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Cruising enthusiasts throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe and even further afield are being invited by Howth Yacht Club to participate in the inaugural Fingal International Family Cruising Festival between July 7th and 15th for what is the first event of its kind ever staged.

The Festival – Family Cruising Week, for short – has been designed to encourage sailors from far and wide to sail to Howth, berth in the marina for the week (up to 100% discounts will apply depending on distance travelled to get to Howth) and engage in a varied programme of activities, tours, talks and entertainment in the Howth area as well as tourist attractions in Dublin city and surrounding counties.

Unlike other cruising weeks (which entail participants sailing from location to location), the objective of the FIFCF is to attract boat-owners to sail to Howth while non-sailing family members can join them (travelling by road, ferry or air) to stay on their boats or in local accommodation. 

The programme for the week will include scenic and heritage tours of the area, golf/tennis/hillwalking, competitions, dinners and entertainment, and activities for children. The event, which has the support of Failte Ireland and Fingal Tourism, is expected to generate in the region of 4,000 bed nights as well as benefiting local businesses. Visitors will sample local restaurants and pubs and will also require groceries, general supplies, marine services, etc.

The unique event will conclude on Sunday 15th July when participants will be invited to take part in the second ‘Boat of Hope Day’ organised by Howth YC in conjunction with the Variety Club of Ireland. In 2010, boat-owners in Howth and neighbouring clubs took 100 disadvantaged children, their parents, siblings and carers on the water and then entertained them with onshore activities.

An organising committee, headed by noted cruising expert Pat Murphy, is currently working on the various elements of the Festival and, in particular, marketing it overseas.

See www.hyc.ie/familycruisingweek for more information.

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