South West Coast Yawl Rowing Association
The SWCYRA was formed in the late 1970s at a meeting in the Eldon Hotel in Skibbereen. The founder clubs were Baltimore, Glandore and Sherkin Island. In the early years other member clubs were Myross and Clonakilty. Other clubs to join were Cois Uisce (1982), Kilmacsimon (1984), Galley Flash and Ring (1985), Kilmacabea (1986) and Rosscarbery (1988).
A major initiative of the Association at the start was the inauguration of a Championship. Crews were awarded points depending on their position in races at certain regattas with crews gaining the most points becoming champions in their grade. These championship regattas have generally been Union Hall, Castletownshend, Baltimore, Schull and Glandore. Occasionally championship races have been held in other venues such as Drinagh. A Club of the Year award was also initiated and was awarded on the basis of points scored at both championship regattas and regattas at Ring, Sherkin, Kilkern, Kilmacsimon, Drinagh, Kinsale and Cobh.
In mid September 1986 a regatta commemorating the founding of Baltimore was held. A club from Dublin was invited to attend what was billed as an All Ireland Championship. The following September a sequel to this regatta was held in Baltimore. Clubs from Dublin, Kerry and Wicklow attended what was a more substantial renewal of the All Ireland Championships. Sixteen boats lined up in Baltimore for the Senior Men race with victory going to a crew from Wicklow. This earned the winning crew the honour of hosting the following years All Ireland Championships.
In the late 1980s clubs from East Cork joined in competing for the SWCYRA championships. These included Passage West, Cobh Fishermen and Cobh Commodore. At the All Ireland championships in Valentia in 1990 twenty two crews lined up for the senior race with Cobh Fishermen taking the All Ireland crown and the privilege of hosting the All Ireland in 1991.
As more clubs joined a decision was made to split the association into two divisions which were for a time known as the Irish Yawl Rowing Association – Western Division and Eastern Division. Starting in 1992, clubs to the West of the Bandon river remained as the SWCYRA while those to the East became the Coastal Rowing Association. Clubs in the SWCYRA at this stage were Clonakilty, Kilmacsimon, Galley Flash, Rosscarbery, Myross, Ring and Courtmacsherry (joined 1992).
A County Championship was inaugurated in 1992 where the top crews from both sides of the Bandon river divide would meet to decide the County Championships. This regatta rotates between the two Associations each year. In 2001 clubs from each association also met at a regatta at Haulbowline Naval Base.
The SWCYRA is the representative association for coastal rowing in South West Cork The Association is affiliated to the Irish Coastal Rowing Federation who are the governing body of Coastal Rowing in Ireland
The Association has for over thirty years run the South West Championship traditionally run over five regattas at Union Hall, Castletownshend, Baltimore, Schull and Glandore. The Association in partnership with the Coastal Rowing Association also runs the Cork County Championships every second year. The Association is a member of the Irish Coastal Rowing Federation and member clubs compete at the All Ireland Championships each year at venues around Ireland.
The Association covers a large area of South West Cork and has ten affiliated clubs namely:
- Castletownbere Rowing Club
- Courtmacsherry Rowing Club
- Galley Flash Rowing Club
- Kilmacabea Rowing Club
- Kilmacsimon Rowing Club
- Kinsale & Dock Rowing Club
- Myross Rowing Club
- Ring Rowing Club
- Rosscarbery Rowing Club
- Schull Rowing Club
To find out more about our clubs please visit our website https://sites.google.com/site/swcyra/
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