Riverfest Success Continues

Photo by Jennifer Reddin

Dublin Riverfest 2017 is already a fading but beautiful memory for the many visitors who made their way to what has become a major celebration of sailing and maritime activities in the city.

Once again the festival, now in its sixth year, saw the River Liffey come alive with activity from the Samuel Beckett Bridge, along the North Wall Quay and right through to Dublin Port and into Dublin Bay.

The incredible Thundercats UK headlined the event this year. They treated the thousands of thrill-seekers who came to see them in action to some serious display racing, as each two-man crew rocketed their inflatable catamarans – powered by a 50hp motor – along the river.
A specially built grandstand in front of the CHQ Building gave the best views of the action and needless to say it was packed for every performance to view these fearless sportsmen. When they weren’t wowing the spectators with their boatmanship, the ThunderCats and their team could be found relaxing at Base Camp, which for the duration of the festival was the Poolbeg Yacht Club.
Thundercat Racing has become of the most thrilling water sports of the twenty-first century and Dublin fans will be happy to hear that plans are afoot to bring the sport to Ireland in the near future.

Also present at Riverfest were eight tall-ships which berthed along North Wall Quay. These were open to the public free of charge for the duration of the festival and saw a steady stream of visitors who were treated to tours of the ships by their international crews.
Other highlights of the weekend included jet-pack displays, sailing races, powerboat displays and lifesaving demonstration.
There were plenty of ways for members of the public to get on the water too, including river ferry trips and cruises, boat tours of Dublin Port and Dublin Bay, ‘Try Sailing’ sessions on both sailing dinghies and keelboats, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) sessions and kayaking trips with City Kayaking, which were discounted for the weekend and much in demand.

For those who prefer to keep their feet dry – thank you very much – there was lots to enjoy along the banks of the river, including multiple Family Zones with free activities such as zip lines, rock climbing, street performers, music, fun fair attractions, face painting, pirate re-enactments and children’s art & circus workshops.
And of course there was plenty of delicious, and surprisingly affordable, international street food available from the open-air food and craft market, delivered by Irish Village Markets.

All in all it was a fantastic celebration of the river and it was good to see Dublin become a maritime city once again. We need more of that!

by Jennifer Reddin