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Displaying items by tag: EAST ANTRIM BOAT CLUB

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).

An important GP14 event, the Hot Toddy, first saw the light of day in the early eighties when the then GP14 Association of Ireland charged their East Antrim Boat Club based fleet with the creation of a new and suitable end-of-season 'fun' event.

And it was due to be celebrated again this year at the Larne club but as has happened to so many events due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the organising committee has decided to cancel it. Scheduled to take place on 10th and 11th of October the Club had hoped to welcome at least some well-known GP14 stalwarts – the host club's Curly Morris and Robert Gingles and Ger Owens and Melanie Morris, daughter of Curly, as well as regulars on the GP circuit, John and Donal McGuiness, Hugh Gill, Colman Grimes, Katie Dwyer and Michelle Rowley, and Bill and James Johnson.

The decision was not taken lightly as everyone involved was keen for the event to go ahead. Unfortunately, with the current restrictions in place across the island, particularly in Dublin, it was deemed inappropriate to run the event at present.

However, the silver lining for the members is that the slipway will be available as normal this weekend and Club racing will take place on Sunday, 11th October. The Topper Northerns on 24th and 25th October is currently scheduled to go ahead.

Members of the Larne club will welcome its General Committee’s decision to make the most of the lockdown easing, for hot on the heels of RYA NI advice that Step 2 of the Northern Ireland Executive’s Pathway to Recovery has now been reached, dinghy racing will re-start. Although indoor restrictions remain in place, groups of up to 10 people are now allowed to meet outdoors.

The RYA Volvo champion club was established in 1950 on Larne Lough and has been associated principally with the GP14 class. Among the well-known sailors in that class were Johnny McWilliam, Curly Morris, Paul Rowan, Tom Jobling and the Fekkes brothers. Mirrors and Optimists were popular with the young sailors and now the up and coming helms sail Lasers and Toppers. There is a cruiser-racer fleet as well, moored in the shelter lough just off the club.

The plan is to begin a new series on the first Sunday in July. Today (21st June) and the following Sunday (28th June) will be used as trial races to work through any issues that may arise.

Guidelines will include the size of groups starting at different times, ie juniors and adults, and double and single handers, with each start limited to no more than 10 competitors.

If more than 10 people wish to take part, priority will be given to those who have been involved in the most Sunday races in the last 12 months. Changing rooms will remain closed and competitors will arrive in their sailing gear or get changed in the yard if they are comfortable doing so.

The slipway will be split in two to allow for the use of both the dinghy and keelboat slipways simultaneously and there will be committee boat starts with safety boats manned by members of the same household where possible.

Racing will not take place if the Race Officer deems the conditions to be Inappropriate and competitors are urged to be more thorough in pre-race checks of their equipment to reduce the risk of failure.

The Committee stresses that Covid-19 is still a very real threat and says “We are far from returning to normal. We are fortunate in that dinghy racing is an outdoor activity that is socially distant by nature. We would ask that all members respect the measures in place which will hopefully mean that we can continue with an official series in July. The onus is on each of us as individuals to ensure that this is possible”. The Procedures and Risk Assessment are here

As the final days of voting for the UK's Sailing Club of the Year draw near, and as Northern Ireland's East Antrim Boat Club is for sure the minnow in the competition the Larne club is looking for every single vote available to bring this award across the Irish sea for the first time.

As Afloat previously reported, the Royal Yachting Association and Yacht&Yachting magazine's annual UK-wide 'Club of the Year' competition is now well underway with the final 10 finalist's destiny – as in 'Strictly' – resting with the public vote!

EABC has made it into that elite top ten. They have already scooped one of the special category awards having been recognised for its particular achievement in 'embracing modern communication'.

