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Sailing club starts €700k project

New state-of-the-art clubhouse on Lough Derg shores will allow Killaloe Sailing Club to develop to its true potential

KILLALOE Sailing Club is on the crest of a wave following the start of construction work on its new state-of-the-art €700,000 club house facility on the shores of Lough Derg.
It is expected the new club house will be fully constructed by the end of the year. Phase one consists of the car and sailing dinghy park.
The second phase involves the construction of the new modern building, which will provide proper on-shore facilities for club members.
Jim Ryan, long standing member and driving force behind the club development, highlighted that the new facilities will greatly enhance the club’s offering to its current members, and will also provide a wonderful amenity for the populations of the wider Clare, Tipperary and Limerick area. “Until now, the club has been somewhat limited in developing its true potential due to the very poor on-shore facilities at the club”, he said.
“With the building of the new clubhouse, running hot and cold water, showers, kitchenette, changing rooms, indoor teaching facility and much more, will be available.
“You can feel the excitement already among members who are looking forward to a bumper year in 2022.
“The new building will add a vital social element to sailing. People come out the club, rig up their boats, go sailing, come ashore, put on the covers on their boats, and go home.
“The club has become very community involved in the last four or five years. When the children come in off the water, they are talking about sailing. They are talking about sailing at school.
“Sailing is character building because they go out on a boat in the wind, they have to work together as a team to sail properly and come back ashore.”
On August 28, the club hosts a senior regatta and a junior regatta the following day.
Tipperary Councillor Dr Phyll Bugler enthused that it was wonderful to see facilities likes this being developed in Lough Derg, with a focus on developing the youth, as sailing is an excellent activity for confidence-building in both positive mental and physical health.
Club Commodore, John Callanan said the sailing conditions on the lake are second to none, offering some of the best inland leisure sailing and inland racing in Ireland.
The sailing community love to travel and compete in different locations around the island, and overseas. With these new facilities, Killaloe Sailing Club looks forward to welcoming many visitors to the area in the years to come, thereby boosting the local hospitality economy,” he said.
Mr Ryan acknowledged this development would not be possible without the allocation of €200,000 apiece from Clare and Tipperary LEADER Development companies.
He recalled Clare LEADER were supportive at various stages during the project. In addition to club fundraising, support has also been received from the Tomar Trust and Sports Capital Fund.
He said development committee chairperson, Sue Concannon has done a great job on the financial site of affairs.
In addition to securing planning permission, a lot of time and effort has gone into ensuring the new development is in harmony with its environmentally sensitive surroundings thanks to assistance from J B A Consulting.
Solar panels are used to charge their VHF radios on their safety boats, as there is no electricity on site.
The club, which was first set up in 1962 by four people in the Lakeside Hotel, currently has 300 members, which includes families, parents and children, and has increased dramatically from about 40 when it first moved to Carrownnakilly Quay. It is practically equally between Clare and Tipperary, with some Limerick members.
Some 40% of the club’s members are women, more than most sailing clubs in Ireland.
“There are a lot more local members in recent times. When the club first started it was mainly made up of Limerick members. We are happy with the current membership, which is what we can cater for.”
The mother of Olympic medalist Annalise Murphy was a member in the 1970s when she was a student of Limerick College of Art and Design.
By all accounts, she was a very talented sailor, passing on her ability to her daughter.
Cloughjordan native Jim, who now lives in Clonlara, loves sailing, which he started as a pastime in 1993, having enjoyed other activities such as racing cars and wind surfing.
“Sailing is a great way to switch off from all the hassle you had before you went out. It is a lovely way of relaxing, and it great for peace of mind. When you are out in the lake, it is just you and the wind, it is magic.”
In 2014, the first sketches for the new building were first completed, members were surveyed about their needs, fundraising gathered pace with requests to several agencies before the final design was completed.
Members currently have to change into their swim gear in an old portacabin that was installed on what was supposed to be a temporary basis in 2006.
In 2015, the club became a recognised sailing teaching establishment by the Irish Sailing Association. Summer training camps for groups of six are proving very popular, and all the participants receive certificates for achieving certain levels, which are internationally recognised.
The club must undertake a significant fundraising schedule of events in order to raise the match funding.
If anyone would like to support the club in any fund-raising endeavours, they can contact Sarah Flynn at sarahjamflynn@icloud.com) or donate directly to the GoFundMe page at: https://ie.gofundme.com/f/killaloe-sailing-club-039development-fund
Already, there are some fabulous community events highlights planned for the next few months, both on-water and off-water, with non-sailors welcome.
The club has a reputation as being a family-friendly club, and warmly welcomes new members and visitors alike. Anyone curious about starting to sail, or looking to re-start again after a break even perhaps after a couple of decades of non-sailing like some recent new members, are welcome to visit the club for a taster trial run without any obligation to join on any Thursday evening or Sunday morning.
Members are not advised to sail on their own, and a safety crew are on standby in the water during sailing. In total, the club has four safety boats that can be used.
People can contact: info@killaloesailingclub.com. www.killaloesailingclub.com for further information.

by Dan Danaher

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