Galway Bay Sailing Club Regatta is flagship event of Sea Festival weekend

The Galway Bay Sailing Club’s Annual Regatta will be the main event of the first ever Galway Sea Festival taking place over the June bank holiday weekend this summer.

The renamed Galway Sea Festival Regatta is a significant event in the sailing calendar and the first major sailing competition of the 2013 season. An open competition, boats from Clifden, Westport, Sligo and Kilrush are expected to descend on Galway Bay with crews arriving from all over the country.

The regatta involves three days of intense racing in Galway Bay and runs from Friday evening to the following Monday afternoon. Founded in 1969 the Galway Bay Sailing Club is migrating from its base in Rinville, Oranmore into the centre of Galway for this event. Galway harbour and marina will be awash with colour as they host the fleets of the Galway Bay Sailing Club. The Headquarters and Club House for the Regatta will be located in the Galway Harbour Hotel for race registration, post race refreshments and of course the venue for prize giving ceremonies each evening.

Before the racing starts on Friday evening May 31, the boats will be blessed at 6pm by Fr Dick Lyng and the Rev Gary Hastings. After the blessing the first event of the regatta is a short coastal race named the Harbour Hotel Coastal Race. The race start will be just off Mutton Island and will finish up at the Leverets, with views of the competition all along the Salthill promenade.

Following the conclusion of the Race the boats will congregate in the area of the Leverets before commencing a colourful Parade of Sail into Galway Docks at approximately 8-9pm.

There are three races on Saturday at 11am, 1pm and 3pm and two races on Sunday at 12pm and 2pm. The Galway Bay Sailing Club Junior and Accessible Sailing fleets take to the water on Sunday afternoon to welcome the racing fleets ashore. On Monday, it’s the turn of the dinghies with their own regatta expecting to include the Galway Bay Sailing Club DART catamaran fleet which is the largest in Ireland.

“Galway Bay Sailing Club is pleased to be an enthusiastic supporter of this the first Galway Sea Festival,” says Dave Vinnell, the Galway Bay Sailing Club commodore. “As the main sailing club on the bay and one of the most active on the whole of the West Coast, GBSC has from the inception of the Galway Sea Festival, whole heartedly supported it as one of its partners. The members, committee and flag officers of GBSC wish Galway Sea Festival a successful event. We are proud to be involved and intend having an exciting, enjoyable and entertaining festival both on and off the water. It is our hope and expectation that the Festival becomes an annual event and continues to grow from year to year.”

Stefan Lundstrom, general manager of the Harbour Hotel believes the event and events like it are of great significance to Galway and the harbour area.“It is great to have an event back in the harbour area after the huge success of the Volvo Ocean Race,” he said. “We are delighted to be headquarters of the Galway Bay Sailing Club Regatta and we look forward to welcoming all the sailors, skippers and public alike through our doors for great food, great craic and entertainment over the June bank holiday weekend.”

Prize giving will take place each night in the Harbour Hotel at approximately 10.30pm Friday, 8.30pm Saturday and 6.30pm on Monday. Regatta registration commences from 2pm on Friday May 31.

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