Féile Báid Seoil Inis Meáin

Midsummer is on the way. Exams are nearly over. Another week and the schools will close their doors until the month of September. What is nicer than to symbolize the given freedom by celebrating it with an Rás Báid Seoil (the race of the sailing boats) as a start? Since long the race is held between the Hookers, the boats which were used to bring turf from Connemara over to the Aran Islands until the end of the 19th century. From that time on no turf was used on the islands anymore. But there are still Hookers and the oldest one from the late 90ties of that century, called Tony, is still being used in the annual race. All the three island have the chance to organize the race and it was this weekend Inis Meáin got her turn.

Organising a race with sailing boats always means “weather permitting” of course. Well, the morning started with a sea as smooth as silk.

calm sea aran islands

Sea as smooth as silk.

There was not a breeze of wind either… It was still early though. At one moment no mainland to be seen. Then the fog came over the island turning into a drizzle but…passed on and the sky opened up. This was the sign for the boats to set off from the mainland. The following hours the clouds still reigned the sky. Not much wind at all. So some of the sailing boats were towed to the old pier.

galway hooker


Around 3 p.m. the last boat sailed in.

hooker race inis meain

Before the race.

inis meain boat race


Then the race could start and the wind gave a hand to all the participants. The sun too contributed to the festive happening.

At some moment one was far ahead, another one was far behind and three were in the middle. A lot of people were standing on the old pier, watching the exciting race while talking with one another in a comforting sunshine.

Galway hooker race at Inis Meáin aran islands

In the race

A lovely start of a weekend full of other activities, such as a barbeque, music at night and a music session on the Sunday afternoon in which everybody playing an instrument was invited to join in.

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.


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Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.


One thought on “Féile Báid Seoil Inis Meáin”

  1. Dear Elizabeth,

    You’ve done it again! You transported me out of my busy Los Angeles day into the beauty and glory of Aran to be with you watching a boat race!

    You described it so well. I’m glad you gave me word pictures as well as photos of the water, cloud and wind conditions. You also gave me details most would not, like boats being towed to the old wharf.

    What a wonderful day. I wish I could have been there for the music and barbecue. But then, in a way, I was because of your writing.

    Thank you, Elizabeth.

    Today I clicked what I thought was a decoration on your site and found the information about your work and your retreats!
    You are a psychologist. I didn’t know.

    Would you like me to send you a review copy of my book, Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorders? I would love to know your perspective on it. You could write a review for Amazon. Please let me know.

    Slán go fóill,


    P.S. So nice to get these little trips to Ireland with you!

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