It was a jubilant Steven Kirby – immediate past Commodore – who broke the news to an expectant EABC membership just before Christmas. He said:  "Not only is it a tremendous feat to have made it into the finals but we've picked up one of the special category awards as well." He continued, "Moreover we are out to win, and bring this prestigious award across the Irish Sea for the first time. But to do so, we really need the support of the Larne public, whether that is from nautical types or land-lubbers: sporty or academic folk or weather you hail from the charity or industrial sectors. We need every available vote to pull this off!"

East Antrim Boat Club's new Commodore Richard Ford-Hutchinson also said. "Ours is a compact forward-looking vibrant organisation with a diverse membership. However in comparison to some of our cross channel opponents, the big South of England clubs for example; we are 'the minnows'. This is why we have put the call out to the Larne public and to you, the Mid., and East Antrim residents to get behind us. My club is awash with champion sailors and long-distance cruising yachtsmen so winning this UK-wide award would be the icing on the plate." Two former world sailing champions and EABC members Mark Fekkes and Andy Thompson have endorsed Commodore Ford-Hutchinson's call.

The voting for the' RYA - Club of the Year' will close on 27th January 2020. Time is slipping away. Here is how to vote, in five easy steps:

  • 1. Go to East Antrim Boat Club's website; www.eabc.club.
  • 2. On the home page locate the 'white triangular finalist pennant/button'.
  • 3. Click it. You will be transferred directly to the vote page of the magazine Yachts &Yachting.
  • 4. Follow the links and ...VOTE for EAST ANTRIM BOAT CLUB.
  • 5. No computer, smart phone or tablet! Call at the Book Nook or McFarland's Chemists on Larne Main Street; they'll help...
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Strangford Lough Yacht Club and East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland have been named among the 10 finalists selected for the RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award for 2020.

East Antrim Boat Club is also among five of the finalists recognised for particular achievements, with the Larne Lough club acknowledged for ‘Embracing Modern Communications’.

The annual RYA and Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year Award, supported by Gallagher, recognises the outstanding achievement of sailing clubs across the UK and promotes the hard work and dedication that goes into running a successful club.

Voting opens on Friday 13 December, and the award presentations and overall winner announcement will be made at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 on Saturday 29 February.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

A septuagenarian yachtsman has scooped the top award at the recent East Antrim Boat Club prize-giving event, writes Tom Jobling.

Maurice Adams, who has Parkinson’s, received the solid silver trophy — presented to EABC by the Gingles family in the mid 1970s — at the gala awards evening at the Larne Lough club over the Halloween weekend.

What makes Maurice’s achievement memorable is that Larne has no marina pontoon facilities so, just as his competitors do, he must get out to his craft, a Nova 27, via an inflatable dinghy, and scramble aboard.

Owner Eddie Cameron remarked: “Even with his dual walking aids, Maurice is not the most mobile man ashore these days, but each evening, regardless of the conditions, and as we draw alongside Sahure, he’’s up over the guard-wire and into her cockpit like a ship’s cat up a pole.

"Then with tiller clutched, he becomes ‘made-over’ … back into yacht-racing mode.”

As well as winning the top award, the Sahure crew, with Maurice driving, also won their class within the club’s points racing season.

But Maurice is no stranger to success. Formerly a member of the now-defunct Larne Rowing & Sailing Club, he has raced various sailboats over his long career afloat on Northern Ireland waters: Flying 15s, Highland 18s and number of cruisers.

“Maurice Adams,” Commodore Steven Kirby remarked, as he held ready the trophy, “is not famed for his time-keeping these days — well, other than on the starting line.”

Totally unaware of his award, Mr Adams arrived at the Boat Club as the final prizes were being handed out. His trophy, however, was already in the safe hands of his ever-caring crew.

To say that East Antrim Boat Club's 'Mid-Week Sessions' closed with a bang would be something of an understatement writes Thomas Jobling. The hugely successful programme of talks, presentations and demonstrations at the Larne Lough club did indeed come to dramatic conclusion when EABC junior and Topper sailor, Zoe Whitford pulled the cord and deployed an RFD branded life-raft ... within the compact clubhouse! (The club's defibrillator was not required...)

