West Cork's annual celebration of traditional boats has joined the ever-lengthening list of cancelled sailing events writes Tom MacSweeney
The organisers of the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, scheduled for the end of this month, on the weekend of Friday, May 22 to Sunday, May 24, announced that: "Like nearly every other festival ours has to be cancelled. We send our good wishes to all the traditional boat community and hope you stay safe and sane for the coming summer. Thank you to everyone with supported the Festival for the last 18 years, we look forward to really celebrating with next year's Festival. Fair sailing."
The festival has been a major support to the development of interest in traditional working boats of the West Cork area and helped considerably in their revival.
"The festival forged links with all of those who love wooden boats from other areas of Ireland and overseas in a weekend of sailing, talking, learning and socialising," say the organisers.
Cork has suffered the cancellation of many major sailing events so far, which will also have a big effect on local economies which had been expecting a strong tourism and visitor period from them during the Summer. The list includes the Royal Cork's Tricentenrary, Cork Week, Glandore Classic Boats Festival and the international Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale.