20 June 2023
~3 minutes read
Connacht 420 Championships in Spiddal This Weekend
A fleet of 420 dinghies will take to north Galway Bay off An Spidéal for the Connacht sailing championships this weekend (June 24/25).
The 420 dinghy is an open double-handed class, and many of the sailors are teenagers who then progress in other classes and up to Olympic level of competition.
Hosting the two-day event is Cumann Seoltóireachta an Spidéil (CSS), the local sailing club.
Irish 420 Association president Martina Whyte says that the class is “delighted to be invited back to (CSS), one of the oldest 420 specialist sailing clubs in the country and following in the tradition of 420s along the west coast of Ireland”.
“Our last visit was in 2017, and our sailors are delighted to be returning to the west coast,” Whyte says.
The event “provides a unique opportunity for our young sailors to experience the Atlantic waves, and of course the famous post sailing BBQ”.
She says that the 420 class “teaches sailors how to sail in an environment of partnership which is a significant element in their development as a sailor (and as a person)”.
The 420 class association provides as a series of annual domestic competitions and open class coaching, to encourage sailors to develop their skills.
In conjunction with the racing at An Spidéíl, Gordon Davies will give a talk on sailing etiquette, rules of racing and how to behave in the protest room.
“One of the aims of the class is to promote a high standard of sailing and racing, whilst upholding fair and sportsmanlike conduct both on and off the water. We are looking forward to his words of wisdom,” Whyte says.
The local fleet of 420s will be out in force, and will be augmented by a travelling fleet from the other Connacht clubs, Galway Bay Sailing, and Galway City Sailing club and Lough Ree Yacht Club.
Boats from Malahide Yacht club and Waterford Harbour Sailing club have also entered, Whyte says, so the event will truly be a national affair. She has paid tribute to race officer Stephen O’Gorman and the CSS team for hosting the event.
CSS commodore Eoin Ó Conghaíle said the club is “very excited to host the 420 Connacht Championships, kicking off just after 11am on Saturday June 24”.
“It should be a wonderful spectacle on the waters off An Spidéil pier, and all are welcome to come and watch and support the sailors”, Ó Conghaíle said.
Results will be available on sail420.com