The people of Wicklow and our visitors were pleasantly surprised at the fantastic show that the 2010 Round Ireland SailFest committee delivered over the weekend co-inciding with the start of Wicklow Sailing Club’s Conway Media Round Ireland Yacht Race. While the fine weather was a huge factor, the wideranging and full programme of events added a new dimension to Festivals in Wicklow. The aim was to put Wicklow in the National and International shop window and that was certainly achieved. The 2012 committee are working hard to improve on the huge success of the 2010 event and give Wicklow a further boost in projecting itself outside its own hinterland.
Below are several images from the 2010 Conway Media Round Ireland SailFest, giving an idea of the different events we provided. As with any community event, its success depends on the input and energy of the volunteers and event supporters. The 2012 SailFest will be bigger and better, so if you feel you can contribute, let us know, please.
On Friday 18th June, we provided the Garda Band outside Wicklow Sailing Club, free music on Main Street and in the Abbey St car park, music in the pubs, funfair and a spectacular fireworks from the Black Castle. Mayor Irene Winters opened the Festival.
On Saturday 19th June, a full day of activity for all ages was provided. The kids had tepees, storytellers, circus performers, BMX bike trials etc. The sailing club arranged dinghy, jet-ski and Zap Cat displays in association with the Irish Sailing Association. With street theatre, artists displays, music on the streets, an antique fire brigade and classic cars, the town was buzzing. That evening, the main event took place at the Abbey Street car park where the American Drifters played to a full house. A gala midsummer ball took place in Wicklow Gaol. Wicklow had never seen so much activity compressed into one day and compliments on the event still come to members of our committee, 2 years later.
With two days of beautiful weather and bumper crowds at our events, the stage was set for a fabulous Race start and more festivities. The committee did a fabulous job organising and managing all of the outdoor entertainment, with a troop of stewards helping out at all the various gigs.
Sunday 20th followed suit with another sunny day and the Race with c.40 entrants set off at 1200 as scheduled. An aerobatic flying display greeted the racers and spectators just after the start, doing smokey loops and fly pasts, before the Wicklow Pipe Band led the way to Wicklow Gaol. A fashion show and craft display led up up to the festival finale featuring local artiste, Luan Parle. A job well done and the people of Wicklow are still talking about it.
Every community relishes having Festivals to allow kids and adults the opportunity to enjoy a change from the routine. Wicklow through its SailFest committee, Town Council, Chamber of Commerce, Town Forum, County Council, Wicklow Rural Partnersip, Wicklow Enterprise Board, local clubs including Wicklow Sailing Club and others created a wonderful event in 2010 and the onus now rests on those entities to keep the momentum going to make this a biannual event not to be missed. Wicklow will be the winner and the townspeople can reflect in the positive vibes generated by the Round Ireland SailFest, built on the long established Round Ireland Yacht Race, Ireland’s premier offshore sailing event. Businesses on the Main Street played their part by putting on a wonderful Window display.
Sponsorship is always a desirable assistance in the fundraising efforts of any committee and SailFest and Wicklow Sailing Club were very grateful for the support of local businessman, Roy Conway amd his company, Conway Media. A good chairman also helps tick all the boxes and harness the energies of the committee. SailFest was blessed in finding Pascal Burke of Burke Oil. Many is the night he burnt the proverbial midnight oil.
For 2012, a new chairman has taken up the reins, John Sinnott of Sinnott Autos. With an equally energetic committee, he has started in a whirlwind. Already bag packs are in train, a Car Draw is up and running, a float will adorn the St Patricks Day Parade, a Road Race will take place in late April and more is in the pipeline. To harness the support of local businesses and community organisations, an information evening will be held in Wicklow Gaol on Tuesday 13th March at 6.30pm. All interested in supporting the efforts of the SailFest committee are welcome to attend – complimentary refreshments supplied by Paul Smith and Padraig Humby of Diageo.
Just thought you might enjoy another look at the girls!!!
I spent the night applying the tan to them – just to help make them look good for you!