Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Leonard and Flannigan Level in Ballyholme Yacht Club Icebreaker Series

14th March 2023
The Ballyholme Yacht Club Icebreaker Series Race 6 on Belfast Lough

The Icebreaker Series has been running in the winter at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough since about the time the Laser dinghy was introduced to the Club by Ron Hutchieson and Trevor Millar in 1974. It was originally mainly racing for Lasers, but for many years now, it has encompassed other classes such as Toppers, Fevas and Multihull and, more recently, a Junior Icebreaker on Saturdays.

Race 6 of 10 was held in light to medium weather last Sunday, with thirty-six out in six classes. In the five-strong Large Dinghy class, the winners were Dave Fletcher and Ryan Smith in a Laser 2000 but Christina Cunningham’s second place in the RS Aero 6 was enough to keep her in the lead by one point from Robin Flannigan and Diane Burges in the RS 400.

The largest turnout was 21 in the ILCA 7 class, and in the Gold fleet, Colin Leonard’s first place and Gareth Flannigan’s second is keeping them level on 7 points going into the seventh race. Of the two starters in ILCA 6, Howard Massie’s win wasn’t enough to knock the leader Ian Taylor of first place. After the general recall of the overeager fleet, a windshift made the first beat a bit of a drag race with Jonny Henry first round the windward mark, but by the end, it was Leonard and Flannigan first and second. Mark Mackey was first in Silver at 5th, beating a number of Gold fleet sailors, and Jonathan McAlister leads the Bronze fleet at 17th.

Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston had a sail over in the Multihulls and lead the three-strong fleet by five points. In the Small dinghies, Shaun Doran in the RS Feva XL leads Annika Hunter in the ILCA 4 by one point.

The next meet is on Sunday, 19th March, with still lots to play for in the last few races.

Published in Belfast Lough, Laser
Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

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

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button