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Galway Bay SC’s Busy 2022 Programme Boosted By €140,000 Sports Capital Grant

14th February 2022
“….and watch the sun go down on Galway Bay….”. The cover of the 2022 Galway Bay SC Wall Calendar shows evening keelboat racing from GBSC HQ at Renville
“….and watch the sun go down on Galway Bay….”. The cover of the 2022 Galway Bay SC Wall Calendar shows evening keelboat racing from GBSC HQ at Renville Credit: Dave Brennan

Galway Bay Sailing Club is emerging from the final constraints of the pandemic with a hyper-busy programme in line for 2022, and the added confidence – announced last week - of a Sports Capital Grant of €140,000. This will provide further support for a busy club which approaches each development opportunity with ingenuity and vision, combined with a fresh enthusiasm that belies the fact that GBSC recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

The members will be both hosting major happenings, and sending forth fleets of their own keelboats and dinghies for cruises-in-company or racing participation elsewhere. The vigour of western life around Galway city is reflected in the fact that in late May, Galway is the first stopover in the Round Britain & Ireland Race from Plymouth, with the special appeal of the initial Plymouth to Galway leg being such an attractive challenge that some crews will see it as a new stand-alone race in itself.

Then slightly later in the season, GBSC will be organizing one of its long-distance Cruises-in-Company. Pre-pandemic, the Club had a very successful fleet venture to Lorient in Brittany, but in 2022 they’re going to be heading the other way, north up the west coast of Ireland for a venture which has the working title of Galway to Galloway, as it will have a Scottish theme.

Thus the first fleet assembly – with numbers already being talked of as reaching thirty boats-plus – will be with the Royal Ulster YC at Bangor on Belfast Lough, as Scotland’s Galloway coast is nearby across the North Channel.

However, it hasn’t been forgotten that during the brief relaxation of restrictions in 2021, GBSC members organised their “Lambs Weekend” cruising-racing-in-company to the Aran Islands and Connemara in the early August Bank Holiday weekend, and it was one of the most successful events of the entire season in Ireland.

For those of us from the rest of Ireland, it would be more readily comprehended if they simply called it the Connemara Cruise, but you’d be wasting your time trying to wean Galway men off their own private joke. And anyway, on Valentine’s Day of all days, a rose is still a rose by any other name, so we can be sure that the GBSC Lamb’s Weekend/Connemara Cruise or whatever will find itself even more firmly established as a pillar event of the west coast programme in early August 2022, with fleet numbers pushing towards the 50 mark.

Galway Bay SC clubhouse at Renville will benefit from the new €140,000 Sports Capital Grant.Galway Bay SC clubhouse at Renville will benefit from the new €140,000 Sports Capital Grant.

Published in Galway Harbour
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Galway Port & Harbour

Galway Bay is a large bay on the west coast of Ireland, between County Galway in the province of Connacht to the north and the Burren in County Clare in the province of Munster to the south. Galway city and port is located on the northeast side of the bay. The bay is about 50 kilometres (31 miles) long and from 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) to 30 kilometres (19 miles) in breadth.

The Aran Islands are to the west across the entrance and there are numerous small islands within the bay.

Galway Port FAQs

Galway was founded in the 13th century by the de Burgo family, and became an important seaport with sailing ships bearing wine imports and exports of fish, hides and wool.

Not as old as previously thought. Galway bay was once a series of lagoons, known as Loch Lurgan, plied by people in log canoes. Ancient tree stumps exposed by storms in 2010 have been dated back about 7,500 years.

It is about 660,000 tonnes as it is a tidal port.

Capt Brian Sheridan, who succeeded his late father, Capt Frank Sheridan

The dock gates open approximately two hours before high water and close at high water subject to ship movements on each tide.

The typical ship sizes are in the region of 4,000 to 6,000 tonnes

Turbines for about 14 wind projects have been imported in recent years, but the tonnage of these cargoes is light. A European industry report calculates that each turbine generates €10 million in locally generated revenue during construction and logistics/transport.

Yes, Iceland has selected Galway as European landing location for international telecommunications cables. Farice, a company wholly owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe.

It is "very much a live project", Harbourmaster Capt Sheridan says, and the Port of Galway board is "awaiting the outcome of a Bord Pleanála determination", he says.

90% of the scrap steel is exported to Spain with the balance being shipped to Portugal. Since the pandemic, scrap steel is shipped to the Liverpool where it is either transhipped to larger ships bound for China.

It might look like silage, but in fact, its bales domestic and municipal waste, exported to Denmark where the waste is incinerated, and the heat is used in district heating of homes and schools. It is called RDF or Refuse Derived Fuel and has been exported out of Galway since 2013.

The new ferry is arriving at Galway Bay onboard the cargo ship SVENJA. The vessel is currently on passage to Belem, Brazil before making her way across the Atlantic to Galway.

Two Volvo round world races have selected Galway for the prestigious yacht race route. Some 10,000 people welcomed the boats in during its first stopover in 2009, when a festival was marked by stunning weather. It was also selected for the race finish in 2012. The Volvo has changed its name and is now known as the "Ocean Race". Capt Sheridan says that once port expansion and the re-urbanisation of the docklands is complete, the port will welcome the "ocean race, Clipper race, Tall Ships race, Small Ships Regatta and maybe the America's Cup right into the city centre...".

The pandemic was the reason why Seafest did not go ahead in Cork in 2020. Galway will welcome Seafest back after it calls to Waterford and Limerick, thus having been to all the Port cities.

© Afloat 2020

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