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Currach racing in Skerries makes huge waves after successful Three Island Challenge

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Currach racing in Skerries.

Currach racing in Skerries.

Currach racing in Skerries.

fingalindependent

The Three Island Currach Challenge took place on South Strand at Skerries, hosted by Currachaí na Sceirí, last weekend and saw the biggest turnout in this events fourth year.

A baker’s dozen of boats were competing from; Clare, Mayo, Donegal, Antrim ,Down and Dublin.

The challenge involved racing a 7km route around three of the Skerries islands.

The husband and wife team of Stephen and Mairead O’Brien from Kilrush Currach Club in a time of 42.06, took the top honours and won the East Coast Currach Rowing Championship Cup, known as the Denis Guiney Perpetual Cup.

The O’Donnell brothers of Gweedore came in second place, followed by the mixed boat ‘Emerald’ from Carlingford Lough Currach Club.

The race attracted visitors from as far away as Sydney and London.

There was also a very interesting five hander category which involved a race off between the Skerries Belderrig and the North Mayo Belderrig.

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This is the first time in 50 years that two of these craft have raced together, according to Declan Caulfield of Ballycastle .

This race ended in victory for Skerries, with just the two operational Belderrigs in Ireland competing against each other on the day.

The North Mayo crew have vowed to seek revenge at the Bronze Man Festival in Belderrig/Ballycastle on this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Cathal Boland, presented the prizes on the day and mentioned what an essential part of Irish marine, culture and heritage this event signifies, along with its huge tourist potential for Fingal.

Club Captain of Currachaí na Sceirí, Shane Holland said: “This event has grown significantly over the last four years, along with our fleet of seven Currachs in Skerries which we have built or renovated from other sources.

“ It is now attracting not just the east coast teams, but teams from all over Ireland, with further international interest now coming from the U.S.”

A total of 17 boats were on display from Cumann Curach Átha Cliath/East Wall Currachs 2 crews, Lagan Currachs in Belfast 2 crews, Carlingford Lough Currach Club from Warrenpoint 3 crews, Cumann Na GCurach Gaoth Domhair along with The OBriens from Kilrush Currach Rowing Club and the 5 hand Belderrig of Declan Caulfield and his North Mayo Crew.

It was a hugely enjoyable weekend of the most unique racing to be seen off Fingal coasts in many years and huge credit goes to the organisers.


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