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Displaying items by tag: Ballyholme Yacht Club

Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is hopeful that the Weekend of Speed which was cancelled last year will in fact happen in September. The dates set aside are 17th and 18th September and around 50 entries are expected.

Richard Swanston who is organising the event is hopeful that Multihulls, RS 400s, 600s and 700s as well as 49ers, Wazsps, Moths and 505s will enter.

The current Irish Champions, local crew Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston who were in the top 20 in a World F18 event are expected to be joined by another BYC pair, Mat McNichol and Thomas Nixon, the current Irish Champions, and Wyatt Orsmond the 2019 Champion.

Catamarans at the 2019 Weekend of Speed Photo: Wavelength ImagesCatamarans at the 2019 Weekend of Speed Photo: Wavelength Images

49ers will race in an Open Handicap fleet which will include RS dinghies and here Richard Swanston expects to see Tokyo Olympians Rob Dixon and Sean Waddilove as well as Seafra Guilefoyle and Johnny Durcan, 8th, and 20th respectively in last year’s Worlds in Oman. Irish Olympian Matt McGovern from BYC is also likely to compete. Matt is currently running the 49er training programme for Team Ireland.

Bob Espey of the home club has shown an impressive turn of speed in his Waszp last season and is a local favourite. Another foil sailor who Richard hopes to see is Charlie Cullen whose 2021 performance was highlighted by here. Cullen is a nominee in Afloat’s 2020 Sailor of the Year list.

The 505 class used to be strong at BYC but there has not been a fleet there for many years. Hopefully, that class will be represented, with competition ignited by the World 505 Championship in Cork a month before.

Notice of Race will be posted in due course on Ballyholme Yacht Club's website.

It was grey and damp, with a cold gusty offshore South Easterly in Ballyholme Bay on Boxing Day (26th) but although the morning mass charity swim was postponed, racing went ahead in the afternoon with a mixed dinghy fleet sailing two back to back races. The saving grace was a relatively flat sea on Belfast Lough.

Thirty-five crossed the line formed by a RIB and a buoy on the outer edge of the bay which gave a windward start with the first leg of a triangular course into the bay, finishing at the club battery. Race Officer Des Magee did well to get two rounds into both races.

Ballyholme Yacht Club's Boxing Day RegattaA Laser dinghy start at Ballyholme Yacht Club's Boxing Day Regatta

The mixed large dinghy fleet, which included Bob Espey in his Wazsp, was won by Dave Fletcher and Ryan Smith in a 2000 with Ruan and Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh in a GP14 second.

The largest group was the Laser Standards with 17 out. The winner here was Irish 49er Olympian Matt McGovern with Richard McCullagh runner up. And in the Radial first was Barry McCartan with Lucas Nixon and Joni Rock tying and the tie broken in favour of Nixon.

Matt McNicholl won in the small fleet of three F18 multihulls and in the Small Dinghy fleet of Toppers and Laser 4.7s first was by Bobby Driscoll in a Topper with two first places.

The next weekly racing is the Icebreaker Sunday Series 2 which starts on 6th February.

Published in Belfast Lough

Great patience was required from the 44 youngsters competing in the 39 dinghies at the Ballyholme Yacht Club Cadet Christmas Regatta as wind was scarce on Belfast Lough. But persist they did in a variety of dinghies – Toppers, Picos, Fevas, Lasers and a lone Optimist.

First Topper 5.3 was Katie Brow and runner up was Ella Fitzgerald who had travelled from Dun Laoghaire. The 4.2 top prize went to Jessica Dadley-Young. In the Fevas Annabel and Emily Ridout repeated their success in the Junior Icebreaker taking first place with Hanna Bell and Evie Pringle second. The Laser win went to Zak Dalzell.

Dave Nelson with Hannah Bell and Evie Pringle runner up in the Feva classDave Nelson with Hannah Bell and Evie Pringle runner up in the Feva class

Again, as in the Icebreaker Series, Matthew Holden had a sail over in his Optimist.

