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.

The fishing boat towed by Donaghdee RNLI
The all-weather RNLI lifeboat from Donaghadee on the North Down coast launched at 3 am this morning (Tuesday18th) to the Belfast Coastguard's request to assist a 15m fishing boat with one person onboard. The boat, which was on passage from…
The beach at Cloughey on the Ards Peninsula. See the vid below
Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Team on Strangfrod Lough in Northern Ireland has warned of hundreds of Lion's Mane jellyfish washed up on the shore at Cloughey on the eastern coast of the Ards Peninsula. It's a small village with a beautiful…
Minehunter HMS Ramsey arrives into Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough
The minehunter HMS Ramsey under the command of Lieutenant Commander Joel Roberts, arrived into Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough over last weekend on an exercise visit. The 53m vessel is moored alongside the Eisenhower Pier, so-called as before departing for the…
Down Cruising Club occupies an unusual clubhouse, the old Lightship, Petrel
Down Cruising Club is celebrating a return to the water with a Members' Day next Saturday (22nd August). Located at Ballydorn, near Whiterock on Strangford Lough, DCC occupies an unusual clubhouse, the old Lightship, Petrel. It was built in 1915…
The IMOCA 60 Medallia
Northern Ireland sailor Mikey Ferguson from Bangor in County Down has joined Pip Hare's IMOCA campaign and they will start the Lonely Rock Race tomorrow (Sunday 16th August), from near Ryde in the Eastern Solent in Medallia. As well as being…
Cork bound - A round trip for eXcession of about 840 miles
John Harrington will carry the flag again for Royal Ulster Yacht Club, as he is off again south in the IMX38 eXcession! In a racing schedule arranged with military precision, John and a football team sized crew will tackle the…
A heron at Bangor Marina in County Down
In a few days, a large fleet of 17 boats from the Cruising Association of Ireland will arrive in Belfast Lough. It's three years since they last cruised here in Northern Ireland. The contingent will include two boats from the…
The GB Rowing Challenge team
An unusual visitor to Glenarm Marina in County Antrim recently was the rowing boat of the GB Row Challenge. After what must have been an uncomfortable time lying in the open in Glenarm Harbour in a north-westerly, the GB Row…
Northern Ireland Topper training
In the run-up to the return of Topper and Laser dinghy events, RYA Northern Ireland has arranged a series of Open Pathway training events during this month. The RYANI Open Pathway Training (OPT) is aimed primarily at those sailors who…
A start for Laser dinghies at the 2020 Ballyholme Regatta on Belfast Lough
 Ballyholme Yacht Club‘s ‘Regatta’ last weekend went a long way in these ‘new normal’ times, to fulfil the usual criteria for a standard regatta, but minus the visitors and the usual socialising and tea and buns afterwards. It was a…
This special duck is ironically called ‘Goose’ after Tom Cruise’s wingman in the 1986 blockbuster, Topgun
Recently the Brompton inflatable goose featured in a story about open sea swimmers near Bangor on Belfast Lough. Now round the corner from Brompton, the Helen’s Baywatch swimmers have a real ‘Goose’ to swim with! The reddish-brown female eider duck…
The McKee's 'Mosquito' (above) offered assistance and stood by the casualty at a safe distance
Royal Ulster Yacht Club members John and Sally McKee played a crucial part in their motor cruiser in a dramatic incident on the Shannon waterway last Saturday. A private cruiser from Limerick was making a passage northwards on Lough Ree…
This year's Ballyholme Regatta will run with a change of format this weekend
Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough has taken a big step and will hold a two-day club regatta this weekend, (1st and 2nd August), for members only, but it will be an adapted ‘regatta’, run to the new normal within…
Robin Walker Minister of State (left) with Harbour Master Kevin Baird
Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough had high profile visitors last week. Three naval ships, HMS Biter, HMS Charger and HMS Express docked at the marina. All are Archer class patrol and training vessels and attached to Universities in the North…
Thunderchild II in the Corryvreckan whirlpool off the West Coast of Scotland. The whirlpool which forms at the right state of the tide is the third largest in the world
It’s not often a record-breaker visits Bangor but Safehaven Marine’s Managing Director Frank Kowalski, who set the Round Ireland and Rockall Record in the original 17 metre XSV 17 demonstrator Thunder Child in 2017, brought his striking yellow hulled Thunder…
Belfast Lough Sailablity on the water
Belfast Lough Sailability was due to host the President’s Cup in August but sadly, due to COVID 19, this event has had to be postponed. This interprovincial regatta was Inaugurated by Paralympian John Twomey, promoted by Sailability Ireland and provides…
Sailing on Carlingford Lough
Carlingford Lough YC hasn’t been idle during the lockdown as members have enjoyed a Virtual Regatta, starting in early April, thanks to the RYA who arranged for sailing clubs to have a free subscription. To date, the club has had…
Topper training at Ballyholme Yacht Club
The Cadets at Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor Co Down on Belfast Lough are split into two sections; the beginners called Dolphins and those who have completed Stage 3 – Sharks. In order to reduce the numbers on the slipway…
The jetski was retrieved by Portrush Lifeboat
Yesterday evening Coleraine Coastguard responded to a report of a person falling from a Jetski at Benone Beach. This popular Blue Flag beach stretches for over seven miles on the North Coast, from Downhill westwards to where it meets Magilligan…
Stand up paddleboarding on Lough Shannagh
Stand up Paddleboarding in the mountains? Lough Shannagh (or the Lough of the Fox), is a corrie lake on the southern side of the Mournes in County Down and lies at 390m at the foot of Carn Mountain. It is…
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