The countdown is underway to the LegenDerry Maritime Festival and things are about to get a whole lot livelier on the resplendent River Foyle.
The Festival is offering members of the public the opportunity to get wet and wild on Europe’s fastest flowing tidal river during the nine-day maritime extravaganza.
Foyle Paddlers Canoe Club will be holding taster sessions each day between June 21~29 to let you ‘paddle your own canoe’ under the expert eye of fully qualified coaches.
And, if that isn’t enough to ‘float your boat’, you can register to take part in the Moonlit Paddle on Friday, June 27, which promises to be a superb spectacle.
Enda Cummins, Club Participation and Development Officer with Foyle Paddlers, says it will be an unforgettable trip on the historic River Foyle.
Departing from Prehen Boathouse, the Moonlit Paddle will pass underneath both Craigavon Bridge and the Peace Bridge to where the Clipper Race yachts are moored at Foyle Marina.
The return trip around the various pontoons back to Prehen will give participants a birds-eye view of the riverfront by the light of the silvery moon!
Enda Cummins says: “It is beautiful to paddle underneath the Peace Bridge because the purple lighting is something you never see when walking across. The bridge totally changes in shape as you start to paddle under it.”
Enda, senior coach with Foyle Paddlers, said: “We hope to light up as many of our boats as possible”, with scenes reminiscent of the Lumiere event which took place during UK City of Culture 2013.
“The last time we did the Moonlit Paddle we took over 60 people, 40 of whom, had never been in a boat before, down Europe’s fastest flowing river during the Spring tide. This year we are going to carefully make use of the changing tide to paddle both directions.
“This is an excellent opportunity to see the city lights at night from the river. The surprising thing is that many people think the river is a dark environment to be in but it is actually quite bright. It is beautiful to see all the buildings as you glide effortlessly and gracefully past!”
Spectators watching the event from the banks of the Foyle can expect a stunning sight as the Paddlers take to the River Foyle in the heart of the city from 9.30pm-11pm.The Moonlit Paddle is now open for registration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-booking is essential as places will be limited. Family groups are welcome. All equipment is provided – just wear suitable outdoor clothing.
The LegenDerry Maritime Festival taking place across the city from Saturday, June 21 to Sunday, June 29, will be the biggest sailing event in Ireland this year and looks set to be the North West’s greatest party of 2014. For details of Festival events, visit www.legenderrymaritimefestival.com