This unique water sport is in its third year and is set to attract more visitors than ever due to its fascinating historical background. In the past, the traditional Lough Erne cot was one of the most popular modes of transport for goods around Upper and Lower Lough Erne and some variations are still used today by farmers moving livestock between the islands of Lough Erne.
Fred Ternan, Chairman of Lough Erne Heritage commented: “This is an extra special year for the Lough Erne Regatta because it is the first time in the history of boat racing on the lough that a regatta is being held to find the champion from amongst the many towns and villages taking part.
“Lough Erne Cots form part of Fermanagh’s rich heritage and historical customs as they were used as a mode of transport by people living on the islands and as ferries on Upper Lough Erne until bridges were built in the 1930’s. Much of the materials for some of the county’s most notable buildings such as the Enniskillen Castle were brought in by Lough Erne Cot,” added Fred.
The cot races form part of the Festival Lough Erne which is taking place at Enniskillen Castle on 22 and 23rd September. The festival is perfect for foodies as it celebrates the very best of local produce as well as all the exciting things to see and do around Lough Erne and further afield around the county.
Not to be missed events include cookery demonstrations by well-known local chefs such as Glen Wheeler, chef and owner of Fermanagh’s newest restaurant 28 Darling Street, Marty McAdam, new Head Chef at Enniskillen Hotel and Stephen Holland, Executive Sous Chef at Lough Erne Resort among others.
Local artisan food and drink producers will be showcasing a range of products and live entertainment will go on throughout the weekend ensuring there is something for everyone.
Tanya Cathcart, Marketing Manager at Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism said:
“The Festival Lough Erne is one of the calendar highlights in Fermanagh and attracts more and more people each year. Last year 1,500 people attended the event and we’re expecting this year to be even bigger and better.
“We will be hosting lots of interesting and exciting events including the much-loved Regatta for Lough Erne Cots so why not treat yourself to a fun day out or even a weekend away to enjoy this really unique spectacle.”
Entry to the festival is only £2 per person and under 12’s go free.
For more information go to www.festivallougherne.com