Fair wind speeds tall ships to festival

Sat, Aug 18, 2012, 01:00

THIS YEAR’S Dublin Tall Ships festival may still be several days away, but no one told Greek god Aeolus, keeper of winds.

Several ships have arrived off the southeast Irish coast earlier than scheduled, availing of southwesterly gales on the course from La Coruña in Spain.

The start of the third leg of the race had been delayed due to the winds, but three ships crossed the finishing line off the Tuskar Rock lighthouse on Thursday.

One of the largest, the 90m Mexican barque Cuauhtemoc, is expected to berth in Dublin Port this weekend. The full fleet of over 40 ships, in four classes, will arrive at the port from mid-week, with the festival starting next Thursday morning and running until Sunday, August 26th.

The Naval Service yacht Creidne and Oysterhaven Marine’s Spirit of Oysterhaven are among the competitors, while there are some 140 Irish sail trainees on board a number of vessels, including the Jubilee Trust’s Lord Nelson, which is designed for people of mixed physical ability.

Other vessels with Irish crew listed on board include the Tall Ships Youth Trust brig Stavros S Niarchos, the British gaff schooner Johanna Lucretia, and German barque Alexander von Humboldt II, which is run by the Deutsche Stiftung sail training organisation.

Festival project manager Mary Weir said the Dublin Docklands had been transformed since the last Tall Ships festival in the capital, and advised visitors to the free event to use public transport.

The Undertones, Ryan Sheridan, Gerry Fish, Ash and Scullion are among some 55 music acts, while trapeze artistry, wakeboarding, and beatboxing are among the activities.

Satellite tracking of the fleet is on website sailtraininginternation al.organd the festival programme is on dublintallships.ie.