Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough hopes to attract more than 60 boats and build on the success of the 2018 event, the formal launch of the regatta was told writes Betty Armstrong.
Charles Hurst Jaguar Land Rover is the prestigious headline sponsor of the regatta, hosted next year by Royal Ulster Yacht Club. At the formal launch of the event Head of Business Alan Thompson and Ruth Kimbley, Marketing Manager expressed their optimism and excitement at supporting what should be the largest regatta in Northern Ireland next year. The event will run from 25th till 28th June.
The gathering was welcomed to the club by Rear Commodore Maurice Butler who spoke about the success of the 2018 event. “We are trying to build on that success by running an even bigger event in 2020. We cannot do that without the support that our sponsors and our local Council provide. We are truly grateful for that support”.
BTR20 Chairman Gavin Watson was keen to convey his hopes for a great four days. He said that the competitors would be “welcomed to the town and to Bangor’s Quay Marina, and the club would strive to give them a yachting competition which will provide plenty of good racing and just as importantly a warm welcome to the Royal Ulster clubhouse”.
It’s expected that the fleet will number upwards of 60 with several hundred crew and supporting visitors. Among the classes expected are IRC, Sigma 33, RS Elite, and day boats such as Waverleys and Fairies.
Strong interest has been shown by Jay Colville’s First 40, Forty Licks, who had a class win in IRC1 at the Scottish Series this year and by Jamie McWilliam’s Signal 8, the Ker 40, (Royal Hong Kong YC), a competitor in 2018, with Bangorian Jamie Boag on board. Also, on the horizon is El Gran Senor, Jonathan Anderson’s J122 from the Clyde, runner up to Forty Licks at Tarbert. A substantial RC35 fleet, who obviously liked the previous BTR is said to return. The Sigma 33s will hold their class championship within the event, so a good size fleet is expected in which local man Paul Prentice in Squawk will no doubt aim to better his Scottish Series runner up slot. A feeder race from Dun Laoghaire is scheduled for 20th June.
"A feeder race from Dun Laoghaire is scheduled for 20th June"
The fleets will race out of the Bangor’s Quay Marina, (another important supporter), on what is Belfast Lough’s enviable area of tide and hazard free waters. Two round-the-buoys courses within a manageable distance from the marina will provide testing but enjoyable racing and in addition, coastal races every day will give those who prefer somewhat more leisurely competition, the opportunity to use the whole of the Lough.
Racing will be in the capable hands of International Race Officer and National Judge, local man Robin Gray, whose skill and expertise is well known, and the Race Office will be conveniently located at the Marina close to where the après sailing will be well catered for with a bar and food stall beside the chandlery.
Alan Thomson of Charles Hurst said that Bangor Town Regatta is “a very exciting addition to the Jaguar Land Rover sailing calendar and one we are very proud to sponsor”. Alderman Bill Keery, Mayor of Ards and North Down Council emphasised that BTR20 would provide a boost to the local economy and that “by working together we would be able to grow and improve on the successful 2018 regatta”.
The Notice of Race will be posted on the event website