Members of the Irish Offshore Powerboat Club joined, by their friends, took part in the Western Rib Run on Saturday and Sunday the 1st and 2nd of October to experience what inland cruising has to offer. A total of 15 crafts with over 65 crew took part in what was a very enjoyable weekend.
The majority of the boats were launched in Killaloe on Friday in preparation for the trek up river. The crews, once clear of Killaloe, explored Lough Derg on their way to the overnight stop in Banagher.
Saturday saw the second wave of boats launch. This group, following a brief stop in Domineer for breakfast, continued to Athlone to meet up with the rest of the fleet. The early boaters got to see what Lough Ree had to offer with visits to Liscarrow and Glasson. On Saturday afternoon the group gathered in Athlone where they met up with some familiar faces from the IWAI. There was great banter between the two sets of sailors with tales of the high seas and big waves on one side and tales of leisure and how to relax and enjoy the waterways being exchanged. Everyone had a great time and when it came time to part company, there were talks of the in-landers joining up with the Salties (their words) in the near future. A fine flotilla of boats was waved off from Athlone on their way back to Banagher.
It was an early start on Sunday for the rugby match followed by a leisurely trip back to Killaloe with a pleasant stop for Lunch in Garrykennedy.
Everyone on the trip were overwhelmed with what the inland waterways has to offer and all suggested a return visit in 2012.
As for the rest of this season, a powerboat weekend is planned for the Marahees in a few weeks and we're certain some of the new friends gained after the trip up the Shannon will be there.