Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Coastal Rowing

For sailing folk in Dublin Bay, coastal rowing and racing with skiffs in their many forms seem a world unto itself. As too does the Tolka Estuary, that mysterious waterway in the North City that makes it way southeast to the sea close to the northwards of Belvedere Rugby Ground and Croke Park, before curving in a widening form to head seaward past Clontarf and on into the outer Liffey Estuary.

--These two special worlds apart of classic boats and little-known waterways are found together in the Tolka-side East Wall Water Sports Group, along with other maritime activities, and as ever the eagle eye of Cormac Lowth was there for an important waterfront happening, and we thank him for this report:

THE FIRST LAUNCHING OF THE PATSY JUNIOR

On Saturday, June 8th, the East Wall Water Sports Group launched their magnificent new East Coast skiff Patsy Junior at the East Wall Water Centre. The boat was built in the Clubhouse by Shipwright and Boatbuilder Patsy Whelan Junior, with help from his brothers Martin and Jimmy, and members of the Rowing Group.

The Club have named the boat after the man who built her. Patsy and his brothers are the sons of the renowned Patsy Whelan Senior, who was the last commercial Boatbuilder in Ringsend. As for Patsy Junior, he works as a shipwright with the Dublin Port Company.

The superb craftsmanship of the new boat descends directly from the highest skills of Ringsend boatbuilders and the Dublin Port Shipwrights. Photo: Cormac LowthThe superb craftsmanship of the new boat descends directly from the highest skills of Ringsend boatbuilders and the Dublin Port Shipwrights. Photo: Cormac Lowth

LINK TO LAST BOATYARD IN RINGSEND

The standard of craftsmanship in the new boat is superb, and is a fine continuation of centuries of the tradition of boatbuilding in Dublin, Patsy Whelan Senior served his time as a boatbuilder and Shipwright with Harry Smith, who owned the last of a long line of boatyards that existed on the bank of the River Dodder at Ringsend.

Harry had served his time with the firm of Hollweys, who built a vast array of yachts, sailing trawlers, lifeboats, and motorboats, They employed dozens of boatbuilders from Ringsend who were descended from generations in the same trade going back hundreds of years.

The East Wall club concentrates mostly on rowing, but it also takes in boatbuilding and repairs. They have a variety of boats, including two clinker rowing boats, and a Shannon Gandelow which were also built by Patsy Whelan Junior. They also own currachs and two East Coast skiffs that were originally built by Patsy Whelan Senior. There are a great many young people in the club who learn rowing, and it is wonderful to see old skills being passed on to new generations.

ANCESTRY OF THE SKIFFS

East Coast rowing skiffs are long double-ended wooden clinker built boats that are direct descendants of the boats that were used in the past by 'Hobblers'. These boats were rowed out to sea to meet incoming vessels, mostly small schooners, and the Hobblers acted as pilots, and sometimes towed the vessels in times of calm. They also ran mooring lines ashore, and sometimes helped to work the cargo.

The new boat heads out for her first rowing session after close inspection revealed she wasn’t making so much as a drop of water. Photo: Cormac LowthThe new boat heads out for her first rowing session after close inspection revealed she wasn’t making so much as a drop of water. Photo: Cormac Lowth

Boats from different harbours would race each other to be first to get a line aboard incoming vessels. There were still plenty of Hobblers around in the mid 1930s, when the sport of skiff racing was codified and the first two clubs were formed, Saint Patrick's and Stella Maris, both in Ringsend. The sport has since then gone from strength to strength.

NO LEAKS AT ALL

The first of the current type of East Coast skiffs were built by Harry Smith, and then a great many more were subsequently built by Patsy Whelan Senior. Standards are high both ashore and afloat, with the well-organised proceedings on Saturday being overseen by Club member Joe Morrison. The new boat was launched at the Club's slipway, and the crucial post-launch inspection revealed that the boat had not taken in so much as a drop of water. That vital test having been passed with flying colours, the new Patsy Junior was taken on a first row by a crew of young people from the Club, accompanied by a flotilla of the other boats of the Club to celebrate this 21st Century continuation of a time-honoured Dublin Port tradition.

