De­lights of Black­wa­ter en­joyed by sail­ing and boat­ing clubs

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Christy Parker

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.

See youghal­sail­ and Face­book. In­quiries: 083 3839047/086-6185222.

The unique beauty of sail­ing the Black­wa­ter.

Par­tic­i­pants in the Black­wa­ter sail­ing ex­pe­di­tion.

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