Galway played host to one of the biggest crowds in Irish history with more than 100,000 people crammed into the seafront on Sunday to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race.

The event is believed to have generated about in excess of €43m ($61m) to the local economy.

The weather certainly helped. Ireland basked in a mini-heatwave this weekend with temperatures on a par with New York in the mid-70s.

The coastline from the Claddagh to Barna village was packed with people and 3-mile tailbacks forced many people to just abandon their card and walk.

The RAF put on a Red Arrow show in the sun-dappled skies as the world's sailing elite competed in the bay.

The Irish-Chinese entry "Green Dragon" struggled in the in-port competition but skipper Ian Walker said the crowds were amazing.

"Even from where we were, out on the bay, it was quite amazing to look back at the crowds that lined the shore," he said.

Organisers Let's Do It Galway say 110,000 spectators attended Saturday's events alone and that they expect to break the forecast attendance of 140,000.

And in Salthill on Saturday, there were so many people that a serious attempt was launched to enter the Guinness Book

of Records for the biggest ceili.

Now that would be some session of the Siege of Ennis!