#VOR – Up to 200 sailing boats – including many traditional sailing craft – will take part in the dramatic "Parade of Sail" which is being staged in conjunction with the Volvo Ocean Race.
The fleet of 6 Volvo ocean racing yachts are now expected in Galway Bay late on Monday night ,July 2nd or early Tuesday morning, July 3rd.
The "Parade of Sail" is the traditional seafaring salute to the crews who have completed an epic ocean voyage. Boats, which are making their way to Galway from many parts of the
country, will join a fleet of local sailing boats and traditional Galway hookers ,currachs and fishing boats
Thirty boats from the Mayo Sailing Club left their base at Rossmoney, near Westport, today and are now on their way to Inishboffin where they will overnight. They will sail to the Aran Island's tomorrow and rendezvous with the parade of sail on Galway Bay.
The dramatic "Parade of Sail" will begin at the Blackrock Mark, off Salthill, at 4.30pm. The parade will be led by "The Green Dragon", Ireland's entry in the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. Smaller boats will join the parade at the Blackrock Diving Board. The flotilla will then make its way to the Harbour.
Parade of Sail co-ordinator, Pierce Purcell, said the series of events on the Bay on Sunday which will also include the Multihull Catamaran Championships and the traditional Galway Hooker Regatta, will be "the most fantastic turnout of boats ever seen on Galway Bay"
The Parade of Sail Organisers have issued the following instructions to participating boats.
All craft should allow sufficient time to be at the Blackrock Buoy area in time for a 4.30 start.
FLEET A. It is intended to let the powerboat fleet of participating pleasure boats, RIBS fishing boats start first in an orderly fashion spaced out in single file. This fleet will be led by a blue Garda RIB positioned in the middle of the start area at 4.29 pm.
FLEET B. Yachts in descending order size will set sail immediately after the powerboat fleet. This fleet will make its way inshore to Salthill along the Prom and around Mutton Island.
Fleet C. This fleet comprises of craft up to 4 metres, sailboards, currachs, dinghies and canoes will assemble near the diving tower at Salthill for 4.30.
FLEET D. The Galway Hooker Fleet will assemble after the last boat race is finished in the area between Galway Bay Hotel and Seapoint
FlEET E. The Junior Parade of Sail will launch at the Ocean Sports Club at 4.30.
SAIL PAST. 17.00 hours. A suitable yacht dressed overall will be moored off Nimmos Pier to welcome the fleet.