Galway ahoy as An Post stamps Volvo finish
14th June 2012: The world is on its way to Galway as one of the premier sporting events, the Volvo Ocean Race, reaches these shores. An Post today (Thursday) celebrates that event with a nautically themed two stamp set.
An Post is issuing a set of two stamps designed by Steve Simpson, based on paintings by Vincent Killowry. The stamps, a First Day Covers and Minisheet are available from selected post offices, by calling 01 7057400 or online at (new window) www.irishstamps.ie.
The gruelling Volvo Ocean race started in Alicante, Spain in November and has now taken nine months, covering over 39,000 nautical miles, and will finish in Galway in early July.
Inspired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnson’s feat in becoming the first person to sail non-stop, and single-handedly, around the world in 1969, the then Whitbread Ocean race was launched in 1973. The race, which has since become known as the Volvo Ocean Race, is held every three years and is one of the most demanding sporting events in the world.
Crews have taken on some of the world’s most treacherous seas – around Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Auckland and Cape Horn and employed a mix of state of the art technology and old fashioned seafaring skills along the way. During the course of the race, crews endure temperatures that range from a numbing -5 to a searing +40 degrees and undergo prolonged hunger and sleep deprivation.
This is the second time the Volvo Ocean Race has hit Irish shores (Galway was a stage start in 2009) and this is the second stamp issue painted by Vincent Killowry. The (55c) stamp captures the tremendous competitive spirit of the race itself. A second special issue stamp (€3), is only available as part of a specially produced minisheet.