Question: where will you find more than 120 sailors from over 18 different countries this August?
Not sure? Here are some clues:
- It’s a famous ‘siege’ town home to a military fort in the shape of a star.
- Grape lovers will know it as a ‘Wine Port’
- The centre of this harbour town is anchored (pardon the pun) by a castle nicknamed the ‘French Prison’.
- If something smells ‘Fishy Fishy’, it’s a good thing.
Guessed it yet? Course you have. It’s Kinsale, County Cork and from the 22-30 August it will be host to one of the biggest dates in the 2013 sailing calendar.
The Cork County Council International Federation for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) is just one of three world championships before the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is a high-octane competition on the high seas and Kinsale makes a postcard perfect backdrop.
And this isn’t just any sailing event: this is the first time the IFDS World Championships have been held in Ireland and it’s the first such event since the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Hopes for Team Ireland are high as 10-time Paralympian, and member of the ‘Providence Team IRL for Rio 2016’, John Twomey is competing in the Sonar class. Twomey is also the current President of the International Association of Disabled Sailing and his team is competing against the gold (Netherlands), silver (Germany) and bronze (Norway) medallists from London 2012.
Those attending are in for some tasty treats as Kinsale is the culinary capital of the southwest. Its annual Gourmet Festival has foodies flocking in their droves to sample the famous local seafood – none better than at the award winning Fishy Fishy Café.
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And it’s not just in October that the fine dining is confined to. Fresh catches of fish come in every day from the Celtic Sea and are rustled up into delicious dishes for dinner. Musician Sting was spotted eating in Kinsale when he was touring Ireland in July; clearly he couldn’t resist its seaside charms either.
Kinsale’s harbour will be busier than ever this week when the teams arrive to practice in the venue for the three Paralympic classes Sonar, Skud 18 and 2.4mR classes. And we wish them the best of luck!
West Cork’s wonders
Kinsale may be only 25km from Cork city but that short distance makes all the difference as it crosses over into West Cork. The area is a photo favourite, and with good reason. Think rugged landscapes, wild waters, and whale watching.
Though it may vary depending on the Corkman you ask, West Cork officially begins at Kinsale and runs in a westerly direction to Dursey Island at the tip of the Beara Peninsula.
Ask anyone where the action is during 22-30 of August, though, and Kinsale will be the only answer.