Galway will bid a fond farewell to the Volvo Ocean Race this Saturday and organisers are calling on both residents and visitors to turn out in force at 11.30am to wish the sailors a safe journey as they depart from the harbour. Galway welcomed the Volvo Ocean Race in spectacular style over the weekend of 23 and 24 May and has continued to show incredible warmth and hospitality over the past ten days.
Sadly, the hugely successful stopover is coming to an end and spectators are advised to arrive at the Race Village as early as possible after the opening time of 10am on Saturday in order to get a good position to watch the farewell ceremony.
The event will start with a parade of the crews down the pontoon to their boats. The skippers will be accompanied by young people who were chosen as mascots at last Monday’s ‘Meet the Sailor’ event. The fleet will then be blessed and President Mary McAleese will wish the crews a safe journey to the next stopover port on the race, Marstrand in Sweden.
The boats will leave Galway Harbour one by one to the sound of their theme tune. This will be one last occasion to wish Green Dragon a safe journey by singing along to ‘Galway Girl’.
The fleet will depart the harbour gates at 12.45pm and all members of the sailing community are urged to bring their RIBs and boats to Galway for this historic moment and accompany the boats out of the harbour.
From Salthill Promenade, there will be one last opportunity to see the boats as they will be sailing around the bay while waiting for the Volvo Ocean Race to officially recommence at 2.30pm.
The boats will then cross the start line in Galway Bay, bound for Marstrand, a distance of 1,250 nautical miles. The fleet will sail south down the West Coast, then south-east across the Irish Sea to England, eastwards up the English Channel into the North Sea and finally to the entrance of the Baltic. The first of the boats are expected to arrive in Marstrand on Wednesday 10 June.
Aran Ferries are running a one and a half hour trip to watch the farewell, priced at €60 per adult and €30 per child. The ferry departs at 1.30pm from the Harbour. For further details, log on to www.aranislandferries.com.