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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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

Gordon Patterson and Ross Nolan from RNIYC are one of eight NI Squibs heading for the Kinsale based Irish Nationals in June
It’s a long way for crew and boats to travel from Belfast Lough and Strangford Lough to Kinsale but eight from the northern-based Squib class will be making that 300 mile trip in June for the eight-race Bandon Co-Op Squib…
50 entries are expected for the BYC Weekend of Speed from 17th and 18th September
Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is hopeful that the Weekend of Speed which was cancelled last year will in fact happen in September. The dates set aside are 17th and 18th September and around 50 entries are expected. Richard…
The Belfast Barge, then named MV Confiance at Lanyon Quay
Not too long ago the City of Belfast had turned its back on the River Lagan which enters Belfast Lough on the border between Counties Antrim and Down. But since 1989 when the Laganside Corporation began redevelopment of the surrounding…
Belfast Harbour is bringing forward plans to develop an iconic Waterfront for the city
The Clarendon Docks are the oldest remaining docks in Belfast Harbour, built in the 1800s by Belfast’s first commercial shipbuilder, William Ritchie. He originally set his shipyard up at the Old Lime Kiln Dock (inland from the present location) but…
Community Rescue Service Regional Commander, Sean McCarry, from Co. Antrim
The Community Rescue Service (CRS) is a charitable search and rescue organisation operated by volunteers from communities across Northern Ireland and in the Queen’s New Year Honours the Regional Commander, Sean McCarry, from Co. Antrim, has been made an OBE…
Mixed dinghies at Ballyholme Yacht Club's Boxing Day Regatta
It was grey and damp, with a cold gusty offshore South Easterly in Ballyholme Bay on Boxing Day (26th) but although the morning mass charity swim was postponed, racing went ahead in the afternoon with a mixed dinghy fleet sailing…
The wind was scarce on Belfast Lough for the Ballyholme Yacht Club Cadets Christmas Regatta
Great patience was required from the 44 youngsters competing in the 39 dinghies at the Ballyholme Yacht Club Cadet Christmas Regatta as wind was scarce on Belfast Lough. But persist they did in a variety of dinghies – Toppers, Picos,…
Icebreakers - Dave Nelson with Annabel and Emily Ridout 1st in the Feva
Gone are the days when sail racing was a summer sport and regattas only ran in the warmer months on Belfast Lough. Now even young sailors are afloat virtually all year. Forty-six entered Part One of the Junior Icebreaker series…
RNIYC RS 400 Winter Series (l to r) Andrew Vaughan, winners Steve Kane, Peter Kennedy and Race Officer Gerry Reid
Just like on the previous Sunday the competitors in the final race day of Royal North of Ireland’s RS400 Winter Series hosted by the club on the south shore of Belfast Lough gathered last Sunday (19th) looking out at a…
Investment in a two-mile stretch of Bangor Waterfront on Belfast Lough is part of the recently announced £1billion Belfast City Deal funding. Plans already published for Bangor Waterfront aim to “reconnect the town with the sea through a range of…
The Hemlock Water-dropwort, also known as Dead Man's Fingers, is a flowering plant in the carrot family
Ards and North Down Council has warned the public that Hemlock Water Dropwort, also known as ‘Poisonous Parsnip’ has washed up on Groomsport beach where it was seen and reported by a member of the public. Groomsport is about two…
Paddleboarders on Belfast Lough prepare for the fundraising run
SUPHUBNI is a mobile paddleboarding school based in Bangor  on Belfast Lough and last week ran an event in Bangor Harbour to raise funds for RNLI. A record 92 paddlers hit the water dressed as Santas and raised £1000 for…
Crew Transfer Vessel Farra Orla
Farra Marine Ltd is a new company set up in Dublin. It is a CTV (Crew Transfer Vessel) owner and operator and has had the first in a new line of catamaran wind farm vessels built by Penguin Shipyard in…
The Icebreaker winter series is a big draw for dinghies on Belfast Lough
With the end of the first half of Ballyholme’s Icebreaker Sunday series in Belfast Lough finishing on 19th December it would be nearly impossible to forecast winners when the discards come into play. The Icebreaker winter series has always been…
The Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat at Donaghadee Harbour
Take a walk from Donaghadee Harbour east towards the Commons on the North Down coast and you’ll see the 70-year-old Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat in its purpose-built shed near the Harbour. Protected now from the elements, it is being restored…
It’s nearly two years since the Strangford Ferry was transformed into a Carol Ship in celebration of the Christmas Season, its last transformation being in December 2019 before Covid restrictions were imposed.  There has been a ferry crossing the fast-flowing…
John Minnis (right) and Jeff Flannigan at the Clyde Cruising Club prizegiving
The North Rotunda in Glasgow was the swanky venue for the Clyde Cruising Club’s Annual Prizegiving last weekend and there to pick up his prizes won at the Scottish Series way back at the end of May was Royal Ulster’s…
Kevin Baird (left) Harbour Master with Berthing Master Ewan Scott and one of 26 cages that will be suspended under the pontoon walkways at Bangor Marina and will be populated with highly prized Loch Ryan Oysters
Did you know that our Native oysters have been an important food source for centuries - the Romans even exported them back to Italy! The first report of a recognised commercial oyster fishery in Belfast Lough was in 1780 and…
Hand brailing herring in Bangor Harbour
It’s been seven years since herring were landed in Bangor on Belfast Lough, but the Fairwind whose home port is Kilkeel on the Mourne coast in south Down, landed its catch in the harbour last week. The crew transferred the…
Joyce back on the water after refurbishment
The charity Silvery Light Sailing based in Newry at the head of Carlingford Lough is passionate about the refurbishment of old boats. One of these is now temporarily berthed in Carlingford Marina on the southern shore of Carlingford Lough. She's…
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