Bellacragher Bay Boat Club
Yachtsman Euromarine Rib Challenge 2010
The above picture is of the score-board at last week-end’s ALL- Ireland Powerboat Finals in Foynes County Limerick. Thirty six teams representing the best Power-boating talent in this country took part in a very intense final. All of the teams achieved their position at Foynes by winning their place at one of the five regional Finals held earlier in the year.
The list of Club names (2nd Column from left) is not really surprising, they are well known Clubs throughout the country with the exception of Bellacragher Bay Boat Club, this club consists of people from Achill, Mulranny and Ballycroy and was named after the Bay linking the three communities. The Club was founded in 2003 and has developed steadily since then, they entered a junior and senior team for the Rib Challenge, both made it to the finals. Matthew Butler, Oisin and Darragh Leneghan on the junior team. John Leneghan, Seamus and Tom Butler on the senior team.
The junior team were the youngest team to qualify for the final (12yrs old) and gave a very respectable performance. The senior team really excelled themselves and shocked all taking part by coming third overall in the main Play off, the team were totally shocked themselves at their score. Seamus Butler, captain of the senior team said “We had met the Clifden Team at the regional finals and got on really well, and were paired with them throughout the day, we didn’t realise that we were pulling ahead of the pack until the scores were tallied at the end, we even got the second fastest time on the boat handling course!”
The final four teams were then entered to a boat-handling task involving real boating skill, The Ballycroy team were unlucky at the last minute but the first prize was won by a very deserving Clifden Team, with Lough Derg and Wexford also runners–up.
If the team were disappointed at not winning, they certainly didn’t show it, neither did their supporters who had travelled by bus and car from Ballycroy (and Tralee). When asked about the experience Seamus Butler explained “It is important for a small Club like ours, from a very rural area to take part in competitions and show their members that they don’t need to be in the big clubs to achieve high goals, by old fashioned training and determination, the economic and geographical disadvantage can be tackled, even though it would be nice to get some help from the county council and other state bodies”.
Tom Butler and John Leneghan were equally delighted with the competition and the hospitality of the Foynes Yacht Club, “many of the other competitors asked us where we were from, we spent a fair amount of time explaining where Ballycroy was and the reason behind the Club Name, by the end of the Day, they all knew where Ballycroy was!”
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William Maxwell’s account of the sea passage from Mulranny to Croy lodge via Bellacragher Bay in 1816
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