PREPARATIONS are well under way for the 2022 Ocean to City Youth Race.
On June 4, the city quays will ring out with the cheers of spectators, the cries of coxswains, the beat of drummers, the splash of the oars, and the whoops and hollers of relief as rowers and paddlers cross the finish line.
The Ocean to City Youth Race, open to 12-18-year-olds, is organised by Meitheal Mara as part of its Bádóireacht youth programme.
Approximately 60 young people will compete in the race next month.
While some of them have been rowing with Bádóireacht for several years, many of them began learning to row in March or April of this year.
Alex Denby of Meitheal Mara said: “Over the past eight weeks, young people have attended weekly rowing sessions with us where they have learned how to row and have gradually taken more and more responsibility in the boat until they are comfortable with steering, manoeuvring, and berthing the boats themselves.
“It is incredible to see these young people grow in confidence before your eyes as they gain skills and start to appreciate their own capabilities.”
The ethos of Bádóireacht is to provide access to the water and to water activities for young people that may not otherwise have the means or the opportunity to do so.
Bádóireacht has played a particularly significant role for the young people of Cork over the past two years.
Bádóireacht youth programme manager Clare Hayden added: “As a non-contact, outdoor activity for young people, our rowing programmes have provided a chance for young people to come together with their friends and peers in a safe, socially distanced environment.
“Our young participants have been able to stay physically active, to socialise with friends, while gaining rowing and seamanship skills.
“The Ocean to City Youth Race will be a recognition of their achievements and a cause for celebration in its own right.”
This year, the Ocean to City Youth Race is sponsored by Glenveagh Properties.
“We at Glenveagh are thrilled to be supporting the launch of the Ocean to City Youth Race today,” said Glenveagh marketing manager Martin Clancy.
“It is amazing to see how much work has gone into the preparation for this race to date and Glenveagh is delighted to be able to help provide an event that celebrates the young people in the community.”
The 4km Ocean to City Youth Race will run from Blackrock village to Lapps Quay in the city centre and will take place alongside the main Ocean to City Race on Saturday, June 4.
Ocean to City is the flagship event of Cork Harbour Festival, taking place this year from the June 3 until June 13.
The full Cork Harbour Festival programme will be announced in mid-May.
For full details see corkharbourfestival.com.