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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

Four Short Stories is available as both an e-book and paperback. Described by the author as “a compact little number”, it has been sized as a unique jacket pocket travel read. The quirky cover illustrations are Tom’s, too, with colour by Latharna Press
Four Short Stories is Tom Jobling’s latest book. In it, he has moved a little way from his usual nautical fiction but still delivers a character-driven book of cringe-worthy humour balanced by tales perhaps too close to be comfortable. From…
The Ballyholme Yacht Club Icebreaker Series Race 6 on Belfast Lough
The Icebreaker Series has been running in the winter at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough since about the time the Laser dinghy was introduced to the Club by Ron Hutchieson and Trevor Millar in 1974. It was originally mainly…
FA2, Charlie McAllister  and Jeff Harrison's  Limbo 6.6 was the overall winner of the Antrim Boat Club Winter Series on Lough Neagh
The Antrim Boat Club Winter Series in north east Lough Neagh has been the premier event for the Club since 1969 and this year, with the blessing of the late Pat Kelly’s family, the club will award the Pat Kelly…
In 1953, Mantis was listed as number 14 in the BYC Regatta programme to a G Claney. Now she is lying in the Maghery Boat Restoration yard in the southwest corner of Lough Neagh
The 14-foot clinker-built dinghy has XIV on the stern, and it was sold to Paddy Prunty, ex Manager of Kinnego Marina on Lough Neagh, as a Ballyholme Insect class dinghy. In 1953, Mantis was listed as number 14 in the…
Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough situated on the south shore of Belfast Lough
The Turkey/Syria Earthquake Appeal prompted Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough in Northern Ireland to engage in a fund-raising effort by organising a raffle. The ticket holders proved very generous, and Harbour Master Kevin Baird was delighted with the response. "We're…
Ruan and Natasha O’Tiarnaigh from Ballyholme YC lead the GP14 Royal North of Ireland Spring Series sailed on Belfast Lough
The 12-strong GP14 fleet managed four races last Sunday (26th) in the Royal North of Ireland Spring Series, sailed on Belfast Lough, after missing the previous weekend due to adverse weather. After a fourth in the first race, Ruan and…
Mixed sailing cruisers gather for the 2022 Cockle Island BC  Regatta on Belfast Lough
Handicap systems are sometimes the stuff of controversy. So what will transpire when Belfast Lough Yachting Conference replaces the NHC system with the Royal Ocean Racing Club YTC (Yacht Time Correction) system remains to be seen. Cockle Island Boat Club…
Mayor Karen Douglas (centre) with conference organiser Moira O'Rourke (right) at  Bangor City Hall Chamber for the Surging Sea and Quiet Lough conference
A full turnout of Maritime Heritage enthusiasts from around Co. Down gathered last weekend in the Bangor City Hall Chamber for a Conference to hear eleven illustrated presentations on subjects ranging from 1000 years of the Strangford Ferry to new…
Squawk, Paul and Emma Prentice's Belfast Lough Sigma 33 will travel to the Scottish Series 2023
For many years, Northern Ireland has had several entries in West Highland Week, and hopefully, that will be the case this year. But so far (though the event isn’t till the end of July), of the fifteen listed entries, there…
There are free pancakes and refreshments on 21st February from 1100 till 1400 in the foyer at Bangor Marina
Did you know that Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and Pancakes is the perfect way to do this? Not that Kevin and the Bangor Marina staff on…
The Tall Ship Phoenix has been lying in Belfast Harbour for a year and is now offering the opportunity to take to the high seas on a famous old vessel, reports Belfast Live. Built in 1929 in Denmark, Phoenix carries…
The reconstructed Insect dinghy Grasshopper pictured in 2022
Insect dinghies are like buses. You wait for ages (in this case, years), and then two (or more) turn up at once. The exciting aspect of this is that Insect dinghies are over seventy years old and a testament to…
The Sonata is a well-known and much-loved cruiser racer in the Lough, as is the growing Impala fleet, which numbered 11 at EDYC early last year. 
East Down Yacht Club welcomes Impala and Sonata keelboats to a two-day combined racing event on the 27th and 28th of May. The club is situated near Killyleagh on the west side of Strangford Lough on a nine-acre site, including…
Skiffiefest 2023's schedule on Strangford Lough is for 33 races covering several age categories
A country park doesn’t readily come to mind as a venue for a weekend of St.Ayles Skiff racing, but Delamont lies on the shores of Strangford Lough near Killyleagh and has proved an ideal base for this activity in the…
The aim of the East Antrim Boat Club 'Ladies That Launch' initiative is to engage with existing female club members and get them back to dinghy sailing
A new ladies' sailing initiative at East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough in Northern Ireland got underway at the end of January when Ladies that Launch dusted off the wetsuits and had a fun afternoon trying to find the wind.…
The Foyle Punt evolved from the generic Donegal Punt and was the workhorse of fishing Communities along Lough Foyle. The craft was raced by their owners at local regattas along the shores of the Lough. A new punt will be built by student Orlagh Thompson at the Basque Maritime Heritage Association in Pasaia, Spain as part of her boat-building studies
The Portaferry and Strangford Trust (PAST) is a charity, based in Portaferry at the mouth of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, which aims to promote an awareness of the rich maritime heritage and natural environment of the Lough and the…
There are plans to develop an international watersports facility at a new-look Ballyholme Yacht Club and Watersports Centre
Bangor Waterfront Development will receive £40 million in funding as part of the Belfast Region City Deal. Ards and North Down Borough Council welcomed the news a year after the UK and NI Executive Ministers signed the first-ever City Deal…
Northern Ireland ice swimmer Grace McLaughlin
A County Down swimmer has broken a world record and claimed two gold medals at the ice swimming world championships, reports The Belfast Telegraph. Grace McLaughlin from Bangor defied freezing temperatures to triumph at the International Ice Swimming Association’s (IISA)…
Waszp sailors at Ballyholme (l to r )Luke McIlwaine, Daniel Corbett, Jeremy Tomalin, Matt McGovern, Mike Kimber and Rob Espey
It’s amazing what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. In September 2021 Rob Espey of Ballyholme Yacht Club bought a Waszp and at that time, his was the only one at the Club. Having a vision…
Stuart Cranston’s Ker 32 from Strangford Lough Yacht Club will compete again on Dublin Bay at July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2023
The first Northern Ireland boats to enter the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in July are Stuart Cranston’s Ker 32 from Strangford Lough Yacht Club and John Minnis’s Final Call II, an Archambault A35 from Royal Ulster on Belfast Lough. By…
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