29 May 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Learning the ropes: Left to Right: Michael Cronin, Noel McKenna, Kevin McCann, Dave Thom, Bernie O’Hanrahan and Emma Jane McKenna

Last Sunday, 26th May was an auspicious date for the newly-formed Monaghan Oriel Sailing Club. A flotilla of small sailing boats converged at Toome Point on Lough Muckno for the club’s first outing on the water.
The fledgling club held its first meeting in the Four Seasons Hotel in March and in the intervening weeks has made rapid progress in becoming a fully-affiliated sailing club.
The progress can be attributed to the hard work and enthusiasm of its members. Although many of the members are complete novices, the land-locked club includes a core group of local mariners with a good level of qualifications and experience in instructing others on the water.
In 2012, one founding member trained a group of Monaghan canoeists throughout the winter months to paddle the wrong way up the Shannon on an epic, week-long charity challenge! The club chairman has advanced qualifications in both inland and offshore sailing in Ireland and abroad.
The group enjoyed perfect conditions on Lough Muckno last Sunday. This vast expanse of water is just a few minutes’ drive from Monaghan Town.
The slipway at Toome Point has ample room for parking and in common with Monaghan’s other outdoor attractions, crowds are seldom a problem.
The Lough boasts a shoreline of 22 miles and is sheltered by the surrounding hills and a few small islands jotted around the interior.
The novices in the group took full advantage of the benign winds and good visibility and were soon learning the basics of sailing on a variety of boats – most of which were very forgiving for first-time mariners. Learning to duck when the sail catches the wind in a Mirror Class dinghy is quickly learned! The cycle helmets did their job superbly.
The Oriel Sailing club’s maiden outing augers well for the future prospects of Monaghan’s first sailing club.

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