Plain sailing for Kerry kids

Kids flock to Fenit as they take to the seas for summer sailing

Fergus Dennehy

GAA may have a rival on its hands, because there looks to be a new sport and skill on the rise in the county.

More than 40 kids from all over Kerry and Ireland took part in Tralee Bay Maritime Centre's 'Summer Sailing Camp' in Fenit last week, leaving the mainland behind to gain an introduction to sailing, learning both basic and more advanced skills in the process.

From the importance of life-jackets to essential knots, from steering to learning about different types of boats, it all added up to an action-packed week.  The fantastic weather we've been enjoying of late may have had a part to play in the high number of boatmen and women present but, whatever the reason, Brian O'Sullivan said he was delighted to see so many out in the water.

"It was a great week," he said. "We had a lot going on over the few days. There were four main events going on, but the main thing that we wanted to instil was to respect the water. "We had a Junior Sailing Camp, which was for kids from the age of seven to 18, and this ranged from beginner sailors to good racers.  "After this, we had the 'Optimist' group, which was aimed at giving specific coaching to more advanced sailors. We had 20 in this group.

"The next group was the FEVA clinic, which was first of its kind here in Ireland. We had visitors from all over the country down for this. "Finally, we had the sailing instructors' course, which was aimed at 17 and 18-year-olds."  For anyone still looking to take part in the sailing camps, they are set to run throughout August.  If you'd like to find out more about the camps, you can do so by heading over to the Tralee Bay Maritime Centre website at