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Displaying items by tag: Topper

Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough will host the British Topper Nationals, scheduled for early August next year, a few days after the World Championships in Cork Harbour.

With the Irish Nationals in Northern Ireland at Strangford Lough Yacht Club in the calendar for 2nd-4th July, there will be a fantastic festival of Topper racing in Ireland next year.

Commodore Aidan Pounder is pleased that the club has been chosen for the event. "Ballyholme Yacht Club is delighted to be hosting the GBR ITCA Topper Nationals on 2nd -6th August 2021. This is the first time the Nationals have been held in Northern Ireland and we very much look forward to welcoming the competitors to our excellent sailing waters for a safe successful event".

The club, on the southern shore of the Lough, is ideally situated on a virtually tideless and hazard free large expanse of water. It has a racing pedigree which has provided sailors and officials to the last five Olympic Regattas and many international events as well as the last Volvo Round the World Race. It has renowned expertise in running large national and international events including the Topper Worlds in 2016.

Principle Race Officer for the event is Bangor man Robin Gray who is an International Race Officer and Judge.

The Topper Worlds is reported to attract more than 250 boats regularly and it is expected that the Nationals entry will be more than that.

Published in Belfast Lough

Christmas has come early for 12-year-old Rory Pollard, who has been awarded a brand new boat by the John Merricks Sailing Trust.

Rory, from Whitehead and a junior member of County Antrim Yacht Club, is the only sailor from Northern Ireland to receive his very own boat. He will have exclusive use of the boat for the next two years through the on-going partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard.

A Carrickfergus Grammar School pupil, Rory, like many young children, has had a difficult year after being isolated from his friends. However, he is now finishing 2020 on a high as he plans to turn his dreams of sailing in national competitions into a reality.

The delighted young sailor said: "I felt over the moon when I found out I had been awarded the boat, I asked my Mum and Dad to pinch me to see if I was dreaming. I must have jumped five feet in the air!

"I feel really proud that the selection team must have had belief in my ability and have recognised the dedication I have shown to the sport that I love. I can't wait to sail it and to compete and train, and to give it 100 per cent every time I am on the water."

Rory's love for sailing has been inspired by his dad Gavin, an accomplished sailor. "Sailing has always been in my blood," Rory says.

"I first got on a boat when I was two and I can't remember a time when I didn't sail or was not by the water. As soon as I started to sail when I was six, I knew it was what I wanted to do. Ever since then, when I am not doing my school work, I am researching sailing and reading about different sailors and world races."

During lockdown, Rory had been feeling isolated but it was sailing that got him through. His mum, Claire Pollard, comments: "It was Rory's last year of primary school and the loss of completing those important months before transferring to post primary was worrying.

"However, it was his love of sailing and the need to get out on the water that he missed the most. As soon as he was able to, he was out sailing, for up to five days a week. As a parent, the improvement I instantly saw in his emotional health was amazing."

Up until now Rory has been sailing and competing in a borrowed club boat.

Claire says: "Without the support of County Antrim Yacht Club, Rory would not be able to attend and complete in the races he has done to date. The encouragement, support and training he has received has driven him on to always want to progress and achieve his best.

Rory has recently been selected for the RYA Northern Ireland Topper Performance Programme. He hopes to put the new boat to good use as part of his training. He explains: "I have recently been selected to the RYANI Topper Performance Programme and I hope to use this to tune my skills into championship level.

"As we have not been out on the water yet, I have started my own winter training programme to make sure my fitness levels are at their best when we get back on the water. I know the pressure will be on as I will be sailing a brand new boat, but I can't wait to show the coaches my ability!"

He adds: "I'd like to thank the John Merricks Sailing Trust and the RYA for giving me this opportunity along with all the people who have encouraged and supported me along the way.

"I am hoping over the next while to be able to showcase my skills and attract sponsorship so that I can compete in the bigger events while I have the boat. I also hope to encourage younger sailors at my club and show them that if they are dedicated and train hard, they could also be in the same position as me and have the honour of sailing a JMST boat."

RYA Northern Ireland's Performance Manager, Andrew Baker, said: "It is fantastic that Rory has been awarded this boat, it will be a great benefit to his training for the Topper Squad and we look forward to watching his progress.

"Getting enthusiastic young sailors access to boats and helping give them time on the water is what this award is all about and Rory is a shining example of a passionate and dedicated young sailor who fully deserves this award."

Sheela Lewis, Race Coach and Training Officer on behalf of the Sailing Committee at County Antrim Yacht Club, said: "County Antrim Yacht Club is delighted with this outcome. Several of our membership have been previous recipients of JMST dinghies. Following the ethos of the RYA and JMST, we have progressed our Pathway race coaching by reassigning JMST dinghies to worthy Club members.

