As reported in the Irish press over the weekend, Galway will host the final stop of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Galway withstood strong opposition from several rival cities in the official port bidding process to earn the right to host not only the finale but also the overall prize-giving ceremony.
At today’s announcement, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said:
“I am very proud to confirm Ireland’s participation and Galway will be a magnificent port to stage the finish of the event. We have already experienced the enthusiasm that abounds in Ireland for the race and we are looking forward to bringing the competition to its conclusion in a country that really knows how to celebrate.”
At a press conference to mark the occasion, Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen, said:
“The 2009 stopover in Galway made an abiding impression on the sailors, support crews, organisers and media, who were immersed in the warmth of an Irish welcome. Their presence, in turn, had an enormous beneficial impact on Galway, the west of Ireland and indeed the entire country. Their arrival here was spectacular and their visit helped generate a massive 55 million Euros for the regional economy, more than one third higher than the original projections. Given its economic benefits and its importance to Irish tourism, I am more than happy to welcome the return of the Volvo Ocean Race to our shores and pledge our support for the event.”