The prize for the most Christmassy dinghy went to Isabel Nixon who decorated hers with fairy lights and tinsel. And Chloe Whyte got a mention for coming as a Christmas Present.

The next big gathering at the Club will be on Boxing Day (26th) for the traditional mass swim in the morning and a Regatta in the afternoon. 

Topper 5.3

1. Katie Brow
2. Ella Fitzgerald
3. Emily Macafee

Topper 4.2

1. Jessica Dadley-Young
2. Alex Eadie
3. James Eadie


1. Annabel and Emily Rideout
2. Hannah Bell and Evie Pringle
3. Annika Hunter and Romy Maguire


1. Zak Dalzell
2. Callum Dalzell
3. Eva McDonagh


1. Matthew Holden

Published in Belfast Lough

Gone are the days when sail racing was a summer sport and regattas only ran in the warmer months on Belfast Lough. Now even young sailors are afloat virtually all year. Forty-six entered Part One of the Junior Icebreaker series at Ballyholme and had some great sailing in Ballyholme Bay to the east of Bangor before the Christmas Break.

Matthew Holden had a sail over in his Oppie as did Emily and Annabel Ridout in their RS Feva. In the 36 strong Topper 5.3 division, Emily McAfee was first overall with scores of mostly 2nds and 3rds. Second in that class was Annika Hunter counting five third places and first boy and 3rd overall went to Joseph Robinson who improved in the second half of the 16 race series. In fourth, fifth and sixth places were Hunter Reddy. Romy Maguire and Isobel Nixon. Romy never missed a race! The Topper 4.2 fleet saw Polly Robinson with nine first positions top the results with Sally Nixon second and Jesse Gillespie pick up 3rd place.

Dave Nelson and Matthew Holden (Oppie)Dave Nelson and Matthew Holden (Oppie)

The strength of BYC training has been stepped up a notch with the purchase of two new RS Quests to add to the four Bahias already owned by the club.

The Junior Icebreaker resumes on 5th February next year and runs till 5th April on Saturday afternoons.

David Nelson, BYC lead Cadet coach taking delivery of two new RS Quests for the BYC Training TeamDavid Nelson, BYC lead Cadet coach taking delivery of two new RS Quests for the BYC Training Team

Published in Belfast Lough

Investment in a two-mile stretch of Bangor Waterfront on Belfast Lough is part of the recently announced £1billion Belfast City Deal funding. Plans already published for Bangor Waterfront aim to “reconnect the town with the sea through a range of attractions and experiences”. It involves the provision of high-quality public spaces and the regeneration of Bangor Marina and Ballyholme Yacht Club. The plans say that the club “has been identified as the preferred location within Northern Ireland for major sailing and water sports events by the Royal Yachting Association”.

Ballyholme Yacht Club as it is todayBallyholme Yacht Club as it is today - the club has been identified as the preferred location within Northern Ireland for major sailing and water sports events by the Royal Yachting Association

Some of the scheme, which has been designed by Hemingway Design and Aecom, has already caused controversy. There are concerns that the character of Kingsland, the only substantial green area at Ballyholme, will be lost with the development of “tourism accommodation pods, café kiosks and a skate park (now an Olympic sport) set in landscaped gardens.

"Ballyholme Yacht Club has been identified as the preferred location within Northern Ireland for major sailing and water sports events"

There is also the potential for a small cluster of high-quality residential developments to the south of the area”. And the graphics in the Bangor Waterfront document show a landscaped area replacing the very large car park near the Club which may be to the detriment of competitors in large events hosted by BYC. The plans continue “The redevelopment of BYC would provide Bangor with a world-class facility for water sports and the ability to host international events”.

A graphic of the proposed Waterfront development at Bangor, County DownA graphic of the proposed Waterfront development at Bangor, County Down

The Club refers to the proposed new building as Ballyholme Yacht Club and Watersport Centre, to reflect its increased range of activities, which now include diving, SUPs, kayaking, and swimming.

