Ireland West Airport Knock is once again the proud sponsor of Sail Team Ireland West, along with Fáilte Ireland West, for the forthcoming BMW Round Ireland Yacht Race, Ireland’s premier offshore sailing event. Held every two years, Ireland West Airport Knock also sponsored the team in 2006 when they won the event in Class 1, just missing out on an overall podium place due to light airs at the finish. The launch of this year’s 700 mile non-stop race took place recently in Galway and the actual event will commence from Wicklow on June 21st. The participating crews are expected to be racing hard for five days and nights at sea. The event attracts entries from Ireland, the UK, France, Holland, USA and New Zealand, with Sail Team Ireland West drawn from Galway Bay Sailing Club.
Commenting at the launch Annette Kearney, Marketing and Route Development Manager, Ireland West Airport Knock said: “On behalf of all the crew at Ireland West Airport Knock, it’s a privilege for me to be here at , the launch of ‘Ireland’s West’ sail team challenge in the upcoming 2008 BMW Round Ireland Yacht race. The Airport is very happy to be associated with this wonderful adventure, now for the second time. Sail Team West did us all very proud in 2006 when, competing against over 35 entrants and after a marathon 136 hours of non-stop racing; they finished first in Class 1 and fourth overall. Although the Airport is associated with another mode of travel with ships of the sky, we are pleased to be a sponsor of this venture together with Fáilte Ireland, as we see ourselves with many similar interests. We have a common interest in generating tourism, including sailing tourism, to this region. It is important that this region harnesses its natural amenities (the wonderful Atlantic coast being one), its talented sports people and the enthusiasm that we have for outdoor and adventure leisure activities. The pursuit of sailing is such activity that can not only provide a sustainable tourism product for us to promote domestically and internationally.”
Brian Quinn, Fáilte Ireland West said: “As sailing moves into the spotlight in Galway, it’s great to be back as title sponsor of the team that performed so well in 2006, and we’re all hoping for a strong finish again this year”
Round Ireland solo sailor, Larry Hynes, has been instrumental in organising the Galway entry this year. Welcoming the sponsorship deal he said: “Getting to the start line can be the hardest part of an event like this but these great sponsors make it easier to concentrate on our performance on the water. We’ve been preparing for this race for six months, and this sponsorship deal allows us to enter the final phase of race preparation with confidence.”
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