Here on Clare Island we promise to deliver a wide range of adventures. The latest activity we’ve added to our portfolio is raft-building. And to formally launch it, the inaugural Clew Bay Raft Building Championship was held here last Sunday. We’re delighted to report that it went down a storm and is set to become an annual event.
The rainy weather on the mainland did result in a drop in the turn-out of registered teams on the morning. But those who were undeterred were amply rewarded. Despite a dull (but dry) start to the day, things had brightened up considerably by the second heat, and by the time the finals came round the sun was shining nicely.
Each team was allowed 30 minutes to build their raft and line up at the starting line. Then, with the sound of the starting whistle, they raced down the beach carrying their raft into the water. Their task was to paddle around the Pirate Queen ferry, which helpfully hosed them down on their way past, and back to the beach. Not finished yet, they were then required to dismantle their raft, leaving all materials in a neat pile, before the entire team could make their dash to the finish line.
Prizes were awarded to the top three teams:
Winners ~ The Trawler Men ~ Cathal O’Grady (Clare Isl.), Cruise Kelly-Evans (Coventry), David Robb (Clare Isl.), Brody O’Grady (Clare Isl.) and Geoff Huskinson (Waterford)
2nd Place ~ The Clare Island Meatballs ~ Tom Pinder, Dylan Pinder, Jack Pinder, Gary Brennan (all 4 from Clare Isl.) and Claire Burns & Ciaran Coen (Galway)
3rd Place ~ The Angry Badgers ~ Kevin Lawlor, Daryl Skelly, Michael Cawly, Ciara O’Reagan, Denise Brown and Mags Fleming (all from Co. Kildare)
Congratulations to all podium finishers, and all teams involved. It was a strenuous but fun-filled task and everyone embraced it with tremendous spirit, providing a fun spectacle for those taking a more restful view of proceedings. All teams promised to be back next year for more adventure and laughs, and to spread the word far and wide.