French yacht Groupama with Kerryman Damian Foxall on board sailed into Galway Bay early on Tuesday morning 3rd July to win the Volvo Ocean Race 2012.
Over 20,000 spectators braved the elements to witness the spectacle of the a flotilla of yachts and other boats which met the competing yachts and crews as they arrived. The first four competitors arrived within a space of five minutes, led by the New Zealand/Spain yacht camper. Groupama arrived second but maintained their lead to win one of the closest contests ever. The arrival in Galway is the culmination of a nine-month voyage through four oceans which started in Alicante in Spain in October 2011.
Galway was ablaze with bonfires and strobe lights to celebrate an event which is huge in the world of yachting and the party atmosphere is set to continue for some time as there is a whole festival of events scheduled for the week. Galway knows how to party and the Volvo Ocean Race is the first of three big festivals in the next few weeks. Galway Arts Festival is coming up on 16th of July closely followed by Galway races on 30th July.
The Volvo Ocean Race Festival ends on 8th July. The Programme includes parties with various celebrities, Yacht racing in Galway Bay, Food exhibitions, Music, dance theatre, fireworks and much more.
Download the full programme here.
The Galway Races ( Galway Festival Of Racing ) is an Irish festival that is famous as being one of the best horse-racing events in the world. It starts on the last Monday of July each year and is held at Ballybrit race course in Galway, Ireland, over seven days making it one of the longest race meetings in Ireland or Britain and combines Flat Racing and National Hunt, attracting some of the best horses from Ireland and Britain.
In racing circles, The Galway Plate is famous as one of the best and most exciting steeplechases in the world. It has been run for over 150 years and has been won by many famous horses. The first winner was a horse called Absentee in 1869. It is now run on a Wednesday and is by far the most popular race of the meeting.