"Rory had the benefit of this which has supported his development to date. As a small club we would not have been in a position to purchase new Toppers to facilitate those members who show the potential and talent that Rory has displayed to date. We share Rory's excitement with regard to this award and we will be supporting Rory to achieve all of his goals and more!"

Talented youth sailor Jude Armstrong (13) is from High Wycombe and has family in Co. Down including grandparents Rob and Betty Armstrong, Afloat's Northern Ireland correspondent. Jude is one of ten youngsters from across the UK who have been handed a huge boost in their ambitions to become top class dinghy sailors thanks to a national programme helping young talent progress in the sport.

The delighted sailors have been awarded exclusive use of their own boat for the next two years through the on-going partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust (JMST) and RYA OnBoard

It was on visits to family that Jude learned to sail. He took his first sailing courses in 2017 and 2018 at Killyleagh Outdoor Education Centre on Strangford Lough where his Aunt Alice was an Instructor, and subsequently at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, and just last summer a racing course at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

Launched in 2013, the JMST was set up in the memory of 1996 Olympic silver medallist, John Merricks, and it seeks to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals. It supports youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent, and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals.

Jude, a member of Upper Thames Sailing Club (UTSC), has received a Topper dinghy. He says: "Having my own Topper means I can go to lots more competitions and attend area training, which I could not do before. This will help me become a better sailor, I am really looking forward to sailing my new boat- thank you!" Jude was enthusiastic about taking the step up to a Youth Championship. "I really enjoyed the RYA Regional Youth Championships at Datchet this year and last year. In two years' time, I would like to join the RYA zone training squads and be competing in national and international competitions. Having my own boat will mean I can sail in more regional events."

Jude's dad Barry was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour in April 2019. Whilst mum Jo has been caring for Barry Jude has continued sailing with help from family and friends. Barry sailed as a child and Jude has been keen to follow in his father's footsteps and compete nationally and internationally. 

Jo says of her son: "Jude has been interested in sailing from a young child; a favourite activity was to go to the local river and watch boats going in and out of the lock, and this interest has continued to grow. He has made the most of all opportunities to sail both through his club and when visiting his grandparents in Northern Ireland each summer.
Jude has completed the RYA stages and this summer did Start Racing and Intermediate Racing courses through UTSC and while visiting family in Bangor". Jo continued "We are grateful for support from UTSC which lent Jude a boat for events. He would very much like to progress onto other racing and training opportunities in the region, and the boat from JMST will enable this."

USTC responded: "We were delighted to be able to support Jude's application. He stands out as the keenest young sailor in our group, with a steely determination to succeed, which he frequently does, winning more than half of our junior races last year! Jude's new boat will enable him to take the next steps." After two years in Jude's care the new boat will pass to his club for other youngsters to use.

Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer, said: "We cannot thank JMST enough for continuing to support the programme. Over the next three years, £110,000 worth of funding will be going into junior sailing. This money will have a direct impact to the recipients lucky enough to be awarded a boat - they can now feel confident that they will be able to continue their progression in the sport.

As OnBoard's official charity partner, JMST have so far donated 86 boats and boards with some remarkable success stories. The RYA is delighted to announce that the partnership will continue for another three years. Details on how to apply for the 2021 JMST and OnBoard partnership will be issued soon. Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres.

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The 2021 International Topper World Championships will be hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, Ireland, from the 24th to 30th July.

As Afloat reported previously, the event will attract up to 200 young sailors from around the world and it has been planned to dovetail with the UK National Championships, following on two days later at Ballyholme YC in Northern Ireland, from the 2nd to 6th August – providing sailors with a fun, fortnight festival of top-quality racing.

The club and ITCA are currently finalising plans for the event and will, of course, be closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19.

Entry will open January 1st 2021.

Cork Harbour Sailing venue

Cork Harbour is a natural harbour, with stunning scenery and provides a perfect location for any sailing championship. Claimed to be the second biggest in the world after Sydney Harbour, it has room for two protected races areas within the harbour and a further three out in the bay.

Published in Cork Harbour

As a result of the new NI Executive Covid restrictions announced on 14th October, East Antrim Boat Club at Larne has cancelled the Topper Northern championship event scheduled for 24th and 25th October.

The EABC Covid team said, "The organising committee felt that it could not run the event in good faith with the latest restrictions in place".

The Halloween Regatta is still due to take place on the 1st November and this event, as well as the Winter Series and Christmas Regatta, will be open to visitors.

More details, including the format and how to enter, will be made available in the coming days.

Club dinghy racing will continue as normal this Sunday (18th) with the first gun at 1:30 pm and the Sunday morning training will continue in single-handed boats and with household crews (where social distancing is possible).

In Royal Cork's September Saturday League for Toppers and Lasers, Cork Harbour youth sailors have enjoyed some great sailing conditions this autumn with eight races sailed so far for Laser Radials and 4.7s and six races for the Topper class.

