NW Colleges Regatta Kick Starts 2018 Sailability Season on the Foyle
The NW Colleges Regatta took place at Foyle Marina on Wednesday, 2 May 2018, and was the culmination of a short training programme for students and staff with a disability from Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), North West Regional College (NWRC), National Learning Network (NLN), and Ulster University, Magee campus (UU).
LYIT's Raymond Gillespie with Barry at the NW Colleges Regatta.
Sixteen representatives with a disability from four colleges across the North West competed in the first ever NW Colleges Regatta, sponsored by Foyle Port. The weather was favourable and the wind conditions made for an exciting event. After four heats, it was a nail-biting final between Trevor (NLN), Caolan (NLN), Reece (NWRC) and Gary (NLN, Letterkenny). The final was that close that it was a photo finish that determined that Gary took line honours, narrowly beating Reece from NWRC. Smiles from all competitors confirmed that it was a satisfying day for everyone who took part.
Cathal MacElhatton, Foyle Sailability Chairman, said, “We have been delighted with the support and enthusiasm of the colleges when we first floated this idea back last year. We are grateful not only for their financial sponsorship but, more importantly, for providing participants for this unique event. We also would like to acknowledge the generosity and support of Fujitsu and Derry & Strabane District Council who have the opportunity to watch our sailors from the quay, Disability Sport NI and, as always, Foyle Port and Donegal County Council. This event was the perfect platform to launch our Sailability Season and it was a great boost to all our volunteers.”
Ken Curry, Secretary Foyle Sailability, concluded, “There was such a great buzz about the quay for the Colleges Regatta, not only from team supporters but from the general public also. We cannot function without the goodwill and generosity of others and we as a committee are extremely grateful for the tremendous support we receive. We look forward to seeing some familiar and new sailing faces in the coming weeks.”