On May 5th Mayo Sailing Club (MSC) will once again open its doors from 1-5pm and welcome families and individuals in for a great time. There will be activities for both young and old, with opportunities to get out on the water, see the various types of boats and learn some of the ropes.
Dinghies and big boats (yachts) will be on display and visitors will be able to see how things work first hand. The Coast Guard and Life boat will be on hand to explain how they protect our sailors and fishermen alike. In addition, there will also be face painting for the youngsters. Members will be demonstrating rope work, knot tying and other boating related skills. McHale Marine will also be on hand, with special discounts on all apparel items. As a respite from the activities, there will be a barbeque and refreshments will be served.
Clew Bay Children’s Writing Competition Awards Announcement and Prize Giving
This year Mayo Sailing Club will also be welcoming participants in the Clew Bay Children’s writing competition to the Open Day on May 5th. A major part of the event will be the announcement of the top ten stories as selected by the judging panel hosted by Books@One and the prize giving. This in itself is an event not to be missed. The two first prizes are seats in the Junior Sailing Starter Couse, which includes boat hire and club membership for the year. The top ten entries will then be published in the Mayo News over the course of the summer. All entries will be collected in a book which will be published at Books@One this summer.
Junior Programme – Give your children a new skill
During the summer Mayo Sailing Club has a full and fun junior programme. MSC is in the unique position of having a superb group of junior instructors. Places in the active and popular courses are very sought after. It is a busy 6 weeks with children from 9 to 16 years taking part in week long courses. MSC offers every level from beginners to more advanced courses, starting with a short taste of sailing course for those who have never been out on the water.
Try Junior Sailing
What do you need to take part in courses? To begin with, a sense of fun and adventure are a must. As for equipment you will need a number of items which will keep you safe and warm while learning a new skill, all of the details are on the MSC website. Do you need a boat to start off? No, a boat is not required as the club has a number of boats that are rented out. There is a special starter course that includes boat hire.
The courses will run this year for 6 weeks starting on Monday 2nd July 2018. You can book at the Open Day or book online: http://mayosailingclub.com/junior-courses-2018. There is an early booker’s discount which will run until Friday 27th April 2018 – don’t miss out!!!
Having graduated from the junior programme, there are several directions a member may choose to take. He or she may stay with dinghies, or move up to sailing on one of the bigger boats owned by club members. Adults interested in sailing may do the same.
Dinghy Sailing – get wet and wild!
Dinghies are smaller sailing boats and are usually single or double-handed as opposed to the bigger “cruisers” which typically have larger crews. Dinghies are a popular and accessible way into sailing because of their affordable cost, relative simplicity and close exciting racing.
Mayo Sailing Club offers sailing courses for adults who may have never sailed before or, as is often the case, those who have crewed on larger boats for many years and who now wish to deepen their knowledge of sailing and try helming themselves.
Try Dinghy Sailing
This weekend course is for adults who have never sailed before and also for those with some experience. It will begin on dry land, introducing participants to a dinghy, the different parts of it, and the principles of sailing. There’s no substitute for actually getting on the water and everyone will get actual sailing experience as soon as possible.
At first this will be in sheltered water, close to land. Day two will take place almost entirely on the water. The sailing instructor is fully qualified and experienced. Full safety cover will also be provided including club boats on the water to give ongoing support and any necessary assistance.
The two day dinghy sailing courses for adults take place on the weekends of: May 12th – 13th and June 9th – 10th. The cost for non-members is €150 and includes club membership for the season and the provision of a dinghy for both days. A wetsuit and buoyancy aid will be required – the Club has a limited number of buoyancy aids which will be made available. Advance booking is essential. You can book at the Open Day or book online: mayosailingclub.com/adult-dinghy-courses.
Big Boat Sailing
You do not need to own a boat to go sailing!
Owners of bigger boats are always on the lookout for people enthusiastic about sailing. The saying “Many hands make light work” is very true on a larger vessel, where there are always sails to be adjusted or manoeuvres to be conducted. Added to that, the shipboard camaraderie is a big and important part of sailing.
This particular course is geared towards adults who have never sailed or may have tried it long ago and want to find out if this activity would suit to develop further. No previous experience is necessary, only enthusiasm and the desire to try something new.
Join in for five sessions starting Tuesday the 15th of May for a combination of classroom instruction and on-the-water experience (weather permitting) with seasoned skippers on their own yachts in Clew Bay. Everyone gets to try sail handling, helming, and various other tasks on board. Foul weather gear and lifejacket are required, but this is discussed in the first class.
To sign up for a Try Sailing with MSC, come to the Open Day, visit mayosailingclub.com/try-sailing-in-2018 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up. You may also call and leave a message on (087) 679 2022 with your contact information and someone will get back to you. The course cost of €150 for the 4 weeks and includes membership of Mayo Sailing Club for the first season.
Club Yacht Racing
MSC members have been to the fore in open yacht racing events all along the west coast, along with the Round Ireland Race. MSC member Joan Mulloy is currently participating as the first Irish woman in the Solitaire du Figaro regatta, a gruellingly competitive single-handed 1600 nautical mile, four-stage race. She is competing against some of the world’s best solo offshore sailors. All of this stems from the very competitive club racing which has evolved at Mayo Sailing Club.
The club racing takes place outside Inishgort Lighthouse on a course extending part of the way to Mulranny and Clare Island. Boat owners are always ready to welcome new crew aboard their yachts. You do not need your own boat to participate. In the summer there may be well over twenty boats on the race course, with the sailors honing their skills while they try and make their boat just that little bit faster.
Have some Craic after the race
In the evening, when all the boats are safely back in the harbour members get together for dinner and camaraderie in the clubhouse, when the bar is also open.
Cruise with MSC round the Clew Bay islands and beyond
Clew Bay, with its myriad of small islands is a great place to explore by small boat. In between, there are bountiful opportunities for picnics, fishing for mackerel and other fish species, and just enjoying a quiet sail.
The larger boats regularly sail out to Clare Island, Achill, Inishturk, Inishbofin, the Inishkeas, and beyond. These destinations can all be achieved in a day. At night there is nothing nicer than swinging at anchor and being rocked to sleep after enjoying an evening with friends aboard the boat or ashore. The June Bank Holiday is traditionally reserved for the Club Weekend to Clare Island. This consists of the fleet of yachts sailing out, many partaking in a race around the island, and then a big get together ashore. There is also a flotilla cruise to Inishbofin on the August Bank Holiday, as well as various cruises and rallies during the season.
Mayo Sailing Club members have also demonstrated their enthusiasm for sailing with journeys much further afield: to France, Spain or Portugal. Others have crossed the ocean to the Caribbean and America, or have undertaken wilderness expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic. These trips have taken weeks, months or even years. Besides the spectacular memories, the participants have brought back a wealth of experience to share on evenings out cruising locally.
To get there…
To get to Mayo Sailing Club, take the Newport Road (N59) out of Westport. Turn left on the golf course road and follow the brown signs for Rosmoney and Mayo Sailing Club. For more information, visit www.mayosailingclub.com.