Radial

After two discards, Michael Crosbie leads the Laser Radial by five points from Dorothy Matthews on 13.0 points. Third is Hugh Lynch on 26.0 points.

Topper

Max Tolan leads by five points after six races sailed from Julie O'Neill on 13 points with Craig O'Neill third on 18.

See results here and Bob Bateman's photo gallery below

Published in Royal Cork YC

In what is understood to be the first open event in Northern Ireland this year, 41 Toppers including two from Dublin Bay, raced at Ballyholme YC on Belfast Lough yesterday (22nd August) for what turned out to be a lively set of four races in a mostly southerly offshore breeze ranging from four to 20 knots, with intermittent rain.

In the 4.2 fleet of eight, the winner was 9-year-old Callum Pollard from County Antrim YC at Whitehead on Belfast Lough with four points and one point behind was George Turkington (11) from Coleraine YC on the River Bann. Along with third-placed Luke Simpson also from CAYC these were the only finishers. The 5.3 fleet drew 33 starters and it was the host club's 14-year-old Hannah Dadley-Young who topped the scoreboard counting two seconds and a first. Runner up was Zoe Whitford from East Antrim BC at Larne who had to discard an OCS in the first race but made up for that with a 1,3 and 4 to finish on 8 points overall. In third was the local Daniel Palmer (12) counting a first, third and sixth.

In a post on the club's Facebook page, Secretary Lyn Sheriff said they were delighted the event went ahead. " At times we didn't think it would happen but careful planning, an amazing team of volunteers and an awesome bunch of sailors and we did it! It was a brilliant day and just so pleased to get these young racers out doing the sport they love. To our volunteers, with particular mention to Race Officer and Trophy creator Robin Gray, we couldn't do it without you - thank you!". She added "Thank you to Brian Spence Sailing, and Rooster for the competitor drinks bottles. Congratulations to all our winners (below) with a special mention to BYC's own Hannah Dadley-Young, the overall winner".

Race Officer Robin Gray added "Four short but good races. Tremendous teamwork. Well done to the new mark layers who had plenty to do. Parents socially distanced onshore. but great time had by all".

The next of the five-event series is at Galway City Sailing Club on 5th September.

Published in Belfast Lough
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Only a handful of spots remain for youth sailors in spring training programmes for Optimist, Topper and RS Feva sailors organised by the National Yacht Club for the 2020 season.

Spring training for Oppys runs for five Sunday afternoons beginning on 1 March. Only two places remain as of time of writing — to register (and optionally charter a club boat) see the NYC website HERE.

The Topper spring coaching programme is already under way, but a handful of places remain in the Advanced Racer and Improvers groups. More details and online registration can be found HERE.

And coaching for RS Feva juniors begins later this month on 23 February, with only two spots to spare. Details and registration HERE.

This month will also see a team racing clinic at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 February during the upcoming midterm break.

The Irish Sailing-supported initiative for team racing is offered at the special price of only €25 for the two days of training, and is open to anyone (including non-club members) who has a competent level of sailing experience but is most suited to at least Level 3 or equivalent.

Sign-ups are still open for the Dun Laoghaire Youth Laser spring training programme, which continues this month with a focus on preparing 4.7 sailors for Easter trials and Radials for the Europeans at Ballyholme in July.

And dates have been finalised for NYC’s junior summer courses, each of two weeks’ duration:

  • Course 1: Tuesday 2 to Friday 12 June
  • Course 2: Monday 15 to Friday 26 June
  • Course 3: Monday 29 June to Friday 10 July
  • Course 4: Monday 13 July to Friday 24 July
  • Course 5: Monday 27 July to Friday 7 August

These will involve the full suite of Irish Sailing levels (Start Sailing, Basic Skills, Improving Skills, Racing, Advanced Boat Handling, Adventure) over each course.

Published in Team Racing

A young sailor from Killyleagh has been awarded her own boat thanks to a national programme helping young talent progress in the sport.

Autumn Halliday (12), who is a junior member of Strangford Lough Yacht Club (SLYC), will have exclusive use of the boat for the next two years through the on-going partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust and RYA OnBoard,

Launched in 2013, the partnership supports youngsters who display enthusiasm, drive, talent and commitment to the sport and who may not ordinarily have the opportunity or financial backing to achieve their goals. In its six years, 76 boats and boards have now been donated with some remarkable success stories.

Autumn, a pupil at Regent House Grammar School, joined SLYC just three years ago with no previous experience or knowledge of sailing. She loved the sport and made lots of friends as well as showing great potential in her sailing skills as she progressed through the RYA levels. She is a dedicated junior member of the cub and is always on hand to help others and encourage them to get on the water.

Speaking about her joy in receiving the boat, Autumn said: "I am so happy and excited to have a brand new boat to use for two years, especially as everything will work properly on it! It will be great to take it wherever and whenever I want for training and racing.”

