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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

Vickie and Tommy serving up the Pancakes at Bangor Marina to welcome in the new season
On a glorious 1st March and after two years of restrictions Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough held their Pancake Tuesday get together again, welcoming a big crowd to a ‘catch up’. Marina manager Kevin Baird was delighted to see so…
Sigma 33 - Squawk 2 (Paul and Emma Prentice)
In this post lockdown era, there are so many events on offer that sailors keen to compete in the big competitions are spoilt for choice, and this has never been so true as with the Sigma 33 class this season.…
Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor on Belfast Lough is the host club for this year’s Irish National Youth Sailing Championships from 21st until 24th April. The cream of youth and junior sailors from across Ireland will compete in the Laser/ILCA…
Lough Erne Cots - Liam Boyle (left) and the West Island Cot builders
There’s a great buzz of woodworking activity in the Belleek Men’s Shed and on West Island in County Fermanagh. But this is no ordinary woodworking – this is the building of traditional Lough Erne Cots. The Cot was originally a…
Kevin and Debbie Aitken’s First 36.7 Animal
The RC35 class look like putting up a great show at Royal Ulster Yacht Club’s Bangor Town Regatta in June. At the moment the regatta website says, “We look forward to seeing all the entries and will be posting the entry…
Citizen Sea in Bangor Marina
Northern Ireland’s first boat-based environmental charity, Citizen Sea, will be presenting several events about the marine environment in Northern Ireland in Belfast from the 24th of February-10th March. Citizen Sea is a grassroots charity, empowering people to engage with and…
The Safer Waters team on the water in Northern Ireland
Safer Waters is a unique service in Northern Ireland, established in 2020 to provide a Safety Boat service for water-based community events. The service is there to support events such as Sailing, Swimming, Paddle Boarding and Windsurfing that have no…
A file photo of the Viking Festival at Killyleagh on Strangford Lough in 2012
The Vikings first invaded Ireland in 795 AD when they beached on Lambay Island near Dublin. Records show that the monastery at Nendrum on Strangford Lough and one at Downpatrick in south County Down were attacked early in the ninth…
The RYA Northern Ireland Celtic Cup team
The last weekend of January saw the RYA Celtic Cup hosted by RYA Scotland at Largs Sailing Club, and taking part were RYANI Youth Sailing Squad Members with RYA Wales and RYA Scotland. As well as racing for the Celtic…
Barge Cliodna in Bangor Harbour
County Wexford based company Marine Specialists Ltd completed mobilising their new 26-metre barge Cliodna in Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough on Monday, February 7th. Over the coming weeks, it will be inspected by the Maritime Coastguard Agency and prepared for…
Edwin Poots MLA and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (right) afloat in the Lagan Search and Rescue lifeboat
Lagan Search and Rescue (LSR)  on Belfast Lough has announced that following a successful application to the Department of Agriculture Rural Community Rescue Scheme, the charity will be able to replace its ageing fleet of emergency response vehicles, update personal…
Basking sharks are a regular visitor to Ireland’s shores in summer months
Queen’s University Belfast has released new research which has revealed that basking sharks overwintering in tropical waters off Africa experience cooler temperatures than those remaining in Ireland. The research, published in Environmental Biology of Fishes 2022, provides evidence to challenge…
Foyle Search and Rescue (From L-R): Stephen Twells, Minister Edwin Poots MLA, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Graham Warke, Gary Middleton MLA, Brian Óg Mullan
Derry based Foyle Search and Rescue has welcomed a £150,000 boost from the Rural Community Rescue Scheme, Belfast Live reports. The charity, which saves countless lives of people in distress in the community every year, said the monies through the…
E Foiling on Strangford Lough
Rory Martin of the Strangford Lough Activity Centre provides a variety of land and watersports through what he says is a quirky, experimental adventure centre. Though the Strangford Lough bases are at Whiterock and Sketrick Island near Killinchy on the…
Jonathon Gifford's Albin Express Apache (Quoile YC) on port and Tiger Lily, Raymon and Katie Beatie's Sun Odyssey 37 from Killyleagh YC competing on Strangford Lough
Forty years has passed since the first Spring Series in Ireland took place at Quoile Yacht Club in Northern Ireland. The club lies in the southwestern corner of Strangford Lough and at that time the event was shared with Down…
Ulster Rugby (l to r) Ross Kane, David Shanahan, Greg Jones and Andrew Warwick go paddleboarding on Belfast Lough
SUFTUM which means Stand Up for the Ulster Men is the rallying cry for the Ulster Rugby team and is of course part of the Ravenhill Roar heard most enthusiastically reverberating around the Kingspan Stadium at Ravenhill when Ulster play…
Bob Espey (left) and Matt McGovern will attempt a return cross channel crossing in two foiling Waszp dinghies
Bob Espey is a long-time sailor at Ballyholme Yacht Club having raced Lasers, 49ers and RS400s, he now owns a Waszp dinghy. A ‘bonkers’ plan is what he has called his standout fundraising effort for little Jodi Tomalin who has, along…
Bangor Town Regatta 2022 will incorporate the Sigma 33 OOD Irish and Class Championships and count towards the six-part RC35 Championship
A ‘Town’ Regatta at Bangor on Belfast Lough was first held over a century ago and saw reincarnation in 2018. Subsequent planned events fell foul of Covid 19 but Royal Ulster has just announced the welcome return of the regatta…
Sail School NI's new Tripp 40
Russell McGovern, known generally as Rusty, started Stratus sailing school in 2016 out of Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough, with a 31-footer and two 25 footers. He has now moved on to a new venture, replacing those three with a…
Former ferry Captain, 84-year-old John Murray features in the first episode of the Chronicles of Strangford
The first of the BBC NI Series, The Chronicles of Strangford aired on Monday, 17th January. The maritime TV series will cover the four seasons on this stunning part of Co Down, beginning with this week's episode on Autumn. It…
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