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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.

Bangor Regeneration (Pictured-L-R) Mayor of Ards and North Down Communities Alderman Bill Keery, Deirdre-Hargey MLA and Aran Blackbourne from Bangor Marine Ltd
The regeneration of the waterfront in Bangor as detailed on 25th November in Afloat.ie, reached another crucial stage in its progress when the developer Bangor Marine Ltd. submitted a comprehensive planning application for the site at Queen’s Parade and Marine…
Keith Storey was the 'mug of the day' winner at the Icebreaker Sprint on Belfast Lough
Ballyholme Yacht Club was one of the first to organise winter sailing on Belfast Lough way back in the seventies. It’s called the Icebreaker and in the past, it has indeed at times involved breaking ice on boat cover. The…
The Great Light is a curved glass interpretive structure designed to resemble a lighthouse lantern room
At the end of the 500 metre Titanic Walkway which connects the Titanic and Olympic Slipways to the Alexandra Dock in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, proudly sits The Great Light, a curved glass interpretive structure designed to resemble a lighthouse lantern…
RYANI’s Young Sailor of the Year Ethan McCormac with his mum Lisa
Over 150 guests at the RYANI Annual Awards ceremony in Queen’s University Belfast’s prestigious Riddel Hall last Friday (17 January) saw many sailors, instructors, volunteers and coaches receive well-deserved praise for a job well done in 2019, writes Betty Armstrong.…
Strangford Lough and its islands
Giffiths Valuation of Ireland tells us that in the middle of the nineteenth century the sole occupant of Trasnagh Island in Strangford Lough was a John Patton writes Betty Armstrong Now the County Down Spectator reports that for the first…
Amy Armstrong and James Corbett at the RYANI Award ceremony
Fundraisers at County Antrim Yacht Club won the Young Volunteer of the Year at the RYA Northern Ireland Awards last night in the Queen’s University’s Riddel Hall writes Betty Armstrong. The century-old CAYC, which lies on the north shore of…
The Seabird aka Citizen Sea
If you go down the ramp to the pontoons in Bangor Marina you couldn’t miss the impressive vessel sitting to your right. She’s the Seabird, Northern Ireland’s first sea-going boat-based environmental charity known as 'Citizen Sea', supported by Ards and…
The new Joe Magee ferry on Lough Erne
The traditional Lough Erne Cot is a vessel unique to Upper and Lower Lough Erne and used there for possibly 2000 years. It was popular for transporting goods, people and cattle around the islands in the lakes in County Fermanagh…
The revival of an old sport has been a phenomenal success with community boats built
County Down has become an important centre for coastal rowing with clubs dotted around Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula. This is very much a community-based activity with skiffs active at Strangford, Portaferry, Portavogie, Donaghadee, Dundrum, Killyleagh, Sketrick, Strangford, and…
The Ballyholme display with Afloat's Betty Armstrong (right)
In a unique opportunity to portray the intriguing maritime heritage of the Ards Peninsula and North Down in Northern Ireland, seven communities have produced a maritime history of each of their locations – Portaferry, Portavogie, Ballyhalbert and Cloughey on the…
Julian Cooke and Jackie Patton sailing a 505 in Ballyholme Bay in 1985
Jackie Patton, chair of RYANI and Donaghadee Sailing Club member, is on a mission. She used to crew a 505 and along with Thomas Anderson, ex 505 helmsman and crew and past Commodore of Royal North of Ireland YC, is…
An archive photo of the Pickie-to-Pier race prize giving. David McCullough (second-right-front-row) with the Lyttle Trophy
Today you couldn’t swim across Bangor Bay on Belfast Lough without skirting the Marina but from 1910 till the 80s the ‘Pickie to Pier’ annual sea swim saw many participants taking part in the 650-metre race from Skippingstone Beach, beside…
Bangor Town Regatta is expecting 60 yachts for the 2020 edition on June 25th
Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough hopes to attract more than 60 boats and build on the success of the 2018 event, the formal launch of the regatta was told writes Betty Armstrong. Charles Hurst Jaguar Land Rover is the…
Chris Welsh's Super Falcon submarine where the plan to take piloted expeditions to the deepest point in each of the world’s five oceans
It’s a long way from Ballyholme near Bangor to Sugardock in Point Richmond on San Francisco Bay writes Betty Armstrong. But James Espey has made the leap and works as boat captain for Chris Welsh, among whose job titles are…
The Carol Ship on the Strangford Lough Narrows
There’s been a ferry across the Strangford Lough Narrows between Portaferry and Strangford for four hundred years (reputed to be the oldest continuous ferry crossing in the world) but five years ago, in celebration of the Christmas season, there appeared…
Cork Registered Fishing Vessel Raised from the Seabed off Ardglass
Ardglass, on the southern coast of County Down, has one of the Northern Ireland’s main fishing harbours, is home to over 30 fishing vessels and is the main hub for the region’s pelagic fish processing industry writes Betty Armstrong As…
The visiting cruise liner MSC-Meraviglia in Belfast Harbour
Belfast Harbour has been named the best port of call in the UK and Ireland for cruise ships. The accolade was awarded by a global panel of cruise experts as part of the 2019 Cruise Critic Editors’ Pick Awards. It…
The Stand Up Paddleboarding Fundraiser at Bangor Harbour
It’s not often a Notice to Mariners is issued by Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough for a paddleboarding event but this was the case when a fundraiser was held in the Harbour on a very cold Sunday morning (1st Dec)…
The 85th SLYC Prizegiving
In celebration of 85 years of sailing, 190 Strangford Lough Yacht Club members enjoyed a memorable gala ball in the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel in Bangor. Commodore Rosie Baird said “It was great to see so many members and their guests…
Royal Ulster Yacht Club Goblet - Could Afloat Readers Solve This Australian Mystery?
Recently Royal Ulster Yacht Club was contacted by a Mr Andre Jaku of Melbourne, Australia about a goblet he had bought from Leonard Joel’s Auction house in the city.  It was listed as silver and was engraved with the words: …
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