Her mother Nicola said: “I am very grateful for the opportunity that has been given to Autumn. Until now I have had to hire Toppers where they are available and there is no guarantee everything will work properly. This also limits where and when Autumn can train and compete.

“With the use of a new Topper this will enable Autumn to travel and participate in as many competitions as possible and have the use of a boat equivalent to her peers. It will also allow her to get out on the water during any free time to develop her skills.”
Autumn is aspiring to compete in the 2021 World Championships in Cork.
Winning the boat will allow the ambitious young sailor to develop her skills in the knowledge that some of the younger sailors at her club will benefit from the boat in the future.

RYANI’s High-Performance Officer James Farrell said: “It is fantastic to see Autumn awarded with her own boat. She is an enthusiastic and talented young sailor and a great ambassador for the sport. At RYANI we are looking forward to seeing Autumn develop her skills now that she has her own boat to practice in, we are confident she will achieve great things.”

The JMST seeks to help young sailors and youth sailing organisations to achieve their goals and was set up in the memory of 1996 Olympic silver medalist, John Merricks. As OnBoard's official charity partner, JMST will donate at least 80 single-handed junior pathway boats and boards to promising sailors over eight years, giving them the chance to progress their skills and continue to participate in the sport.

Hannah Cockle, RYA OnBoard Operations Officer, added: "We cannot thank JMST enough for continuing to support the programme. For many of the winners it will be the difference between continuing in the sport and not. It is such a thrill telling the sailors and their families they have been successful because we know what a difference getting a boat or board will make to their lives.

"OnBoard is all about making it easier and cheaper to get more young people aged 8-18 on the water regularly and that is what the JMST partnership helps to achieve.”
This year's recipients all applied for and were awarded their new boats or boards after attending their respective British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships at the end of September. Declarations of Eligibility for next year's applications will open in July 2020.

Since 2005, OnBoard has helped over three-quarters of a million young people try sailing and windsurfing and learn an activity that often stays with them for life. The programme enables youngsters to enjoy all the excitement and relaxation being on the water offers, whilst nurturing a wide range of broader learning benefits and invaluable life skills, from problem solving to leadership and teamwork.

Published in Youth Sailing
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A brisk northerly breeze met the Topper sailors on Saturday afternoon for a cold day of sailing in what was otherwise perfect sailing weather for the fourth week of the Charles Hurst Jaguar Land Rover Ballyholme Yacht Club Junior Icebreaker Series.

Race one, in what now seems to be predictable, saw Daniel Palmer with a perfectly timed run to the pin at the start take a commanding lead on the first beat which he never looked like relinquishing. The chasing pack was led by Katie Brow, Dan Sherriff, Henry Nelson and Joseph Robinson in that order. The beat to the finish was light and shifty which allowed Dan to overtake Katie just on the line with the others crossing in sequence.

At the end of the first beat of race two, it was Katie leading from Daniel with last year’s winner Faye McCartan in third and that is how they finished. Rex Claney deserves a mention for pulling up to eighth in the race after a capsize and subsequent swim at the start!

With the cool temperatures taking their toll on the fleet (and coaches) the third race saw the windward mark moved further south to shorten the course. True to form Daniel took line honours in the race with Dan in second. Katie took her third podium place of the day and is now firmly in second place overall. Joseph Robinson had his best race of the day in fourth and Faye’s fifth-place saw a consistent day for her too.

Overall after Daniel and Katie, Romy’s good run of form sees her in third overall with Henry in fourth and Joseph in fifth. Evie Pringle’s sixth in the last race of the day along with her previous race win now see her sixth overall.

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boot Düsseldorf, the International Boat Show

With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. Around 2,000 exhibitors present their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

boot Düsseldorf FAQs

boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair. Seventeen exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology.

The Fairground Düsseldorf. This massive Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre is strategically located between the River Rhine and the airport. It's about 20 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the city centre.

250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair.

The 2018 show was the golden jubilee of the show, so 2021 will be the 51st show.

Every year in January. In 2021 it will be 23-31 January.

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH Messeplatz 40474 Düsseldorf Tel: +49 211 4560-01 Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The Irish marine trade has witnessed increasing numbers of Irish attendees at boot over the last few years as the 17-Hall show becomes more and more dominant in the European market and direct flights from Dublin offer the possibility of day trips to the river Rhine venue.

Boats & Yachts Engines, Engine parts Yacht Equipment Watersports Services Canoes, Kayaks, Rowing Waterski, Wakeboard, Kneeboard & Skimboard Jetski + Equipment & Services Diving, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing & SUP Angling Maritime Art & Crafts Marinas & Watersports Infrastructure Beach Resorts Organisations, Authorities & Clubs

Over 1000 boats are on display.

©Afloat 2020

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At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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