History – 1968 to 2009
The Club now based in its clubhouse at 38-40 Shore Road, Portaferry started as Cooke Street Sailing Club in 1968, named after a previous sailing club in the town which ceased operating in 1956. The Club initially provided racing for Wychcraft, a locally designed racing dinghy, and supplied a social base for local sailors and their supporters as well as visiting boat crews from all over the world.
It ran its first Regatta in 1969 and as the years progressed the Club added various classes of boat to its fleet before settling with Flying 15’s as its main and most popular class. In 1970 the Club felt it needed to be more representative of the town as a whole and changed its name to Portaferry Sailing Club
Over the next period of years it developed a junior sailing fleet using optimists and toppers. It also introduced and has developed cruisers racing. This fleet along with the Flying 15’s continues to expand and compete regularly in the Club’s weekly points racing and in local and international sailing events and championships throughout the season.
The Club itself has been responsible over the years for running national and international sailing events and is recognised as an excellent centre for competitive racing in Strangford Lough. Events like the ‘Galway Hooker Regatta’ for traditional boats, run annually at the end of June, have brought worldwide fame and recognition to the Club.
Portaferry Sailing Club was a premier mover and one of the founding organisations in the establishment of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Portaferry in 1979. To this day many of our members are on the crew, guild and management committee of the local station. The Club still loyally supports and assists with fundraising.
In 1991 the Club made history when it twinned with Poolbeg Yacht Club in Dublin. This was the first ever twinning of Sailing Clubs and more importantly it was cross border. Close relationships have continued with our friends at Ringsend ever since with many social and sailing visits between the clubs each year.
The Club’s social activities/events have always tried to support and complement events on the water and without the associated financial support the Club could not operate as effectively as it does. In this respect our clubhouse is quite unique and famous for its welcome to visitors to the area. The addition of a restaurant to the bar facilities over ten years ago has made the Club one of the best equipped clubs to cater for its members and visitors in Strangford Lough and indeed Northern Ireland.
Since its establishment the Club has always supported and taken part in the development of sailing in Ireland. It has also helped the local community develop and has added to the social and economic wellbeing of the town and its people.
By road follow the A20 from Newtownards, there are local bus connections from Belfast and the nearest airport is Belfast City.
From the sea Portaferry is 4 miles from the Strangford Fairway buoy, position 54 22 72'N, on the east shore of the narrows position 05 32 85'W, 100 meters south of the ferry slip.
Chart 2156 gives details on Strangford Lough, chart 2159 gives details on the Strangford narrows. High Water Portaferry is + 02 00 hrs Dover / + 01 50 Belfast.
There is a strong tidal flow in the narrows 7.5 Knots Spring.
Our clubhouse provides changing and showering areas. We have a full range of bar facilities, food is also available from our restaurant. For more information please click on this restaurant link.
To contact the club write to: 38 Shore Road, Portaferry, Co. Down BT22 1JZ, N. Ireland, tel: 028 4272 8770, email: [email protected]
The Marina is managed by Portaferry Development Committee and is situated right outside our clubhouse. It has berths for up to 30 boats, on site water and electricity.
To contact the Marina Office write to: John Murray, Marina Manager, Barholm, 11 The Strand, Portaferry BT22 1PF, tel: 028 4272 9598, mobile: 077 0320 9780, fax: 028 4272 9784.
Additional launching and berth facilities are available at Cook Street Jetty.
(Details courtesy of Portaferry Sailing Club)
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