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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

Tight racing among the 27 GP14s during the Hot Toddy at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough
Last weekend, 27 GP14s gathered at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough for the first of the Hot Toddy meetings of the 23/24 season. Dominating the competition were the home crew of…
UK Maritime Minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Charlotte Vere, and the dynamic XOcean team with the Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) at Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough
Many assorted vessels visit Bangor Marina, but the XOcean Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) may be the most unusual. Last week, Harbour Master Kevin Baird and his team, MCA staff and Belfast Coastguard welcomed the UK Maritime Minister Baroness Vere of…
Record attempt - John Gimson and Anna Burnett (centre) with the Mayor of Ards and North Down Council, Councillor Jennifer Gilmore with some of the Ballyholme Yacht Club team behind the record-breaking bid
Taking off from Ballyholme Yacht Club in Northern Ireland a day ahead of Storm Agnes' arrival, Mixed Catamaran Olympic Medalists, John Gimson and Anna Burnett sailing a foiling Nacra 17 have beaten the previous record (subject to ratification) for a…
30 GP14s are expected for this weekend's Autumn 'Hot Toddy' Event on Belfast Lough
The first of the annual GP14 Hot Toddy events listed in the class calendar will be held this weekend (30th September -1st October) at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. The event originates at East Antrim…
An illustration of the proposed new Antrim Boat Club premises on Lough Neagh
Antrim Boat Club (ABC) in Northern Ireland has taken a step towards bringing back dinghy sailing after a long absence with the purchase of five RS Zest dinghies to develop a new training centre. Training has already started. The Club…
A Leisure 17 heads to Ardglass through the Narrows at Strangford Lough
In early September, five boats from the Leisure 17 class at East Down Yacht Club in Northern Ireland, along with a Leisure 20, a Drascombe Long Boat, and a Golden Hind 26, embarked on a 15-mile journey from Strangford Lough…
Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
Robert Hume, the Admiral of the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, has authored a comprehensive history of the club, with invaluable contributions from many others. The 180-page hardback book is richly illustrated and covers the club's beginnings and development…
Olympic Foiling Nacra17 duo John Gimson and Anna Burnett will arrive at Ballyholme for the North Channel record bid this weekend
Ballyholme Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough will be the start point for a record-breaking trip across the North Channel to Portpatrick on the Mull of Galloway in Scotland during the week beginning 25th September. Team GB…
Strangford Lough Yacht Club were the winners of the Strangford Lough Youth Sailing Series
Any sailing competition for young people that began in 2008 and is still going strong must have an attractive format. The Strangford Lough Youth Series is still drawing sizeable turnouts, and maybe it’s because the timing, on the day after,…
Wychcraft racing - Gerry Reilly and Jordan Conway winners, with  number seven, sailed by the Rogers family, number nine Master McGrath, Oliver and Sean Curran,  number eight sailed by John and James Murray
One thousand stainless steel screws and then more. That is what it took to restore Oliver Curran’s Wychcraft dinghy. They’re used to building boats in strange locations on either side of the Strangford Narrows in Co Down, with Billy Brown’s…
Groomsport Harbour
Groomsport is a small village on the North Down coast about two miles east of Bangor but in no way overshadowed by the larger town. It and its inhabitants have always had strong maritime links. The original Gaelic name for…
Second overall at the RS Feva Northern Championships were Felix Dion and Lucas Browne from the National YC (1774)  pushing hard upwind
Fourteen boats with a mixture of duos and family crews took part in the East Down Yacht Club hosted RS Feva Northern Ireland championships over the Bank Holiday weekend. The club is situated on the sheltered shores of Holm Bay…
Having reached the Caribbean, on the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey Optimistic stayed on and cruised the islands, finishing in Antigua, from where they crossed the Atlantic via the Azores to Ireland with crew Frederik Meyer (Switzerland), Michelle Bart (Switzerland), Keith Murphy (Dublin), Elwyn Agnew, second right kneeling (Portglenone), and Rory Kerr (Portstewart)
Ballyronan Boat Club lies on the northwestern shore of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles. In his welcoming words on the club website, Commodore Elywn Agnew says the Club is keen to create great experiences and…
Tom Coulter from East Antrim BC and Portrush YC in Co Antrim topped the 23-strong ILCA 6 fleet at the Howth National Championships
Of the 15 Northern Ireland competitors in the ILCA Nationals at Howth Yacht Club recently, the best showing was that of Tom Coulter from East Antrim BC and Portrush YC in Co Antrim, who topped the 23-strong ILCA 6 fleet…
Women to the fore at Donaghadee SC (left to right) Isabel Nixon, Heather Hutchinson, Holly Stewart, and Lynn Blackstock
The roller coaster programme that is the RYA Northern Ireland’s Women on the Water has seen a satisfyingly noticeable increase in the numbers of women sailing and taking to the water on paddleboards and windsurfers. Recently, the Donaghadee Club on…
Formula 18 catamaran sailor, Adrian Allen (left), with Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker at Ballyholme Yacht Club
The Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker, showed his sailing skills on (August 22nd) on a visit to Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. On a previous visit to Bangor, the Minister heard first-hand about the exciting regeneration…
After the Oban prizegiving (from left to right), Peter McVeig, Mike Stephens, Knox Wilson and Michael Petticrew onboard the Nicholson 43 Magdaleyne from Strangford Lough YC with their trophies for first overall in Class 3 and the Peter Cocks Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the yacht which, in the opinion of the Race Committee, has given the best overall performance throughout the Points Series
Northern Ireland boats stamped their mark on the racing in West Highland Yachting Week in Scotland with excellent results, the best of which were Michael Petticrew's Nicholson 43 Magdaleyne from Strangford Lough YC, who took first overall in Class 3…
Ballyholme Yacht Club Cadets Hunter Reddy (left) and Joseph Robinson could see on the Club webcam that the man was clinging to his kayak after he had capsized
Two Ballyholme Yacht Club Cadets have been praised for their quick action in helping a kayaker in trouble in Ballyholme Bay on Belfast Lough in Northern Ireland last Tuesday. Hunter Reddy and Joseph Robinson could see on the Club webcam…
Women paddle boarding at East Down Yacht Club
Women have always featured prominently at East Down Yacht Club in Northern Ireland, with several holding club officer positions over the years. Now in an initiative by Margie Crawford, the New Members Liaison officer, and following a very successful Women’s…
Irish Open Multihull Champions 2023 Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston (2020) pictured left and Michael and James McNicholl
Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston from Ballyholme regained the Irish title at Antrim Boat Club last weekend after an exciting high wind tussle with the 2022 Champions Matt and James McNicholl. Runner up was Wyatt Orsmonde, crewed by Tom Murphy…
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