The Irish Sailing Association and the Gathering Ireland 2013 today announced details of the Gathering Cruise 2013 and of their partnership for 2013. This completely unique event in both the Irish sailing and Gathering Ireland calendars will bring together a flotilla of yachts from across the UK, Europe and further afield as they sail to Irish ports as part of Gathering Ireland 2013. The 19 day event will take place across July 2013 with 100 cruising boats and 600 crew members creating a spectacle across key designated Gathering gateway ports as they cruise the east and south coasts of Ireland together.
The Gathering Cruise, which will commence in Dublin, is expected to continue along the Cork and Kerry coastlines and the Irish Sailing Association hope it will be an opportunity to raise awareness of Ireland’s marine tourism infrastructure whilst profiling Ireland’s stunning coastline and coastal towns as a cruising destination for both sail and power boats.
ISA Chief Executive Harry Hermon commented “The Gathering Cruise offers the ISA the chance to promote Ireland’s beautiful natural amenities, spectacular coastline, unspoilt harbours and the warm welcome of coastal villages and towns. The ISA is looking forward to working with The Gathering Ireland to welcome the Irish sailing diaspora back to our shores in 2013. Over the past number of years we have proved ourselves to be one of the world’s foremost sailing destinations with a lot to offer the international sailing community and the Gathering Cruise offers another superb opportunity to showcase this”
Damian Foxall, Ireland’s most accomplished international racing sailor speaking at the launch remarked “This is such an incredible opportunity for sailing enthusiasts of all levels to get involved in a really exciting sailing spectacle. Sailing with a flotilla like this, being part of the Gathering Ireland 2013 and having all the experiences that go with that- the Gathering ambassadors, the Welcome and Farewell Gatherings and the regattas along the way promise to make this a once in a lifetime experience.”
The Gathering Cruise is organised by The Irish Sailing Association with support from Irish Marine Federation, Irish Marina Operators’ Association, Irish Boat Rental Association, Irish Sea Marine Leisure Knowledge Network, The Cruising Association of Ireland and Irish Cruising Club.
Taking place between the 13th of July and the 1st of August, the Gathering Cruise will see over 100 boats congregate in key Gathering Ports across the UK before sailing together to Ireland. They will be joined along the way by other boats from feeder ports in Europe and America.
Upon arrival at the Gateway Ports, the boats will be greeted by dedicated Gathering Welcome Ambassadors and the local communities. The Gathering Flotilla will leave from the most northerly Gateway Ports and travel south. As the flotilla passes the other Gateway Ports, the assembled boats there will move out to join the growing flotilla.
The Gathering Flotilla will finally assemble in Kinsale, Co. Cork for a welcome Gathering . Flotillas will then have an opportunity to explore the coastline of West Cork and Kerry for a week of unscheduled cruising. Gathering Welcome Ambassadors will be on standby to welcome boats as they arrive.
All boats will then gather again in Dingle, Co. Kerry for a Farewell Gathering . After the Gathering Cruise there will be a 'scattering' where all boats will have the option to continue their cruise in a northerly direction in the company of other cruise participants. Gathering Welcome Ambassadors will be available in Welcome Ports along the Irish coastline
Project Director of The Gathering Ireland 2013 Jim Miley “The Gathering Ireland is delighted to announce this high seas partnership. The sailing community is such an important part of Ireland’s tourism industry and this innovative partnership and Gathering Cruise will form a key part of the Gathering Ireland 2013 calendar. The Gathering Cruise also captures what the Gathering Ireland is about- bringing people who have an interest or a link to Ireland in 2013 to be part of it.”