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Maybe future Bangor Town Regattas could present a prize for the boat with the most family members on board? For the three-generation crewed J109 Storm from Rush Sailing Club and Howth Yacht Club which won Class 2, the RC 35 division and the overall Bangor Town Regatta Trophy last week is a true family boat.

She was crewed in the event at Royal Ulster on Belfast Lough by three generations of Kellys, a couple of friends and long-time crew Kevin Sheridan, Johnny Swan and Rob O’Leary. There were six Kelly’s on board - Pat Kelly (Skipper and Dad), brothers David, Ronan and Paddy Kelly as well as David Jnr and Ciaran Kelly, David’s sons.

Storm in the last race of Bangor Town Regatta Photo Andrew GallagherStorm in the last race of Bangor Town Regatta Photo Andrew Gallagher

They will be off to Cork Week soon and there in Class 2 they will be up against another Howth entry, Michael and Richard Evans J99 Snapshot, second overall in IRC in the recent Round Ireland Race and the RIR overall IRC third placed Artful Dodjer, Finbarr O’Regan’s J109 from Kinsale.

In 2018 Storm won the four event RC 35 Celtic Cup and retained it in 2019. The trophy was presented by the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club, and the original Northern Yacht Club was set up in 1824 by Irish and Scottish sailors to encourage sailing in northern waters. The series consists of the Tarbert Regatta, Kip Regatta, Bangor Town Regatta and Cork Week. But this year Storm will only count three of the events.

Ronan Kelly was delighted Storm had competed in Bangor Town Regatta; ”The facilities, race officers and race courses over the four days were excellent. Credit to the organising committee. The Crew really enjoyed the regatta with tough weather conditions and competition in this RC35 Class. A big thank you to all the lads for a great weekend and a masterclass in how to take on these conditions. We are over the moon with the win and it’s very special to all the crew to be awarded Overall Boat of Bangor Town Regatta, thank you now off to Cork!”.

Skipper Pat Kelly and the crew of Storm with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Karen DouglasOn the podium at Bangor Town Regatta 2022 - Skipper Pat Kelly and the crew of Storm with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Karen Douglas Photo Andrew Gallagher

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The southerly wind today (Sunday), Day 4 of Royal Ulster’s Bangor Town Regatta wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as it was yesterday when racing was cancelled, so Principal Race Officer Con Murphy got the fleet away in 25 knots gusting 30, for what turned out to be the final race of the series.

 Pat Kelly''s J/109 Storm approaching the finish today in Class 2Pat Kelly's J/109 Storm approaching the finish today in Class 2 Photo: Con Murphy

Bangor Town Regatta Racing finished Photo: Con MurphyBangor Town Regatta Racing finished Photo: Con Murphy

In Class 2 the battle between Pat Kelly’s J109 Storm from Rush and Howth and the local Archambault 35, John Minnis’s Final Call II, was over before racing started. A routine gear check yesterday discovered rig damage on Final Call II and fearing further problems she didn’t compete. So, it was second overall for Minnis and third for Ballyholme and Cockle Island entry, Shaun Douglas’s Beneteau 40.7, Game Changer.

The Bangor Town Regatta trophy is presented to Pat Kelly's J1/09 Storm crew from Rush Sailing ClubThe Bangor Town Regatta trophy is presented to Pat Kelly's J1/09 Storm crew from Rush Sailing Club

It was much the same situation in Class 3 when the D’Arcy/Mclernon duo in VX One from Carrickfergus didn’t race today leaving the Wilson’s Corby 29 Elixir from the same club, top in both IRC and NHC with VX One runner-up and on equal points with Jack (Peter Doig) from East Antrim in IRC and Michael Eames All or Nothing from Strangford Lough second NHC.

 The Elixir crew from Carrickfergus were class 3 winners The Elixir crew from Carrickfergus were class 3 winners Photo: Andrew Gallagher

Garth Lindsay’s Jonathan Star cleaned up in Class 4 and in Class 5 it was the Bell/Lawther/Bell trio top in the Oceanis 37 Merry Jack who won the contest in IRC from Kevin Byers and Michael Russell in the Sigma 33 Signet who topped NHC.

