Ocean to City race kick starts the maritime summer festival atmosphere

ALMOST 500 rowers participated in an annual rowing race from Crosshaven to Cork city over the weekend which kick started the maritime festival atmosphere for the summer.

The Meitheal Mara Ocean to City race got under way from the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven at 11.30am on Saturday.

More than 100 crews took part in the race, with entries including Cork-born Joe Lane, entering his 6th race in a row, with his crew the Trinity House Rowers in their Thames River Cutter from England.

Clare man Anthony Sharkey – a former principal dancer with Riverdance, took to the waterways for his first Ocean to City race in a single kayak, and two Dragon boats captained by Fionnan Kerrigan and David Hackett participated as part of a fundraising initiative to raise funds for the Irish Society for MPS (Mucopolysaccharide Diseases).

The winner of the Ocean Race was Callinferry Rowing Club Seine boat crew, while West Clare Currach Club triumphed in the City race.

Siubhan McCarthy, event manager, Ocean to City, said the race was a huge success and the event continues to grow in numbers each year.

Padraig O’Duinnín, from Meitheal Mara, gave a boatbuilding demonstration at Lapp’s Quay on Saturday where he showed people how to build a currach.

There was also a food market with more than 30 local food producers present all day.

Ocean to City 2010 is Cork’s annual traditional 15-mile ocean rowing race and continues to grow in strength as one of Cork’s premier annual sporting events.

Ocean To City – An Rás Mór, is supported by Cork City Council, SECAD and Fáilte Ireland and is now well established in the annual calendar of city events.

* www.oceantocity.com

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