About the organisers
Ocean to City is organised by Meitheal Mara, a community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The organisation which is focused on the building and repairing of traditional currachs and wooden boats, also provides a wide variety of community groups with training in currach building and woodwork, as well as the chance to enjoy the freedom and pleasure of being on the water.
Meitheal Mara, which translates to ‘Workers of the Sea’, also undertakes regular river cleanups and works hard to promote the infrastructural and recreational development of the River Lee and Cork Harbour.
With so many different activities taking place throughout the year, Meitheal Mara’s Ocean to City has become a real gathering of the ‘community of the sea’; a chance for our youth and community groups to row their boats in front of thousands of spectators, and a true flagship event celebrating Ireland's unique maritime culture and heritage.
An interesting fact - if you see any currachs in the international TV-hit, Game of Thrones, they are probably ours!
Your support of Ocean to City helps Meitheal Mara progress and achieve everything we stand for. Our sincerest thanks for your support.
About the Ocean to City Festival
Ocean to City - An Rás Mór is Ireland's friendliest rowing race and maritime festival attracting thousands of spectators each year. Taking place in Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world, Ocean to City is a true flagship event celebrating Ireland's unique maritime culture and heritage.
The highlight of the festival, An Rás Mór (''The Big Race''), draws hundreds of participants from all over the world competing in everything from traditional wooden boats, currachs, gigs and longboats to Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and canoes. More than just a race, An Rás Mór represents a personal challenge, a shared effort and a coming together of people who love these waters and love their boats.
The Ocean to City Maritime Festival offers something for everyone. Watch our spectacular fleet of boats from the many vantage points along the race; then come aboard our harbour cruise; try some rowing and see the city like you've never seen it before; put together a team for our dragon boat challenge, or get creative with your children in our model boat competition! Many free family events available throughout the week.
Celebrating its 11th anniversary in 2015, the festival promises a maritime experience like no other. Whether you want to watch, try it out, take part or simply soak up the festival atmosphere, don't miss this year's Ocean to City!
Since 2005, the development of Meitheal Mara's Ocean to City Maritime Festival has grown to reflect the re-awakening of a unique boating culture that has been part of Ireland's history for a long, long time.
Originally, Ocean to City consisted of a rowing race (called "An Rás Mór" i.e. The Big Race) that embraced the use of the traditional celtic currachs. These currachs were used for ocean and river fishing, for ferrying and for the transport of goods and livestock, including sheep and cattle.
Today, currachs are also used for sport and racing. Nationally the sport thrives, with many regional fixtures and clubs including Naomhóga Chorcaí, West Clare Currach Club, Cumann na gCurrach, etc. The sport has also taken off abroad with many clubs in the USA and Europe.
This has been supported by the growing interest in traditional boat building by individuals, organisations and charities including Meitheal Mara, Gael Linn and Dingle Currach, whose aims are to maintain boat building heritage and craftsmanship skills.
An Rás Mór now caters for a variety of traditional & non-traditional rowing boats and attracts hundreds of participants annually.
Developed as an extension to the Rás Mór, the Ocean to City Maritime Festival has grown into a unique cultural, sporting and heritage event. It reflects the same set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterises Meitheal Mara and the many world-wide supporters.
The festival aims to engage participation through boat building demonstrations, youth racing, model boat building, photography, exhibitions, traditional music, heritage boat trails and the Cork Harbour Summer School which inspires and triggers action in policy and research through tourism, industry and sustainable practices.
The Ocean to City Maritime Festival remains unique to Ireland and to our heritage as an island folk. It is anticipated that the festival will continue to grow with the optimism, expertise, skills & creativity of it's team which in turn will attract visitors and animate Irelands cultural, sporting & heritage traditions.