In the eight-strong Sigma 33 Class James Miller’s Helensburgh-based Mayrise lifted the trophy in IRC with Stephen Mullaney’s Insider from Howth second and first in NHC. Miller also won the Irish and Open Sigma Championship.

The Sigma 33 Mayrise crewThe Sigma 33 Mayrise crew

Only three of the original six entries for the RS Elite division competed in the remaining single race today and it was the local Polly/Gunning/Kelso trio first with Jane Buchanan from Royal North second.

The boats in Class 8 raced a Coastal Course and here in IRC the winner was Ross Boyd in the Elan 40 and in NHC Murray Findlay from Clyde CC in his X 4-0. Ross Boyd is a RUYC as well as Quoile YC member and supported the event by bringing his boat to Belfast Lough. He said,” For the last six months I have been helping organise the sailing for BTR. To support the event, I decided to bring my 2002 Elan 40 Evenstar around from Quoile Yacht Club in Strangford Lough where I am also a member.

Murray Findlay of Clyde CC, winner of Class 8 NHC Photo: Andrew GallagherMurray Findlay of Clyde CC, winner of Class 8 NHC Photo: Andrew Gallagher

The Coastal Class has been a great success at BTR and it is a really good way to encourage cruisers into racing. The race team at BTR did a super job organising a range of courses in challenging conditions including a lovely sail around the Copeland Islands.

We had really good racing against the Boxcar guys in their X4.0 from CCC and are delighted with the IRC win”.

Among the special prizes there was one for the young crew of the Ruffian 23 Brigand, an acknowledgement that Royal Ulster is keen to encourage young people into sailing. Top Scottish boat was Murray Findlay’s Boxcar and top Belfast Lough competitor was Jonathan Star (Garth Lindsay).

Robby MilhenchBangor Town Regatta's Robby Milhench

After the Regatta, Robby Milhench, the Chairman’s ‘right had man’ reflected on the event;” Bangor Town Regatta has been a fantastic success on many fronts but for me the real success is that the under 23 prize went to sailors aged ten, 13 14, on the Ruffian 23 Brigand. The sailing fraternity need to harness sailors for the future. Well done to all winners and most importantly to all competitors”.

The youthful Ruffian 23 Brigand crewThe youthful Ruffian 23 Brigand crew

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Today – Day 3 of Bangor Town Regatta turned out to be one of those High Stool Days WM Nixon wrote about in Afloat’s Sailing on Saturdays.

For the same unseasonably windy weather which has put paid to several sailing events throughout the country reaching Belfast Lough, and with a Met Eireann Small Craft Warning it was of course predictable that racing may be cancelled today.

And so it was.  Principal Race Officer Con Murphy did venture out in the Committee Boat this morning to assess the situation: “With the wind speed in the high twenties, we had no option but to consider racing out of the question. But if tomorrow’s readings are even 5 knots less, there may be a chance of the last day’s competition going ahead”.

Even the temperature of between 12 and 14 degrees couldn’t be June like and by mid-afternoon, the windspeed registering at Bangor Marina was gusting 38 knots from the South so venture a couple of miles offshore and it would be more.

Racing will hopefully resume on Sunday 26th. The scheduled first warning gun for the Coastal Class is 10.25 am with the other classes at 10.55 am.

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What a difference a day makes! There’s a eucalyptus tree near my house and if it’s all moving there’s a good chance the fleet is thrashing about Belfast Lough half a mile away. It was pretty active today. Flukey breezes yesterday but for Day 2 there was a decent 20 knot south easterly to start, falling away to 14 knots and then gathering itself again and blowing harder. Throw in sunshine made and the result is exciting encounters.

And in some of the classes of Bangor Town Regatta, those conditions may have gone some way to have brought others into contention.

