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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.

Scottish Series Organisers Survey Sailors Ahead of May's Regatta
After Clyde Cruising Club decided to move the Scottish Series to the Clyde for 2021, the CCC team is working on the race programme. And in a recent communication to those boat owners having registered interest, a 'location survey' asks…
Annalong Harbour's North Pier - the Grade 2 listed structure is in need of restoration
Annalong Harbour lies on the South Down coast with the Mourne Mountains' stunning backdrop and was famous as a centre of the herring industry. As reported by BBC News, it was also an export point for the famous Mourne Granite…
Donaghadee Harbour on thre County Down coast
Plans are afoot to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the building of the present harbour at Donaghadee, a small port on the north coast of County Down, but unearthing the Time Capsule, buried 24 feet below the pier during construction,…
Racing at the 2019 Scottish Series
Following the earliest ever opening of registration for the Clyde Cruising Club's Scottish Series 2021, ninety-five boats had entered by Monday last for the event scheduled for 28th till 31st May at Tarbert on Loch Fyne in South West Argyll,…
The Stena Superfast ferry
Belfast Coastguard Rescue team was contacted this week by the Stena Superfast ferry inbound to Belfast in the shipping channel near Holywood. On Monday, January 25th the ferry had encountered a lone paddleboarder dangerously close to the vessel. Holywood is…
Paul Rowan (EABC) and Ricky McArthur (Coleraine YC) at the GP14 Worlds in Howth in 1988
Paul Rowan was a renowned member of the GP14 class, a staunch supporter of East Antrim Boat Club at Larne and a talented helmsman sadly passed away on Saturday (23rd Jan). Paul was a highly successful sailor despite carrying a…
The 550 berth Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough
Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough is switching its electricity to a renewable source with immediate effect.  Marina Manager Kevin Baird said the marina takes its responsibility to the environment seriously and is constantly looking at ways in which it can reduce…
SoundYard will celebrate Belfast's maritime heritage, add to the animation, accessibility, and vibrancy of the Maritime Mile
The Maritime Mile is an initiative developed by Maritime Belfast Trust and is a curated experience that connects and celebrates Belfast's vibrant heritage waterfront. It was set up originally to deliver the Titanic Belfast Visitor attraction and now includes many…
The car on the shoreline at Portaferry Road
 The Portaferry Coastguard Rescue team was alerted by Belfast Coastguard yesterday to attend the scene of a serious incident when a car had left the Portaferry Road near Newtownards and ended up on the shore. The road which runs from…
John McKenna with his RNLI long service medal
Howth Lifeboat Station Community Safety Officer John McKenna has been awarded a long service medal by the RNLI. In 2020, McKenna (73) reached a milestone: 21 years of volunteering for the RNLI and saving lives at sea.  He has been…
Peter Bullick with his long service medal
Peter Bullick is well known in sailing circles in Northern Ireland and has long been a familiar face associated with volunteering for the RNLI. He enjoys cruising to the west coast of Scotland and has ventured as far as St…
The frozen Long Pond at Antrim Castle Gardens
Extremely low temperatures in Northern Ireland (it was -10.5 degrees in Katesbridge in County Down) caused many waterways and lakes and even Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough to ice over. Lough Neagh Rescue has reported that it received many calls…
Greencastle on County Donegal's Inishowen peninsula
The BBC has reported that fishermen in the north-west are saying that Post-Brexit restrictions on where Northern Ireland boats can land their catch in the Republic of Ireland have "created a hard border on the island", A new Irish government…
The Dolphin on Crawfordsburn Beach
Last Wednesday (January 6th) Bangor Coastguard Team answered a report of a cetacean washed up on Crawfordsburn Beach on Belfast Lough. It was identified on social media as a Common Dolphin and it was suggested that the find should be…
Lauren McDowell (helm) and Erin McIlwaine in the 29er training at Newcastle Co Down are among the Mary Peters Trust awardees
Five young sailors have been given a unique chance to boost their training and skills after they were awarded funding from the Mary Peters Trust. The Trust aims to help aspiring young athletes, whatever their sport or social background, to…
Working on the wing of a seaplane on Lough Erne
Lough Erne Yacht Club on the Lower Lough is situated about six miles north of Enniskillen on Goblusk Bay and occupies a former WW2 RAF site built in 1941 for Catalina Flying Boats. It has the enviable facility of being…
Ernie Mawhinney's unmistakable green vintage GP14 Ventura - it was about to be cut up and dumped
Think of the GP14 class in Ireland and among those uppermost in your mind, (depending on your age!) would be the late Ernie Mawhinney's Ventura, one of the earliest in the class at number 796. Ventura means 'fortune, chance or…
Bill O'Hara has been awarded an OBE for his services to sailing
Among those in the New Years Honours List for 2021 is Bangor, County Down man Bill O'Hara who has been awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to Sailing. A long-time member of Ballyholme and Royal Ulster…
100-Year-Old River Class History is Published
John McVea, class captain of the now 100-year-old River Class which sails regularly at Strangford Lough Yacht Club, had been looking forward to a 2020 season of centenary celebrations. Covid 19 put paid to that, but one achievement which has…
Don Clarke
It's a long way from Whiterock on Strangford Lough to Clifden in County Galway where the new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat will be stationed in 2022. It will be the second such vessel to be part of the charity's 'Launch…
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