Not all boat-building projects conclude so well that the new vessel is named in honour of the builder, but it happened with acclamation at East Wall Watersports Centre. Photo: Cormac LowthNot all boat-building projects conclude so well that the new vessel is named in honour of the builder, but it happened with acclamation at East Wall Watersports Centre. Photo: Cormac Lowth

Published in Coastal Rowing

‘All In A Row Charity Liffey Challenge 2023’ is coming to the capital’s River Liffey on Saturday, 2nd December, with a challenge for rowing teams to smash a 1,000km target in eight hours.

22 rowing clubs will row the challenge in skiffs, dragon boats, celtic longboats, kayaks, canoes and currachs to raise funds for RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

The organisers are hoping to exceed last year’s target of rowing 1,000km during the event on the river, which will start from St. Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East Link Bridge) and turn at the Ha’penny Bridge, rowing back down river to St. Patrick’s Rowing Club. The challenge is being undertaken with the aim of showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities while raising funds for water-related charities, RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

The event raised €22,000 in 2022.

The event will start at 8.30 am on Saturday 2nd December, and at 1 pm, all boats will gather on the Liffey at the Sean O’Casey footbridge. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning.

Many Dublin rowing clubs have their home on the River Liffey and are a regular sight on the water. At the port end of the river is St. Patrick’s Rowing Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, East Wall Water Sports Group and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. Ringsend Basin is home to the Plurabelle Paddlers (dragon boats) and the Dublin Viking Dragon boats. At the other end of the city beyond Heuston Station, there are many river rowing and kayaking clubs, including Phoenix Rowing Club. Rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland will join in this challenge to raise funds for RNLI Lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

Competitors are asked to raise sponsorship for the event, and also for spectators and supporters, there is an idonate page for donations here 

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under

Sunday's World Coastal Rowing Championships in Italy saw Ireland bagging a commendable medal haul.

In a standout weekend, Ireland is coming home with four medals and three World Coastal Rowing Champions.

Monika Dukarska who rows for Killorlin Rowing Club, won the women's solo event at the World Coastal Rowing ChampionshipsMonika Dukarska who rows for Killorlin Rowing Club, won the women's solo event at the World Coastal Rowing Championships

Monika Dukarska from County Kerry, who rows for Killorlin Rowing Club, won the women's solo event and also secured a massive victory in the mixed double category, alongside Ronan Byrne.

Adrian Miramon Quiroga from Wicklow Rowing Club is the Coastal Men's Solo World ChampionAdrian Miramon Quiroga from Wicklow Rowing Club is the Coastal Men's Solo World Champion

Furthermore, the men's solo saw a gold medal being awarded to Adrian Miramon Quiroga from Wicklow Rowing Club, and the women's coxed quadruple team from Ireland managed to clinch a bronze medal.

A bronze medal for Ireland in the women's coxed quadruple category at the World Rowing Coastal Championships in ItalyA bronze medal for Ireland in the women's coxed quadruple category at the World Rowing Coastal Championships in Italy

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under

A new coastal rowing boat named after St Laurence was blessed in Ringsend, Dublin, today for the Stella Maris Rowing Club.

The St Laurence II has been sponsored by Dublin Port Company, and is named after the original St Laurence, which was built, owned and competed in by Dublin Port workers in the 1950s.

Dublin Port Company says it represents yet another investment by it in promoting the sport of rowing in Dublin.

Dublin Port Company CEO Barry O’Connell alongside Alicia Weafer, Trudi Pepper, Emma Gannon and Niamh Kane of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team, who take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II, sponsored by Dublin Port Company.Dublin Port Company CEO Barry O’Connell alongside Alicia Weafer, Trudi Pepper, Emma Gannon and Niamh Kane of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team, who take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II, sponsored by Dublin Port Company

Dublin Port Company CEO Barry O’Connell alongside Alicia Weafer, Trudi Pepper, Emma Gannon and Niamh Kane of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team, who take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II, sponsored by Dublin Port Company.

It will also provide Stella Maris Rowing Club's dedicated members – ranging from aged ten onwards - with state-of-the-art equipment that will enhance their training and capabilities, the port company says.

(Left to Right) Coach Louise Kane with Niamh Kane, Emma Gannon, Trudi Pepper and Alicia Weafer of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II, sponsored by Dublin Port Company. Photo Tommy Dickson(Left to Right) Coach Louise Kane with Niamh Kane, Emma Gannon, Trudi Pepper and Alicia Weafer of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II Photo Tommy Dickson

“This continued and long-standing partnership comes as part of Dublin Port Company’s wider plans for a new maritime village,”it says

The village is part of its 3FM development project, and will involve a “modern sailing and rowing campus” for sailing and rowing clubs, sea scouts, the Nautical Trust and local boat owners.