Game Changer lying third in Class two Photo: Robby MilhenchGame Changer lying third in Class two Photo: Robby Milhench

In Class 2 John Minnis’s Final Call II had Pat Kelly’s J 109 Storm from Howth nipping at her heels and after Day 2’s races, Storm is equal on points. Lying third is Shaun Douglas’s Game Changer from Ballyholme and Cockle Island.

Class 3 is without any home-grown boats but after today the Carrickfergus-based D’Arcy/Mclernon duo in VX One, the high performance keelboat, is leading his class just one point ahead off Michael Eames Sunfast 3200 All or Nothing from Strangford Lough YC who is tying with the Corby 29 (Brian and Ryan Wilson from Carrickfergus) as well as Peter and his son Gavin Doig in Jack, a J92.

Garth Lindsay’s Jonathan Star is holding the lead in Class 4 and in 5 the Bell/Lawther/Bell trio’s Oceanis 37 Merry Jack jumped into the lead after scoring two firsts.

Sigma 33s racing on Day 2 of Bangor Town Regatta Photo: Andrew GallagherSigma 33s racing on Day 2 of Bangor Town Regatta Photo: Andrew Gallagher

James Miller’s Sigma 33 Mayrise from Helensburgh has a comfortable four-point lead in this One Design class scoring a string of firsts already and in Class 8 four of the seven competitors are racing IRC as well as NHC. Here Ross and Gemma Boyd’s

Evenstar (RUYC/BYC and Quoile) lead IRC while Murray Findlay’s X40 Boxcar is top in NHC.

Gavin Watson, Event Chairman is delighted to say how fantastic the racing has been at BTR. ”Over the first two days fabulous wind and the sun is shining. The hospitality area at the Marina is open and all competitors and guests are enjoying the al fresco entertainment. At RUYC our marquee is a fabulous way to watch the sailing through the day and an amazing venue for all with our BBQ and Bistro dining. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from all and the effort put in by all our volunteers has been immense”.

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We can only be wishing this morning that the traditional-type low pressure areas which march across the Atlantic from New England towards Old Ireland could take aboard some of the strict Sabbatarianism of the regions they’re passing through in their developing stages, and give due regard for the attitudes imbued in such God-fearing places by the time they get here.

In other words, with one of the busiest weekends of the 2022 Irish sailing season upon us, everything is being affected by the remorseless approach of a low pressure area which will be squatted right upon us on Sunday. Now if it was a proper Ten Commandments-compliant depression, it would make Sunday a day of rest. But instead it will be working away with the Cong-Galway race on Lough Corrib postponed, the Shannon One Designs’ two-day long distance race from Lough Ree to Lough Derg adversely affected, and the final stages of events like Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough, the Royal Irish YC Drumshanbo Gin Regatta on Dublin Bay, and the Bandon Co-op Squib Championship at Kinsale having – at the very least – to take note.

The many Squibs at Kinsale have had some good racing and better weather than most. Photo: Robert BatemanThe many Squibs at Kinsale have had some good racing and better weather than most. Photo: Robert Bateman

DEEPENING LOW PRESSURE & HIGH STOOL DAYS

For of course it’s today (Saturday) with the Low approaching and deepening that we could see the greatest turbulence. If it does sit down over Ireland on Sunday, there could be much rain but little enough wind, yet always with the chance that a gale could strike at any moment.

In other words, it has all the makings of what, in the west of Ireland, they’d nominate as A High-Stool Day. So before we contemplate the ramifications of this, let us do things in an even more back-to-front style than usual. For today, after a very intense week of closely following the progress of the SL Renewables Round Ireland Race, we’d originally had thoughts of giving a sonorous overview of it all.

But after something like 16 continuous reports which led on from one to the other in such a processing of information that brain burnout resulted, I’m not sure that Sailing on Saturday has anything more to say, whereas the bare bones results – with the proper details of the boats involved - speak for themselves, and as we’ve already said somewhere, there seems to be something for nearly everyone in the audience.

