#drogheda – Up to 20 boats will visit the town on Saturday the 13th of April and along with the Drogheda Port pilot boats, the Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat and the River Rescue Boats the flotilla will arrive and berth at the Mall close to the De Lacey Bridge in Drogheda Town centre for high tide at 12.45 p.m.
The Inland Waterways Association (IWAI) will make its inaugural visit to Drogheda Port and Town with a large number of rigid inflatable boats coming from as far away as Sligo, Lough Derg, Lough Ree, Lough Eme, Wexford, Dublin and a humber of local boats will also be taking part in the event.
Carmel Meegan, Vice President of Inland Waterways Association of Ireland said "This is a milestone occasion for IWAI and a first for Drogheda Port and Town to have so many visiting leisure boats on a single occasion.
The Powerboat Branch have travelled extensively on the inland waterways and in the past two years have extended their trips to coastal areas around Ireland. Drogheda has been selected as our chosen coastal venue for 2013.
Drogheda the largest town in Ireland, geographically it is ideally located in the North East for visiting pleasure craft. It is within range for visiting craft from the UK, Isle of Mann, Northern Ireland, Carlingford and Dublin based boats.
There is potential to promote the Boyne Valley Area from this angle and we would be delighted to see the people of Drogheda come out and lend their support this event."
Mr Denis Moynihan, Chairman of Drogheda Port Company and the Mayor Mr Paul Bell will welcome the association to the Port and a reception will be jointly hosted with the Drogheda Borough Council in the D hotel.
There is an interesting itinerary of events planned which will include visiting the centre of Drogheda and travelling to the Sea lock at Oldbridge to see progress on the IWAI Boyne Navigation Branch Project and a tour of the Battle of the Boyne Site.
Mr Denis Mr Denis Moynihan, Chairman of Drogheda Port Company said "This is a fantastic boost to tourism in the local area and our hope is that this will grow and become a regular event with the IWAI and that visiting boats from the UK and further afield can be attracted. It is quite important that the appropriate infrastructure is developed to encourage this type of maritime tourism"
Mr Paul Bell, Mayor of Drogheda attending the launch of the IAWA inaugural visit to Drogheda said "It is very encouraging to see the growing tourism potential through the River Boyne and its ability to attract tourists to the town and surroundingarca. The Boyne Valley region is naturally steeped in history and quite rightly, there is a growing recognition of its ability to generate economic growth. As Mayor of Drogheda,I am extremely committed to working alongside the Port and other groups in this very exciting maritime year for the locality."
The Powerboat Branch of the IWAI continues to develop a programme to explore waters outside of the normal cruising grounds. This gives opportunities to day-boaters and power-boaters to discover new areas of water that they would not normally visit. This brought a whole new outlook to the association OWAD.