Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: 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

SUPHUBNI is a mobile paddleboarding school based in Bangor  on Belfast Lough and last week ran an event in Bangor Harbour to raise funds for RNLI. A record 92 paddlers hit the water dressed as Santas and raised £1000 for the Bangor and Donaghadee lifeboats. Added to the £600 from the Halloween paddle £800 will be presented to each station.

Iain McCarthy of SUPHUBNI was very pleased with the effort. “A huge thanks to all participants and passers-by, but particular thanks to Nina Cristinnace for provision of mince pies, sausage rolls and hot chocolate for all. And to Safer Waters NI, an independent charitable Safety Boat service, who kindly provided a safety boat for the event. Whether you paddled, supported, volunteered, gave time, gave money, made food, made drink, gave prizes, provided safety, provided access, gave us a wave or a smile”.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

Farra Marine Ltd is a new company set up in Dublin. It is a CTV (Crew Transfer Vessel) owner and operator and has had the first in a new line of catamaran wind farm vessels built by Penguin Shipyard in Singapore, Asia.  As Afloat reported a year ago, Farra Orla will be the first of its kind to operate from Ireland.

The 27m catamaran ship is presently docked in Bangor on Belfast Lough having arrived on December 5th. She will stay till the New Year. The Irish Ambassador to Singapore Pat Bourne and his wife Sonali Rajasingham attended the official naming ceremony in Singapore.

The Farra Orla in Bangor Harbour Photo: Bangor MarinaThe Farra Orla in Bangor Harbour Photo: Bangor Marina

The management team headed by owner and CEO Martin Rice, has been actively involved in the offshore wind sector for several years and has worked extensively across the UK and Europe on various renewable energy projects.

The Farra Orla voyaged to Europe via the Suez Canal, arriving in Ireland at Arklow in November. It is understood the company has plans for 10 more vessels, the second of which, the Farra Ciara is due for delivery this month ahead of schedule.

Farra CiaraFarra Ciara

The Farra Orla is the third in Penguin’s Windflex 27 series, which Australian designers Incat Crowther say offers excellent speed, deadweight and seakeeping, making it capable of many roles in the offshore wind industry.

An interior shot of Farra OrlaAn interior shot of Farra Orla

The vessel has a deadweight above 50 tonnes and features two working decks. A large working deck forward equipped with a deck crane can accommodate up to four 10-foot containers or two 20-foot. The aft deck can accommodate a 10-foot container. Both decks have multiple tie-down points for flexibility, accommodating every possible requirement or spares and equipment. Her service speed is 25 knots with a max of 31knots.

Inside the main cabin is a large wet room with multiple showers, toilets, and lockers. The main deck passenger space is large and open, with forward visibility, seating 24 personnel in comfortable suspended seats.

It will be the first of a new generation of offshore support vessels, able to stay at sea longer, work in increased weather limits and provide the greatest level of safety and comfort for those onboard.

Published in Belfast Lough

With the end of the first half of Ballyholme’s Icebreaker Sunday series in Belfast Lough finishing on 19th December it would be nearly impossible to forecast winners when the discards come into play.

The Icebreaker winter series has always been a big draw for dinghies from the home club and farther afield since its inception in the mid-seventies when the Laser class was introduced by Ron Hutchieson. Before that, sailors would never have considered racing after Closing Day in early September but now with top-class clothing and infectious enthusiasm winter racing is nothing out of the ordinary at lots of clubs.

Many of the sailors are big boat crew in the summer but enjoy the competition provided by a large fleet in the winter. This season’s entry is more than 100 and while not all race every week a substantial fleet does often fill the Bay. Classes racing are Large Dinghy, Laser, Laser Radial, Multihulls and Small Dinghies.

This season’s Ballyholme Icebreaker entry is more than 100This season’s Ballyholme Icebreaker entry is more than 100

So far only one race has been cancelled and ironically it wasn’t because of Storm Arwen but strong onshore winds and big seas making launching tricky. So, the current standings are interesting in that in most classes very few points separate the front runners.