She came, she saw, she conquered – the French J/121 SL Energies Fastwave (Laurent Charmy) overcame at least two tactical reversals to become overall winner of the 2022 Round Ireland Race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien   She came, she saw, she conquered – the French J/121 SL Energies Fastwave (Laurent Charmy) overcame at least two tactical reversals to become overall winner of the 2022 Round Ireland Race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien  

SSE RENEWABLES ROUND IRELAND YACHT RACE FROM WICKLOW 2022

Line honours: 1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland); 2nd Green Dragon (Volvo 70, Conor Ferguson & Enda O Coineen, Galway Bay SC); 3rd Influence (Class40, Andrea Fornaro, Italy); 5th Samatom (Grand Soleil 44, Robert Rendell Howth Yacht Club) 6th Kite (Class 40, Greg Leonard, USA).

IRC Overall: 1st SL Energies Groupe Fastwave (J/111, Laurent Charmy, France); 2nd Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC; 3rd Artful Dodjer (J/109, Finbarr O’Regan. Kinsale YC), 5th Darkwood (J/121, Michael Boyd, RIYC); 6th Samatom.

Line honours: 1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland)Line honours and IRC Z:1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland)

IRC Z: 1st Kuka3; 2nd Green Dragon: 3rd Telefonica Black (Volvo 70, Lance Shepherd, RORC).

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy)IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy)

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood; 2nd Samatom; 3rd Jackknife (J/125, Andrew Hall, Pwllheli SC), 4th Luzern eComm U25 (Figaro 3, Lorcan Tighe, Irish National SC), 5th Ca Va (Pogo 12.50, Tony Rayer, Cardiff Bay YC); 6th Fuji (OCD40, Ari Kansakoski, Cherbourg)

IRC 2: 1st SL Energies Fastwave; 2nd Rockabill VI (JPK 10.80, Paul O’Higgins, RIYC); 3rd Aurelia (J/122, Chris & Patanne Power Smith, RSTGYC); 4th Black Magic (First 44.7, Barry O’Donovan, Waterford Harbour SC & HYC).

IRC 3 1st Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC)IRC 3 1st Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC)

IRC 3: 1st Snapshot; 2nd Artful Dodjer; 3rd Bellino (Sunfast 3600, Rob Craigie, RORC), 4th Nieulargo (Grand Soleil 40, Denis & Annamarie Murphy, Royal Cork YC; 5th Cinnamon Girl (Sunfast 3300, Cian McCarthy & Sam Hunt, KYC); 6th Wild Pilgrim (Sunfast 3300, Daniel Jones RORC).

IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC)IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC)

IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC); 2nd Blue Oyster (Oyster 37, Alan Coleman, Royal Cork YC); 3rd Cavatina (Granada 38, Ian Hickey RCYC); 4th More Mischief, (First 310, Grzegorz Kalinecki, Dun Laoghaire).

ISORA: 1st SamatomISORA: 1st Samatom (Robert Rendell)

ISORA: 1st Samatom; 2nd Rockabill VI; 3rd YoYo (Sunfast 36, Graham Curran/Brendan Coghlan, RStGYC); 3rd Indian (J/109. Simon Knowles, Howth YC), 4th Aurelia; 5th Black Magic.

ICRA: 1st Snapshot; 2nd Artful Dodjer; 3rd Samatom; 4th Nieulargo; 5th Cinnamon Girl: 6th Rockabill VI.

Class40: 1st InfluenceClass40: 1st Influence (Pamela Lee)

Class40: 1st Influence; 2nd Kite; 3rd: Fuji.

Two-Handed: 1st BellinoTwo-Handed: 1st Bellino (Rob Craigie)

Two-Handed: 1st Bellino; 2nd Cinnamon Girl; 3rd Wild Pilgrim; 4th Asgard (Sunfast 3300, Ross Farrow, Hamble).

Cruising: 1st Blue Oyster; 2nd Cavatina; 3rd Shindig (Swan 40, Tony Kingston. KYC).

