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Making waves during Galway stopover

16th May 2009

With the Volvo Ocean Race only days away sailors and festival goers alike are gearing up to celebrate the arrival of what the organisers are claiming is the biggest sporting event to hit Ireland since the Ryder Cup. For sailing enthusiasts the arrival of this momentous event offers the unique opportunity to experience the might of the Volvo 70 fleet in action during the In Port weekends in addition to enjoying the Volvo Ocean Race Simulator, Model Boat Racing and the Puma mast challenge.

In addition to the land activities, Galway Bay will be host to an extensive on-water program running throughout the two weeks of the race stopover. Starting on the 23rd of May the 420 class Connachts will take to the water to welcome the arrival of the Volvo fleet and will compete on the bay over the weekend. Joining them will be the Even Keel project which runs from May 23 to May 26.  This exciting inclusion to the program encourages disabled and disadvantaged sailors to compete on level terms with able bodied sailors.  Under the supervision and guidance of experienced sailing staff, a number of Artemis 20 keelboats will be available for the public to use which is being supported by Allied Irish Bank.

May 29 will see a Junior parade of Sail with a fleet of junior boats expected on the water and will be followed by a search and rescue simulation by RNLI and Irish Coast Guard.

The pinnacle of the on-water activity commences on Saturday May 30 when the Volvo Ocean Fleet take to the Bay at 1pm to compete for valuable points in the In Port Racing. Sunday May 31 will again see the Volvo fleet compete in the In Port Pro-Am at 12pm and will be followed by the Galway Bay Sailing Club Invitational. This weekend promises to be the most exciting event on the Irish Sailing calendar in 2009 and is a must for all sailing fans.

The June Bank holiday will include a Hooker race, a wonderful example of the West’s marine heritage. The fleet of Hookers will be joined on the water by the Galway Bay Sailing Club Invitational and Multihaul Catamaran Racing. The Even Keel project will again be in operation from Monday June 1 until June 5.

Galway Bay Sailing club will host their GB09 Cruiser Championships from June 3 to June 6 and this four-day event will be an example of the quality of the local sailing community.

Windsurfing and Kitesurfing Displays will be an exciting element to the diverse water program with daily displays taking place in the Bay.

The on water activities will conclude in June 6 with the Volvo Ocean Race Farewell Celebration followed by the race departure.  All supporters are encouraged to take to the water to bid farewell to the spectacular Volvo fleet and to show their support to the home crew Green Dragon as they begin Leg  8  of their epic journey around the world.

The Galway Volvo Ocean Race will run from 23 May – 6 June 2009 and promises to be a spectacular 15-day Festival celebration, and with over 100 Free events taking place on water and land, the Galway Volvo Ocean Race will be the biggest festival to hit Ireland in 2009. For further program details visit

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