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Rowers keep an Irish tradition alive on waves

Members of the Boston Irish Currach Rowing Club train together in the waters off the Quincy Yacht Club at Houghs Neck.
Members of the Boston Irish Currach Rowing Club train together in the waters off the Quincy Yacht Club at Houghs Neck.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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On most Tuesday and Thursday evenings, a group of men and women can be seen rowing traditional Irish boats in the waters off Houghs Neck in Quincy. From afar, the vessels, called currachs, look like large black canoes, and their oars look like long, wooden sticks.

The men and women belong to the Boston Irish Currach Rowing Club, and from March through September the club’s 25 members are a familiar sight at the docks beside the Quincy Yacht Club, where they launch their boats and hold practice sessions in the bay.

On Sept. 1, the men and women will compete in a regatta in South Boston, where they will race against teams from all over the country hoping to win the North American Currach Association championship and bring home the NACA Cup for the second year in a row. The races start at noon at Carson Beach.

Established in the early 1970s, the Boston Irish Currach Rowing Club was the first of its kind in the country, started by Irish immigrants who longed to row currachs like they did back home. Four decades later, the club is still going strong.

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