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Royal North of Ireland's Inaugural Glenarm Offshore Sailing Challenge

7th September 2021
David Eccles Sigma 33 Mungjerrie is interested in the Challenge
David Eccles Sigma 33 Mungjerrie is interested in the Challenge

Come Saturday 18th September, cruising boat owners from Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast Lough will be sailing north on the club's inaugural 'Glenarm Challenge'.

Glenarm is a small village on the famous Antrim Coast Road on the east of County Antrim, and it has a forty-eight berth marina, which includes a new ten berth pontoon.

This race will see offshore racing re-established at Royal North, and this year the race will hopefully start from one of the club lines at 1100 hrs and for those interested in a more leisurely day, it will be combined with a cruise-in-company. The event is limited to members only for this season, with the opportunity to make it an open event next year.

The germ of the idea started earlier this summer. Gordon Patterson's Sigma 362, Fanciulla threw the proverbial gauntlet down to Gavin Vaughan's New Jeanneau 349 Toucan, stating that he challenged his heavy displacement 36-footer against the new 34-foot light displacement boat in a race to Glenarm. So, word got back to the club's Honorary Sailing sec, who thought it a great idea if it were to be opened up to other cruiser owners within the club.

Gordon Patterson said that what makes it more interesting is "There are a few conditions which were part of the original challenge; Owner helm (helm to start and finish and spend at least 50% of the race on the helm); the start is from RNIYC and the crew must not exceed 4". He continued; "Gavin Vaughan and myself are putting some sponsorship together for a trophy, and this will consist of a crystal keeper and the perpetual Cup which will be named in honour of whoever wins between us on scratch handicap. Gavin would be the favourite as he would normally give the Sigma a little under two mins an hour, but if conditions are favourable, we are confident".

A late afternoon/evening social event near Glenarm marina is also being planned.

The NHC handicap race start will be from one of the club lines, and NoR and Sis will be issued shortly. It is hoped to organise a late afternoon or evening social event near the marina.

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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