Founded in 1987, the Albany Irish Rowing Club owns four Kerry-style currachs (three 25-ft. four-seaters and a 22-ft. three-seater) with painted canvas-covered hulls. The club, whose members range from age 16-70, holds practices on the Hudson River near the Corning Preserve from February through November.
The club is a member of the North American Currach Association (NACA) which promotes currach racing and the Celtic marine heritage.
The Association was established in 1982. NACA has eight clubs that sponsor regattas throughout the eastern and southern United States.
Club teams participate in numerous summer regattas, including competitions on the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, Boston Harbor, Lake Michigan, and Ireland.
In contrast to conventional crew races, the Irish Rowing Club's regatta features currachs, the traditional fishing boats that have been used in Ireland for 1,500 years.
Historically, the currach served as both a fishing vessel and as general transportation along the many rivers and coastal waters of Ireland.Currachs have either wood-or canvas-covered hulls, with long, thin-blade oars - two per oarsman - that help to make the vessels highly maneuverable, yet surprisingly sturdy, even in rough waters.