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

Pat Kelly’s J109 Storm from Rush and Howth was a 2021 Bangor Town Regatta winner
There are only a few days to go until the discounted entry fee for the RC35 two-day event at Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough ends. Before 30th April, it is £100; after that and before 17th June, it’s…
Alan Hannon's new hard-to-miss JPK 10.80 Coquine competing at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Spring Series on Belfast Lough
The Spring Series at Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough ran over three Sundays in April and attracted 12 cruiser racers. IRC winner after six races was the local boat, five points ahead of Stuart Cranston’s Ker 32 Hijacker…
The Bangor Marina Nautical Car Boot Sale drew a great crowd despite the rain!
Despite a dreary, dull wet, windy morning, Bangor Marina’s first-ever Nautical Car Boot Sale was a huge success, and it raised £150 for Bangor RNLI. A section of the Marina car park was filled with cars, tables, and even a…
Some of the Northern Ireland sailors at the Youth Sailing Nationals in Howth (from left) Charlotte Eadie, Zoe Whitford, Bobby Driscoll and Tom Coulter
Whether it be football or sailing, the people of Larne in County Antrim have plenty to celebrate, for the football club won the Irish League Cup on 15th April and East Antrim Boat Club’s ILCA 6 sailor, Tom Coulter began…
Youth dinghy sailors launch for the Junior Icebreaker Series at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough
With two more day’s racing to go in the Junior Icebreaker Ballyholme Yacht Club in Belfast Lough, Emily McAfee looks invincible in the Topper 5.3 fleet, which inclement weather has considerably reduced from the original 22. In the Feva division,…
Tom Coulter (third left) with Sam Ledoux, Sienna Wright and Fiachra McDonnell in Baltimore at the ILCA Munster Nationals
It’s over 300 miles from Belfast to Baltimore in County Cork, and for many Northern Ireland Laser enthusiasts, it was a worthwhile trip last weekend for the ILCA Munster Championships. Twelve sailors from East Antrim, Portrush and Coleraine in Co.Antrim,…
Bottlenose dolphins in Strangford Lough
Strangford Lough in East County Down is the largest sea lough in the British Isles, and last week the lough's bottlenose dolphins were joined by a Scottish visitor called Squiggle, previously known as Tyler from Moray Firth. The dolphin with…
Gordon Kane, a former Commodore at East Antrim, has entered his Westerly Fulmar 32 Artemis in Scotland's West Highland Yachting Week Regatta fleet
Two more Northern Ireland yachts have joined the 50-strong fleet for Scotland's West Highland Yachting Week, which celebrates 75 years in 2023 and runs from 29th July till 4th August. East Antrim Boat Club's Hydrology and Artemis from Larne Lough…
Model Yacht Racing in The Long Hole at Bangor n Belfast Lough
Time was, many years ago when the inlet known as the Long Hole beside Seacliff Road in Bangor on Belfast Lough was used as a harbour for small boats – those small enough, mostly fishing craft, to lie in the…
Bill O’Hara in Cape Town for The Ocean Race with his committee team: Shireen Crowe (left), who looks after the media comms, and race nurse Polly Gough, ‘voice’ of the race who does the communication with the boats
It’s one thing moving a start line because of say, a wind shift. But at the Cape Town start for Leg 3 of the The Ocean Race on 26 February, principal race officer Bill O’Hara was forced to work around…
Darren Rice says that various mooring system alternatives are being explored to find the best fit for Strangford Lough
A pilot scheme on Strangford Lough, which is trying to stimulate seagrass growth on the seabed by testing alternative mooring systems, has been reported by BBC News NI. Last April, Afloat highlighted a project initiated by the Strangford and Lecale…
Calum Pollard from County Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead on the north shore of Belfast Lough was awarded the Junior Sportsperson of the Year by Mid and East Antrim Council
The sport of sailing in County Antrim is in fine form, with two sailors winning awards at the Sportsperson of the Year event run by the Mid and East Antrim Council. Calum Pollard from County Antrim Yacht Club in Whitehead…
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…
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