Ireland’s seafood development agency is backing the first female sailor from these shores, Joan Mulloy, in the Solitaire du Figaro race in late August.   

2018 BIM Figaro

Jim O’Toole, BIM chief executive with Joan Mulloy, Ireland’s first female entry in the Solitaire due Figaro race

Explaining the rationale of the sponshorship, Jim O’Toole, BIM chief executive, said the agency’s gastronomy seafod trail “ties Irish seafood production into Ireland’s tourism.”

Joan will act as a ‘Taste the Atlantic‘ ambassador and promote the trail, culminating in her appearance at the BIM seafood exhibition at the annual SeaFest in Galway (June 29-July 1). Visitors to this maritime festival will get the opportunity to board Joan’s yacht in Galway Dock. 

West coast childhood

Joan Mulloy grew up working on her father’s mussel farm in Clew Bay.

“Her knowledge of the seafood sector and her clear passion for the sea makes her sailing initiative a great fit for BIM and Irish seafood,” he added. 

Mulloy said competing in the event was “an honour” and would not have been possible without the support of BIM. While the race is foremost in her mind, Mulloy said she looked forward to exploring Ireland’s west coast:

“Having the boat in Galway for SeaFest is going to provide a really great platform to meet thousands of people and to tell them about solo sailing and Irish seafood – two of my favourite things!”

The race is split into four stages (2-4 days) covering roughly 1,500 nautical miles along the French coast and will take up to 13 days to complete.

Over 40 one-design boats are expected on the start line, the marjority of which will be skippered by top French sailors. Fewer than 15% of competitors are female.