Galway Hooker Regattas
Once used for fishing, Hookers today are leisure crafts, and the skill of crews and boat builders really come to the fore during the annual Summer Regatta. The Races are held along a sea course which is marked out using buoys. The competing craft have to turn a number of times if they are to finish the race successfully.
Before commencing the Regatta, there are 3 sound signals given counting down to the beginning of the race. In cases where there is more than one class of boat racing against each other, the second signal is the cue for the slower boats to begin the race, with the number of minutes between that second signal and the last sound signal indicating the handicap which will be applied that day. When they are waiting to hear the final signal, it is essential for the boats’ skippers to stay movingso that they can properly evaluate the conditions and race course.
There are Summer regattas held right across the South Connemara area as well as in Galway, and they are also traditionally held on two Aran Islands too.
Racing is one of the most popular sports in Ireland, and one top highlight in the summer’s racing schedule has to be the Galway Festival, a week-long event which attracts enormous crowds. On the Thursday of the event week, there is Ladies’ Day which holds the accolade of being Ireland’s best attended day of racing.
The Galway Plate is famous, dating back to 1869, and this race is the feature of the Wednesday racing. On the next afternoon, the Galway Hurdle is the biggest event. Both Flat and National Hunt racing both take place at Galway race track and there are also meetings in October and September which are well attended.
Betting on Galway horse races is an extremely popular activity, with the two most common bets being Each Way and Win wagers. The Galway race course has two on-site bookmakers as well as a number of Tote windows.
Galway Greyhound Racing
All kinds of racing are popular in Galway, and if locals aren’t betting on the horses, they are betting on the greyhounds. Galway has its own Greyhound Stadium which offers excellent entertainment two nights a week, every week. Many of Ireland’s most thrilling greyhound fixtures take place at the Galway track. Located close to the city centre, the Greyhound Stadium is easy to get to and offers plenty of opportunity to watch the action either from the trackside or from the bar. There’s even a restaurant with a table-side Tote service for even more convenient wagering. Racing takes place every Saturday and Friday evening, except when the Connacht rugby team are using the stadium for their matches.
There are some major greyhound racing events which take place here including the Tyrur Ted Champion Bitch Stake and the Galway Race Week Festival of Racing.
As you can see, sports are taken very seriously in Ireland, and nowhere more so than in Galway, especially when they are sports that the locals can bet on! All of the sports that are favoured here are steeped in heritage and culture, and that is why they have proven to be so popular and to have such a strong following over the years. Whether you’re a fan of horses, dogs or boats, you’re sure to find something here to entertain you, whatever time of year you come to visit our beautiful shores.