On Saturday 23rd June Sutton Dinghy Club will be hosting their Sail Spree event from their headquarters in Sutton. With access to Dublin Bay at all stages of the tide, they will be running a sponsored sail down Sutton Creek and back. With a barbecue, music and prizes at the finish it will be a fun filled day out for everyone, but spaces will be limited so make sure you get onto their page on the Sail Spree website to book your place early! They will also be holding an Access Sailing evening on Tuesday 26th. This is aimed at people with disabilities to show them how much fun they can have on the water and what opportunities are out there for them.
Saturday afternoon will see Rush Sailing Club open their doors to the public and offer ‘On the Water’ taster sessions in a choice of yachts, dinghies and power boats. Rush is an active club with members in all spheres of water sports, including dinghies, cruisers, motor boats kayaking, diving and fishing. Their clubhouse looks out over Rogerstown Estuary, with views to Lambay Island and with a spacious bar area it is busy all year round.
Malahide Yacht Club will run a two day event that weekend with sailing taster sessions, music, entertainment and shore based games to keep everyone happy. With a thriving junior sailing section, a woman on the water group and boasting Olympic bound sailors David Burrows and Scott Flanigan as members, the club is well equipped to provide sailing courses for all ages and abilities. After enjoying the thrill of sailing on the estuary, food and drink will be available in the clubhouse so there will be something for the whole family.
Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Howth Yacht Club will all run Sail Spree events over the weekend and more information about these will be available on the Sail Spree website.
On the Southside of Dublin, Dun Laoghaire Harbour will be busy with Sail Spree events being run by most of the clubs and schools based there. The Irish National Sailing School will be hosting their event on Saturday 23rd June, providing sailing taster sessions in their 1720 sports yachts. They recently hosted the Sail Spree launch with celebrity Kathryn Thomas and are the largest provider of children’s sailing courses in Ireland, having taught over 4,000 kids in 2011. With onsite refreshments available they will be well placed to cater for visitors on and off the water.
Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club will run their event for the two days over the weekend. Taking advantage of the long evenings, they will open their doors at 11am and keep the celebration going until 8pm. Perfectly situated at the west pier, they have access to ample parking and great views out over the marina. Relax in the bar, take part in the games and activities or get out on the water for a taster session in sailing or power boating. As a special bonus, they will not be charging for their taster sessions so there will be something for everyone at the West Pier making it a great chance to bring the family for a fun day out.
The Royal St George Yacht Club will also be providing ‘On the Water’ taster sessions on both Saturday and Sunday of the Sail Spree weekend. As one of the leading clubs in the country they regularly hold national and international competitions and, along with the National and Royal Irish Yacht Clubs, will be hosting the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth World Championships in July this summer. For Sail Spree they will offer sailing and power boating taster sessions as well as providing onshore activities, food, drink, music and entertainment from their clubhouse overlooking the marina.
On Sunday 24th June Dun Laoghaire Powerboat School will be providing a chance to try power boating in the safe, calm waters of the harbour. The ideal set up to learn many of the scenarios required for power boat handling, the taster session will give you an idea of the thrill and exhilaration that being on the water can offer.
The National Yacht Club will run its Sail Spree event on the evening of Wednesday 27th June. Offering sailing taster sessions from their clubhouse at Dun Laoghaire harbour, they will also have food and drink available for those coming off the water.
Dun Laoghaire Powerboat School will be providing a chance to try power boating in the safe, calm waters of the harbour. The ideal set up to learn many of the scenarios required for power boat handling, the taster session will give you an idea of the thrill and exhilaration being on the water can offer.
Keep up to date with all the activities using the Sail Spree Facebook Page
or follow the #SailSpree
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Today Tuesday 29 May, the ISA with the assistance of TV personality Kathryn Thomas launched SAIL SPREE a new initiative to encourage people to get on the water over the weekend of 23/24 June 2012.
The campaign is similar to the nationally acclaimed ‘Culture Night’ whereby clubs and training centres all over Ireland will open their doors to the public to try sailing, windsurfing, power boating or jet skiing. Many clubs will also provide on shore activities including entertainment, food, drink and music guaranteeing a great day out for all the family.
Commenting on today’s launch ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon stated “We are surrounded by a beautiful natural resource which provides us with unlimited capabilities for recreation. The ISA is passionate about introducing new people to the excitement of sailing, windsurfing and motorboating. No matter what your age, location or budget, whether you want to join in a fun recreational hobby or competitive sport, there will be a club or school near you offering that very service. We hope that opening our doors for Sail Spree will encourage local communities to try something new and explore the possibilities on their doorstep”.
Sail Spree has been developed in acknowledgment of the increased interest in sailing over the past number of years. Events such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the Tall Ships Festivals have brought sailing into the public eye and have undoubtedly sparked intrigue in this thrilling outdoor sport. With the Olympics only two months away and with eight sailors representing Ireland at the Games, sailing will continue to capture the nation’s attention.
Probably the biggest event running during Sail Spree will be Seafest 2012, hosted in Rathmullan on Lough Swilly, Donegal. The event will incorporate all forms of sailing, from dinghies to cruisers as well as windsurfing and powerboating. Combined with this festival of the sea will be food festivals and a plethora of on shore activities and entertainment too numerable to mention. The event will offer spectators and participants the opportunity to join in the fun on and off the water.
Travelling south and the islands off the Cork coast will also be providing a host of activities in conjunction with the Sail Spree celebrations. Heir Island Sailing School, in Roaring Water Bay is providing a weekend of sailing, games, food and drink to keep its visitors entertained.
With 14 venues already registered in the Cork county, the public have plenty of options to keep them occupied. Kinsale Yacht Club will be hosting a special event on the Saturday to create awareness of the wonderful opportunities for children and adults with disabilities who would like to try sailing. As the home club for John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello, the Providence Resources Irish Paralympic Sailors, Kinsale Yacht Club are experienced in the areas of support, advice and information for anyone with a disability hoping to get into sailing.
On the east coast, Wexford Harbour Boat & Tennis Club will be hosting its Sail Spree event to coincide with the John Barry Maritime Festival 2012. The weekend will play host to a number of activities and give attendees the opportunity to try sailing, power boating, windsurfing and jet skiing.
2012 will be a big year for sailing in Ireland. One of the most prestigious events in world ocean racing; the Volvo Ocean Race is returning to Galway Bay and the Tall Ships will be hosted in the Dublin Docklands. Derry city will host the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in June, Cork Week takes place in July and the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth World Championships will be held in Dublin Bay in July for the first time. There will be no shortage of international level competition on offer for spectators.
The pinnacle of the international season will be Ireland’s participation in the London Olympics where eight sailors in five boats will compete. The Providence Resources Irish Olympic Sailors have been identified as a ‘genuine prospect’ for a medal winning opportunity this summer. Many of those competing have come up through the ranks of the ISA Performance Pathway and Sail Spree will provide an opportunity for the next generation of Olympic contenders to discover the sport.
For more details of events in your area check out the website www.SailSpree.ie