IWAI - Dublin Branch Dublin Rally 2011

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The Dublin Rally 2011

30th April - 28th MAY 2011

This is a special year for the Dublin Rally.  Its the first time since 1955 that boats can enter Dublin from the Shannon via the Royal Canal and the first time since 2004 that any boats can join us from the Royal Canal.  We welcome all who make the trip from the Erne, the Shannon, the Barrow, the Royal and the Grand Canal. 

See our timetable of events below.

Some of you who come in via one canal may return via the other.  If you do this, you're taking up our Green & Silver Challenge -  see here for more details

If you're thinking of joining the rally, contact Peter Johnson on  087 2301494 or Mick Kinahan on 086 8150483 or contact the Dublin Branch Rally committee by clicking here.  See Terms & Conditions below.

Download the Main Rally Entry form and return to the address on the form.
We've prepared a guide for those tackling the Royal Canal for the first time - see Tips on Travelling the Royal Canal
See our guide to Navigating the Liffey (intended to assist Dublin Rally participants)

See our timetable of events below.

The Dublin Rally 2011

30 Apr 2011 -
21 May 2011




Royal Canal
Grand Canal
The Liffey
  1. We've set up a mailing list to allow participants exchange travelling information, tips, problems encountered etc. and to arrange to travel in company if desired.

  2. Via the Royal Canal: The Journey from the Shannon to 12th lock Blanchardstown should take approx 5 days (at 8hrs/day cruising).  Most boats are planning to move before the Easter weekend - let us know your plans and we'll put you in touch with each other.  Whatever you do, you need to be at 12th Lock Blanchardstown by 29th April 2011 or you WILL miss the bridge lift on May 1st at Spencer Dock.

  3. Via the Grand Canal: The Journey from the Shannon to Hazelhatch can be done over ~3 days.  Again, you need to be at Hazelhatch by 07th May 2011.

  4. 6 boats confirmed from Belturbet Branch on the Erne

  5. Initial photos are here - more are welcome - Please send photos to: , together with photographer's name, location featured and any other relevant information. 

  6. Grand Canal Circular Line Restriction 09-19 May - see here

  7. For fleet heading out the Royal, the timing of the drop down to the Liffey has been changed from Friday evening to early Saturday 21st

  8. The Grand Fleet moves to Mespil Road on Thursday afternoon/evening.

  9. The attempted bridge-lift on Friday May 27th failed. 

  10. The 3rd attempted Bridge Lift in Spencer Dock was scheduled for June 4th but has been cancelled. 

  11. Spencer Dock Bridge Lift now set for June 18th


30 Apr 2011

Royal Canal: from 12th lock Blanchardstown, crossing the M50 to overnight at Shandon Gardens, Phibsborough.
Planned start time is ~7am

4pm Recital at Shandon Gardens by the Finglas Concert Band

Refreshments at
The Brian Boru (Hedigan's )

01 May 2011

Royal Canal: Boats descend via Croke Park,  Spencer Dock the Liffey and into Grand Canal Dock
This trip will require an Iarnrod Éireann bridge lift and the water level in Spencer Dock to be lowered to get under Sheriff St. bridge. The bridge lift has been confirmed for 01 May.

The tides for Sunday 1st at North Wall are ...

planned start time is ~7am

17 boats made the descent and are moored in Grand Canal Dock

07 May
Grand Canal: Fleet descends from 12th Lock (Lucan) to the Grand Canal Basin

(Boats should ideally moor just below the 12th lock on the night of 6th May)

Followed by Wine & Cheese on Float 3 at GCD.

19 boats made the descent and are moored in Grand Canal Dock

10 May
Visit to the Lord Mayor's Coach & a medieval slip.
11 May
Small Boat Rally - on the Liffey above Islandbridge
Have a look at what we get up to on our small boat rallies by clicking on the YouTube link below..
Interested? then join us.  .
12 May
Let your heels down at
Monty Python’s Spamalot
Show starts 7:30pm

A very enjoyable evening was had followed by a visit to the Ocean Bar.

