As the May Bank Holiday approaches, watersports clubs and training centres from Donegal to Kerry and Dublin to Galway have joined forces to offer a unique host of free activities for children, teenagers and adults alike.
Sail Spree – an initiative developed by the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) to encourage people of all ages out on to the water – will run from the 4th to the 6th of May in over 25 venues around the country. On offer will be various free taster sessions in sailing, windsurfing and powerboating. Many clubs will also provide on-shore activities including food and entertainment guaranteeing a great day out for all the family.
Commenting on the event ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon stated “We are surrounded by a beautiful natural resource which provides us with unlimited capabilities for recreation. We hope that opening our doors for Sail Spree will encourage local communities to come together and try something new and exciting available on their doorstep”.
While pre-booking is not essential for all of the venues it is advised to contact your chosen club to avoid disappointment. For more information about Sail Spree events in your area go to the Sail Spree website www.sailspree.ie.
Leinster will be alive with Sail Spree events happening in counties Dublin, Wicklow and Louth. In Dublin, clubs on either side of the Liffey will have their doors open to the public to enable water lovers of all ages to try a new sport. Participants will be able to have a go at windsurfing in Malahide, powerboat on the Liffey or try sailing in Dun Laoghaire to name but a few. In Wicklow sailing lessons are available along the coast or on Blessington lake and there’ll be plenty of activity a little further north in Carlingford too.
Moving south and in to Munster and why not visit one of the many clubs and training centres in Waterford, Cork, Kerry and Clare for your free adventure on the water. Join Dungarvan Harbour Sailing Club as their members offer sailing, windsurfing and powerboating experiences as well as a wide range of activities happening on land including music, entertainment and refreshments. Multiple venues across Cork’s stunning coastline will be welcoming their local communities aboard for plenty of fun on the water and maybe an aperitif if you venture to Les Glenáns in Baltimore. Further along the coast and there will also be plenty to entertain in both Kerry and Clare.
Connaught has a number of clubs and schools joining in with the Sail Spree celebrations. Galway Bay will be abuzz with activity as three clubs take part offering sailing and powerboating. Bellacragher Bay Boat Club in Co. Mayo will host their Sail Spree event encouraging locals to get out on the water and enjoy a taste of what life is like as a sailor. Meanwhile travelling further inland, North Shannon Powerboat School will be staging a weekend filled with both water based and onshore activities including powerboating, kayaking, pedal boats, a boat show, a classic boat rally and marine stands.
Not forgetting our most northern club In Donegal, Rathmullan Sailing and Watersports School will offer on the water sailing sessions in their new fleet of boats.
Pre-booking is not essential for all of the venues but it is advised to contact your chosen club to avoid disappointment on the day. For more information about Sail Spree events in your area go to the Sail Spree website www.sailspree
The final World Cup Regatta of the 2012-2013 Sailing Series has come to a close for the two Irish Olympic sailors competing.
Annalise Murphy's poor start to the event ultimately cost her the chance of competing in the final medal races. Another casualty was Chinese Olympic gold medallist Xu Lija whose slow start was also her downfall. Neither girl will be too worried as both the World Championships and Europeans are still to come later in the summer. However, it is clear a lot of work needs to be put in between now and then for Murphy to turn her fortunes around. In the end she blitzed the Silver fleet, as would be expected, and finished the regatta in 29th overall.
Meanwhile in the 113 boat Laser fleet, Northern Ireland’s James Espey got off to an incredible start. Winning the first race, Espey was tied for second place after three races on Day 1. The solid start gave him the platform needed to qualify for the Gold fleet. He showed glimpses of his potential in gold but lacked the consistency to maintain a high overall placing. Nevertheless, he will take great confidence from this performance and it sets him up well for a busy summer schedule. Overall he finished a very respectable 34th.