#ThunderCats - Thousands of onlookers visiting the Dublin Riverfest watched as ThunderCat powerboats whizzed past tallships lining the North WaII quay, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The thunderboats from the UK that are making their debut in the capital, raced along a circuit that involved making tight turns around the marker buoys. To enjoy this spectacle and much more, the Dublin Riverfest (concluding today) notably features a purpose built spectator stand to watch these small yet fast boats.
On either side of the stand there are also elevated views of the tallships that include a new participant to Dublin Riverfest, the Shtandard, a replica of the Russian warship of Peter the Great dating 1703. The newcomer shares the quay's tallship line of larger tallships.They are a quartet of square-riggers, the Phoenix, Kaskelot, Earl of Pembroke and Pelican of London.
Also entertaining the crowds was the water-jet performer passing the tallships and at close proximity!
Smaller tallships in the form of schooners, in which the UK flagged Bessie Ellen made an appearance having only arrival yesterday afternoon. The West Country schooner moored close to the Irish owned, Brian Boru, a converted Tyrrell built trawler. These vessels however over the weekend were unfortunately not open to the public.
The larger aforementioned Tall Ships though are open to the public and for free. Boaring times (tidal permitting) are between noon and 6pm on this final day of the Riverfest. In total 100,000 visitors are expected to flock the quays that also have food venues, craft stalls, a funfair including a rock-climbing wall and wakeboarding.
Also in port is the Irish ketch, Celtic Mist of the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, though the vessel is berthed in Grand Canal Dock basin. Tours of the vessel which carries out scientific research cruises on cetaceans are open to the public too.
If travelling by DART, the nearest station that is to the Celtic Mist is the Grand Canal Dock which is only a five-minute walk. The dock basin with its barges, is conveniently located en-route to the Liffey, from where the Samuel Beckett bridge connects to the North Wall.