Region has ‘proven track record in the hosting of major sporting events including World Rally Championship’
‘Proposed locations include Enniscrone, Rosses Point, Mullaghmore, Lough Gill…’
Sligo News File Online
Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has outlined his extensive contact with the world’s leading powerboat championship promoters inviting them to include an Irish Grand Prix based in the North West in 2016. The Extreme Catamaran, or XCAT World Series, currently has rounds in Australia, France, UAE and Portugal and is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
XCAT termed the number one world Extreme motorsport, features boats of 8.5 meters that can reach speeds of 125 mph. The current XCAT World Series sees fourteen of the best powerboat drivers in the world compete for the World title. It has a growing TV audience reaching in excess of 450 million homes worldwide.
“The North West has a proven track record in the hosting of major sporting events including the World Rally Championship which was the largest event ever hosted in Ireland with 250,000 spectators. If we can attract the XCAT World Series to the North West, it will allow us again to show global TV viewers this spectacular part of Ireland,” said Senator MacSharry.
“After researching the requirements for this prestigious event I have outlined a list of potential locations in the region in a detailed submission to the Dubai based World Series. The proposed locations include Enniscrone, Rossespoint, Mullaghmore and Lough Gill in County Sligo alongside Bundoran and Assaroe Lake Ballyshannon in County Donegal. Lough Allen in County Leitrim has also been put forward as a potential venue.
Mac Sharry was closely associated with the successful bids to host the 2007 & 2009 World Rally Championship in the region.
“I want to give us every chance for a successful outcome so I have pitched for a number of locations which seem to meet the criteria. We would all like it in our own village but what’s important is securing this for the region. My first contact with the XCAT World Series was in May this year and since then we have been in constant contact to progress the proposal to a point that the North West can be considered for a possible leg of the XCAT World Series in 2016.
“XCAT has a huge global TV audience, reaching more than 450 million homes in every corner of the world. It would be incredible if we were able to bring this World Series to the North West. The World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) who manage the series have acknowledged the interest of Ireland and the North West and will now carry out an assessment from a technical point of view on the most suitable locations. I expect to be able to bring officials from the World Series to locations in the North West within the next two months, to show them at first hand exactly what the North West has to offer.” said MacSharry.
Founded in 2008, XCAT has grown and grown into a World Series with growing global competition to host stages on the World Series.
“It is expected that a decision will be made by the World Professional Powerboat Association (WPPA) following sporting and technical assessments to be carried out. In the days ahead I will seek the support of the Minister for Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D., the local tourism authorities as well as Sligo County Council, Donegal County Council and Leitrim County Council in promoting the North West for this unique opportunity.
“Here in the North West we have shown how we can successfully host global events in the past and can do so again. This is a real opportunity to once again capitalise on the many hundreds of millions of TV viewers in promoting our region and just like before, I intend to do all I can to make it work,” concluded Mac Sharry.