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Strangford Lough Sailing Clubs Organise Substantial Narrows Series Programme

6th July 2022
Dinghies prepare for last year's Narrows event on Strangford Lough
Dinghies prepare for last year's Narrows event on Strangford Lough

Last year there were over 140 boats in the long-established Bar Buoy Race and Narrows Series, a four-day bonanza of sail racing in the fast-flowing Strangford Narrows, the six-mile stretch of water that empties and fills the 58 sqm of what is the largest sea inlet in the British Isles.

The Lough was designated as Northern Ireland's first Marine Conservation Zone in 2013 and has also been designated a Special Area of Conservation for its important wildlife.

Traditionally the Bar Buoy Race precedes the Narrows Series with a separate prize, and it takes the fleet through the Narrows round the Bar Buoy at the mouth of Lough. The Strangford Sailing Club Regatta and the two Portaferry Regattas combine their three sets of results to make the Narrows Series.

This year the three organising clubs have arranged a substantial programme; Strangford Sailing Club on the western shore will run the Bar Buoy Race on 11th July, its Regatta on Tuesday 12th July; Portaferry Town on the opposite side of the Narrows will hold theirs on 13th, and Portaferry Sailing Club’s is scheduled for 14th July.

There will be racing for 13 classes ranging from the big IRC and NHC boats to the small Topper, Pico, Optimist and Mirror dinghies.

The Ker 32 Hijacker The Ker 32 Hijacker

I understand from Stuart Cranston whose Ker 32 Hijacker has been lately dogged with gear failure and sail damage, that he is expecting at least the following IRC boats racing – Ryan and Brian Wilson’s Corby 29 Elixir visiting from Carrickfergus on Belfast Lough who won Class 3 at the Bangor Town Regatta, Phil Quinn’s Projection 35 Fat Tony (SLYC), Dermot Hinds Elan 37, Hindsight from Portaferry, the A35 Le Basculer (Mike Spence) from Killyleagh, winner of IRC in last year’s Frostie Series and Going to Red, a J109 owned by Peter Holden, also from SLYC.

No doubt the entry list will increase for what promises to be an enviable event.

More info on

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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