Youghal’s Tourism Industry received a welcome boost over the weekend (16th – 18th August 2012) as over 400 Gold wing motorbikes from over 23 countries including the UK, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Bulgaria for the 28th International Goldwing Treffen (Gathering). Goldwing motorcycles are considered to be the ultimate in touring motorcycle.
Capitalising on the influx of visitors the event would inevitably bring to the town, local man Paddy Crowley; himself a Gold wing owner along with representatives of Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Development organised a series of events to celebrate the bikers’ inaugural visit to the town.
Speaking about the weekend, Youghal Chamber Director Seamus Curran stated: “It was a great honour that the Goldwing Owners Club of Ireland selected Youghal as their location for the 28th International Treffen. This was mainly due to the hard work of local man Paddy Crowley. The ‘Treffen’ – as it has become known locally, was a timely boost to Youghal’s Tourism industry. All of the accommodation in the area completely booked out. Restaurants, shops and bars also benefited greatly having such a large number of visitors here. We are looking forward already to welcoming them all back again in the future.”
After a couple of wet and windy days the rain finally cleared on Friday night with large crowds lining the streets to watch the motorcycles take to the streets of Youghal for a ‘Parade of Lights’. Spectators saw various styles of luxurious ‘Gold wings’ light up the town with a most amazing display of lights on show.
Saturday brought an action-packed day, with the sun shining from early morning, and hundreds of people sampling the culinary delights that were on offer at the ‘Food of Nations’ and craft market. However, the major event of Saturday was the ‘Parade of Flags of Nations’ where spectators were able to catch a glimpse of the amazing sight of over 400 Gold wing motorbikes each flying their own nations flags. The bikes then parked up for a couple of hours in Nealon’s Quay Car Park where biking enthusiasts had the opportunity to get a close up look at these amazing bikes.
Other events included a sandcastle and crab catching competition, street music with local band Jaded and Bobby Lee & friends, face painting and rodeo bull, bouncy castles, with even Mickey and Minnie Mouse making it a real family day out and joining in the fun.
The bikers and spectators were treated to some great entertainment themselves for the afternoon with some street music from the ‘Red Bull Dodge Truck’, a joint air sea rescue display with the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter and the Youghal lifeboat. A number of the bikers then put their skills to the test and took part in a ‘Puc Fada’ to sea, with some of the bikers seen taking a ‘hurley holding’ lesson before the contest!
Events concluded with a formal gala dinner and presentations in Youghal GAA Club on Saturday evening, 18th August. The venue played host to many of the motorcyclists over the weekend.