Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club
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General Information on Tour Rowing in Ireland

In 1995 the German Rowing Federation DRV brought the following tour rowing boats to Ireland, to be based at Carrick- on- Shannon Rowing Club: "Berlin" (coxed quadruple scull), "Julius Haase" (coxed quadruple scull), "Deutschland" (coxed sweep four), and "Nelly" (coxed double). These boats are owned by the German Federation. However they can be hired by members of any rowing club world-wide, which is affiliated to the world rowing body FISA. They can be hired under the rules and code- of- practice of the German Federation, any hire agreement is strictly between the hirer and the German Federation. All bookings must be sent in writing to René Reibetanz (address see below), who is supervisor for the German Federation. The boats can only be booked on a first come, first serve basis. The hire fee has to be paid in advance, at least at the start of the tour:

Fours: € 13 per day, € 35 per weekend (3 days), € 75 per week. Double: € 5 per day, € 14 per weekend, € 30 per week.

Carrick is situated on the upper Shannon, and from here rowing trips in various directions can be targeted.

(1) Daytrip into Lough Key and back (approx 35 km). Very scenic. A must. (2) Tour into Lough Allen and back. Lough Allen is a 16 km long lake surrounded by beautiful mountains, unfortunately under windy conditions it can be too rough to row on it. In this case it can be a very long day tour from Carrick to Acres Lake / Drumshanbo or into the narrow southerly tip of Lough Allen. A two day trip may be advisable: overnight, the boats can be left beside the lock at Lough Allen. Under calm conditions the full length of Lough Allen can be rowed up to Corry Strand at the northerly end of the lake. Carrick to Corry Strand and back is a 70 km row, leading over a pretty narrow canal (at times too narrow for sweep boats, good experience necessary), and three locks each way. Again very scenic. (3) The Shannon- Erne- Waterway leads into Northern Ireland, where peace hopefully is there to last now. After years of restoration works the waterway was reopened in 1994. It is a nice, narrow canal, which gives the impression of gliding through the fields. Unfortunately there are 16 locks (selfcater with chipcards), and there isn´t hardly any way provided to get in and out of small boats. The distance from the river Shannon at Leitrim Village to the river Erne at Ballyconnell is more than 60 km one way. The lakes of the Erne are situated in Northern Ireland and with their many islands and bays it needs some experience in navigation to find the way from one end to the other, which covers more than 100 km. (4)Tour Shannon downwards. Start Carrick. First stage to Rooskey, covering also Kilglass Lough, which is so beautiful, that it is highly recommended. Boats can be left in the lock area overnight (please ask for permission). Second stage to Lanesborough. Calm and stable weather conditions are needed to cross Lough Ree (35 km) on the third stage! Finish at Hodson Bay (hotel) or Ballykeeran (Camping), do not leave boats in Athlone unattended (problems with vandalism). If it is, or might become windy during the day, Lough Ree can not be crossed because of the waves making it too dangerous. Lough Ree is very shallow, therefore, even with a light breeze, the waves can get huge, and you can only row between the markers in the middle of the lake, outside the water is not deep enough with many sharp rocks under the surface. Further stages can be planned. Worth a visit: The monastery of Clonmacnoise. Next hostel in Banagher. For Lough Derg see what is said above for Lough Ree. In addition: The water quality of Lough Derg is reason for concern. The end of navigation is at Killaloe at the southerly end of Lough Derg. General information about the Shannon: Especially during the summer the current is of no importance, so it can equally be rowed up- or downriver. Always keep to marked channels: Downstream and out of bays and harbours the left side is marked black, while the right-hand side is marked red. Outside the marked channels you must be aware of rocks and shallow water. Keep to your right when meeting other boats, keep to your left when overtaking (like continental motoring). There are no cargo- ships on the Shannon, however plenty of holiday- cruisers, and as there is no driving licence needed for cruisers, it might be quite chaotic at times. Pay special attention at the locks: Never go first into the lock- chamber with a cruiser behind, it might crush the small rowing boat. See that you are served on your own or behind a cruiser. Ask for opening times of the locks at the start of your tour. Weatherwise everything is possible, although often it is not as bad as people might say. In April/May some can find sunny days with cold nights, but also snow and frosty, stormy days are likely. Main season are the months of June/July/August with moderate temperatures. During September again there is a chance of sunny days and cold nights. General Planning: Do not plan your tour in Ireland too detailed. It is better to decide every morning what you are doing, weather permitting. It is ideal to have your own means of transport (car/minibus), in order to use days which are bad for rowing (windy, rainy) to visit other places (see additional leaflet "proposals for activities other than rowing..."). Arrival in Ireland: By car: Best ferry ports are Dublin Port and Dun Laoghaire, the road to Carrick- on- Shannon N4 is pretty good, 150 km, 2 ½ hours drive. Also convenient are Belfast Port or Larne, both in Northern Ireland, drive to Carrick- on- Shannon around 3 hours on good roads via Enniskillen. By plane: Best airport is Dublin Airport, drive to us 2 ½ hours. Since 1998 it is possible to fly by charter into Knock Airport in County Mayo, which is only 1 hours drive away from us. Kerry Airport, which is the new arrival for the low- budget airline Ryanair, is so far down south, that it is not advisable to take that route. If you want your own transport within Ireland, which is ideal, you book fly & drive (car or minibus). Otherwise we can organise transfers at reasonable prices, please give all your details as early as possible to the address below. There are also train and bus connections from Dublin to Carrick. Arrivals at Shannon Airport are more complicated: It takes a 3 ½ hours drive on bad roads, which makes transfers slightly costlier. Attention: We are situated in Carrick- on- Shannon in the Northwest of Ireland, not in Carrick- on- Suir (in the Southeast), people got lost already!

Accommodation: We can assist you in finding the right accommodation for you, let us know what you want. We can arrange bookings for you in good B&B´s, in a local hotel or in a hostel, or in self-catering accommodation. Highly recommended is Caldra House, a luxurious Georgian House outside Carrick- on- Shannon, overlooking the River Shannon. We can also try to find a suitable cruiser for self- caterers. Unfortunately there are no camping facilities in Carrick- on- Shannon, and our Clubgrounds are like a public ground not suitable for putting up a tent. And I am sorry to say that boathouse accommodation cannot be offered, according to a decision by the committee of Carrick Rowing Club. Transfer of the Rowing Boats: Only in case of emergency, our trailer is not suitable for tour boats. We charge: Athlone – Carrick € 60 . Banagher – Carrick € 100.

Best maps for the Shannon and Erne, showing the marked channels and dangerous, shallow areas, can be found in "The Captains Handbook" issued by the commercial cruiser hire companies. The handbooks can be collected in Carrick at the companies offices for IR£ 5,- each. This is our general information for tour rowing in Ireland. If you have any further enquiries, please contact the address below.

Rene Reibetanz, Aughagrania, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim.

Tel & Fax: +353 71 9641464

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