Countown to SeaFest 2012

Sea and land lovers will converge on Rathmullan and Lough Swilly for the solstice weekend of June 22–24 and the second SeaFest Lough Swilly.

The non-profit event, billed a celebration of our coastal environment on the water, on shore and at the table, will provide a unique opportunity for first timers to sample the delights of windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling and sea kayaking.

Those preferring ‘terra firma’ can enjoy traditional vintage fairground games, the local produce of the Donegal Country Markets, crafts from Donegal Designer Makers, and musical highlights that include an appearance by the highly successful Henry Girls from across Lough Swilly as well as the US-based Hillfolk Noir.

Lovers of good food can expect a spectacular menu of local ingredients that includes Mulroy Bay oysters, spit-roasted Donegal organic pork, Rathmullan Coddle, Good Food Road Food Irish Stew, Lough Swilly Mackerel, pizzas from the wood-fired oven, and an assortment of Irish craft beers.

“SeaFest Lough Swilly is an event for everyone,” explained Mark Wheeler of Rathmullan House, one of the organisers.

“For sailors and watersports enthusiasts, be they experienced or novice; for families in search of something active to do with the kids; for people who simply take pleasure in being at the seaside; and of course for everyone who enjoys good local food.”

The festival begins on the evening of Friday, June 22, with the running of the ever-popular Rathmullan 5km.

Afterwards, long-distance swimming legend, Anne Marie Ward, will lead the traditional blessing of the boats accompanied by uplifting spirituals from the Columcille Gospel Choir.

On Saturday, June 23, the action kicks off in earnest with a Kids Triathlon and a Try-a-Triathlon for adults.

Saturday also sees the second annual running of the Saldanha Cup, a traditional keelboat sailing regatta commemorating the loss of the frigate, the HMS Saldanha.

Seafest is organised by a non-profit local community group and all proceeds from the weekend will be used to support local charitable groups and projects.

For the full programme check out www.seafestloughswilly.com