Richard Kerrigan, Survitec Group's senior engineer at their Belfast manufacturing facility provided another packed house with an intriguing talk. It covered not only the history of the Belfast plant but the forward development of life-saving equipment: giant life-rafts capable of 'housing' hundreds of survivors to a new local RFD service facility and, a futuristic alternative to the traditional ship's lifeboat.

The entire Mid-Week Session programme has averaged an audience of 42 attendees over ten evenings. it has run every other Wednesday evening from November 2018 through to March this year.

Event organiser Tom Jobling speaking at the end of the final evening confirmed that MID-WEEK SESSIONS would return later in the year. That the opening night would be on Wednesday 4th September. "Same place, same time, same formula." Whilst hinting at what to expect, he was tight-lipped about who has already been signed up.

The club's Commodore Steven Kirby thanked Tom, as well as the membership who have fully supported the programme. He then offered a further thank you to the representatives from visiting clubs and finally to the Larne public who have also regularly dropped by.

If you would be interested in bringing a talk/presentation/demonstration to East Antrim BC during September, October and/or November 2019, please contact Tom either on mobile (07809691585) or by email; [email protected]

Published in Clubs
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Hosted by East Antrim Boat Club as part of their hugely successful Mid-Week Sessions programme of illustrated talks, the ‘Prof’ Maurice O’Connell himself will be on stage from 7.30pm next Wednesday 6 March to present North Sails Ireland’s popular upwind trim seminar.

Event organiser Tom Jobling says: "When one hugely successful event meets another hugely successful event … get there early and not only for the posh seats, because this promises to be a big night — we’re expecting a full house at EABC."

Using North U Sail Trim simulation and supporting software, the Prof will be demonstrating the theory and practice of upwind sail trim and how to optimise your set-up for differing winds and sea states.

He will also be delivering techniques on how to escape from starts, and hints on how not to lose time on the race course.

At the previous Mid-Week Sessions night in mid February, Olympic 49er athlete Matt McGovern provided a captivated dinghy audience at the Larne Lough club with tips, for example, on how to explode from a crowded start, too. The Prof will be taking questions at the end of his already famed presentation.

“It’s going to be the event of the year,” said an enthused EABC Commodore Steven Kirby. “As with all the Mid-Week Sessions events this, too, will be no charge and open to non-members.”

For more information see the new EABC website and Facebook page, or call Tom Jobling on 07809 691585.

MIDWEEK SESSION PRF OCONNELL 6th MARCH

Published in North Sails Ireland

East Antrim Boat Club's inaugural run of its Mid-week Sessions programme of 'ashore' talks and presentations concluded on 28th November with the ITN broadcaster and high latitudes adventuring yachtsman Brian Black sharing his experiences of Arctic waters...

The 'Mid-week Sessions' were held on every Wednesday evening during November at the Larne Lough club. In due course over 100 members, as well as visitors from other Northern Ireland clubs, yachting and otherwise, made the journey - regardless of the foul weather at times - to enjoy EABC's innovative programme.

Robin Gray, the international race officer, got proceedings underway with his superb reveal on the happenings behind the scenes at the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race. Next up, and in contrast, it was the performance story-teller and writer, Jane Talbot. With her tales of wild-hearted wonder, of faeries, selkies & headless horsemen: she had her audience in the palm of her hand... On the 21st Nov., Dr David Hume MBE the eminent historian and broadcaster, took to the lectern to tell a packed clubhouse of the shipwrecks which litter the Antrim coast line.

