World Race winner Damian Foxall honoured

Released: 21 April 2008

Winner of the inaugural Barcelona World Race, Damian Foxall was honoured for his sailing exploits at a civic reception held by Kerry County Council on Monday, 21 April.

Derrynane man, Foxall, along with Jean-Pierre Dick, left Barcelona on November 11, 2007, and spent 92 days at sea, covering over 25,000 miles.

And in honouring Damien for his exploits, Mayor of Kerry, Michael Healy Rae paid tribute to the dedication, and mental toughness which helped him achieve his goal.

“The dedication needed to prepare for a race like this is enormous,” he stated. “In addition, the mental toughness that is needed to survive three months in a small boat, and to keep pushing forward to victory, can only be imagined.

“We must pay tribute to sportspeople of this calibre, and it is an honour that Kerry and Ireland are represented on the world sailing circuit by people of Damian’s calibre.”

In addition, the Mayor pointed to those left behind, Damian’s wife Suzy-Ann and their son Oisín. “To think that Oisín was just four months old when Damian started his race must have been very hard, both for Damian and for Suzy-Ann. In any walk of life, the support of your partner is crucial, and in this Damian is extremely lucky.”

County Manager, Tom Curran also paid tribute to the resilience shown by Damian and Jean Pierre, pointing to the fact that of the 18 boats that started the race, only five were able to finish.

“A race like this places unbelievable stresses on both boats and people,” he said. “To be able to withstand these pressures takes planning, and training, and it is clear that Damian and Jean Pierre were up to the task of both.

“We have a number of pioneers in Kerry who have written their names into the history books through their exploits, and Damian is certainly sure to follow in their footsteps. We in Kerry are proud of him and we are proud to honour him and his achievements.

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email: info@kerrycoco.ie

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