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Galway Boat Race Stopover Sensational Success

 

Updated : Jun 8, 2009

The two week Galway stopover of the Volvo Ocean race proved to be an unmitigated success and could generate up to €100m for the area.

The spectacularly successful hosting of leg seven of the round-the-world race was marked by tributes from President Mary McAleese and the seven competing skippers as they set out from the City of Tribes at the weekend.

Provisional figures released yesterday by organisers Let's Do It Galway indicated a total attendance at the race village and in Salthill of 420,000, three times the predicted turnout of 140,000.

While a team of economic consultants had also predicted likely revenues of €43m for the region, the actual spin-off benefit is now reckoned to be somewhere between €70m and €100m.

As he set out from Galway at the head of the fleet on the 1,250-nautical mile leg to Marstrand, in Sweden, Ian Walker, skipper of the Irish-Chinese entry Green Dragon, paid tribute to all involved in the Galway stopover. "I knew Galway was a city that loves to party, but never in my wildest dreams did I think Galway and Ireland would bring so much to the race," he said.

"I can only say 'thank you' from all of us for such a wonderful two weeks. But the harsh reality of the race is that no sooner do we get comfortable and enjoy a town, than it is time to leave."

In her closing address of the stopover at the race village in Galway harbour, President McAleese also paid tribute to the organisers, Failte Ireland, and the people of Galway, who had taken the ocean race to their hearts.

The President spoke of the "extraordinary skill and resilience" of the competing sailors and wished them a safe journey to the race end in St Petersburg at the end of the month.


 

 

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