Surprised and disappointed to hear this report about the Stockholm stopover.
In Galway, the VOR fleet could not have been more accessible. In fact, I feel like the only person in Galway who didn't get a spin on one. The teams were really adopted by the city; they seemed to feel at home and integrated into local life while they were here.
Everything just seemed to come together in Galway. The organisation was impeccable. The nightly free entertainment would have stood up as a very decent music festival. The fleet were right there in town, with many of the local boats rafted up close by them in view of the stage.
The welcome they got when they arrived was something else. Green Dragon of course got the biggest welcome when she arrived around 4AM, but there were thousands crammed into the Docks all night with 500 boats on the Bay and all the crews got a rockstar's welcome. Ken Read, who should be used to this kind of thing, said afterwards ""This reception is unbelievable. It's like sailing is a real sport." Of course, with E4 arriving just as the nightclubs were emptying, the scene was set for a great night.
The sun shone for the full 2 weeks. Galway Bay Sailing Club moved operations into the town docks and we ran our annual regatta from there with the VOR fleet usually in evidence out on the water. After the In-Port racing, Green Dragon cruised around spotting kids on spectator boats and plucking them off for a spin.
I could go on all night. Suffice to say that for 2 weeks Galway was an extraordinarily cool place to be, and since that first night things didn't let up until the emotional sight of the local boys along with E4 leading the fleet under spinnaker out of Galway Bay on a sleigh-ride to the Fastnet.
Better shut up now.