A jubilant event organiser, the nautical novelist Tom Jobling said. "In many ways it was a risky project, but by bringing to our members, their guests and visiting non-members such a variety of speakers, we seem to have, as they say, 'squared the circle'. Robin Gray for example, really set the bar high with his illustrations and anecdotes, but Jane, cleared it! David's night caught us out - we ran out of chairs... As for Brian Black, well, we received a presentation of a standard expected of a professional broadcaster. It was, at times a 'nail-biter' while his slides touched the audience with the sheer beauty of the region. However, and as a climate campaigner and film maker he also showed us the ugly side - the pollution, and indeed the scary effects of changing climate... "

As something of a bonus, Brian had also waived his fee in favour of a collection towards a little known charity; www.sea-changers.org.uk. Club commodore Steven Kirby announced later that the collection which was topped off by EABC, raised £170.

The MID-WEEK SESSIONS return on 9th January 2019 with the maritime historian Guy Warner and his illustrated talk on the front-line role that Larne Harbour played in defeating the W.W.1 U-boat menace of the North Channel and Irish Sea.

Published in Sailing Clubs
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Hosted by East Antrim Boat Club over three days in July - 7th to 9th - the Blazin Digital sponsored Topper Class Irish National Championship was sailed on Larne Lough in testing conditions writes Tom Jobling.

Headed up by local R. O. Richard Doig the race committee got the full programme away despite having to overcome lengthy periods of dead calm, and several course 'realignments'.

In the 53 strong 'full-rig' Topper fleet it was British Team member Lorcan Knowles from Leigh & Lawton SC, a hot-bed of Topper competition, who emerged as the clear victor. Maidenhead's Leo Wilkinson was the runner-up with Aoife Byrne of Royal Cork YC third overall. In the 4.2 fleet, the local girl Zoe Whitford was squeezed into second place overall by Christian Houlihan of Blessington SC. Carrickfergus Sailing Club's Mathew McClernon was third.

Topperr EABCToppers close at a gybe mark at Larne

In total 63 competitors entered the event - now in its 30th year - and the following sailors won special category awards: first under 17 sailor was Conor Horgan RCYC.

Best under 14 sailor went to British Team member, George Vincent of Parkstone SC and the under 12 award was collected by Co. Antrim YC sailor Daniel Corbett.

Summing up the championship ITCA's Simon McIllwaine said; "Already established as one of the premier Topper venues with their Winter Series, East Antrim Boat Club lived up to and exceeded all expectations at this year's Irish National Championships. The management of the racecourse under very challenging and shifting wind conditions was executed seamlessly and although at times," he continued, "the competitors found the wind just a little frustrating, there was a great spirit between all of the sailors and their parents both on and off the water. Thank you to the club for all their hard work and for making everyone feel so welcome during those three days on and around Larne Lough. A very memorable 30th anniversary of the championship."

 

Published in Topper
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How to sail, sailing clubs and sailing boats plus news on the wide range of sailing events on Irish waters forms the backbone of Afloat's sailing coverage.

We aim to encompass the widest range of activities undertaken on Irish lakes, rivers and coastal waters. This page describes those sailing activites in more detail and provides links and breakdowns of what you can expect from our sailing pages. We aim to bring jargon free reports separated in to popular categories to promote the sport of sailing in Ireland.

The packed 2013 sailing season sees the usual regular summer leagues and there are regular weekly race reports from Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Howth and Cork Harbour on Afloat.ie. This season and last also featured an array of top class events coming to these shores. Each year there is ICRA's Cruiser Nationals starts and every other year the Round Ireland Yacht Race starts and ends in Wicklow and all this action before July. Crosshaven's Cork Week kicks off on in early July every other year. in 2012 Ireland hosted some big international events too,  the ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire and in August the Tall Ships Race sailed into Dublin on its final leg. In that year the Dragon Gold Cup set sail in Kinsale in too.

2013 is also packed with Kinsale hosting the IFDS diabled world sailing championships in Kinsale and the same port is also hosting the Sovereign's Cup. The action moves to the east coast in July with the staging of the country's biggest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 11.

Our coverage though is not restricted to the Republic of Ireland but encompasses Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Irish Sea area too. In this section you'll find information on the Irish Sailing Association and Irish sailors. There's sailing reports on regattas, racing, training, cruising, dinghies and keelboat classes, windsurfers, disabled sailing, sailing cruisers, Olympic sailing and Tall Ships sections plus youth sailing, match racing and team racing coverage too.

