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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Seafest - A Celebration of Donegal's Coastal Environment

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Come the first weekend of July 2011, the sheltered waters of Donegal's Lough Swilly will come alive with sails big and small, with the slap of oars and paddles.

The shoreline and the golden sands of its beaches will play natural backdrop to theatre and games, to families and friends celebrating in the unique surroundings of our coastal environment.

On the tables in the courtyard of Rathmullan's historic Battery there will be an abundance of Donegal's local food culture: fresh fish and shellfish from local waters; lamb, beef and pork from local fields – all of it turned into an exceptionally simple menu of regional cuisine by talented local chefs.

"We wanted this to be an event for everyone," says Mark Wheeler of Rathmullan House and one of the driving forces behind SeaFest. "For sailors and watersports enthusiasts, be they experienced or novices; for families in search of something active to do with the kids; for people who simply take pleasure in being at the seaside; and of course for everyone who enjoys good local food."

The event will open on Friday evening, 1st July, with the launch of MalinWaters, a new cross-border marine tourism intiative for the the shared maritime zone between Northern Ireland, North West Ireland, and Scotland.

MalinWaters is part financed by the European Union's European Regional Development Fund through INTERREG IVA Cross-Border Programme.

"We are delighted to be part of the SeaFest event as it reflects exactly what the project partners are trying to achieve with our new MalinWaters tourism brand," says Lee-Anne Doherty, the project's Marketing Officer. "This includes encouraging engagement by local people in marine leisure and waterborne activities, attracting activity enthusiasts to the area and illustrating County Donegal's significant maritime heritage and linkages."

On Saturday the action on the water kicks off in earnest with the Saldanha Cup, a traditional cruiser-racer sailing regatta commemorating the 200th anniversary of the sinking of the frigate, the HMS Saldanha. The regatta will start and finish off the pier in Rathmullan with a course taking in the site of the Saldanha wreck near spellbinding Ballymastocker Strand

 

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