Rowers to create waves in race for titles

More than 2,500 rowers and up to 10,000 visitors will descend on Courtmacsherry this weekend as the West Cork village hosts the All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships.

Racing commences at 5pm today but all the crews are hoping to make it to Sunday’s 24 final races in Broadstrand Bay, which features all categories from U12 to masters men and women. Races taking place tomorrow and on Sunday start at 7.30am.

The host club are the reigning All-Ireland senior champions, and scores of locals, along with the support of neighbouring West Cork clubs, have ensured the village will be en fête.

A major fireworks display over Broadstrand at 9.30 tonight is among the events in an onshore entertainment programme that will also continue until Sunday night.

The rowing finals feature 27 categories, including many underage competitions. The organisers point out that the U14 category, alone, has 30 competing crews.

Meanwhile, Cork City Council has organised a big family day tomorrow to unveil its plans for the proposed new Tramore Valley Park.

The public amenity project, set to replace the Kinsale Rd landfill, will include indoor and outdoor adventure centres, sports trails, playgrounds, and multipurpose sites for concerts and other major events.

Lord Mayor John Buttimer will officially outline the plans but the open day will run from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free.

Guided walking tours and open-top bus tours of the site have been planned while there will be food stalls, bouncy castles, orienteering trails, face painting, and many other activities for city and county residents.

In Kerry, Jimmy Deenihan, the local TD and arts minister, officially opened the Charlie Chaplin festival in Waterville where the actor had been a regular visitor in the 1950s and ’60s.

Hollywood director and drama coach Jack Garfein, a Holocaust survivor, will today introduce a screening of Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and will later deliver an acting masterclass.

The festival runs until Sunday and features exhibitions, screenings, lectures, family events and workshops.

Action of a different kind will take place in the Dingle Peninsula with traditional currach racing returning to the Camp area.

For the first time in over 50 years, bog paddling teams will race down a 100m stretch of bog waterway to the accompanying beat of the bodhrán. Fourteen pub teams of four have entered from villages in the area, and old-style, flat-bottomed boats are being prepared for the event.

The sport died out in the area in the 1950s and the organisers are hoping its revival will boost the local tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Denis O’Sullivan, 19, of Bonane, Kenmare, is hoping to set a personal record by shearing more than 300 lambs in eight hours.

His aim is to become the youngest shearer to achieve such a feat, while raising money for the Irish Cancer Society and Bonane Community Council at the same time. A family fun day will take place in Bonane to coincide with the shearing attempt.

O’Sullivan, a regular competitor in shearing events, has won prizes while representing Ireland at the recent world championships which were held in Scotland.

He will begin shearing at 7.30am on Sunday, and hopes to finish late in the afternoon, having stripped at least 300 lambs of their fleeces.

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