The 3FM project is the port’s masterplan for 2040, and is focused on port lands on the Poolbeg peninsula, on the south side of the bay.

Dublin Port Company continues its support of Stella Maris Rowing Club with the sponsorship of the new skiffDublin Port Company continues its support of Stella Maris Rowing Club with the sponsorship of the new skiff (above and below Photos: Tommy DicksonDublin Port Company continues its support of Stella Maris Rowing Club with the sponsorship of the new skiff (above and below Photos: Tommy Dickson

The port says the village “has been developed in consultation with local groups and will replace the current much smaller facilities as well as improving opportunities to view port activities from the new waterside public plaza area”.

The new boat was blessed today by Father Ivan Tonge during a ceremony held at the Ringsend Club’s home on the Pigeon House Road in Dublin.

Founded in 1937, Stella Maris is one of Dublin's oldest and most respected rowing clubs, with levels from junior right up to senior.

The club recently won a Dublin South Central Garda Youth Award, which is awarded to young people who have contributed positively to their communities.

Barry O’Connell, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “We are honoured to offer our continued support to Stella Maris Rowing Club. The values Stella embodies, such as teamwork, dedication and perseverance, align perfectly with our own ethos at Dublin Port Company."

(Left to Right) Coach Louise Kane with Niamh Kane, Emma Gannon, Trudi Pepper and Alicia Weafer of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II(Left to Right) Coach Louise Kane with Niamh Kane, Emma Gannon, Trudi Pepper and Alicia Weafer of the Stella Maris Rowing Club’s Under-16 Girls Team take to the water on their new coastal rowing boat, the St Laurence II Photo: Tommy Dickson

"This commitment ties in with our wider community initiatives to come under the 3FM Project, which will see a new maritime village providing enhanced facilities for a range of users, including sailing and rowing clubs.”

Dublin Port Company CEO Barry O’Connell (far right) with members of Stella Maris Rowing Club at the blessing of their new coastal rowing boatDublin Port Company CEO Barry O’Connell (far right) with members of Stella Maris Rowing Club at the blessing of their new coastal rowing boat Photo: Tommy Dickson

Pat Kane, Chairman, Stella Maris Rowing Club, said: “Dublin Port has long been a friend to Stella Maris, and we would like to thank them for their continued support. The original St Laurence served the club well for over 30 years and, thanks to Dublin Port, the St Laurence II will inspire and enable the next generation of rowers.”

Published in River Liffey

A team of novice rowers from Holyhead Sailing Club recently undertook an incredible feat to raise awareness for mental health. On Tuesday, August 15th, the team set off from Holyhead at 7 am, rowing to the Royal St George YC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Dun Laoghaire Harbour and back again, a journey of almost 30 hours.

The team, consisting of five teams of five, swapped out every hour to ensure they could continue the gruelling journey. They arrived in Dun Laoghaire just before midnight and hoisted their flag on the RStGYC flagpole before setting off on the return leg.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed, as the RStGYC proudly flew the Row4gaz flag to support their mission. The team safely returned to Holyhead Sailing Club at 12:30 pm the following day, having completed their impressive journey.

The team of novice row4gaz rowers from Holyhead Sailing Club close in on Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay The team of novice row4gaz rowers from Holyhead Sailing Club close in on Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay 

The team's goal was to raise awareness for mental health, and they succeeded in their mission. The RSGYC was delighted to support their cause, and the team's efforts are sure to inspire others to take action for mental health awareness.

To learn more about this incredible journey and the cause they were supporting, visit Row4gaz.com.

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under

Stella Maris Rowing Club succeeded at its 2023 regatta, winning eight out of 16 races.

Fair rowing weather, good spirits, healthy rivalries, and races running efficiently and on time all made for a wonderful East Coast Regatta enjoyed by a wide range of coastal rowing clubs. 

Building on the success of 2022's first post-pandemic regatta on the River Liffey at Poolbeg Marina, the regatta has been widely praised by the east coast coastal rowing community not necessarily for the on-water success enjoyed by the host club but more for all the other elements that made for a great day out on the capital's waters in Dublin Port.

