The organisers are hoping to beat last year’s target during the event from St Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East-Link Bridge) and finishing at the Ha’penny Bridge.
While showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities, the challenge also aims to raise funds for water-related charities, namely the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.
The event will start at 8am this Saturday and at noon all boats will gather in front of the Sean O’Casey footbridge. A wreath-laying ceremony, attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring, will also take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning.
The event remembers particularly the crew of the currach rowed and sailed from the Liffey to Santiago de Compostela and who later lost a valued crew member in Danny Sheehy.
The RNLI will have an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat on display for people to view during the day, berthed alongside the Jeanie Johnston replica famine ship.
The event is also being used as an opportunity to engage with inner city Dublin schools whose pupils have been invited to the Dublin Docklands offices to learn about water safety through the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign, and how they can volunteer in their communities to help save lives at sea. The city’s Sea Scouts will also be participating in the event.
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 boat club. At the other end of the city, beyond Heuston Station, there are many river rowing clubs and kayaking clubs, including Phoenix Rowing Club.
This Saturday the many boating clubs of the Liffey will be joined by rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland.
“Everyone knows the River Liffey but most people don’t know how far it stretches and how many rowing groups use it regularly,” organisers said.
“There is a vibrant boating community on the River Liffey and these clubs regard it as the living artery of the city and one of Dublin’s great and undervalued amenities.
“After the beautiful summer we’ve had, we know that people are drawn to the water, whether on the coast or inland to enjoy different water sports.
“The Liffey is an undervalued and underused resource that is right under people’s noses and we want to encourage them to use it and to use it safely. From school children right up to seasoned rowers, this is a great opportunity to draw people down to the Liffey and learn about water safety and the fun activities they can do on the water all year round.”
Competitors are asked to raise sponsorship for the event, and for those not competing and supporters, there is a GoFundMe page for donations.