A FANTASTIC WEEKEND!
SOME rainfall failed to dampen spirits in Wicklow at the weekend for the annual Volvo Round Ireland Sailfest weekend.
The festival got under way on Friday night with a night of Celtic music in Wicklow Sailing Club where local trad band, The Maguire Family, high profile Celtic Trad band, Perfect Friction, followed by the unique Mic Shy entertained the crowds.
The opening evening concluded with the lowering of the national flags of all the yachts taking part in the race followed by a spectacular fireworks display at the Black Castle.
On Saturday the main event was the start of The Volvo Round Ireland Yacht Race with 64 boats taking part. This year’s race had a really international flavour with crews taking part from Oman, France, USA, Germany and many other European nations.
Once the boats set sail the entertainment continued with an air display, face painting, children’s games, magicians, falconry, circus shows and a host of other activities. On Sunday it was all about food and families as the Taste of Wicklow returned to the historic Abbey Grounds. Despite the day long rain, the event attracted over 2,500 visitors to see a star studded programme of celebrity chefs including Neven Maguire, Derry Clarke, Paul Kelly, The Druid Chef Rory Morahan and local chefs Alan Hegarty of The Lighthouse Restaurant, Veronica O’Reilly of Healthy Habits Café, and Andy McDaniel of The Bridge Tavern. The budding chefs from East Glendalough School and Dominican College also did themselves proud with their food presentations.
There was also plenty of music entertainment sponsored by the Bridge Tavern as well as a visit from Kenyan Ambassador, his Excellency Richard Opembe, who is currently working with Wicklow Town & District Chamber of Commerce to develop a long term commercial strategy with Wicklow.
Over 30 artisan food stalls were selling and displaying their wares with ten craft stalls also participating. The day was packed full of family fun with children’s games, magicians, face painters and entertainers.
On Monday the Sultanate of Oman’s flagship trimaran Musandam- Oman Sail won the Round Ireland race completing the course in just 38 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds smashing its own 2015 record by an incredible 2 hours, 14 minutes and 50 seconds.
The yachts at the start of the race.
Children hanging out on one of the cannons.
Deborah and Freya Jameson.
Alfie and Senlanda Simonnet .
Pam Beacom on the Old Pier.
Carolann Murphy, Julie Clancy Harrold and Jennifer Haughton.