Galway in the first week in July is the final destination of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The round-the-world yacht race that is held every three years, with six teams competing for the prestigious award.
Beginning in Alicante back in October, the race is broken down into nine legs, covering Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Portugal and France before the final sprint finish to Galway. The route takes into account some of the most treacherous seas, and teams will sail in the region of 39,000 nautical miles (72,000 km).
Points are awarded depending on where the boat finishes, calculated by the number of entries by the number of boats beaten to the line. For first place this would result in 30 points, 6 (entries) x 5 (boats beaten), second place 25 points etc. There are also another 20% of points available for In-Port races, where spectators can get a much closer view of the racing action.
What makes this year’s race so exciting is that never before has the last leg seen four team still in contention for honours. Groupama sailing team lead on 219 points, ahead of PUMA in second place on 196 points, with CAMPER NZ and Team Telefonica a further five points adrift.
The penultimate leg from Lisbon to Lorient was the shortest leg of the race thus far, covering just short of 2,000 miles, but gale force low pressure from the North Atlantic ensured a rough journey. PUMA skipper Ken Read explains a major pitfall of such conditions. “It’s hard as a skipper sailing into a low pressure system that you know is going to be brutal from a safety standpoint. Even CAMPER helmsman Rob Salthouse, competing in his third Volvo, said that it never gets easier coping in the high winds. “It was dreadful. We were pushing man and boat to the limit for 48 hours. It was a great battle though, and that’s why we do this race”.
Galway is gearing up for the much anticipated race, with the spectator village, packed into 70 ready to assemble crates, arriving on Tuesday morning. With a 90 seater 3Dcinema showing highlights of the race, a Formula One style team zone, a carbon fibre simulator giving you an onboard experience and an academy aimed at aspiring sailors, there promises to be as much excitement on land as there will be at sea.
Maverick Sabre will headline the opening of the festival on the Main Stage on Saturday June 30.
Also performing as part of the festival will be The Stunning, Sharon Shannon, Ryan Sheridan, Hot 8 Brass Band, The Kanyu Tree, Túcan, The Deans, Stephen James & Band, The Amazing Apples with many more yet to be announced.
To buy tickets for any of the Finale on the 8th July click http://letsdoitglobal.ticketsolve.com/
Festival Finale Party at the Global Arena should be a great event, a host of music acts will grace the stage on the final night to bid farewell to the boats and bring a close to the Race and the Galway finale. From 7pm, a great mix of acts will bring the beats and the atmosphere to the final event of the festival.As the last hurrah, the Festival Finale is an event not to be missed!
For all other details click http://www.volvooceanracegalway.ie