Currach Club

KICC banner_photo

Contact – Steve Lowry – 845-505-5703, stiofanl@yahoo.com

As part of the Sports Program here at the ICCHV, we are actively looking for people who are interested in Currach’s, which are ancient Irish rowing boats. Anyone who is interested in learning about their construction, history, and their current and future use in North America as an amateaur rowing sport, is encouraged to contact us. The goal is to establish our own rowing team, KICC (Kingston Irish Currach Club), and become part of NACA (North American Currach Association), and compete against the other clubs in the US.

Albany Currach Club Visit       KICC Currach 1

As part of connecting to Irish Culture and History, our goal is to establish a Currach Club here in Kingston, NY, and join the North American Currach Association. Being located on the historic Rondout Creek waterfront, a tributary to the Hudson River, we have a beautiful waterway which will serve as our practice, and competition areas for Irish Currach rowing!

A Currach is an Irish wood-framed boat, traditionally covered with animal skins, although modern versions now use canvas and tar. They are powered by long, thin-blade oars – two per oarsman – that help to make the vessels highly maneuverable, yet surprisingly sturdy, even in rough waters. The Currach served as both a fishing vessel and as general transportation along the many rivers and coastal waters of Ireland.

Written records of the Currach date from the time of Julius Caesar in 100 B.C. Early Gaelic accounts even speak of large ocean going sailing vessels roving the North Atlantic. One such account concerns Saint Brendan, an Irish monk during the Middle Ages, who wrote of having made a historic voyage across the Atlantic under sail and oars in a currach.

The North American Currach Association is a confederation of member clubs in the United States that build, row, and race Currachs. Currently the association has member clubs in Albany, NY, Annapolis, MD, Boston, MA, Columbus, OH, Milwaukee, WI, New London, CT, Philadelphia, PA, and Pittsburgh, PA. The Association was formed in 1984 when rowers from Boston, New York, and Annapolis wanted to expand Currach racing in America from a few isolated events. An annual regatta is held at a different Clubs home location each year, and we hope that the Kingston Irish Currach Club will soon have a team ready. How exciting would it be to have historical boat rowing competitions on the Rondout Creek, with observers cheering on their teams from the shoreline!