Mutton Island ‘can handle the growth’ of Galway City over the next five years – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:

Cian Mullee’s passion for racing on the high seas was well ignited when he sailed to Galway for the arrival of the seven big boats for the first stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race.

He was just 13 when thousands of people descended on the quays to watch the seven Formula 1 racing yachts cross the finish line in the early hours of a balmy May night.

He and his father had sailed from Westport and were staying on their yacht in the harbor with a bird’s eye view of the biggest party the town had ever seen.

“It would be the big dream, the Volvo Ocean Race, my noble goal. We never know. Three years ago, I would not have imagined that I would have sailed around Ireland as a skipper and I am still only 26 years old,” he exclaims.

Cian, who splits his time between Galway and Sligo with the sailing school Wild West Sailing, has just won an impressive victory in his first Round Ireland Yacht Race.

The Westport native, who was the second-youngest skipper of the 60-boat fleet competing, placed first among the sailing school boats and 25th overall. Competitors included racing ships Volvo Ocean Telefonica and Green Dragon.

The Lynx’s crew of six men and two women ranged in age from 17 to 52 – five of them completed Wild West Sailing’s social and tailwinds sailing school programs, with only a few years of sailing to their credit.

The school has a base in Rosaveal from where it makes excursions, mainly around the Aran Islands, and in Sligo, where it learns to sail on Lough Gill.

“It took us six days, we slept on the boat and we did shifts, two teams of four, four hours of walking, four hours of rest. It was my first race and my first race around Ireland.

The race is run non-stop around Ireland in a clockwise direction, starting and ending in Wicklow, leaving all Irish islands to starboard. This year’s edition had it all, from 35 knot winds on the southwest coast to calm conditions in the east where every decision must be carefully calculated.

Cian recently won Monohull Line Honors in the Transatlantic Atlantic Rally Challenge, a race from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde and then to Grenada in the Caribbean, where he joined his brother for the winter.

As a youth he was a member of the Mayo Sailing Club, first sailing on his family’s dingy before moving on to his parents’ “small” 23ft yacht.

In 2018, at just 22 years old, he received a scholarship from the Ocean Cruising Club and traveled to New Zealand to meet the captain and crew on what will be an epic challenge: crossing the South Pacific Ocean from New Zealand to Australia. , followed by a voyage over the Indian Ocean from Australia to South Africa.

He reflected on his experiences at the time: “From walking on the edge of an active volcano to swimming in the middle of the ocean thousands of miles from land, passing through diverse and unique cultures, landing in tiny remote villages and large coastal towns, witnessing a vast array of wildlife.

One of his favorite destinations was Vanuatu, located between Australia and New Zealand. Another was Grenada, the spice island in the Caribbean. “People are really friendly, there’s amazing fruit, it’s amazing, really, really beautiful. The Caribbean met all my expectations.”

On his return to Ireland in 2019 he set his sights on becoming a professional skipper and joined Wild West Sailing where he obtained his Yachtmaster qualifications giving him the youth and adult coaching licence. He is also a cruise instructor, teaching offshore sailing.

“I like the racing side a lot. I am competitive in nature, but I also enjoy cruising and teaching and training. It’s seasonal here. There is no sailing work in Ireland in winter. Next winter I will probably be looking for work in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean.

Next year he hopes to skipper another Wild West Sailing entry in the Rolex Fastnet Race, which runs from the south coast of England to the Fastnet in Cork and Cherbourg in France over a period of four to six days.

Lynn A. Saleh