Man Utd and Republic of Ireland star opens Tall Ships office in Waterford

14 May 2010

Man Utd and Republic of Ireland star opens Tall Ships office in Waterford
Seven-year-old Manchester United fanatic Ben Meagher with his hero John O’Shea as the Man Utd and Republic of Ireland defender opened an office in his native Waterford for The Tall Ships Races which will be held in the city from June 30-July 3, 2011. Ben is currently battling a life-threatening illness. (Photo: Dylan Vaughan)

Man Utd and Republic of Ireland star opens Tall Ships office in Waterford
Patron packages to see local businesses ‘climb aboard’


John O’Shea, Manchester United and Republic of Ireland defender, today (Fri) officially opened the riverside office being used by the team coordinating his native Waterford’s hosting of The Tall Ships Races 2011.
 
Over 500,000 Irish and overseas visitors are expected to generate a €35m economic boost for Waterford from June 30-July 3, 2011 as some 70 Tall Ships and their crews gather for the start of the annual race series presented by Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International.
 
The new offices in the former Fáilte Ireland premises at 41 The Quay, Waterford will allow the team driving the event to work from a single, easy to find location in the city centre.
 
Opening the office, John O’Shea said: “Everyone in Waterford still has great memories of 2005 when The Tall Ships Races were last here and it’s great that they are coming back next summer. The crowds bring a great buzz to both sides of the river and Waterford is an ideal sized city for this kind of event. It’s also a real plus now that the road network to get into and around the city is so much better.
 
“While the Tall Ships and the crews from around the world are the star attractions, the organisers are also clearly very ambitious about the entertainment that’s going to be on offer along the quays and around the city so it promises to be a great four-day party for everyone to enjoy.”
 
Meanwhile, details have been announced of patron packages that will see businesses climb on board in support of Waterford’s hosting of the international event.
 
Admiral patrons will provide €20,000 of support; Commodore patrons €10,000 and Captain patrons €5,000. Patrons at each level will be publicly recognised in the lead up to and during the event as well as enjoying hospitality at a patrons’ reception on board one of the visiting Tall Ships and at the Parade of Sail Family Breakfast as the Tall Ships sail out of Waterford. They will also have a range of branding opportunities connecting their business to the spectacle.
 
Colin Collinson has been appointed as sales executive and will be responsible for liaising with those interested in becoming patrons. The University of Limerick graduate has previously worked with Diageo and National Business Machines.
 
Des Whelan, Chairman, The Tall Ships Races 2011 (Waterford), said: “The patrons programme provides a great way for local businesses in particular to show their support for The Tall Ships Races in a tangible way that they get a great business return on right through to next summer and – particularly – while the visiting fleet is in port. It’s a challenging time in business but there’s a real recognition in Waterford of how valuable hosting The Tall Ships Races is to the city, the region and the country.”
 
With over a year to go before Waterford hosts The Tall Ships Races, four of the largest Class A tall ships have already indicated that they will be in Ireland for the start of next year’s race series.
 
The first Class A tall ship to outline their plans was Christian Radich (Norway) while Eendracht (Netherlands); Pelican of London (UK) and Mir (Russia) have also indicated they will include Waterford in their 2011 itineraries. At over 100 metres in length, Mir is one of the largest sail training Tall Ships in the world and will be returning to Waterford having also participated in 2005.
 
Other Tall Ships due to take part include Swan, a restored 110-year-old Scottish fishing vessel; John Laing, an Ocean Youth Trust ketch and ASTA, entered by the German Navy.
 
When they leave Waterford after the Parade of Sail on July 3, 2011, the tall ships will race around Ireland’s south, west and north coasts to Greenock, Scotland. Later, there will be a cruise-in-company from Greenock to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles. The second race in the series will then go from Lerwick to Stavanger, Norway from where the third and final race will bring the fleet to Halmstad, Sweden.
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