This Bank Holiday May and early June, head to the beautiful heart of the Causeway Coast & Glens to Ballycastle and Rathlin Island for the fantastic Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival and a celebration of all things maritime!
The Festival has grown out of a number of conversations and events including the popular and successful Ballycastle Regatta of 2012, the first sailing regatta in the area in over 50 years organised by Ballycastle Marina.
This year, in addition to incorporating the Sailing & Boating Regatta, the Festival also includes a wealth of other maritime theme events, activities and attractions, with plenty happening on shore and off shore throughout, including a host of family friendly activities.
Events open in Ballycastle on 24 May and close on Rathlin on 2 June with the overall theme of inspiring a passion for the sea, as well as celebrating local culture, history, food, music, heritage and traditions.
The waters around Ballycastle and Rathlin offer a variety of some of the best and most challenging places for dinghy and yacht racing and both cruising yacht and dinghy races feature as a key part of the Festival.
Competitors will test their skills, speed and agility during the adrenaline rush of the Sailing and Boating Regattas in Ballycastle on the 25 and 26 May and on Rathlin on 01 and 02 June.
For non-sailors, these are still exhilarating and impressive events to watch from a spectator’s viewpoint.
Enjoy the buzz and thrill of the chase as the yachts and dinghies and their crews compete and jostle to take the lead and bring home the trophies.
Ballycastle Marina, Rathlin Marina, Coleraine Yacht Club and Cushendall Boating and Sailing Club will be working together to facilitate the cruiser and dinghy races off Ballycastle and Rathlin over the two weekends.
Traditional sea going craft visiting for the festival include dromtheims, the Colmcille currach and even visiting Viking longboats.
Two new currachs will be built in workshops running during the festival – and then raced off the shores of Rathlin at the end of the Festival.
For Festival and area information including the Festival programme and ticket details, visit www.heartofthecausewaycoastandglens.com, call Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre on 0282076 2024, like us on www.facebook.com/HeartofCCAG or follow us on twitter @heartofccag