In the Large Dinghy division which has RS 200s and 400s, Aeros, Laser 2000s, and a solitary GP14, the leaders with two races to go are Dave Fletcher and crew Ryan Smith in a Laser 2000 on 9 points with Ruan and Rebeka O’Tiarnaigh’s GP 14 second on 14. Tied in third are Martin and Vikki Dews (RS 200) and Aileen and Dave Smith in a Laser 2000, both with 26 points.

In the biggest section, Jonny Henry tops the Lasers counting three firsts to sit on 14 points with Mike Kimber having a lot to make up on 25 points. In the Radial Jess Winton is three points ahead of her Mum Charlie, and in the Multihulls, mostly F18s, Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston are just one point ahead of Matt McNicholl and Peter McDowell. The Small Dinghy fleet (Laser 4.7s and Toppers) is led by Bobby Driscoll by a comfortable margin over Anneka Hunter.

So, the faithful have two more races before the break and can look forward to the Icebreaker Dinner in the club on the evening of the final race – 19th December. The series will resume on Sunday 6th February next year and run till Sunday 10th April.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

The RS 400 Winter Series continued last Sunday at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. The series is now twelve races in and has thrown up some surprises, twenty boats currently entered.

Race 10 started in a fresh breeze from the North, with 18 boats on the start line. Trevor D’Arcy and Alan McLearnon (on 1366) got a good start along with Liam Donnelly and Rick McCaig (on 1405) with the rest of the fleet in hot pursuit. Liam got to the windward mark first, however, by the end of the first lap D’Arcy had taken the lead followed by former Olympian Peter Kennedy and Steve Kane (on 1339) and Andrew Vaughan (on 1348) 3rd. At the race end D’Arcy held on and took the win, with Andrew Vaughan 2nd and coming up the outside Neil Calvin (on 1245) to take third. Incidentally, this was Barry McCartin’s old boat and after 9 races Neil had seemingly found its gears!!

Race 11 the wind had clocked slightly to the left, course-corrected, Race Officer Gerry Reid got the race away again sharply. This time the fleet was pushing the line, with 2 boats over Tom Purdon (on 1004) to be fair has been nailing the starts on the series, however on this race, he nailed it a bit to hard, found himself in the pack and struggled to get back to the line, but back to the line he went now following the whole fleet. Unfortunately for D’Arcy they pushed on believing they were having a terrific race. Liam Donnelly was once again first to the windward mark and first on lap one, followed by D’Arcy (OCS) and Ross & Jane Kearney now lying 2nd, and Peter Kennedy 3rd. By now Donnelly was going well with a comfortable lead right up to the last leeward mark were a spinnaker issue stopped them dead in the water allowing a few boats to pass on the short run-up to the line. Peter Kennedy took the win followed by Ross Kearney and Neil Calvin in third. Donnelly was robbed into 4th!

The breeze was still nice and steady-going into the third race of the day (race 12) possibly it was the extremely cold conditions that the entire fleet was keen to start, quickly followed by a General recall. Conditions didn't allow for a normal restart and the race got underway with a black flag start. They were all less keen this time around to push the line so aggressively as before. By now the wind started to drop yet once again Liam Donnelly was going well in a heavy pack making for the windward mark. By lap one Peter Kennedy had taken the lead, followed by Donnelly with Andrew Vaughan in third. In lap 2 the wind continued to lighten. But still over 7kns. By the finish, Neil Calvin had accelerated into the fist spot with PK in second and Tom Purdon third. It was deemed to cold for a fourth race as many of the crews were blue not to mention the Rescue and Committee boat teams!! Some credit has to be given to Neil Calvin who had a great day and has shown a huge improvement in his performance over the series so far.

The RS 400 Series continues for another three Sundays, finishing up on the 19th of December for the Big Christmas Race.

Download results below as a pdf file

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under

It’s been seven years since herring were landed in Bangor on Belfast Lough, but the Fairwind whose home port is Kilkeel on the Mourne coast in south Down, landed its catch in the harbour last week. The crew transferred the fish from the net to the boat by brailing.

Hand brailing is when fish are concentrated alongside the fishing vessel, and a brailing net is used to lift them aboard. The iron hoop of the brail net is first dipped into the net, drawn through the fish, and pulled up again.