14 May
Dragon Boat Race Challenge
Dublin Rally vs the Plurabelle Paddlers
Admire the Dublin Rally stalwarts in action against the professionals of the Plurabelle Paddlers

Saturday 14 -
Sunday 15 May

Cruise on River Liffey to the Islandbridge oasis of tranquility!

Tidal Conditions dictate an overnight on the Liffey

Drop into the Liffey on Saturday either around 2pm or after 15:30.  Overnight at Islandbridge.  See our Liffey Notes here.

Depart Islandbridge at ~12:00 and Lock back into Grand Canal Dock from ~13:30 to 3pm.

16 May

7:30pm: Archive Film Show, Talk on "L.T.C.Rolt - the Irish Connection" & "Green and Silver" Book Launch
at the Waterways Interpretive Centre (Box in the Docks), Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2.

The evening will commence at 7:30pm with a show of two archive films by Michael Lawlor:

  1. "Emerald Shannon", a promotional film shot for Guinness/Emerald Star Line in 1971, featuring lots of characters and sights, no longer with us (~30mins)
  2. Archive Film Showing the arrival of the ESL fleet in 1970 including unloading and heading for the Shannon via the Grand Canal (~15mins)

This will be immediately followed by ...

Talk - "L.T.C. Rolt - The Irish Connection", by Gerald Potterton at 7:30pm

Lionel Thomas Caswall Rolt (usually abbreviated to Tom Rolt or L.T.C. Rolt) (1910–1974) was a prolific English writer and the biographer of major civil engineering figures including Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Thomas Telford. He is also regarded as one of the pioneers of the leisure cruising industry on Britain's inland waterways, and wrote the iconic book 'Green and Silver' on the topic of the Irish inland navigation system, first published in 1949.

The talk will be delivered by Mr. Gerald Potterton, author of 'In the Wake of Giants' (2008) who holds a great interest in L.T.C. Rolt and has accumulated much knowledge of his work and writings. Read Gerald's article on Tom Rolt from IWN (Spring 2010) here

Tonight will see the launch of the 4th Edition of Tom Rolt's classic "Green and Silver". 
Copies of the new edition of "Green and Silver" will be available on the night at a cost of €15 (softback).

Many thanks to our two speakers and to the more than 100 who turned out to hear them and view the films.  A superb evening in a wonderful venue.

19 May

BBQ in the outer basin, Grand Canal Dock at 7:30pm
21 May
Royal Canal: Fleet descends from Grand Canal Dock, moves across the Liffey to Spencer Dock and ascends the Royal Canal to 12th Lock Blanchardstown

Well we didn't get far - the Irish Rail lifting bridge didn't lift!  New arrangements will be posted here shortly.  See "news" for more info.

26 May
Grand Canal: Fleet ascends to Mespil Road
27 May
Grand Canal: Fleet ascends to Portobello
28 May
Grand Canal: Fleet ascends to 12th Lock and on to Hazelhatch
The fleet of 15 boats encountered a lot of rubbish on the way out of Dublin.  We were joined by members of the Dublin Camera Club.  See "news" for more info
18th June
Royal Canal: Fleet descends from Grand Canal Dock, moves across the Liffey to Spencer Dock and ascends the Royal Canal to 12th Lock Blanchardstown

Updated 8th June 2011 - bridgelift now set for June 18th.


Terms & Conditions

  1. Boats entered for the Rally must be under the control of a person who is a member, in good standing, of IWAI (any branch)
  2. All boats entered must have adequate insurance (minimum Third Party)
  3. Boats should have adequate crew during all boat movements
  4. All Rally participants must submit a signed Entry Form and pay the Rally fee
  5. Boat skippers and crew should comply with instructions given by Lock crews at each lock; whether these be Waterways Ireland staff or IWAI Volunteer crews.
  6. Boats using mooring facilities on the Liffey must comply with conditions set by the relevant authority (DDDA, Poolbeg Boat & Yacht Club, Dublin Port)

Reports from previous years are found here
Photos from previous years can be found on our Gallery


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