On last week’s Podcast I wrote about the great Galway Hookers at the ‘Cruiniú’ – the Gathering of the Boats in Kinvara County Galway, a centre of traditional wooden boats. There are other boats sailing in the waters off Kinvara these days – modern glassfibre dinghies.

This is the fleet of Kinvara Bay Sailing Club, which followed the path of wooden boats when it was formed in 2004 to encourage the development of sailing and associated skills in and around the area. The Heron dinghy was the initial dinghy of choice, because it was wooden, maintained that traditional boating interest and could be built by members. During the following year 12 Herons were built in the village and more purchased by families leading to a healthy fleet of 19 in total which led to the village being regarded as having the biggest local fleet of Herons in one club in Europe, so it was said.

Time has moved on in the sailing world and the club fleet now consists of modern glassfibre boats such as Picos, Fevas, Argos and a mix of other craft.

The club holds twice-a-week sailing on Thursdays and Sundays from Parkmore at the mouth of Kinvara Bay and prides itself on being strongly family-oriented, with a concentration on encouraging participation in the sport. Boat sharing and introductory sailing for adults, as well as coaching for younger and beginner sailors is provided.

On my radio programme, broadcast from Kinvara, in conjunction with Kinvara FM, I had the pleasure of meeting the current Club Commodore, Paul Crowley. He credits a lot of the success of revitalisation in the club to the interest of young sailors in Kinvara. Paul is brother of Peter Crowley of the RCYC in Cork and the ISA and RNLI Council. I also met a former Commodore, Barry Kavanagh, who was involved in the initial development of the club and the building of Herons, one of which he built himself. He is also a broadcaster on Kinvara FM whose strong interest will be a help to the sport in the area.

The first voice you hear on this week’s Podcast is Paul Crowley and then Barry Kavanagh. Listen in below.

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