Monday, May 25, 2009

Galway Ocean Race

Well we spent the weekend in Galway for the Volvo Ocean Race festival, and the arrival of the Volvo boats after their race across the Atlantic. We were invited by to do some demonsration racing in Galway Bay off the prom.
It went really well - on Saturday it looked windless and raining.. but the skies cleared, the wind picked up and we sailed all day on 15-18 knots of wind. We ran a load of slalom races and also had a great freestyling session afterwards.

1. Rusheen Bay flaka
2. Telefonica in Galway Docks
3. Racing in Galway Bay (Hannes Louet with the wirlds biggest streamer)
4. Me (with the worlds biggest Surfdock sticker)
5. Pearse Geaney & myself freestyling after the racing on Saturday

In Galway at the Docks, the event Village is set up and the whole town was buzzing !
Galway never needs an excuse to party or go on the piss... so with this event in town - the party factor was about 250%, as everyone drank on the quayside and waited for the first boats to arrive. There was live music on a huge stage, 50m from where the boats are moored, and loads of pubs, food stands, it was like a rock cooncert with errr.. yachting!

The first boats arrvied about 2am to huge fireworks and jubilant crowds, with the last boat getting in before most people were out of bed. Apparently the boats took only about 5 minutes to fly down Galway Bay, running at over 25 knots on Spinnaker. These boats are amazing!

On Sunday.. sore heads meant the windsurf racing went at a more relaxed pace, but we had better wind, so were all keen to get on the water.
I got up to 'The Puddle' for a sweet freestyle session with Tom Big Pole, who was amazed with the fun that can be had in Rusheen Bay. It is no wonder all the Galway guys are so good at freestyle !

If you are in Ireland and can make it over to Galway, the Volvo festival runs for two weeks, and next Saturday they will be Racing in Galway Bay.

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