NYC in Waterways Ireland Raid
The NYC is strongly represented in the inaugural Waterways Ireland Raid which finishes in Kilaloe today having started a week ago on Lower Lough Erne. All 3 NYC Waterwags and Cathy MacAleaveys new Shannon One Design are taking part in what has turned out to be a fantastic sail over almost 200km of the Erne and Shannon waterways.
On Tuesday, the strong winds on Lough Ree produced fantastic photographs including this one above by Nic Compton of Cathy MacAleavey, steering a reefed down Shannon One Design (SOD) dinghy number 178 across Lough Ree earlier this week. Murphy crewed by her daughter Claudine and Howth Yacht Club sailor Amy Wickham sailed from Lanesborough in County Cavan to Lough Ree Yacht Club in just two hours, a journey of some 10 miles.
One of the boats taking part in the first Irish Raid was dismasted as the fleet wa shit by 25-knot winds crossing Loch Ree on the Shannon River. Former Whitbread sailor and Route du Rhum organiser Sylvie Viant was skippering the Waterwag when the mast collapsed halfway down the Loch.
‘We noticed the mast flexing forward, but the wind was too strong to stop, then suddenly the whole thing fell forward into the sea’ said Ms Viant. ‘The safety boat came over very quickly, so we weren’t in any danger – just disapponted we couldnt carry on sailing’
Windy conditions for Wags. The boat on the left of picture lost its mast in one gust, see below. Wag number 8 is skippered by Ian Malcolm NYC – photo:Nic Compton
The mast was glued back together that evening by a team of volunteers during the stopover at Lough Ree Yacht Club (LRYC), and Sylvie and her race partner Martine Gahinet-Charrier were racing again the next day.
Come in Number 8, your time is up! A broken spar was quickly repaired. Photo – Nic Compton
Meanwhile, the rest of the crews enjoyed a helter skelter ride in brilliant, but windy conditions during the fourth day of the seven-day event. Competition was particularily stiff inthe Shannon OD class where former Tornado Champion, Koji Akido vied with Lough Ree YC Commodore, Alan Algoe. Despite starting last, the Japanese skipper overtook almost the whole fleet to finish the fourth leg in second place overall, and first in class. First boat home on Lough Ree was the Wayfarer skippered by Monica Shaeffer.
The seven day event on the Shannon River includes a former Olympian, a tranatlantic record breaker, a Whitbread sailor and a former world windsurf champion.
Two local classes, the Shannon One Design and hte Waterwags, joined a mixed fleet of boats in the Open Class to race the 195km course. In the spirit of cross-border co-operation, the first two days of the event took place in Northern Ireland, before the boats crossed the border into the Republic and resumed