28 MAY – 1 JUNE 2014

Celebrating ten years, the Ocean to City Maritime Festival returns for the ultimate oceanic urban experience and a programme of exciting events for the June Bank Holiday Weekend.

Taking place in the environs of Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, Ocean to City is a true flagship event celebrating Ireland’s unique maritime culture and heritage. Ocean to City offers something for everyone; from cheering on the spectacular fleet of boats at the many vantage points along the race, to a variety of boat trips, harbour tours, surf and sail tasters, kayak excursions, films, markets, music, craic and free family entertainment. This year’s festival programme is full of opportunities for the people of Cork to get out on the water and get a taste of maritime culture.

Kicking off this Saturday 17 May, as a pre-festival fundraiser, is the 3rd Inter-firm Dragon Boat Challenge – watch the River Lee come to life to the beating of drums, the splashing of paddles and the laughter of crews, such as Apple and Musgraves, who are competing for the much-coveted Dragon Trophy.

The festival offers a dramatic new way to explore the city with Corkumnavigation, Meitheal Mara’s tidal guidebook exploring the 29 bridges and 8 weirs around the central island of Cork. Water thirsty folk can also enjoy the River Lee Kayak Expedition – paddling along the city quays and out to Blackrock Castle to see the city from a different view. All throughout the festival there are also lots of sailing, sea kayaking, surfing and power-boating tasters on offer for those seeking adventure.

Land-lovers will also enjoy some of the festival’s more specialised events; Currach Exhibition Uisce agus Adhmad and the City to Ocean – Cruise of Cork Harbour or a Jaws Movie Night aboard the Bryan J. Kids especially will enjoy Cllr. Kieran McCarthy’s Make a Model Boat project, which is back on the June 1st at Cork’s Lough. Last year over 60 boats were submitted and this year promises all sorts of weird and wonderful creations.

The highlight of the festival, the 28km Ocean to City race An Rás Mór, takes place on Saturday May 31st. Now in its tenth year, it has grown from its origins as a race for traditional fixed-seat boats into an all-inclusive rowing event; embracing everything from traditional wooden working boats, currachs, skiffs, gigs and longboats to contemporary ocean racing shells, kayaks and canoes. The race attracts about 500 participants annually and this year includes crews from England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Spain and Canada.

For the big race day, Cork city and Harbour are awash with activities of all sorts. Spectators can follow the spectacular fleet of boats by bicycle, by boat or from the finish line at Lapp’s Quay. Join a group of cyclists heading to Passage West for a first glimpse of boats; or stay close to the action and hop aboard the classic schooner Spirit of Oysterhaven to accompany the race through Cork Harbour.

Plan your race day with a stop along the route and some free family entertainment at one of the prime vantage points; visit the festivities at Cobh’s promenade, at the Passage West Picnic or watch the Youth Race set off with celebrations at Blackrock Castle. The finish line at Lapp’s Quay will be a big party with live broadcasts and updates from the “Stream Team” along the route, a street market, Naval Tours of the L.E Aisling, kayak demos, street spectacle, music and much more.