Sea swimming on Belfast Lough at Ballyholme Yacht ClubSea swimming on Belfast Lough at Ballyholme Yacht Club

Kingsland, the only substantial green area at BallyholmeThe tennis courts at Kingsland

It is understood that the Council will publicise opportunities to engage in the whole scheme and that everyone with an interest in the scheme can become involved. Subject to financial/ project approvals and planning permission, work ‘on the ground’ will begin in 2023 (phased), with the projects delivered over 8 to 10-years.

Kingsland is the only substantial green area at BallyholmeKingsland is the only substantial green area at Ballyholme

David McMullan, who leads a small ‘redevelopment’ sub-committee reporting to the Executive Committee of BYC, has explained the Club’s position “On Wednesday 15th December it was announced that £1 billion funding for the Belfast Region City Deal had been approved. This is the first City Deal to be signed for Northern Ireland. Ards and North Down Borough Council (ANDBC) had submitted their plans for the Waterfront Redevelopment in Bangor as part of this Regional City Deal, which included the redevelopment of BYC, and we understand proposed plans have been reviewed and approved in principle. We expect to hear early in the New Year details of the funding for ANDBC’S plans and then be able to conclude discussions with ANDBC on how that will impact the proposed redevelopment of BYC. We will then present this to the membership for discussion and hopefully approval”.

The £40m funding for Ards and North Down Council will be matched by its contribution of £20m from the Council.

Published in Belfast Lough

An entry of thirteen on Saturday 23rd October was certainly not an unlucky number for Ballyholme Yacht Club's first windsurfing event, the Open Ulster Championship, as the Irish Windsurfing Association intends to include this as a ranked event in the calendar next October.

Racing for four classes was scheduled Gold, Silver, Bronze and Youth. The overall winner was Hannes Louet-Feisser who had made the long haul from Limerick (one of several who travelled considerable distances to be there).

He counted six first places and two seconds with Martin Pelican runner up with one first, four seconds and a third. First in the Silver fleet was Barry Murphy with local Andrew Gallagher second.

Barry Murphy, First Silver fleet Ulster Windsurfing Championships with BYC Commodore Aidan Pounder Photo: Catherine GunningBarry Murphy (right) first in the Silver Fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing Championships with BYC Commodore Aidan Pounder Photo: Catherine Gunning

Winds were offshore, with strong gusts and a flat sea and the fleet launched from Ballymacormick Beach on the east side of Ballyholme Bay. The club had the use of some of the car parks for the event where there was the registration gazebo and an RYA NI information tent as well as the regular coffee trailer.

Andrew Gallagher runner up in the Silver Fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing ChampionshipsAndrew Gallagher runner up in the Silver Fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing Championships

Commodore Aidan Pounder who organised the Championships was delighted with the event. "Ballyholme had about 30 people in the support team covering two Committee Boats, safety boats, overseeing the car park, and back at the Clubhouse - a mid-afternoon Barbecue. We are pleased with the compliments from the Irish Windsurfing Association and from the competitors and are delighted that this will be a ranked championship event next year".

Martin Pelican runner up in the Gold fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing ChampionshipsMartin Pelican runner up in the Gold fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing Championships

And Richard Honeyford, Chief Operating Officer of RYANI was one of the Competitors; "Ballyholme Yacht Club provided a great welcome for competitors for the Ulster Windsurf Championships. Despite some shifty conditions, well laid (and adjusted) courses allowed for eight races. Thank you to Aidan Pounder and the whole BYC team for putting it together, from set up, shore support, racing and safety. Thanks also to Ards and North Down Borough Council for their support. Everyone appreciated the effort to get good racing in."

Ballymacormick Beach on the eastern side of Ballyholme Bay on Belfast Lough will see next Saturday (23rd), the first-ever windsurfing event hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club when the Ulster Championships competitors will take to the water.

There will be eleven races for three fleets – Gold, Silver and Bronze/Novice, in six subdivisions from Junior to Super Veteran.

