Achill Yawl Sailing Festival
From July to September each year the Achill Yawl Sailing Festival takes place in Cashel, Co Mayo.
For those of you who have never heard of Achill Yawl boats before you are in for a treat. These boats are traditional sailing boats made out of wood with a single mast and a solid hull. Sailing them requires skill and agility which makes the races that more intense.
The Achill Yawl sailing festival is held every year at various locations along the Achill Sound. This is located on the west coast of Co Mayo where the Atlantic connects Clew Bay with Blacksod Bay. It is a gorgeous setting and one that has delighted visitors for years. The races have brought back interest in these traditional vessels and many locals and visitors alike have been inspired to take part. The boats themselves are made in a dedicated workshop which has been set up in Mulranny to build new yawls. The festival lasts for three months during which races are held at the weekends and in the evenings dependant on the tides. Local teams compete in the hotly contested races with people coming together from both the Achill and Mulranny regions. Cumann Badoiri Acla are currently engaged in a campaign to promote the sport of traditional Yawl sailing, Their efforts have seen number of traditional Yawl boats in the region increase from three to 13 this year.
The annual sailing festival is part of the plan to extend this tradition and is becoming more popular year on year. If you fancy staying in co Mayo there are number of accommodation options from camping sites to bed and breakfasts. If you are looking for a good place to rest your head on a budget then consider one of the hostels in the region. Most provide excellent self-catering facilities and should you not fancy cooking yourself many will also provide meals on request. Over the last few years this form of accommodation has become very popular as they are suitable for groups and families alike. Unlike hostels in other parts of the world those in Ireland do not require a membership card and most do not have a curfew meaning you can stay out as late as you like soaking in the Yawl racing atmosphere. For those looking for a bit more luxury then there are a number of great hotels also available.
If you fancy watching this years races then you need to get yourself down to Achill during July, August and September. Achill is located in Co Mayo and is only accessible by car. For visitors wishing to visit the area hiring a car is simple and easy to do with a number of car hire companies offering great deals for driving holidays in Ireland. If you are flying into Dublin there is a number of car hire options available to you at the airport. From there it is approximately 300 kms to Achill which can be broken down into a series of short stops taking in some of the beautiful scenery along the way.