ICRA: 2nd Artful DodjerCorinthian: 1st Artful Dodjer (Finbarr O'Regan)

Corinthian: 1st Artful Dodjer; 2nd Bellino; 3rd Indian; 4th Aurelia, 5th Black Magic; 6th Hiro Maru, S & S 47, Hiroshi Nakajima, New York YC).

Overseas: 1st SL Energies Fastwave; 2nd Bellino; 3rd Wild Pilgrim; 4th Asgard; 5th Hiro Maru; 6th Pyxis

Services: Prime Suspect (Mills 36, Keith Millar, Kilmore Quay).

Sailing Schools: 1st Lynx Wild West Sailing (Mullaghmore). (Reflex 38, Cian Mullee, Sligo YC); 2nd Arthur (First 40, Jim Bennett, RORC); 3rd Jezebel (J/111, Chris Miles, Conwy N.Wales).

The Round Ireland Tracks on the final day – they got beaten up on the west coast, and beaten down on the east while some “interesting” new weather approached from the west.The Round Ireland Tracks on the final day – they got beaten up on the west coast, and beaten down on the east while some “interesting” new weather approached from the west.

The combined results are possibly the greatest advertisement for the Rod Johnstone-inspired J/Boat range that there has ever been. And with just five minutes between first and second overall (the number crunchers tell us it is 0.005 per cent) this was a race which had everyone on the edge of their seats right to the end.

And while Laurent Charmy and his crew are offshore-hardened toughies, you’ll note that although Mike & Richie Evans with Snapshot are also in the ICRA Division, they’re not in the ISORA section, as they aren’t regular offshore racers. In fact, this was their first crack at a major. Ponder that.

Little boat, big achievement – on their first major offshore race, Mike & Richie Evans with the 33ft J/99 Snapshot (HYC) missed the overall win in the Round Ireland by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienLittle boat, big achievement – on their first major offshore race, Mike & Richie Evans with the 33ft J/99 Snapshot (HYC) missed the overall win in the Round Ireland by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Meanwhile, attention is now swinging towards other events, not least Belfast Lough and Bangor Town Regatta, where senior Race Officer Con Murphy is trying to cram the sport in before the meteorological top comes off tonight.

Most of the official material was in place when it was suddenly announced that Bangor was going to become a city. It was greeted in the former borough with mixed feelings, for the whole point about Bangor – having spent the first 18 years of my life there – is that it doesn’t feel remotely like a city, and that’s one of the best things about the place.

Regatta star - John Minnis’s A35 Final Call racing at Bangor Town Regatta. After winning her class at Howth Wave, she s now performing at Bangor, and will then be racing in Volvo Week in Cork in JulyRegatta star - John Minnis’s A35 Final Call racing at Bangor Town Regatta. After winning her class at Howth Wave, she s now performing at Bangor, and will then be racing in Volvo Week in Cork in July

Yet if it all becomes accepted, next time round we’ll be talking of the City of Bangor Regatta, which as sure as God made little apples will become COBRA. They’re not at all enthusiastic about that up Bangor way. Indeed, muted enthusiasm used to be a Bangor characteristic, even if some photos from the current regatta suggest otherwise.

As it is, one dyed-in-the-wool Bangorian - on observing the charts of the weather currently approaching the new City of Bangor - was heard to assert that they never had adverse sailing weather like this when Bangor was just a town.

When Bangor was just a town, they always had weather like thisWhen Bangor was just a town, they always had weather like this

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A ‘Town’ Regatta at Bangor was first held on Belfast Lough over a century ago and saw reincarnation in 2018. Subsequent regattas fell foul of Covid 19 but on 23rd June it was all systems go for the 49 boats entered in this ‘new look’ four-day event.

In the light of the predicted strong gusts forecast for Sunday, the Fairy class from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club decided not to race.

That saying ‘In like a lion and out like a lamb’ could be reversed in this instance as the first day of the four-day event began with glassy seas in Belfast Lough but according to the forecast will be anything but glassy by Sunday. The Lough was so patchily calm that Principal Race Officer Con Murphy chose to send home classes 3,4 and 5 after only one race.

