Gail McAllister, ISA Regional Development Officer has been awarded the prestigious Fitzpatrick Salver by the Cruising Association of Ireland.

A statement from John Leahy, Commodore of the CAI.

The Fitzpatrick Salver acknowledges outstanding contributions to Irish cruising. In the past it has been awarded for significant cruises by Irish boats and for work on behalf of sailors in Ireland.

This year we present the award to a most worthy recipient, Gail MacAllister. Gail runs West Cork Sailing Centre in Adrigole, and also works or the Irish Sailing Association as a Regional Development Officer. Her particular interest is cruising and she has done a great deal over the years to promote cruising in these islands.

The Gathering Cruise 2013 which attracted around fifty entries from all around our shores was her brainchild and perhaps greatest achievement. During 2012 she involved the Cruising Association of Ireland, the Irish Cruising Club and the Marina Operators Association to develop a plan. She obtained 50,000 euro from Failte Ireland to market the event. For several months before and during the cruise Gail worked tirelessly to make it all happen. And happen it did! The cruise was a great success and laid the foundations for future cruises of similar nature.

When it was all over, Gail kept working with the same organisations to ensure the benefits of the event would last. As well as enormous goodwill at home and abroad the website, a valuable list of professional contacts, the interactive Port Search database and a network of ambassadors around the country remain.

In other areas Gail has worked with us to expand the reach of CAI beyond the East coast and has been successful in attracting two excellent Regional Vice Commodores. Pierce Purcell (of Purcell Marine and GBSC) joins us in the West, and James O’Sullivan (Rear Admiral Cruising RCYC) in the South.

Other areas that Gail has worked on include the Port Search facility, visitors moorings, green diesel and yacht registration. For the CAI, Gail has worked hard to break down barriers between the various cruising groups and to move the ISA closer to the CAI so that we work more closely than before.

Gail cannot be with us tonight but it is with great pleasure that I award her the Fitzpatrick Shield. Well done, and thank you.
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