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Ballyholme Yacht Club’s ‘Not Really’ Regatta

4th August 2020
A start for Laser dinghies at the 2020 Ballyholme Regatta on Belfast Lough 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 two-day event with adult and cadet racing, a Ladies race, Stand up Paddleboarding and open sea swimming for adults and children.

The curtailment due to the current COVID 19 restrictions had little effect on the enjoyment, with a respectable turnout of over 100 dinghies, plus 45 swimmers and 30 paddleboarders. Obviously something for all the family.

The weather was kind for the whole weekend, with the Cadets off first of in a fleet of 52 made up of 30 Toppers, six Lasers, both Radial and 4.7, three Bahias, one Saiqube and a Laser 2000. After four races the winner of the Toppers was Hannah Dadley-Young and Josh McGregor was first in the Lasers. Winner of fast dinghies was David Fletcher and family.

The main race in the afternoon drew over 40 lasers plus 11 in Fast Handicap and two others. Daniel Palmer was first in the slow handicap in a Topper 5.3, the Catamaran prize went to Pete and Dee McDowell, Fast Handicap was won by Dave Fletcher and Ryan Smith in the Laser 2000, and Joni Rock led the Laser Radials. Winner of the Lasers was Liam Glynn, whose record includes a World Junior Topper title and a U21 Bronze. Back in March, he had been preparing to battle for a place in the now-cancelled Tokyo Olympics.

It was a full house of 12 in the Picos for the two race Ladies event on Sunday morning. The overall winner was Jess Winton, who adds her name to that of her Mother Charlie, who won the same trophy last year.

The open sea swim saw 25 adults and 20 juniors taking to the water and this was followed by a big turnout of 30 Paddleboarders, including kids/teens won by Anicka Hunter; Jamie McCourbrey was first adult male, and the first lady was Carla Milne.

But moving fast wasn’t the be-all and end-all. Best dressed went to Nick West, Endeavor/Endurance to Sarah-Jane Flannigan and first to enter the water involuntarily was Claire Storey.

Rounding of a hugely successful weekend was the open sea swim by 25 adults and 20 juniors.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

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.

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