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#vor – Thousands of people are expected to throng Salthill and the Galway coastline tomorrow (Saturday, July 7th) to watch some of the  world's fastest and most spectacular sailing boats in action  on Galway Bay – just 600 metres from the shore.

The final In-Port race of the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race series will take place on a course between Salthill and Mutton Island and will according to Harbour Master Captain Brian Sheridan provide  "an

unrivalled opportunity to see the boats being sailed hard at extremely close quarters"

The "Discover Ireland" sponsored race will get under way at 1pm and will last just under an hour.

The start line will be just 900 metres off Salthill close to Palmer's Rock and the boats will get even closer to the shore when they round a race mark just 600 meters south of Mutton Island.

Galway Harbour Master Capt Brian Sheridan says "The view of the boats from Grattan Road all the way through to Salthill will be spectacular"

After the Volvo fleet returns to Galway Harbour, accompanied by a Parade of Sail, the festival atmosphere will continue in Salthill with an Aer Corp air display and an Irish Coastguard/ RNLI air-sea rescue demonstration at about 3pm.

The Aer Corp display will involve formation and solo flights by four Pilatus PC-9M aircraft and an Augusta Westland AW 139 helicopter which will  also take part in a winching operation in conjunction with the naval vessel L.E. Niamh.

A coastguard helicopter will stage another simulated rescue and winching operation in conjunction with the RNLI.

Back in the Race Village in the Harbour huge crowds are also expected to attend the overall prize giving ceremony for the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race on the Main Stage at 6pm.

And the night will be rounded off by one of the highlights of the hugely successful  series of free open air concerts when Sharon Shannon and her 42 piece orchestra take to the stage.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

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