There was a big turn out for the launch of the newly refurbished Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, followed by the fitting-out dinner, ahead of an exciting sailing season in Dunmore East writes Marcella Connolly
Olympic medallist and Sport Ireland CEO, John Treacy cut the ribbon alongside the club Commodore, Rene Wubben to welcome the community and all new members to the club. The refurbishment came as a result of winning a Sports Capital Grant from the Sports Council of Ireland as the Commodore explained – “The grant is geared toward developing sports at grass roots as well as a focus on community and other groups”. The club now hosts a number of additional activities as well as sailing, which should popularise the club among the local community and inspire more people to take advantage of their open door policy.
The dressing rooms and shower facilities were completely re-fitted, and the new look entrance way has improved access for disabled sailors. There have been a number of new incentives added to the clubs resume, such as ‘Tenner Tuesdays’, that was created to invite people from non-sailing backgrounds to take to the water with accomplished sailors and learn the ropes. There’s also the ‘Women on the Water’ initiative, designed to entice more females to take part in the sport.
Among the scheduled events this season is the Connaught Optimist championships that will see over 140 boats compete in Dunmore East in July and the combined 420 and Leinster Flying Fifteen Championships in August. This refurbishment, coupled with the new marina should draw huge interest this year. “ Last year saw 280 cruisers arrive in Dunmore East since the opening of the new pontoon last July” said Commodore Wubben, “with an expected 500 cruising boats to visit this year, my desire is to attract a larger cruiser fleet for competition.”