by Conor O’Byrne
Western members had a quiet winter it seems. The absence of any major winter projects reported to me no doubt reflects the great order that members maintain their vessels in! Phyllis Hayes reports that the propeller on their Westwind 41, Allegra, was heavily encrusted with mussels so that received a generous lick of antifoul during her lift-out in Xufre, Galicia. Phyllis and her husband Michael Casserly will base themselves in A Pobra de Caraminal and do some exploring of the Rias with their teenage son and friends over the season. They are already looking forward to meeting fellow ICC members during the Encuentro Náutico 2023.
Allegra, Phyllis Hayes and Mick Casserly’s Northwind 41, berthed at the new pontoon in Xufre
Peter Fernie reports that Mystic (his Moody 27) will be cruising around the Rias Baixas again this year. Peter has been busy over the winter with a complete rebuild of an old Mirror sailing dinghy. He is getting it ready for his grand-daughters, both of whom hope to do a sailing course in Galway Bay Sailing Club this summer.
Allegra’s prop paintjob
Michael Brogan reports that preparations are already underway for Cruinniú na mBád, which will be held in Kinvara on the weekend of 11/13 of August this year. This will be the 44th year of this colourful regatta, which is the longest running maritime festival in Ireland. Even during the COVID pandemic, turf was quietly transported by Hooker across Galway Bay to mark the continuity of the centuries old tradition. ICC members are welcome, especially to the BBQ for crews and sponsors, held each year in Parkmore on the Saturday afternoon, while the Hookers wait for the tide to take their cargoes of turf to be landed on Kinvara Quay. Details of weekend events can be seen on Festivals Ireland website.
The dramatic rescue scene at Downpatrick Head
John Sweeney took a hiatus from sailing last summer but will be back on the west coast this coming season. Outside of sailing he is involved in Cave Rescue and was part of the dramatic 23hr rescue of the guy at Downpatrick Head in November. Great result and collaboration with the RNLI and The Coastguard.
Galway Port secured €8M investment from the EU to establish the port as a “Hydrogen Valley”. The project, called GH2, is a consortium consisting of seven members – NUI Galway, the Port of Galway, CIÉ Group and Bus Éireann, Aran Islands Ferries, Lasta Mara Teo, Aer Arann Islands, and SSE Renewables. The hope is that this project will position Galway as the home of Ireland’s first Hydrogen Valley, providing green hydrogen for use in transport, industry and within local communities in the greater Galway region. With luck it might also act as the catalyst needed for further improvements of the harbour. Also in Galway Bay, the sailing club at Renville (GBSC) is currently building new facilities for equipment storage and training on the club grounds.Further west in Ros a’ Mhíl (Rossaveel), the harbour master, Captain Martin Mylotte, reports that a facilities building will be opened at the marina sometime between Easter and summer this year. This will have a self-catering facility, showers and laundry. Food and fuel delivery services to the marina are available from the local shop and fuel station. These facilities will no doubt entice a few more visiting yachts into the harbour. Although the town itself doesn’t have much to offer a visitor, the marina is a great place to base your boat for some extended cruising in Western waters.