"Amazing results at today’s regatta @stellamarisrowingclub, a tough ole jaunt down the river. Well done to all crews & all who came & supported", Dalkey Rowing Club posted on social media.

This was the second coastal rowing regatta to take place on the East Coast circuit this year but the first on the Liffey.

Ten clubs from along the East Coast from Balbriggan to Arklow took part bringing over 120 crews onto the water throughout the day.

While Stella Maris may have been the big winners over the day there were great performances from all the East Coast Clubs, with nearly every club in attendance represented on the overall Medal table. 

Attention turns to Dalkey Rowing Club Regatta on the south side of Dublin Bay next Saturday (June 17th) for the next regatta of the East Coast Rowing Council.

Stella Maris Rowing Club enjoyed success at its own 2023 regattaStella Maris Rowing Club enjoyed success at its own 2023 regatta

Published in River Liffey

Dalkey Rowing Club (DRC) hosts its first regatta on Saturday (June 17th) since 2019 due to the pandemic and bad weather last year. 

The coastal rowers are marking their 90th year, so there's an added buzz and excitement in the air and on the water!

The racing is based at Otranto Park in Sandycove Park, with racing in Scotsman's Bay.

The first race is at 9.00 am sharp (cox meeting at 8.30 am). The novice men go first, and the regatta schedule is below.

Dublin Bay live webcams x 3 here may provide a glimpse of the rowing action

Dalkey Rowing Club 2023 Regatta Schedule

  • Novice men
  • Mixed
  • Senior Women
  • U18 boys
  • Inter Men
  • Junior Women
  • Inter Women
  • Vets
  • Novice Women

Dalkey Rowing Club 2023 Regatta Schedule

Published in Coastal Rowing

Royal Cork Yacht Club was the centre of attention on Saturday as rowing craft of all kinds were launched in glorious sunshine in anticipation of the weekend's centrepiece event, An Rás Mór, Cork harbour’s Ocean to City race.

The coastal rowing event organised by the traditional boat group Meitheal Mara returned to the water this weekend after a break of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The multi-craft rowing and paddling race has attracted a fleet of over 200 boats.

Crosshaven is the official start venue of the main fleet in the Ocean to City Race 2023Crosshaven is the official start venue of the main fleet in the Ocean to City Race 2023

Now in its 18th year, the all-inclusive rowing event welcomes traditional wooden working boats, gigs, skiffs, sloops, lifeboats, longboats, cutters and currachs, kayaks, canoes, ocean sliding-seat boats and stand-up paddleboards as depicted in Bob Bateman's photo gallery below.

Billed as Ireland's largest long-distance rowing and paddling race, Ocean to City has four-course distances to choose from across the 28 km course - as in two, seven, 12 and 15 nautical miles, all finishing in Cork city centre.

Ocean to City Rowing Race in Cork Harbour 2023 Photo Gallery

Published in Cork Harbour

Dalkey Rowing Club will host a blessing of its new boat, ‘Bláth na Farraige’, on Saturday, 1 April, at 3 pm at The Club Pub in Dalkey Village, Co. Dublin.

The new wooden clinker hull for the coastal rowing club on Dublin Bay was built by W.C. Hunkin and Sons boat builders with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media through the Capital Sports programme.

Published in Coastal Rowing

Inver Colpa Coastal Rowing Club & SK Fitness hosted a 12 Hour Charity Skipathon and Bikeathon in Scotch Hall Shopping Centre in December to raise much-needed funds for the Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service.

The skippers and bikers who participated presented a cheque for €1,900 to the Drogheda-based rescue organisation.

The Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Service comprises 30 volunteers on call 24 hours, 365 days a year. Volunteers are alerted through a VHF-based paging system.

Published in Coastal Rowing
Tagged under
Page 1 of 10

Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award

This unique and informal competition was inaugurated in 1979, with Mitsubishi Motors becoming main sponsors in 1986. The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs. 

In making their assessment, the adjudicators take many factors into consideration. In addition to the obvious one of sailing success at local, national and international level, considerable attention is also paid to the satisfaction which members in every branch of sailing and boating feel with the way their club is run, and how effectively it meets their specific needs, while also encouraging sailing development and training.

The successful staging of events, whether local, national or international, is also a factor in making the assessment, and the adjudicators place particular emphasis on the level of effective voluntary input which the membership is ready and willing to give in support of their club's activities.

