What A Sailing Season
At Mayo Sailing Club
Located at Rosmoney outside Westport, Mayo Sailing Club has been going from strength to strength in recent years. Despite the lack of sunshine, this year has provided some fantastic sailing, the club has hosted some major competitions including the Flying Fifteen Nationals, sponsored by Caseys Volvo Castlebar and both cruisers and dinghies have very well in external competitions. Below are some of the highlights of the season to date:
Casey's Volvo Flying Fifteen National Championships
Local sponsors Casey's Volvo from Castlebar really came up trumps for the Flying Fifteen National Championships which were held at Mayo Sailing Club this year. Kevin Rowley from Casey's who presented the prizes has been involved with Mayo Sailing Club for many years. These very exciting dinghies enjoyed some wonderful racing in Clew Bay with a full range of wind strengths. Their appearance brought back more than a few memories of bygone days for club members who raced a full fleet of Flying Fifteens at Rosmoney. The overall winner of the National Championships was Seán Craig from the Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin sailing "Thing". The championship was part of the Irish qualifying series for the World Championships.
Other Dinghy Events
Congratulations to all Mayo Sailing Club dinghy sailors who travelled around the country to compete in national events against very competitive fleets.
Seven Mirror dinghies travelled to compete in the Western Championships which were held at Sligo Yacht Club, Rosses Point in July. The competition consisted of four races with one discard over two days. Conditions were quite windy and a visiting school of dolphins created lots of interest during racing. Top in the placings were Marcus & Jenny Gordon who finished 6th in the Bronze fleet. The other competitors from Mayo Sailing Club were Lisa Mullee & Joan Molloy, Justine McLoughlin & Clara O'Neill, Colin Daly & Heather Gibbons, Emma & Padraig Hughes, Ronan Hughes & Frank Kenny and Kevin & Colm Cowley. Mirrors are thirteen foot wooden dinghies with distinctive red sails. They have spinnakers and require two crew to sail them. Club Mirrors also competed in the Munster Championships in Lough Derg and in Clifden Regatta.
The same weekend saw the Laser Western Championships at Mullaghmore Sailing Club, Co. Sligo. Thirty eight full rigged Lasers competed, amongst which were three from Mayo Sailing Club - Eoin Lamb, Eoin Currane and Tony Fitzgerald. Again the championship consisted of four races with one discard. Lasers are one man dinghies, fourteen feet long with a single sail.
Two weeks ago, Blair Stanaway finished 7th overall in the GP14 British National Championships which were held at Ballyholme in Northern Ireland. This is a new class for Blair who has a distinguished record in sailing Enterprise dinghies which are of a similar length. Blair and Damien Cashin plan to contest the GP14 Irish National Championships which will be held in Skerries Yacht Club, Dublin next week.
Five boats travelled all the way down the West coast to take part in Cork Week which has been described as the best regatta in the world. Amongst huge fleets the boats acquitted themselves very well, with Ian and Anne Gaughan's "Privateer" (Foxford) winning one race outright. Noel & Martina Conlon's "Wild Goose" (Westport) was the entry for the Irish Guide Dogs Association and was crewed by a combination of sighted and partially sighted sailors and skippered by Noel Conlon. The other boats who took part were Seamas Moneley's "Pink Panther" (Castlebar) and Robin & Linda Smith's "Rockabill" (Westport)
Two boats went to Kilrush for WIORA (West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association), they were Gerry & Maureen Daly's "Orient" (Castlebar) and David Baird & Pat Tully's "Obsession" (Westport).
Club Cruiser Events
Regular Thursday racing is divided into three series - Spring, Summer and Autumn. The Spring Series concluded with John Lambe's "Addict" winner under both IRC and ECHO handicaps. The Summer series is currently underway.
The annual Round Clare Island Race was won by John Lambe's "Addict" (ECHO) and John & Gair Gordon's "Aurora" (IRC). One of the main cruising events (non-competitive) was the regular August Bank Holiday trip to Inishboffin which was well supported.
The annual Lady Helm race was won by Fiona Bourke with "Uforia".
The Autumn Series begins soon and the Club Regatta will be held on 25th August at Rosmoney. Contact Joe McGovern, Commodore for details (098 41109).
The Club ran two sailing courses this year, a short four night Introduction to Sailing for adults and the Junior Sailing Course which ran over five weeks. Organised by Gair Gordon, the Junior Sailing is a hugely successful event, training young sailors for Irish Sailing Association (ISA) awards from Level 1 to Level 5. The course which runs during July/August has an excellent reputation and is always very heavily booked. Children from the age of eight and up are eligible to sail.
Anyone who would like to find out more about sailing in Mayo should contact Joe McGovern, Commodore (098 41109).