Sailing in Skerries
Sailing has a long tradition in Skerries. From town’s harbour you can explore the seas off County Dublin, which are dotted with islands such as the Skerries and Lambay Island and offer peaceful views of the stunning countryside. From dinghies and keelboats to motorboats and cruisers, you can find all types of vessels enjoying the scenic waters off Skerries.
Sailing along the calm waters of the harbour affords views of the quaint fishing town and surrounding countryside. Known then as the Port of Holmpatrick, King Henry VII gave permission to build the town’s first pier in 1496. Take care when sailing between the Skerries Islands and the mainland. The sandflats that connect the mainland with Shenick Island becomes visible during the low tide and may be a dangerous. While conditions are calmer during the low-tide, the low-tide also reveals rocks near the islands that may also pose a hazard if you approach too closely.
Cruising off the coast of Skerries also provides stunning views of hundreds of seabirds converging on the Skerries Islands and Lambay Island. Seabirds are also found at the Rockabill Lighthouse, which is perched on a small, rocky island. Species found on the islands include Great Black-backed Gulls, Fulmar, Cormorant, Herring and Shags. During the winter, you will likely encounter barnacle and grelag geese, oystercatchers, golden plover, lapwing, curlew, and owls. You will also find a colony of Great Seals residing on Lambay Island.
The shores off Skerries have hosted national and international sailing events, including the 2004 Laser II European Championships and the 1997 GP14 World Championships. The first recorded regatta took place in 1857. Surprisingly, the town’s first sailing club was only founded 76 years later in 1933. Whether you want to perfect your skills or learn how to sail, the Skerries Sailing Club (www.skerriessailingclub.com) offers one- to three-day courses from its location on Harbour Road. Courses include boats and equipment, including a wetsuit and buoyancy aid. Delivered by qualified Irish Sailing Association instructors, beginners can learn basic skills such a rigging, launching, sailing, and how to recover from light winds. Courses also expose aspiring sailors to powerboating, and each summer sailing courses are offered to children and youth 9 years of age and over.
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