The importance of a dynamic and fruitful interaction with the local community is emphasised, and also with the relevant governmental and sporting bodies, both at local and national level. The adjudicators expect to find a genuine sense of continuity in club life and administration. Thus although the award is held in a specific year in celebration of achievements in the previous year, it is intended that it should reflect an ongoing story of success and well-planned programmes for future implementation. 

Over the years, the adjudication system has been continually refined in order to be able to make realistic comparisons between clubs of varying types and size. With the competition's expansion to include class associations and specialist national watersports bodies, the "Club of the Year" competition continues to keep pace with developing trends, while at the same time reflecting the fact that Ireland's leading sailing clubs are themselves national and global pace-setters

Irish Sailing Club of the Year Award FAQs

The purpose of the award is to highlight and honour the voluntary effort which goes into creating and maintaining the unrivalled success of Ireland's yacht and sailing clubs.

A ship's wheel engraved with the names of all the past winners.

The Sailing Club of the Year competition began in 1979.

PR consultant Sean O’Shea (a member of Clontarf Y & BC) had the idea of a trophy which would somehow honour the ordinary sailing club members, volunteers and sailing participants, who may not have personally won prizes, to feel a sense of identity and reward and special pride in their club. Initially some sort of direct inter-club contest was envisaged, but sailing journalist W M Nixon suggested that a way could be found for the comparative evaluation of the achievements and quality of clubs despite their significant differences in size and style.

The award recognises local, national & international sailing success by the winning club's members in both racing and cruising, the completion of a varied and useful sailing and social programme at the club, the fulfilling by the club of its significant and socially-aware role in the community, and the evidence of a genuine feeling among all members that the club meets their individual needs afloat and ashore.

The first club of the Year winner in 1979 was Wicklow Sailing Club.

Royal Cork Yacht Club has won the award most, seven times in all in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2015 & 2020.

The National YC has won six times, in 1981, 1985, 1993, 1996, 2012 & 2018.

Howth Yacht Club has won five times, in 1982, 1986, 1995, 2009 & 2019

Ireland is loosely divided into regions with the obviously high-achieving clubs from each area recommended through an informal nationwide panel of local sailors going into a long-list, which is then whittled down to a short-list of between three and eight clubs.

The final short-list is evaluated by an anonymous team based on experienced sailors, sailing journalists and sponsors’ representatives

From 1979 to 2020 the Sailing Club of the Year Award winners are:

  • 1979 Wicklow SC
  • 1980 Malahide YC
  • 1981 National YC
  • 1982 Howth YC
  • 1983 Royal St George YC
  • 1984 Dundalk SC
  • 1985 National YC (Sponsorship by Mitsubishi Motors began in 1985-86)
  • 1986 Howth YC
  • 1987 Royal Cork YC
  • 1988 Dublin University SC
  • 1989 Irish Cruising. Club
  • 1990 Glenans Irish SC
  • 1991 Galway Bay SC
  • 1992 Royal Cork YC
  • 1993 National YC & Cumann Badoiri Naomh Bhreannain (Dingle) (after 1993, year indicated is one in which trophy is held)
  • 1995 Howth Yacht Club
  • 1996 National Yacht Club
  • 1997 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 1998 Kinsale Yacht Club
  • 1999 Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club
  • 2000 Royal Cork Yacht Club (in 2000, competition extended to include class associations and specialist organisations)
  • 2001 Howth Sailing Club Seventeen Footer Association
  • 2002 Galway Bay Sailing Club
  • 2003 Coiste an Asgard
  • 2004 Royal St George Yacht Club
  • 2005 Lough Derg Yacht Club
  • 2006 Royal Cork Yacht Club (Water Club of the Harbour of Cork)
  • 2007 Dublin Bay Sailing Club
  • 2008 Lough Ree YC & Shannon One Design Assoc.
  • 2009 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2010 Royal St George YC
  • 2011 Irish Cruiser Racing Association
  • 2012 National Yacht Club
  • 2013 Royal St George YC
  • 2014 Kinsale YC
  • 2015 Royal Cork Yacht Club
  • 2016 Royal Irish Yacht Club
  • 2017 Wicklow Sailing Club
  • 2018 National Yacht Club
  • 2019 Howth Yacht Club
  • 2020 Royal Cork Yacht Club

©Afloat 2020