TG4 series on seven families and their Galway hookers starts tonight

On the western edge of Europe, there is a unique maritime culture that depended and fought with the wild Atlantic Ocean. The indigenous boat, the Galway Hooker, has sustained this poorest of communities, and a new generation of the same mariners continue to sail by the shores of Conamara, now competing to become champions of the Galway Hookers Association Racing League.

In this four-part series, ‘Bádóirí’, we meet seven families and their 120-year-old Galway Hookers as they race during the summer. Each boat is different as are their crews, but they share the common goal of maintaining the most elegant wooden vessels in the world.

This is not a cheap hobby, and these families bear the responsibility of keeping their ancient boats in perfect condition. Today’s sailors are still of the same ilk as that of the great boatmasters that went before them, in ability and most definitely in competitivity.

The season starts with calm, but this does not weaken the contests. The Tónaí hits a rock as her captain cuts corners, An Mhaighdean Mhara’s crew pull the wool over the referees eyes, three generations of the most competitive family sail the American Mór, and the other boats get an earful from Tommy in the Morning Star. These ‘Bádóirí’ are full of brute action during races, but we also see that they are deep, noble, and honest people.

Put on your oilskins as ‘Bádóirí’ brings you out into the cold Atlantic Ocean with Ireland’s legendary sailors, in the world’s most beautiful boats.

For a taste of what’s to come in this series see



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