The action-packed schedule of activities begins tomorrow and will continue throughout the weekend with carousels and fun fairs, street entertainment, comedic circus acts, children’s theatre, farmer’s markets, vintage car rallies, art exhibitions, live bands, and much more. The festivities will conclude with the official homecoming of Green Dragon, Ireland’s entry in the Volvo Ocean Race. The VDLR and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council will host the homecoming festivities on the East Pier bandstand from 12 noon on Sunday, 12th July 2009. Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Dublin’s favourite seaside town over the weekend to take part in the excitement.
The VDLR is the latest sailing event to ‘rock’ Ireland this summer. The marine leisure industry is worth an estimated €700 million each year, and €430 million of this comes from marine leisure tourism. The VDLR is expected to raise this figure further, giving rise to Ireland’s reputation abroad as a top-class sailing destination while delivering a tourism benefit and providing a great boost for local businesses.
Volvo Ireland Managing Director, David Baddeley, said “Volvo is delighted to be following the success of the Ocean Race with another key sailing event. The Ocean Race provided a great opportunity for people to watch sailing at its best. Now, the VDLR is giving people a chance not only just to watch but to get involved and enjoy every minute of the fun.”
Following the outstanding success of the Galway stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, Phil Smith, Chairman of the VDLR Organising Committee, said, “This is more than a sailing event, it is guaranteed fun and enjoyment for the many thousands that we are expecting to attend. Volvo’s sponsorship has added prestige and an international feeling to the event, especially after the recent public interest in the Volvo Ocean Race. We are looking forward to a very exciting weekend.”
Since launched in 2005, the VDLR has grown in significance each year. The Regatta is now one of Ireland’s biggest participant sports events after the city marathons. More than 3,000 sailors from Ireland and 13 other nations will compete across 21 classes in a fleet of over 450 boats. Over the course of four days, more than 250 races will take place. The regatta has nearly four times the entry of any other Irish regatta this year. However, it is not just an event for experienced sailors – this year the VDLR wants to help people who have never sailed before to get out on the water and enjoy one of Dublin’s best amenities- the bay. The public can take part in the regatta and may even win some races as they are taught to sail by experienced instructors.
The VDLR will host a Ladies Luncheon and Best Dressed Lady Competition, sponsored by Kildare Village Outlet Shopping, at the Royal St. George Yacht Club and The National Yacht Club, with prizes donated by the Butler’s Pantry. Lynn McNally, Organiser of the Ladies Lunch said, "Ladies, bring some glamour to the shores, gather your glad rags, handbags and some friends together for a fun and relaxing lunch in two of Dun Laoghaire's premier yacht clubs." Booking through the Royal St. George and the National Yacht Clubs is essential for this popular event.