Bádóirí- Na Jimmys” interviews the trio and some of the other relatives well known for their knowledge of sailing and the sea on Inis Mhic Cionnaith island and An Cheathrú Rua in south Conamara.

Pádraig, Jimmy and Seáinín are “Na Jimmys”Pádraig, Jimmy and Seáinín are “Na Jimmys”

One relative, shipwright Pat Michael is finishing his Galway Hooker, a piece of art being built in the shed next door to home, and the Jimmys’ uncle, Johnny Jimmy, relates how he and his two brothers were the best rowers in Ireland and in England in the 1960s.

John Darba talks about Inis Mhic Cionaith, where he was raised, and the stories told by Jimmy an Oileáin, while Johnny Healion recalls when the Mhaighdean Mhara was still hauling peat to the Aran Islands, as he now prepares to launch his most newly built hooker.

Pat agus na ladsPat agus na lads

“Bádoirí-Na Jimmys” is on TG4, December 29th, at 8.15 pm and also available to view online here

Published in Maritime TV
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When Brazilian Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão became involved with traditional boats in Galway, little did he expect that his ashes would be scattered by fellow crew members at sea.

Musicians and members of Galway group Badoirí an Chladaigh took to the wateron Sunday to bid farewell to their Brazilian colleague after he died last week at the age of 52.

Known in Galway as “Paolo Sergio”, the dancer and choreographer came to Ireland to study gastronomy.

He signed up as a volunteer with Badóirí an Chladaigh, and “everyone he touched just loved him”, according to Peter Connolly of the Galway hooker restoration group.

Brazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpgBrazilian choreographer Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão whose ashes were scattered by Badoirí an Chladaigh in Galway Bay1.jpg

“Paulo was very involved in our outdoor classes for schools, and there was nothing that he couldn’t do,” Connolly said.

When he became ill, he spent a number of months in University Hospital Galway and had two operations in Beaumont hospital in Dublin.

After his cremation last week, arrangements were made to scatter his ashes off Galway’s Mutton island.

The half decker Réalt Feasa and fishing boat Aisling Geal took advantage of a brief weather window on Sunday morning (Oct 31) to steam out to the island.

Paulo’s sister Mariza Soares da Paixao Milo and his cousin, Sergio Severiano Gomes Oliveira, were on board as the wind caught his ashes, a wreath was laid, and prayers were said in his memory.

A group of musicians then played a number of pieces on board the hooker Naomh Cronán, which was moored in full sail in the Claddagh basin and flying a Brazilian flag from its mast.

Relatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle.jpgRelatives and friends of Paulo Sergio Soares da Paixão from left, his sister Maria Soares da Paixao Milo, Esther Niland, Sergio Gomes Oliveira and David Doyle

Mayor of Galway Colette Connolly paid her respects to the family.

Clearly moved by the tribute, Sergio called how his cousin was born in Salvador and how he had studied choreography.

He became a professor of dance at the University of Para in Belem, where he was based for 25 years, and directed works that were staged in theatres in Belem.

“Paulo spent at the University of Para, very far from his home in Salvador, he had a house and car, he returned home to see family and friends, but over time he wanted a little more, something different,”Sergio said.

“He wanted to know the world, and people in a different way, he wanted a reality different from the reality of being Brazilian,” Sergio said.

“He planned to move from Brazil and discover something new...so he came to Ireland to change his way of life and study gastronomy here,”he said.

“Paulo first stayed in Dublin and then decided to move to Galway as it is a small city and a pretty city that gave him more opportunities, and he met many people of many different origins,”Sergio said.

“ He captivated people around him, and he was made welcome here,”he said.

Esther Niland, who offered Paulo lodgings in the West, along with David Doyle and Danny Bailey of Badóirí an Chladaigh said this was “what he would have wanted”.

“I was an immigrant for 20 years myself, many of us have been there, and we felt it was so sad that Paolo died so far from his home,”Peter Connolly added.

“He was a pure gentle giant,” Doyle said.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association aims to promotes interest in traditional gaff rig and seamanship, to offer help, advice and comradeship to members and to organise races and rallies for members in the Dublin Bay Area. 

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers normally organise a regatta, two rallies and four races during the summer season and a varied, interesting and well-supported series of talks during the winter (proceeds raised are donated to the RNLI). 

Many Dublin Bay members also travel to regattas and rallies organised by other Irish Sea OGA areas. 

While the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers activities are focused on  Dublin Bay, they also have a cluster of members in the Cork area and have members from all over Ireland and some in Britain too.

The Association is working up lans to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023.  In 2013 a fleet of boats set off around the UK and Ireland to celebrate OGA50.

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