Pre-regatta crowds at Bangor MarinaPre-regatta crowds at Bangor Marina

So patience was of the essence and that paid off for the local John Minnis in the Archambault 35 Final Call II who laid down a marker with two first places. Class 3 had only one race and here it was the Corby 29 of Brian and Ryan Wilson from Carrickfergus who topped that class. Garth Lindsay’s Quarter Tonner Jonathan Star from the host club won both IRC and NHS unrestricted in Class 4.

John Minnis in the Archambault 35 Final Call II John Minnis in the Archambault 35 Final Call II

The Byers/Russell Sigma 33, Signet was first in the six-strong Class 5 Restricted while in the depleted eight-strong Sigma 33 One Design fleet the Howth-based Insider (Stephen Mullaney) won Race 1 and Race 2 went to James Miller’s Mayrise from Helensburgh.

The coastal race started at the club line and took the fleet across the Lough to Cloghan Jetty, and back on a mile-long beat to the RUYC No1 mark and a fetch to the finish. Murray Findlay of the Clyde Cruising Club took first place.

Racing continues on Friday with the earlier warning gun at 09.55 am

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Excitement is growing on Belfast Lough with the prospect of next week’s Bangor Town Regatta bringing over 600 sailors to that seaside town, now designated ‘City’, for the resurrected event which has been on hold during the pandemic.

Chairman Gavin Watson says he is 'delighted' with the entry which currently stands at 60 with the prospect of more last-minute joiners. “Aside from the usual stresses and strains of running a major regatta, we are all ready to go for kick-off on the 23rd. The infrastructure is now being set up this week to welcome some 650 competitors to Bangor and Royal Ulster Yacht Club”.

The Bangor Town Regatta will take place from 23rd till 26th and will be welcoming competitors from Scotland, England, Dublin Bay and the Isle of Man as well as from other parts of Northern Ireland.

On the water keeping the fleets in order on the three race courses on the superb sailing waters of Belfast Lough, will be Principal Race Officer Con Murphy from Dun Laoghaire with local Colin Loughead and Michael Tyrell from Co. Dublin making up the team. The fleet will race out of Bangor Marina.

Nine classes will take part, the smallest being the Linton Hope-designed Fairy class from Royal North on Belfast Lough, well over 100 years old, and the much newer RS Elites, some of whom took part in the recent RS Elite Nationals in Cowes, such as Kelso/Gunning/Polly in Storm who finished ninth in the 40 strong fleet. The farthest travelled Elite will be John McRobert’s Swallow from Ballyronan BC on the western shore of Lough Neagh.

Fairy class keelboats Maimoune (No 2) and Banshee (No 9) racing in Belfast LoughFairy class keelboats Maimoune (No 2) and Banshee (No 9) racing in Belfast Lough

In contrast there are the big ‘uns - those which conform to RC 35 rules and of these of course, the club will be looking to its own John Minnis in Final Call II who acquired the title “ Northern Invader” from ex-Bangorian and renowned yachting journalist, Winkie Nixon for his winning performance in Howth’s recent Wave Regatta.

Robin Young's J109 JingsRobin Young's J109 Jings

Final Call II is expected to put up a memorable show. But competition from the other “invaders” such as Pat Kelly’s Storm from Rush and Howth and Debbie Aitken’s Animal from the Clyde will be knife edge.

At stake in this division will be points counting towards the RC35 Celtic Cup Overall Championship.

Leaky Roof II from Cove SC in ScotlandLeaky Roof II from Cove SC in Scotland

And the substantial turnout in the Sigma 33 class will be competing for the Irish and Class Championship. Here there are several Scottish visitors. Among them are the familiar Rajah (Roy Summers) from the Clyde, Donald McLaren’s Sigmatic from Helensburgh and the Harper and Roberston’s Leaky Roof II from Cove SC in Scotland, all frequent visitors to Bangor. From Dun Laoghaire Harbour Ian Bowring brings Springer and Stephen Mullaney is racing Insider, one time-based at Cushendall.

