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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Betty Armstrong

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

Mana (ITA), owned by Riccardo Pavoncelli
Bangor's Mikey Ferguson has come a long way since he learned to sail at a young age in Ballyholme on Belfast Lough. Racing with the MOD70 experts, Brian Thompson and Peter Cummings on board the Riccardo Pavoncelli owned MOD70 Mana…
Ryan Seaton (right) from Ballyholme Yacht Club competing with Seafra Guilfoyle in Austria
Northern Ireland sailor Ryan Seaton from Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough, took to the water at Lake Attersee, Austria, earlier this month to battle it out at the Europeans with the other half of his 49er duo Seafra Guilfoyle…
Laser dinghies at Strangford Sailing Club
RYA Northern Ireland is giving sailing and boating clubs across the country the opportunity to access support for club membership and development by providing 'Rediscover Sailing Days'. Following lockdown and a challenging few months, many clubs have seen increased interest…
Lough Neagh rescue lifeboat
Yesterday (Sunday 18th) Lough Neagh Rescue came to the aid of a Bayliner speedboat with one person and a dog on board in the vicinity of Rams Island on the Lough. The vessel was experiencing engine difficulties. Rams Island is…
Larne Lough and East Antrim Boat Club
As a result of the new NI Executive Covid restrictions announced on 14th October, East Antrim Boat Club at Larne has cancelled the Topper Northern championship event scheduled for 24th and 25th October. The EABC Covid team said, "The organising…
RYA NI Latest Advice Leads to Cancellation of Ballyholme Icebreaker Series Racing
Less than 24 hours after posting that the Icebreaker event run by Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough, could take place on the scheduled date (tomorrow Sunday 18th), the club has had to cancel racing. Rear Commodore Rob Milligan informed…
Mikey Ferguson is racing on the Mana MOD70 crew
Mikey Ferguson from Bangor on Belfast Lough was looking forward yesterday (16th) to getting going on the MOD70 Mana in the 41st Edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race which started today from the historic Grand Harbour in Malta's capital…
Lydia Millar afloat and enjoying her university sailing
Lydia Millar, a final year student at Queen's University Belfast, joined the university's sailing club to help improve her mental health. Describing herself as 'an emotional sponge,' Lydia believes that no matter how cold you may get on a winter…
The scene at Skippingstone Beach
Skippingstone Beach is a popular swimming venue a short distance to the west of Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough and sadly was the scene this morning (13th October) of a fatality. It is only a few hundred yards from the…
Topper dinghy sailing at Ballyholme Yacht Club
Way back in the mid -70s the well-known and recently retired Bangor sailor who was Chair of Irish Sailing's Racing Rules & Appeals Board, Ron Hutchieson, introduced Laser dinghies to Ballyholme Yacht Club and persuaded the now SailCoach head, Trevor…
East Antrim's Tom Jobling Has a third Novel Out With a Nautical Backdrop
This is Thomas Jobling's third novel and as with the preceding books, Chasing Shadows and Arthur's Dead has a distinctly nautical backdrop which I suspect comes easily to a writer who was born and lived by the sea. Tom (as…
Lough Neagh Lifeboat Rescues Two on Yacht with Mechanical Difficulties
Last Sunday (4th October) Lough Neagh Rescue Lifeboat was tasked to two people stranded on Coney Island as their vessel had mechanical issues. Coney Island is owned by the National Trust and lies in the south-west corner of Lough Neagh…
GP14 Hot Toddy racing - this year's event at EABC has been cancelled
An important GP14 event, the Hot Toddy, first saw the light of day in the early eighties when the then GP14 Association of Ireland charged their East Antrim Boat Club based fleet with the creation of a new and suitable…
Brent Geese arriving on Strangford Lough
Strangford Lough is world-famous as the main arrival site for most of the migrating Canadian population (up to 80%) of pale-bellied Brent geese. Every autumn thousands of these birds leave their breeding grounds in eastern Canada and travel to Ireland…
Timothy Long is congratulated by Ellen McArthur on the Isle of Wight
Fifteen-year-old sailor Timothy Long spent his summer on a 1,600 nautical mile anti-clockwise voyage around the British coast. Now he has broken the record of Tom Webb, who sailed around Britain aged 17 in 2011. Timothy, from Aylesbury, has become…
Brian Osborne's 1973 Mirror dinghy
Brian Osborne last sailed a dinghy in 1989 on the River Thames near Hampton Court so returning to a small boat this season on Lough Erne was something of a revisit for him. Brian bought a classic 1973 Mirror dinghy…
Ben Graf (53053) Lough Ree and Jack McDowell (54847) Malahide YC
Much to the satisfaction of RYA Northern Ireland and Ballyholme Yacht Club, splitting the 89 strong Youth Sailing Championship fleet over two days to mitigate risk in accordance with COVID – 19 guidelines, allowed the event to run smoothly with…
Lufra winning the 1944 Menagerie Race at Ballyholme
It's 76 years since the Lufra Cup was first presented to the winner of Ballyholme's Menagerie Race, a pursuit event run traditionally to mark Closing Day when there was no such thing as Winter, let alone Autumn racing in Belfast…
All Change in £40m Plan for Bangor Waterfront on Belfast Lough
Bangor on Belfast Lough is hoping to secure through Ards and North Down Borough Council, around £40m from the Belfast City Regional Deal to fund the Bangor Waterfront Development and will submit the Outline Business Case to the Belfast Region…
Timothy Long's Alchemy in Pwllheli
As reported in Afloat.ie on 1st September here, fifteen-year-old solo sailor Timothy Long from Buckinghamshire is fundraising for the Ellen McArthur Cancer Trust by sailing solo around Britain, a distance of approximately 1600 miles. In his Hunter Impala 28 'Alchemy'…
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