It's been many years since herring have been landed in Bangor. The last time was in 2014 when a large fishing vessel with a refrigerated seawater system transferred herring ashore via a pump into road tankers.

"It’s good to see smaller vessels availing of herring quota and the traditional method of brailing being used to land"

“However,” says Harbour Master Kevin Baird “ It’s good to see smaller vessels availing of herring quota and the traditional method of brailing being used to land. There are herring shoals at this time of the year (winter herring) and sometimes they do come into Belfast Lough but are more usually caught in the seas off the Mournes”.

Herring was fished from harbours all along the Down coast with the Mourne ports of Kilkeel and Annalong emerging as key centres in the mid-19th century with Ardglass which had first developed as a fish harbour in the Middle Ages, becoming a herring poet then as well.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

Davaar is the conspicuous island at the entrance to Campbeltown Loch on Scotland's Mull of Kintyre, so it was entirely logical that when the local shipping company began to augment their fleet with steamships, the best-known became the Royal Mail vessel Davaar. She was the pride of the fleet and of Campbeltown, but around midday on June 6th 1895, as the morning's thick fog began to lift, the small but well-established maritime community of Groomsport on the south shore of Belfast Lough looked out beyond the low and rocky little Cockle Island which shelters their boats, and found that they seemed to have acquired Davaar.

Had it been the eponymous island, the improvement to the overall shelter of the drying harbour at Groomsport would have been such that it might have been long-since been developed to outperform nearby Bangor. But it was the ship they'd temporarily acquired, and as sailors themselves, the people of Groomsport were entirely in sympathy with the crew of RMS Davaar, as her passenger list seemed to include just about everyone from Cambeltown, all of them - until the impact - happily involved in a much-heralded one-day community holiday outing across the North Channel to Belfast.

Fortunately, they built ships tough in those days. Though the photo by Robert Welch (later to become renowned as the visual recorder of the building of the Titanic) clearly shows that the overall hull structure of the Davaar was undergoing quite severe stress as the tide ebbed, she survived relatively undamaged, while no-one was injured in any way And subsequently – looking as good as new – she continued in the configuration shown here for many years of service under her popular commander, Captain Thomas Muir, who'd been in charge at Groomsport but was later exonerated by an official enquiry.

In fact, Davaar had been so well built that she finished her long life with a newly-fashionable straight stem and just one funnel. But never again did she come a-visiting at Groomsport.

Published in Historic Boats

Artemis Technologies, founded in 2017, is the lead partner in the Belfast Maritime Consortium, a 13-member syndicate working on designing and building zero-emission high-speed ferries in the city through the creation of its unique electric hydrofoiling propulsion system, which is set to revolutionise the maritime industry.

Artemis Technologies, which is based in Belfast Harbour, is set to showcase its innovative sustainable technologies and products at the COP26 summit in Glasgow. It will unveil a scale model of the company's advanced high-speed zero-emission workboat, to be launched next year. The company aims to lead the decarbonisation of the maritime sector through the development of innovative and sustainable technologies and products.

Replica scale models of the Artemis eFoilerTM propelled vessel will be exhibited in the public Green Zone at the Glasgow Science Museum and the International Maritime Hub at the City of Glasgow College's Riverside Campus.

CEO and founder of Artemis Technologies, Dr Iain Percy OBE, said: "Our mission is to lead the decarbonisation of maritime, and we are proud to be playing a part in helping the UK reach its sustainability targets. As we continue to make strides towards a net-zero future for the marine industry across the globe, we are excited to showcase examples of our ground-breaking designs and technologies at the COP26 summit. We welcome the opportunity to provide greater insight into the important work we do at Artemis Technologies and look forward to contributing to the wider conversation on climate action and the green recovery."

Dr Iain Percy OBE will also contribute to an expert panel session as part of 'Get Set for Workboat 2050' in association with the Workboat Association.

World leaders will arrive in Scotland for the summit itself, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives and businesses for 12 days of talks.

Published in Belfast Lough

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
Page 3 of 29

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating