Last week the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 came to Galway. To say Galway put on the biggest party is a bit of an understatement. The city partied all week. It was a huge event and I have to say those involved really pulled out all the stops. There were non-stop events running daily from sailing demonstrations, boat trips, cookery shows, fashion shows, to free concerts to name but a few. This is the second time that the Volvo Ocean Race has come to Galway. Apparently they were so amazed by the great welcome they got last time, they decided they had to call again.
Over 20,000 people lined the docks in Galway to welcome the teams in at 2am last Monday night. Once they reached Galway bay, the teams were greeted by bonfires on the Aran Islands and along the coastline, lighting their way in to Galway city. Fireworks were released in the docks area of the city when each team passed the finish line.
We visited on Tuesday night, when the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins officially opened the celebrations. My kids were very excited and wanted to see Michael D. in person, so we got right up close to the stage.
After Michael D had said his few words – and being Michael D. there were a fair few words – The Saw Doctors came on stage and played a free concert for the crowds. Years ago when Michael D. was a university lecturer in Galway, one of his students was Leo from The Saw Doctors. Little did they know back then that they would share a stage all these years in the future, with Micheal D being President of Ireland, and Leo being a member of one of the most successful bands to come out of the west of Ireland.
Makes you think, doesn’t it? Nobody knows what the future holds.
I’m so glad we went to Galway that evening to get a taste of the celebrations. We did hesitate about going as the weather was supposed to be wet and miserable, but lucky for us the rain cleared so we got to enjoy it all without getting wet. I really hope the Volvo Ocean Race comes our way again. It is a huge big deal for Galway and a great boost for us all.
For more information on the Volvo Ocean Race: www.volvooceanracegalway.ie