Colourful boat race comes with a new 'tint'


THE “TINT” is returning in some style to Galway, but Fianna Fáil can only look on in envy and remember the halcyon days of Ballybrit. The drinking and dining this year is being done to swell the meagre coffers of the organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Hosting the final of the round-world yacht race is proving to be an expensive affair, even with almost €4.5 million in taxpayers’ money helping to keep the project afloat.

So whereas the 2009 Volvo stopover was a relatively free event for the public, the 2012 programme is a mixture of free and VIP events.

The soldiers of Nama, nostalgic for those heady days of the Fianna Fáil tint, will be cheered by the wide selection of “VIP hospitality packages” available. They range from a “platinum VIP dinner” at €175 a head, to an “executive VIP lunch” at €120, and an “on-water hospitality package” with champagne breakfast for €250.

By the way, we hear that Bertie Ahern recently passed his driving test. Maybe he might tootle across to Galway and put in an appearance for old times’ sake.

Venues for these affairs range from “VIP corporate vessels” to the “global village executive lounge” to the “race village executive lounge” and a “global arena” on Galway’s South Park.

What the brochure doesn’t mention is that the “arena” is a tent close to what is familiarly known as The Swamp.

A party will be held in the tint to greet the fleet when it arrives on July 3rd. VIP tickets cost a mere €65.

Security is expected to be somewhat tighter than that experienced by cheeky hacks ogling the happy developers who ruled Bertie’s shindig in Ballybrit.