The Club will have exclusive use of the Banks Car Park off Groomsport Road, and the welcome and briefing is scheduled for 1000 at that location.

The NOR is downloadable here 

Entries should be made in advance through the BYC website, and online pre-entry closes at 1200 on Thursday 21st October 2021.

BYC Commodore Aidan Pounder is enthusiastic about the event; "We have had great support from the Irish Windsurfing Association, and it is hoped that in 2022 we can host an IWA ranked event. The Club looks forward to welcoming windsurfers from all over Ireland to the Bay next Saturday".

Published in Belfast Lough

Some of the 'old hands' mixed it with the Laser sailors who had come on the scene since the birth of the Laser class at Ballyholme in 1974. The 39-strong fleet on Saturday (18th September) had a memorable day's racing the club in Ballyholme Bay in Belfast Lough.

The first of the four races began in calm, shifty conditions resulting in a second race recall due to flukey winds. The southerly came through for the rest of the four-race programme. And race officer Aidan Pounder delivered the complete programme by mid-afternoon.

Charlie Taylor (213539) one of the early BYC Laser sailors Charlie Taylor (213539) one of the early BYC Laser sailors

The ILCA 4 (4.7) fleet had just two contenders, who tied on four points - 14-year-old Toby Hughes of Royal North at Cultra and Ballyholme and Finn Neely (15) also of the host club, with the tie split in Toby's favour.


In the ILCA 6 (Radial) fleet, local 17-year-old Lucas Nixon topped the scoresheet in the 11 strong fleet after close racing and the same points (4) as the County Antrim YC sailor, Daniel Corbett, with Nixon taking first place. Jess Winton (BYC), on nine points was third.

Lucas NixonLucas Nixon

The largest fleet at 26 was the ILCA 7 and was won by a stalwart of the BYC Laser fleet, Gareth Flannigan, who counted three bullets and a second which he discarded. Flannigan has also made his mark as an SB3 sailor, previously winning Afloat's Sailor of the Month award. Runner up here was another BYC helm, Richard McCullough, two points behind. In third was the Carrickfergus SC sailor, Stephen McLernon, whose best result was second.

Gareth Flannigan (right) winner of the Laser Standard division with Ron HutchiesonGareth Flannigan (right) winner of the Laser Standard division with Ron Hutchieson

The prizes were presented by Ron Hutchieson, who was the first Laser sailor at Ballyholme and a driving force for Laser sailing across Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of the members of BYC, Rear Commodore Sailing Des Magee said," A great day out on the water was had by all for the Laser 50th Anniversary event. We would like to thank all the participants who travelled from near and far, the rescue team (including the Safe Waters crew) and the Committee boat team, who all ensured a great event on the water to celebrate the Laser 50th Anniversary. And to the large number of people who made this happen from the shore side, namely the BYC office team and the BYC Shore Committee. I hope you all enjoyed the racing and the celebrations after, and we look forward to hosting you all at BYC again at some point in the future".

Jess Winton - 1st Female Radial Jess Winton - 1st Female Radial

Joni Rock, second female in the Radial rigJoni Rock, second female in the Radial rig

Toby Hughes winner of the ILCA4 class with Ron HutchiesonToby Hughes winner of the ILCA4 class

Published in Belfast Lough

Their names will be forever associated with Ballyholme Yacht Club's Laser class. Instrumental in getting the class going in 1974 were Ron Hutchieson and Trevor Millar. Ron persuaded Trevor to leave Newtownards SC and come to Ballyholme. And Ron bought the first BYC Laser, for, brand new, the princely sum of £263! His interest in switching from motorsport to sailing could be attributed to his wife Doris who suggested that; "I should join the local yacht club as this would take up less time and mean that I could go sailing and yet be back home in time for my meals" Little did she know!

Trevor was a motivator and his and Ron's tireless work in the Seventies shows today with the fleet at Ballyholme numbering over 80. Ron says some of the highlights are "Seeing the children of the Laser sailors that I knew in the '70s and '80s now coming into the Laser Class and I am delighted that so many of the sailors on the larger boats nowadays either used to be, or still are Laser sailors". The big attraction in the 70s was that the Laser was virtually maintenance-free.

