Join us Rowing on the River. Learn more about the Currach, its history and join us rowing on La Crosse area waters! The Currach Club is a non-profit, currach rowing club based in La Crosse, Wisconsin dedicated to promoting and preserving Irish culture.
What is a Currach?
A currach is a traditional coracle style rowboat indigenous to the West Coast of Ireland. The original design of these boats dates back over 2000 years; Julius Caesar wrote of hundreds of them in the Irish Sea as he prepared his invasion of England! Although coming in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, the currach is a wood framed boat with a skin (now canvas) covering. The skin of the boat was originally treated with tar to make it waterproof, but oil based paints are used today. In North America, the 4-seat currach, or naomhaig (NEE-vogue) is the craft used. These boats measure 25 feet in length and weight between 250 and 350 pounds. All rowing events in the North American Currach Association use the naomhaig. In Ireland, the traditional 3 seat currach is used around Galway, although 4 seaters are commonly used in Kerry and on the Aran Islands.
What is with the oars?
The oars of a currach are 10 foot long, slender blades with no paddle. This is because the currach is designed for rowing in rough ocean waters where large paddles can get caught on the wave tops. The key to rowing with the currach oars is to dig a good length of the oar into the water, perhaps 5 feet. This length times the width of the oar gives it plenty of surface area to push the water and propel the boat. The oar locks must be the traditional design of the block and thole pin. Oak blocking is used on the gunwale and oar, and pins are made of either oak or metal. The currach oar does not feather like the standard crew oars.
For more information contact:
Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathleen at email@example.com.
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Sponsored by Irishfest La Crosse and Dublin Square Irish Pub & Eatery