Late in 2022 the team attended an excellent Tourism Workshop hosted by DLR Tourism where Dun Laoghaire Port Operations Manager Tim Ryan announced a new festival for Dun Laoghaire. Coastival was launched to co-inside with Dun Laoghaire Regatta to make the event more accessible to the public and attract people to the town.
It was a roaring success and something we were thrilled to take part in. The watersports and marine aspect of Dun Laoghaire harbour have stayed somewhat hidden from the wider public – there’s still a perception that boating isn’t for all – and any initiative to help promote the marine activities is very welcome.
There were a huge range of events, displays and activities organised by a wide range of organisations and businesses in the area. We were delighted to host a special open weekend – with try sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding activities. We also worked with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Sports Partnership to get groups of adults and children out kayaking and paddleboarding (one such group pictured with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Cathaoirleach Dennis O’Callaghan who saw a family kayaking excursion off).
Onshore we hosted an special talk in the DLR Lexicon sharing our experiences in getting children involved in watersports and what keeps them at it.
We also teamed up with our friends in Pure Magic to host a special wing foiling demonstration event and BBQ for all the southside wing and kitefoilers. Video here
Overall, it was a great initiative. The town was packed with people and it was very welcome to see a wider audience than what would typically attend Dun Laoghaire Regatta in the town. The whole team here at the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School would like to commend the team in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown for establishing the festival and we are in full support of the event continuing and we’ve an even larger schedule of events planned for next time.