"Warriors About to Go into Battle". This properly serious-looking foursome from the cream of the 1982 Irish Laser Class, with their mentor Ron Huthcieson on right, are (left to right) Simon Brien (later multiple Edinburgh Cup winner and other majors), multiple champion Charlie Taylor (still at it in the Laser Masters), Olympian Bill O'Hara, and Dave Cummins, All-Ireland Helmsmans Champion 1981 and 1982 Credit: courtesy Bill O'Hara"Warriors About to Go into Battle". This properly serious-looking foursome from the cream of the 1982 Irish Laser Class, with their mentor Ron Huthcieson on right, are (left to right) Simon Brien (later multiple Edinburgh Cup winner and other majors), multiple champion Charlie Taylor (still at it in the Laser Masters), Olympian Bill O'Hara, and Dave Cummins, All-Ireland Helmsmans Champion 1981 and 1982 Credit: courtesy Bill O'Hara

Also, there in the first few years were Willie Forsythe, Charlie Taylor, John Stewart, Mike Kinnear and in case you think it was an all-male preserve, Elaine Taylor, who joined in 1977, as did Bill O'Hara who is among the 'old hands' planning to turn out on Saturday 25th September for the Anniversary open event. John Simms started in 1978.

The event will feature ILCA 7 (Standards), ILCA 6 (Radials) and ILCA 4 (4.7s). The warning gun is at 10.25 am with racing over Windward-Leeward and Trapezoid courses.

Maeve Donnelly (McNally) and Trevor Millar courtesy Elaine TaylorMaeve Donnelly (McNally) and Trevor Millar courtesy Elaine Taylor

Ron was Hon Secretary of the Irish Laser Class was from 1974 – when the Laser made its debut in this country – until 2017. Last year he retired as Chairman of Irish Sailing's Racing Rules & Appeals Board 

Bill reached the top of international sailing at Olympic level and ultimately held the three positions in the world of sailing competition as Judge, Umpire and Race Officer. Earlier this year he was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to sailing. 

Olympian Bill O'HaraOlympian Bill O'Hara

Just as well neither Ron nor Bill was judging in the early days at a Royal North Regatta at Cultra on Belfast Lough when Charlie Taylor got somewhat annoyed and (I saw this happening) drew alongside Trevor Miller and jumped aboard – let's say it was surprising they stayed upright! But two in a Laser was small fry compared to when Elaine set what she says was a "World Record" with 42 people on board! She does admit they were mostly young Cadet members.

Those were the days when sailors named their boats. Trevor's was Maggie Mae after the Rod Stewart song; John Simms's was Strawberry Streak; Bill O'Hara called his The Flying Fenian and he says, "I redressed the balance with my next Laser which was called King Billy". Ms Elaineous is self-explanatory, and Mike Kinnear's was Ruth.

Gillian Guinness and Elaine TaylorGillian Guinness and Elaine Taylor

Trevor Millar went on to form SailCoach in the Newtownards Business Centre and worked for the RYA. And long before the RYANI had 'Squads', Trevor started Ross's Water Sailing Squad. Elaine reminisces " Those were the days when we travelled the length and breadth of Ireland going to Laser events - Trevor towed us with his Dad's old Marina Estate, then his builder's van. Everyone camped before racing all weekend!". She continued "They were halcyon days with no cares, mortgages or pressure to perform, and lots and lots of laughs. We all made lifelong friends through Lasers, and some are still my best friends today - Gillian Guinness and Maeve McNally. I raced against Annalise Murphy's Mum over the years, Cathy MacAleavey".

