Gearing up for Northern Ireland's Biggest Watersports Festival
Northern Ireland will be welcoming avid fans of water-sports from across the UK and Ireland to the province this summer when the successful Waterways Ireland Riverfest event returns for 2012.
The Waterways Ireland Riverfest will commence at Christie Park, between the bridges in Coleraine for a sixth consecutive year on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of August. The event runs both days from 12:30pm to 6pm
Over the years this family orientated event has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the waterways and this year a full programme of water and land based activities is sure to entertain and engage, including Water-skiing, Jet-Skiing, Wakeboarding and Barefooting by a team of world-class athletes.
Following on from the success of previous years events there will be water based shows and competitions which will highlight the cream of Irish talent. Waterways Ireland Riverfest in Coleraine will have great shows from the Xtreme Action Team, headed by Ant Burgess, wowing the crowds with inverts of up to 20ft. There will also be the Waterways Ireland Wakeboard Open Championship, which will bring together the 30 best wakeboarders from all over Ireland, who will compete in a two round competition over the Saturday and Sunday of the event. Also in the line up is Caite Skelly, a 14 year old from Coleraine who will be barefoot waterskiing at over 40mph.
On-land activities will include climbing walls, bouncy castles and slides, laser quest, gourmet food stalls and live entertainment. At Waterways Ireland Riverfest there will be a large range of boats on display from Hanna Boats one of Northern Irelands largest boat dealers, providing a two day platform for boats and water sports enthusiasts to get up close with the latest innovations in the boating market.
New for this year we have teamed up with Dave Warner and Ben McMichael, from the world of Strong Men, to secure the All Ireland 90kg Strongman Grand Final, on Saturday the 11th and a Strong Woman Competition, where the female competitors will be raising money for the Pretty in Pink Breast Cancer Charity, on Sunday the 12th. These events will take place alongside the main water shows between 1pm and 5pm. The competitors will be lifting Atlas Stones, towing a 4x4 and boat and 200kg Squats and many more tests of strength and endurance.
Rob Skelly, owner of The Edge Watersports, in Coleraine and the event organizer said “The Waterways Ireland Riverfest has been a phenomenal success since we launched five years ago. For 2012, the line-up will be bigger and better cementing its reputation as one of the best water-sports events across the UK and Ireland. The natural waterway of the Lower River Bann provides a wonderful platform and backdrop for the magnificent displays.
Once again we are delighted to be working alongside Waterways Ireland who is as ever supportive and actively promoting recreational opportunities on the inland waterways and to Coleraine Borough Council I would also like to thank Hanna Boats for their invaluable support”.
Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Sam Cole said: “I am extremely pleased to be supporting the Waterways Ireland Riverfest in Coleraine. The event has grown in popularity and I am always supportive of sports and entertainment taking place in our lovely area. The River Bann is a great location and I look forward to welcoming more events for families to enjoy in the Borough.”
The main sponsor, Waterways Ireland, is the navigation authority which manages over 1000km of inland navigable waterways throughout Ireland, including the Lower Bann. Chief Executive John Martin said “The Waterways Ireland Riverfest is a tremendous event for all the family and it highlights the activities and recreational opportunities which can be enjoyed on the beautiful Lower Bann. Waterways Ireland is delighted to sponsor the event and we hope that the displays and performances will inspire visitors to get out on the water and experience the pleasure of boating and watersports for themselves.”
For more information, click here.