Vice Commodore Ed Wheeler’s Witchcraft of Howth, the 1976 Contessa 35Vice Commodore Ed Wheeler’s Witchcraft of Howth, the 1976 Contessa 35

In between is a varied and diverse collection, among which will be Vice Commodore Ed Wheeler’s Witchcraft of Howth, the 1976 Contessa 35. Among her achievements are two Round Ireland Races and a long-haul cruise to West Africa.

Chairman Gavin Watson is pleased with the entry list: “We wish to use this return to sailing as a foundation to build Bangor Town Regatta for the future. It is important to support all sailing events as we have seen this year how a lack of support, volunteers and entries can leave events exposed. We are so thankful for the support and that of our volunteers”.

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A financial services company, IQ&Co, has been announced as Title Sponsor of Bangor Town Regatta which will be hosted by Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough from 23rd till 26th June.

Listed entries for the regatta are not only local, but expected from across the Irish Sea area.

Visiting entries from clubs in Strangford Lough, the Clyde, Larne Lough, Isle of Man and Dublin Bay, will join the local competitors in nine classes in what promises to be a memorable event.

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East Antrim Boat Club has a proud record of top achievements in the sport of sailing and come Bangor Town Regatta at the end of June a flotilla of boats from the Larne based club will be hoping to be among prizewinners at that event.

Making the journey by trailer or by sea will be Ian Patterson and Sue Kitson in the Viper sportsboat Sid, featured recently in Afloat. Peter and his son Gavin Doig and their crew in Jack, a very fast J92; Gavin’s uncle Richard and his crew in the GK24 Sirius; Tom Jobling et al who have been regulars on the Belfast Lough Yachting Conference scene in the Bolero Prodigal, and a past World GP 14 champion Mark Fekkes in his standard First Class 8 Money for Nothing.

Long time EABC member and club historian Tom Jobling is looking forward to the event; “Although cruiser racing on Larne Lough remains as keen as ever, the crew of Prodigal, - my quarter-ton Bolero - are excited as indeed I am, to finally return to Belfast Lough - very much, our happy hunting ground. We are expecting nothing less than four days of champagne sailing and to enjoy RUYC’s renowned après sail. So, keep a weather eye out for the EABC flotilla which will arrive during the Wednesday before BTR opens its doors”.

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Royal Ulster Yacht Club and Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough are gearing up for an influx of boats for Bangor Town Regatta at the end of June, with 55 currently entered.

The event of the same name was first sailed over 100 years ago and resurrected in 2018.

The regatta will run from 23rd till 26th June out of Bangor Marina with racing on various courses. Con Murphy of the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is in charge as the principal race officer with a local team's support.

Jay Colville’s First Forty, Forty Licks from East DownJay Colville’s First Forty, Forty Licks from East Down

Entries vary from Fairies, day keelboats from Royal North of Ireland YC about five miles along the coast to the big hitters such as the Harrington/Mulholland/O’Tiarnaigh trio’s IMX 38 Excession entered under RUYC, Ballyholme and Sutton DC, Jay Colville’s First Forty, Forty Licks from East Down on Strangford Lough, Pat Kelly’s J109 from Howth YC and Rush SC and John Minnis’s Archambault 35 Final Call II, the latter two part of the six-boat RC35 division.

Pat Kelly’s J109 from Howth YC and Rush SCPat Kelly’s J109 from Howth YC and Rush SC

But it looks as though Paul Prentice, Class Captain of the Northern Sigmas of the Sigma 33 Class, will get his ‘magic 15’ wish in what seems to be the largest class at the moment who will be competing in the Irish and Class Championships within the event.

At the moment, fourteen Sigmas are entered, but there is talk of Starshine Challenger, which has been ashore for some time, having been bought locally, so could it be that she will make up the 15 Paul wished for?

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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 2022

Belfast Lough's Bangor Town Regatta runs from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th June 2022

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