Irish Ladies Laser and Masters Championships circa 1975 courtesy Elaine TaylorIrish Ladies Laser and Masters Championships circa 1975 courtesy Elaine Taylor

BYC's Rear Commodore Sailing Des Magee says that "With one of the largest Laser club fleets in Ireland, Ballyholme Yacht Club is pleased to welcome all Laser sailors to its celebration 50th Laser Anniversary Open Event on Saturday 25th September. BYC has a long association with the Laser class and a wealth of talent from ex Olympians, top Laser sailors and less experienced recent additions to the fleet. We are excited to be offering Laser sailors of all abilities the opportunity to spend a day of sailing celebration at BYC sailing amongst the greats - and the rest of us".

Laser racing today at Ballyholme Laser racing today at Ballyholme

Nearly 200 swimmers took to the waters of Ballyholme Bay on Belfast Lough in perfect weather on Saturday 28th August, marking the culmination of a very successful season of regular Monday night swims off the Club slipway.

Of the huge crowd, 50 were from the club and the rest were enthusiastic members of the public. The club, which has seen a massive increase in members who are keen to get involved in open water sea swimming over recent years, welcomed both members and visitors of all swimming abilities to this successful event which included 5k, 1500m, and 750m swims.

The swimmers were kept safe by kayaks, paddleboards and safety boats.

Open water swimming has been for a long time one of the many activities offered by BYC, and while this big event was the highlight of the season, the regular Monday night outings (which are for members only) will end next week. But given favourable weather and tides during the winter months, there may be the opportunity to run more organised swims.

Club Commodore Aidan Pounder explained: "Open water sea swimming has become very much a fixture at Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) over the last two years, so I was delighted we were able to organise this event, particularly when we realised the level of interest from the outset with in excess of 200 competitors signing up within 10 days of registration opening. The atmosphere was fantastic with huge support from the members and visitors alike. Inglorious sunshine, our swimmers enjoyed excellent sea conditions in Ballyholme Bay as spectators watched from the Seacliffe Road and Ballyholme Promenade, cheering from the shore. Special thanks must also go to our event sponsor, Mr Ryan Smith of Dunluce Health Care."

Jessika Robson first Female 5k, with left Ryan Smith of sponsors Dunluce Healthcare and Alan Whyte Club CaptainJessika Robson first Female 5k, with left Ryan Smith of sponsors Dunluce Healthcare and Alan Whyte Club Captain

Club Captain Alan Whyte has been instrumental in the organisation and successful delivery of swimming at the Club with his team and this weekend was no different. Alan added: "We have been running Open Water Swims on a Monday night for some time at the club, but it was great to be able to organise this event, not just for our members, but for the wider sea-swimming community in the local area and further afield. I have already been contacted by so many people who took part saying how much they enjoyed the day and asking me when the next swim will be, which goes to show just how much of an appetite there is for events like this. We plan to build on the success of Saturday's event and are now hoping to organise two more events in the coming year.

Safety craft at Ballyholme Big SwimSafety craft at Ballyholme Big Swim

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the team of volunteers who were instrumental in ensuring this event ran smoothly, both on the water and onshore. We couldn't do it without them".

One of the swimmers was Melanie Qutteineh, who is swimming the North Channel between County Down and the Scottish coast as part of a relay team from Ballyholme Yacht Club, took part in Saturday's event. She said: "We have been attending the club's Open Water swim sessions as part of our training, but it was great to get the opportunity to join so many other swimmers at the 'B Y Sea' at the weekend too. It was lovely to see so many swimmers in the water, from beginners to elite, all enjoying the events, and all being welcomed by the team at BYC."

And Carol Douglas, who took part a few months after a knee replacement, said it was great to get the chance to take part. Carol swam the 750m event. She explained: "Although I enjoy a 'dip' in the sea, I decided to take part in this event to really challenge myself. I was really nervous, but everyone was so welcoming, it was great".

As part of expanding the range of activities offered at BYC, the club hosting the Open Ulster Windsurfing Championships in late autumn for the first time, another new aspect to Club activity.

Prizewinners were Jessika Robson and Samuel Wright – 1st Male and Female in the 5k. 1500m - Anna McKee and Gary Robinson and for the 750m - Catherine Markwell and Jonny Morrison

Published in Sea Swim
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020

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