Sailing Club News

There is a network of over 70 sailing clubs in Ireland and we invite all clubs to submit details of their activities for inclusion in our daily website updates. There are dedicated sections given over to the big Irish clubs such as  the waterfront clubs in Dun Laoghaire; Dublin Bay Sailing Club, the Royal Saint George Yacht Club,  the Royal Irish Yacht Club and the National Yacht Club. In Munster we regularly feature the work of Kinsale Yacht Club and Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.  Abroad Irish sailors compete in Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) racing in the UK and this club is covered too. Click here for Afloat's full list of sailing club information. We are keen to increase our coverage on the network of clubs from around the coast so if you would like to send us news and views of a local interest please let us have it by sending an email to [email protected]

Sailing Boats and Classes

Over 20 active dinghy and one design classes race in Irish waters and fleet sizes range from just a dozen or so right up to over 100 boats in the case of some of the biggest classes such as the Laser or Optimist dinghies for national and regional championships. Afloat has dedicated pages for each class: Dragons, Etchells, Fireball, Flying Fifteen, GP14, J24's, J80's, Laser, Sigma 33, RS Sailing, Star, Squibs, TopperMirror, Mermaids, National 18, Optimist, Puppeteers, SB3's, and Wayfarers. For more resources on Irish classes go to our dedicated sailing classes page.

The big boat scene represents up to 60% of the sail boat racing in these waters and Afloat carries updates from the Irish Cruiser Racer Association (ICRA), the body responsible for administering cruiser racing in Ireland and the popular annual ICRA National Championships. In 2010 an Irish team won the RORC Commodore's Cup putting Irish cruiser racing at an all time high. Popular cruiser fleets in Ireland are raced right around the coast but naturally the biggest fleets are in the biggest sailing centres in Cork Harbour and Dublin Bay. Cruisers race from a modest 20 feet or so right up to 50'. Racing is typically divided in to Cruisers Zero, Cruisers One, Cruisers Two, Cruisers Three and Cruisers Four. A current trend over the past few seasons has been the introduction of a White Sail division that is attracting big fleets.

Traditionally sailing in northern Europe and Ireland used to occur only in some months but now thanks to the advent of a network of marinas around the coast (and some would say milder winters) there are a number of popular winter leagues running right over the Christmas and winter periods.

Sailing Events

Punching well above its weight Irish sailing has staged some of the world's top events including the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Stopover, Tall Ships visits as well as dozens of class world and European Championships including the Laser Worlds, the Fireball Worlds in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo.

Some of these events are no longer pure sailing regattas and have become major public maritime festivals some are the biggest of all public staged events. In the past few seasons Ireland has hosted events such as La Solitaire du Figaro and the ISAF Dublin Bay 2012 Youth Worlds.

There is a lively domestic racing scene for both inshore and offshore sailing. A national sailing calendar of summer fixtures is published annually and it includes old favorites such as Sovereign's Cup, Calves Week, Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, All Ireland Sailing Championships as well as new events with international appeal such as the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Clipper Round the World Race, both of which have visited Ireland.

The bulk of the work on running events though is carried out by the network of sailing clubs around the coast and this is mostly a voluntary effort by people committed to the sport of sailing. For example Wicklow Sailing Club's Round Ireland yacht race run in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club has been operating for over 30 years. Similarly the international Cork Week regatta has attracted over 500 boats in past editions and has also been running for over 30 years.  In recent years Dublin Bay has revived its own regatta called Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and can claim to be the country's biggest event with over 550 boats entered in 2009.

On the international stage Afloat carries news of Irish and UK interest on Olympics 2012, Sydney to Hobart, Volvo Ocean Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race.

We're always aiming to build on our sailing content. We're keen to build on areas such as online guides on learning to sail in Irish sailing schools, navigation and sailing holidays. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

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