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Swan 40 with an Enviable Racing Record Enters June's Bangor Regatta

6th April 2024
Swan 36 Lofna (second right) racing at a Royal Ulster YC competition Credit: Wesley Crawford

Racing at Bangor Regatta in June promises to be keener than ever with the appearance in the Coastal IRC and YTC class of not one but two Swans.

The Swan 40 Sloop John T is better known outside Northern Ireland with a long and successful racing record. Brothers Iain and Graham Thomson’s Swan 40 from Clyde Cruising Club and Arran Yacht Club at Lamlash is welcomed for the first time at Bangor Regatta.

The other is the beautifully restored Swan 36 Lofna owned by Gill and Derek Fairley, appearing in Belfast Lough in 2021 after a lengthy restoration.  

The Swan 40  Sloop John T Photo: Marc Turner/CCCThe Swan 40  Sloop John T Photo: Marc Turner/CCC

The Fairleys, who are the Cruising Conveners at Royal Ulster, are looking forward to the competition. "This will be the first regatta we have entered since relaunching Lofna after her refit. Last season, RUYC Club Racing gave us the opportunity to learn how she performs round the cans, and we are looking forward to some close and enjoyable racing in our home waters at the end of June. We’ll see how it goes combining cruising with racing!

Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough 

The Thomson brothers will be top class competitors having won the 2011 and 2017 Swan Europeans at Cowes and more recently the highly contested CCC Bute Race in 2022. The smaller Swan 36 is among several boats making a first appearance at Bangor Regatta and Harbour Master and Marina Manager Kevin Baird is looking forward to meeting all the visitors; “We’re absolutely delighted to extend a warm Northern Irish welcome to everyone coming to the Bangor Regatta, with a special shout-out to the boats making their debut with us this year. The addition of new crews really spices things up, injecting an exciting buzz into this great sailing event. The Regatta isn’t only about the competition; it’s a chance to showcase Bangor’s charm and share the warmth and friendliness central to our sailing ethos. Prepare for an unforgettable experience brimming with fantastic memories".

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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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

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Bangor Town Regatta 2021

It’s expected that the fleet will number upwards of 60 with several hundred crew and supporting visitors for the 2021 Regatta.

Among the classes expected are IRC, Sigma 33, RS Elite, and day boats such as Waverleys and Fairies.

The Regatta Chairman is Gavin Watson and Royal Ulster Yacht Club is the organising club for what is Northern Ireland's biggest inshore yacht racing event.

Feeder races from Dun Laoghaire and Scotland are planned.

The Bangor Town Regatta fleet will race out of the Bangor Marina, on what is Belfast Lough’s enviable area of virtually tide and hazard free waters.

Two round-the-buoys courses within a manageable distance from the marina will provide testing but enjoyable racing and in addition, coastal races every day will give those who prefer
somewhat more leisurely competition, the opportunity to use the whole of the Lough.

Racing will be in the capable hands of International Race Officer and National Judge, local man Robin Gray.

The Race Office will be located at the Marina close to where the après sailing will be well catered for.

At A Glance - Bangor Town Regatta 2024

Belfast Lough's Bangor Town Regatta runs from 27th to 30th June and is hosted by the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

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