photo, the Mulcahy's Bar entry from Burncourt negotiate the weir

The frantic and chaotic start of the race with all manner of boats taking part - including a fire engine and a floating tank.

photo, the chaotic strat of the crazy boat race in Cahir, County Tipperary

Cahir go Léir Festival - Crazy Boat Race

The Crazy Boat Race, sponsored by Dolan's Supervalu, was originally planned for the weekend of the festival but had to be postponed because the river was dangerous following several days of rain - quite unusual for Ireland!

The race took place three weeks later on Sunday August the first in good warm weather - much more typical! It was an excellent afternoon with a big entry of boats and big crowds enjoying this bonus mini-festival with a number of other activities on the Inch Field behind the Castle. The photos below show just a small sample of the fun.

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Above. The Mulcahey's Bar team from Burncourt were first to the weir but lost time getting their boat down to the bridge and another team - above right - sneaks past them, paddling what looks like a boat-shaped snooker table!

Gaeltacht logo
Tipperary Leader logo
STDC logo
Agri logo
Cahir Go Léir Festival Committee acknowledges the support of the South Tipperary Development company, the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs and the EU
photo, other boats approach the weir
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photo, a catamaran - waterproofed with 'duct tape' gets stuck on the weir
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Above. The floating band entertain the crowd on the extended Yamaha water-powered bamboo pipe organ.

Below. Having negotiated the weir this team strikes out hard for the finish downstream of the bridge...

Left. Other boats reach the weir with - above - many more following.

Below. This team is riding on a Catamaran made from two plastic tubes. The ends of the tubes are waterproofed with strips of 'Gaffer Tape' (AKA Duct Tape). That's a lot of faith to have in a roll of sticky tape!

Above. This rather laid-back team seem to be trying to reduce wind resistance to increase their impressive speed over the weir.

 

Below. The Morrissey's pub boat attacks the weir as Willy Wonka and the Abbey Tavern Oompa Loompas arrive along with the fire engine...

...with Johnny B and the Cahir Junior B Hurling boat in hot persuit.
...Below. All of them get safely through the weir.
Below. One of the 'soldiers' from the amphibious tank jumps into the water to get a closer look at the 'Bay Watch Babes'. The 'Babes' boat looks very low in the water - perhaps it's a submarine - is that allowed?
Below. Now the 'Babes' are in the water in preparation for the move down the weir. In the foreground a boat made of large tires looks like it must be very heavy for those young lads.

Below. The Cahir branch of TIT (Trotters Independent Trading Co.) half-way down the weir as a three-man outrigger reaches the bottom.

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Above. Willie Wonka and the Oompa Loompas making progress towards the finish, watched from the weir by a 'weird' nun wearing fishnet tights.

Below. The 'Babes' hurry down the weir - trying to keep ahead of those macho studs in their 'Greased Lightnin' boat!

Below. Neatly done lads. Safely at the bottom of the weir and not a plonker in sight.
The 'Gaffer-Tape Special' makes it to the finish and justifies the crew's faith in this magical tape. Still, if it can help to get Apollo 13 back to Earth then a trip down the Suir must be childs play.
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Above, below and left. Now its all over and the crews start to haul their boats out of the water and onto the Inch Field.
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Following the race a band of local musicians provided some excellent entertainment on the Inch Field where a number of other attractions and activities were also taking place. All in all a fantastic afternoon of fun for the spectators and the competitors.
Left. The 'Bay Watch Babes' arrive safely, but where is the boat? and where are the other members of the crew? Perhaps the abandoned 'Greased Lightnin' (right) provides a clue?
All photos of the festival by Brendan Davis. For any corrections or additions to the captions please call 087 2268126
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