Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer will host the Mirror World Sailing Championship from July 28 to August 2, bringing 80 boats to the lake.
This will be the first world sailing championship to be held on inland waters of Ireland. As well as identifying the club’s excellent facilities and central location, this honour significantly recognises the achievement of the club in hosting sailing competitions of this calibre in the past. The club staged the European Mirror Sailing Championship in 2004.
Simon Coveney, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, will officially open the championship on Sunday, July 28. As a former Mirror Dinghy champion, Minister Coveney maintains a keen interest in the sport. The Mirror World Sailing Championships in association with IPB Insurance and Waterways Ireland, will be one of the leading sporting Gathering events for Tipperary.
The championships are held every two years, in 2011 they were held in Australia, and in 2015 they will be held in South Africa. It is anticipated that 80 boats will compete with sailors travelling from Britain, Australia, the Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Denmark, and all parts of Ireland.
Lough Derg Yacht Club has a long association with the Mirror Class, according to Eleanor Hooker, PRO, for the event. Club members Peter Bayly and his cousin, William Atkinson, won the Mirror World Championships at Howth in 2001. Ireland has won the Mirror Worlds in South Africa in 1999, in Tasmania in 2003, and in 2011 Ross Kearney and his crew Max Odell from the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, won the World Championship in Australia, having achieved the European title the same year.
In 2011, LDYC sailors Alfie Wisdom and his crew Sam Warren won the Mirror Nationals, and with his Australian crew Harry Sutcliffe-Woelders, Alfie finished 24th in the World Championship in Australia earlier that year.
“Our current Olympian sailor, Annalise Murphy, competed in the Waterways Ireland Mirror European Championships when they were held here on Lough Derg in 2004, Ms Murphy’s father, Con Murphy, is the principal race officer for this championship. Lough Derg, a fresh water, non-tidal lake, will provide competitive and challenging racing, on courses set by Mr. Murphy and his Racing Committee,” said Ms Hooker.
She said that Ian Roberts, and his team on the event committee, have been working hard for the past 18 months organising a championship that is hoped competitors and their families will find memorable, both on and off the water.
As well as the racing, there will be a packed social calendar from the opening ceremony led by pipe major Joe Barry of the Thomas McDonagh Pipe Band, bring your own BBQs, a Céilí Mór, has been organized. There will also be an opportunity to experience A Taste of Tipperary, where local produce, from hog roast to the best of Tipperary beef, and other such gastronomic delights, will be showcased.
The Ku-ee-tu Water Bus, an original liferaft to the QEII, will be available each day to bring spectators out to the race area. There will also be a tourist office on site to showcase what the area has to offer, and will include discounted admission to some venues.