The world’s biggest sailing event, the 10th Volvo Ocean Race, will arrive in Ireland for the first time on May 23. Following the transatlantic leg, racing from Boston, it will arrive and stay in Galway for a two-week stopover before leaving on the next leg for Goteborg in Sweden.
To mark the occasion, in conjunction with Lough Ree Yacht Club, the Athlone Springs Hotel ran a competition with local national schools to build replicas of the Irish entry the ‘Green Dragon’. Children from the four finalists’ schools were lauded for their efforts by the judges, Commodore Eileen Browne of Lough Ree Yacht Club and David Beattie of the Volvo Race Committee.
The winning school, St Oliver Plunkett Boys National School in Moate, directed by Mary Mollen, won an all expenses paid school tour to Galway during the stopover, with VIP quayside access to the Green Dragon and a meeting with the Irish team. The runner up school, Brideswell National School, Roscommon, directed by Laura Gilleran, won a ‘School Day Out’ on Lough Ree hosted by Commodore Browne and the Yacht Club. The other runners up, Attyrory National School and Cornafulla National School will enjoy a fun afternoon at the Athlone Springs Zen Leisure Club.
Commenting on the success of the competition, general manager Martin Daly said, “I am delighted at the enthusiastic response of local schools and very impressed by the quality of the work of the children, and look forward to celebrating their success at the Athlone Springs before the break up for the summer holidays.”