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Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

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.

Excession was one of two Northern Ireland yachts in the 2021 Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race
"Brutal" said the Harrington, O'Tiarnaigh, Mulholland trio in the IMX 38,eXcession, after the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race; "fantastic – a great collective learning curve," said Shaun Douglas in the First 40.7 Game Changer. eXcession had an excruciatingly long passage…
The scene at Rathlin Island as yachts moor at the island marina for the start of the 2021 St.Kilda Challenge organised by Ocean Sailing Scotland
Rathlin is Northern Ireland's only inhabited offshore island. It has a population of about 150 and lies opposite Ballycastle on the world-famous North Antrim Coast. Today (9th June) the marina in Church Bay is buzzing with yachts raring to start…
The IMX 38 eXcession, under the triple ownership of John Harrington, Ruan O'Tiarnaigh and Jonathan Mullholland
The National Yacht Club's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race which starts on Wednesday, 9th June should go some way this season to compensating two Belfast Lough boats for the cancellation of the Bangor Town Regatta. The IMX 38 eXcession, under…
The Topper Nationals scheduled for August at Ballyholme have been cancelled
Ballyholme Yacht Club would have relished hosting the Topper Nationals in August, but sadly this event has suffered the same as the Worlds in Cork and been cancelled. The joint Organising Authority for the 2021 Topper National Championships has been…
The award is for the best performance in the Scottish Series by a boat-based outside Scotland
Afloat Sailor of the Month for May John Minnis from Royal Ulster YC in Bangor on Belfast Lough has added yet another prize to his winnings with his First 31.7 Final Call taking the Causeway Cup for the best performance…
The 2021 Scottish Series had a much reduced IRC fleet and sailed with combined Zero and One fleet
The passage across the North Channel from Belfast Lough to the Clyde for the 2021 Scottish Series was undoubtedly a worthwhile one for John Minnis in the Beneteau First 31.7 Final Call from Royal Ulster Yacht Club. Racing at Inverkip…
From left to right: A/Sgt Morton, Belfast Harbour Police,  Stephen Tate, Community Development Officer - Belfast City Council, Rob Geraghty, Head of Land Discipline - LSAR and Brooke Garrett, Head of Medical Discipline - LSAR
Lagan Search and Rescue and Officers of the Belfast Harbour Police took part recently in Dementia Action week with Awareness training delivered by Belfast City Council on behalf of the Alzheimer's Society Northern Ireland to equip both volunteers and Officers…
Possible ordnance near Crawfordsburn Beach east of Bangor on the Belfast Lough coast turned out to be a rusted fire extinguisher
It was multi shout four days for Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team on Belfast Lough when they covered calls some of which resulted in rescue action. On Thursday (20th) the team attended a yacht offshore reported to have a broken mast…
The Snipe Ranger under restoration on 10th May 2021
Snipes, the feathered sort, inhabit wetlands and lakes but in Ireland the breed is on the Red List, meaning it is of high conservation concern. Snipe dinghies (the wooden version) were common in Northern Ireland from the 1930s till the…
Stephen Milne from Bangor in County Down is currently in Slovenia as part of the eight-man Swedish Artemis racing team
Northern Ireland yachtsman Stephen Milne from Bangor in County Down is currently in Slovenia as part of the eight-man Swedish Artemis racing team taking part in the RC44 Cup in Portoroz. Co-incidentally another Bangor man Bill O'Hara is the Class…
The RUYC Belfast Lough to Strangford race start
It could be construed as an encouraging sign that half of the twelve-boat entry for the inaugural Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough to Strangford Lough Race was from that destination. Boats from the local fleet which would have…
Zoe Whitford and Kelly Patterson racing their 29er skiff at Larne
It was back to dinghy racing at the Larne club, East Antrim, for the May Day regatta on Sunday 2nd under current NI Covid restrictions. There was a good turnout of 21 in four classes – Optimist, Toppers, Single and…
Kirkistown Spit, near the village of Cloughey on the east Co Down coast
Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Team had a busy evening yesterday (27th April) with a callout to Kirkistown Spit, near the village of Cloughey on the east Co Down coast The crew were on station training when called to the scene where…
The Red Bay lifeboat launching on the callout this morning from Cushendall
Red Bay RNLI launched their B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat at 9.20 am this morning (Saturday 24 April) after reports that a small fishing boat with three crew onboard was grounded on rocks one mile south of Glenarm Marina on…
The RNLI lifeboat took the vessel under tow and ensured their safe arrival at the Portaferry marina
Portaferry RNLI lifeboat crew was called out on 22nd April to a yacht with engine failure at the entrance to Strangford Lough. The entrance at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula leads to the Strangford Narrows through which the…
Puffin seabirds on Rathlin Island
The Rathlin RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) has announced the Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre will re-open on Saturday 29th May in line with the NI Executive's indicative date for visitor attractions. This, of course, may be subject…
With a steadily growing population of approximately 150 people, Rathlin Island is open to visitors later this month
The good news for lovers of Rathlin is following the latest easing of restrictions by the Northern Ireland Executive, visitors are allowed to travel to the Island from Friday 23rd April. Rathlin lies nine kilometres across Rathlin Sound from Ballycastle…
Ballygally, a village and holiday resort on the Antrim coast where a paddleboarder got into difficulty
Yesterday's strong southerly wind resulted in a spate of paddleboarding incidents involving lifeboat call outs at Larne and Bangor. Larne RNLI launched both of their lifeboats today to reports of a paddleboarder in difficulty at Ballygally, a village and holiday…
The Agency asks that people avoid Millisle beach and do not attempt to clear any diesel spilt in or around the beach
Yesterday evening (17th April), Ards and North Down Council notified the public about a diesel spill and pollution risk on the beach at Millisle. Millisle is about three miles south of Donaghadee on the North Down Coast and is a…
Lagan S&R is an independent Lifeboat covering the seaward River Lagan and Belfast Lough
The Sunday Life recently highlighted the decision by Downtown Radio Star Neil McClelland to support Lagan Search & Rescue. Lagan S&R is an independent Lifeboat covering the seaward River Lagan and Belfast Lough; It relies on the generosity and support…
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