Delights of Blackwater enjoyed by sailing and boating clubs
Youghal Sailing and Villierstown Boating clubs collaborated on a very successful cruise and race expedition on the Blackwater for the fourth successive year.
The clubs were joined by guests from Courtmacsherry Sailing Club in West Cork along with boats from Swords, Co Dublin, and Blessington and Greystones in Co Wicklow.
The annual event began in 2013 when the Youghal enthusiasts formed an informal alliance with their Villierstown counterparts, with whom they are directly linked by about 14 miles of river.
“We’ve always been aware the Blackwater is an incredibly scenic natural resource that is very underestimated underused”, says Youghal Sailing Club PRO Christine Lee.
“This annual excursion helps to highlight that, especially with guest clubs joining us.”
The wide and winding river is a haven for lush greenery and notable landmarks such as Youghal Bridge, while Ballynatray and Strancally Castle enrich the journey.
The affordable preponder- and ance of small GP14 sailing craft has boosted sailing club membership, especially amongst younger generations and Youghal club now boats up to 50 active members.
The sailors, as usual, berthed overnight at Villierstown where, according to Christine, they spent “a tranquil evening spent frying burgers on a shared grill,” with “strangers talking as if they had known each other all their lives, sharing supplies and sea-faring stories both true and slightly exaggerated”.
The following day, Sunday, crafts including GP14s, wayfarers, mirrors and toppers raced back to Youghal.
A GP14 carrying Youghal’s Edward Coyne and Sword’s Coleman Grimes was first across the line with Greystones father and son pair Barry and Kieran Keogh, also in a GP14, closely behind.
The junior section brought a joint first place as Denis Cully, Jamie Norris and Josh Lloyd of Blessing town guided their green mirror alongside Max Cully, Hugo Lloyd and Ollie Lloyd also of Blessing town in a white equivalent.
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The unique beauty of sailing the Blackwater.
Participants in the Blackwater sailing expedition.