16 May 2015
By David O’Sullivan
I love the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s a 2,500km tourist driving route marketed by Failte Ireland. The route uses existing roads on the Western Seaboard of Ireland, from Kinsale to Donegal. Last summer I drove the Cork section, and I spoke on local radio about the trip [listen to the 5 part series here].
Porsche Club Ireland have teamed up with Fáilte Ireland to send more than 50 Porsches the length of the Wild Atlantic Way, starting at Malin Head this Sunday (17th May, 2015), finishing up at the fifteenth Signature Discovery Point of Old Kinsale Head on Saturday, (23 May). The cars will travel over 2,000 kilometres along the West coast, visiting all 15 Signature Discovery Points, making it the longest ever ‘run’ undertaken by Porsche enthusiast’s club. The fleet of cars will take in much of the West Coast’s breath-taking beauty along the way including Sliabh Liag, Co. Sligo, Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo, Killary Harbour, Galway, The Cliffs of Moher, Loop Head, Co Clare, Dursey Island, Co. Kerry and Mizen Head, Co. Cork.
Porsche Club Ireland is the official Porsche club of the Republic of Ireland and currently has over 350 members. They hold a number of ‘runs’ (driving tours) across Europe each year, and this year they have chosen The Wild Atlantic Way as the backdrop of their 2015 driving tour which will extend across an unprecedented seven days as they travel from Malin Head, Co Donegal to Old Kinsale Head, Co. Cork.
Each leg of the trip will be co-ordinated by different drivers, all of whom are knowledgeable about the area and are experienced drivers. All drivers taking part in the ‘run’ has also been equipped with Wild Atlantic Way route maps and the 150 ‘Secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way’ guide ensuring they don’t miss a thing during their week-long trip. They will also wear Wild Atlantic Way signature jackets and each of the cars involved will carry a Wild Atlantic Way car livery in homage to the Porsche motorsport tradition and the excitement of driving the Wild Atlantic Way.
Speaking about the trip, Fiona Monaghan, Head of Wild Atlantic Way, Fáilte Ireland said:
“We are delighted to be able to support Porsche Club Ireland with their Wild Atlantic Run and assist them in sharing their experiences with car enthusiasts across the globe. Each of the drivers taking part in the ‘run’ will be well versed in all there is to see and do both on and off the route. Participants will have a certain amount of down time which they can use to explore over the course of the “run” and to find their own special Wild Atlantic Way secrets. They will also be well versed in how they can share their images and videos on social media so you can follow them as they travel of place to place.
“Classic motoring is a growing sector for tourism and this is the first of what we would hope to be many groups using the route to explore Ireland’s West coast. Since it was launched last year the Wild Atlantic Way is proving particularly popular with touring groups including cyclists and motor bikers, all of which are driving home the message that The Wild Atlantic Way has something for everyone.”
After a brief drive from Muff to Greencastle on Saturday (16 May) the ‘Wild Atlantic Way Run’ will officially begin at 12.00 noon at Malin Head Signature Discovery Point on Sunday, (17 May) where all the starting 14 cars will gather in convoy as they depart along Ireland’s longest touring route before finishing up at the fifteenth Signature Discovery Point of Old Kinsale Head on Saturday, (23 May). Each day’s start sees new cars joining the core group, with 41 cars finishing and ultimately 53 cars having enjoyed a day’s run on the Wild Atlantic Way during the course of this tour.
As well as being a unique event in itself, Fáilte Ireland will also be using imagery and footage of the ‘run’ to create compelling content to promote the Wild Atlantic Way overseas. To do so Fáilte Ireland has assisted Porsche Club Ireland to craft their itinerary and have provided them with significant digital support to assist them in sharing their experience with their substantial number of followers in the UK and US markets as well as with the wider ‘car enthusiast’ market. The drivers will also be tweeting and posting content online in real-time using the hashtag #wildatlanticway, generating conversation and engagement with the Wild Atlantic Way proposition.
Porsche Club Ireland was established in 1998 it currently has 356 members from 32 countries across the country. Speaking on behalf of the entire club about their choice of destination, Kieran Twomey, Southern Region Coordinator a member of the organising team and Porsche Club Ireland Steering Committee said –
“We are very excited to be embarking on such an extensive trip in Ireland. The Wild Atlantic Way was chosen above a number of other European destinations including France, Italy and Scotland because it provides such a unique and well-rounded experience. In fact, such is our enthusiasm for the route that we have extended the run to seven days so that we could take in all 15 Signature Discovery Points.
“The Wild Atlantic Way Run is one where every mile will give us a new smile and something different with every gear change – we expect the Wild Atlantic Way to be the Best Drive of All!”
If you can’t wait ’til next week to admire a Porsche, and hear the distinctive engine notes, then check out this video