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Quoile Yacht Club Hopes To Attract Belfast Lough Yachts for Spring Series

31st January 2022
Jonathon Gifford's Albin Express Apache (Quoile YC) on port and Tiger Lily, Raymon and Katie Beatie's Sun Odyssey 37 from Killyleagh YC competing on Strangford Lough
Credit: Tommy Brown

Forty years has passed since the first Spring Series in Ireland took place at Quoile Yacht Club in Northern Ireland. The club lies in the southwestern corner of Strangford Lough and at that time the event was shared with Down Cruising Club at Ballydorn just north of Whiterock in the northwest of the Lough. Since the 1980s the series has been held annually at Quoile Yacht Club.

Traditionally, the series started on the last Sunday in March and ran over five consecutive weekends, with an extensive social programme organised ashore. Spring weather was typically mixed with lovely sunshine one weekend and then snow flurries and sleet the next. Sailing Secretary Lucy Anderson says “This year we are delighted to be hosting the first racing on Strangford Lough on 30th April and 1st May at Quoile Yacht Club and sailors are pleased and excited to get afloat”. There will be two races on the Saturday and one on the Sunday.

Quoile Yacht Club lies in the southwestern corner of Strangford LoughQuoile Yacht Club lies in the southwestern corner of Strangford Lough

In the past, the event was hugely popular with some 30-40 boats. Lucy continues; “I would say 40-50 boats this year. There is always a good turnout for the first racing of the year and it is also after the Easter break so all the sailors will have plenty of time to work on their boats”.

"The event is open to IRC, NHC, NHCRS and Squibs"

In the past local boats were also supported by yachts from Belfast Lough, Lough Neagh, and Lough Erne. At that time there were no marinas in Belfast Lough, and traditionally many of the yachts came to Strangford at the end of August and spent the winter at anchor in Ringhaddy and other winter moorings. Today, Quoile Yacht Club Spring Series has been consolidated into one weekend. The event is open to IRC, NHC, NHCRS and Squibs - and the surging one design Impala fleet will be out in force on the Lough this year. Lucy adds “We expect a huge response from the nine other clubs around the Lough. It would be fantastic if we had boats from Belfast Lough participating”.

There will be a dinner on the Saturday night in the clubhouse for the visitors staying over and members, and breakfast will be served for everyone on the Sunday morning.

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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