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Light Winds Forecast for Royal Ulster Yacht Club's 60th Ailsa Craig Offshore Race

15th June 2022
Hijacker, Stuart Cranston's Ker 32
Hijacker, Stuart Cranston's Ker 32

Royal Ulster’s Classic offshore overnight Ailsa Craig race will start from the club line at Bangor in Belfast Lough on Friday evening (17th) with the first warning signal at 19.00 hrs. On a good day, the Craig can be seen from the Club.

With a forecast of light winds, the course will probably be round the rock at the mouth of the Clyde and back to the club, about 80 miles.

At the moment there are four competitors, all of whom may be using it as a warm-up for the Bangor Town Regatta a week later, but given the unstable weather at present, some prospective entrants may be waiting until the last minute to make a decision.

On the other hand, they may be saving their energies for those four days of racing.

Brian and Ryan Wilson's Corby 29 ElixirBrian and Ryan Wilson's Corby 29, Elixir

Johnny Ritchie’s Dufour Classic 41, Mingulay from the host club, will join on the starting line, visitors Michael Eames in his Sunfast 3200 All or Nothing from Strangford Lough Yacht Club, Stuart Cranston’s Ker 32 Hijacker from Down Cruising Club, and Bryan and Ryan Wilson’s Corby 29 Elixir from across the Lough at Carrickfergus.

Tyrena (Dr W E "Darty" Glover), winner of the first RUYC Ailsa Craig Race in 1962. She was a 39ft Charles A Nicholson design, built Berthon Boat Company of Lymington in 1959Tyrena (Dr W E "Darty" Glover), winner of the first RUYC Ailsa Craig Race in 1962. She was a 39ft Charles A Nicholson design, built Berthon Boat Company of Lymington in 1959

Winner of the inaugural race in 1962 was the late Darty Glover in the 11-ton sloop, Tyrena and the late Dickie Brown of Portaferry was the winner the following year in the famous hard chine Black Soo, a van de Stadt design. Another memory is that of John Taylor who now lives in New Zealand, who recalls racing in the first race in what he describes as a “fair old southwesterly hammering in the channel”.

And the winner of the Fiftieth Anniversary event was Kenneth Halliwell’s She 31, She of the North. Many of those who had raced in 1962 turned out again for that event fifty years later. Among these was Darty Glover, then in his Eighties, who had travelled from Australia and John Taylor from New Zealand.

Published in Belfast Lough
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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