Galway Bay Sailing Club has organised the biggest event in the club's 40-year history to coincide with the visit to Galway of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Racing for dinghies, multihulls, keelboats, cruisers, and a very special junior event are all included in the new Ireland West Airport Galway Bay Regatta which runs from May 23 to June 7.
The regatta kicks off on May 23/34 with the 420 Class Connachts. The 420 Class is a two-man boat used in the ISA training for younger competitive sailors. Despite the emergence of newer commercial driven classes and asymmetrics, the 420 is still the world's top youth training boat, used in 43 countries around the world, and is the ISAF Youth World Championship boat.
The Smyth's Toys GBSC Invitational is a racing event using the Irish Sailing Association's fleet of J-80 keelboats. These are a one-design class ensuring that crews are competing on skill and tactics alone, which makes for very close racing. Crews from Ireland, the UK and New Zealand will vie for the honour of top boat over two days, May 31 and June 1. The event has attracted a surplus of entries with a waiting list now in place.
Multihulls take to the bay on the June Bank Holiday for a one-day event. These boats weigh between 100to 150kgs and are capable of speeds of up to 20 knots which makes for spectacular racing which will be viewable from Salthill promenade, conditions permitting.
The GB09 Cruiser Championship builds on the success of the previous events held in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and will see the top yacht crews from the west of Ireland and further afield compete for an overall prize, along with class honours. This will be a four-day event beginning on Wednesday June 3 and will provide plenty of action for the viewing public.
A junior Pirate Parade of Sail will be held off Salthill on Friday 29th May, conditions permitting.
The event headquarters will be the Clubhouse bar located on Breathnach Quay in the Volvo Race Village.