Following from last year’s successful amalgamation of the Ocean to City and Cork Harbour Open Day, this year’s festival presents a bold and bright carnival of maritime culture.
The festival kicks off with its flagship event, Ocean to City – An Rás Mor, over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Cork Harbour plays worthy host to this celebrated boat race, now in its 12th year. Ocean to City has anchored itself as a premier event in Irish and international rowing. From its origins as a traditional fixed-seat wooden boat race, it has grown into an all-inclusive rowing event, attracting crews from around Europe.
While viewing the spectacle is a great day out in itself, getting people out to enjoy the water is a central ambition of the organisers, Meitheal Mara. Festival Manager Joya Kuin says “Festival week presents lots of opportunities to get active regardless of your level of experience. You can kayak around the city, day or night, for a truly memorable experience. There’ll be stand up paddle boarding tasters in town, our fantastic Boats and Bites event, or you can venture out along the harbour to try surfing, coasteering, crab fishing, or sailing!”
The festival will bridge the distance from city to sea through a programme that inspires people to get out and discover the region. Cork Harbour spans a distance of 22km from Roches Point to Cork City, and has centuries of stories embedded in its natural and built environment. “We will be bringing some of those harbour stories to life during the week through film, song, lectures, exhibitions, discovery days and tours.”
Cork has been a working port and harbour for centuries and supports an increasingly diverse range of uses from tourism and leisure, to research, defence and commercial projects. Cork Harbour Festival invites young and old to learn about these different sides of harbour life in a unique and engaging way, whether a visitor to these shores or a long time Leesider.
Registration for Ocean to City, the Rebel Plunge, the Interfirm Dragon Boat Challenge, Make a Model Boat Project, and the RNLI Raft Race is currently open online. Tickets are also on sale for the screening of the documentary River Runner at Cork Opera House.
The full festival programme of over 50 events will be released on May 10th. For updates see http://www.corkharbourfestival.com
Cork Harbour Festival 4 – 12 June