Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Killyleagh Yacht Club Hosts Keelboat Event on Strangford Lough

24th May 2024
Ryan Wilson’s Mat1010 Elixir from Quoile YC and Carrickfergus SC competed in May's Killyleagh Open Event on Strangford Lough
Ryan Wilson’s Mat1010 Elixir from Quoile YC and Carrickfergus SC competed in May's Killyleagh Open Event on Strangford Lough Credit: Tommy Brown

Last Saturday (18th), thirty turned out in six classes at Killyleagh Yacht Club on the western shore of Strangford Lough for the Keelboat event, which incorporates the Crooks Cup and Westward Trophy.

A steady Northerly breeze and sunshine made for ideal conditions, and Sharon Bolton was the Race Officer.

The first class away was the over-eager six-strong YTC 1, resulting in an individual recall with a few boats having to dip the line. Mike Spence’s A35 Le Basceleur from the host club dominated the racing, taking the win, closely followed by Peter Holden’s J109, Going to Red and visitor Ryan Wilson from Carrickfergus on Belfast Lough and Quoile YC taking third in his MAT 1010 Elixir. YTC 1 also included a good showing from the Impalas, with six out. This event was the last weekend before the Impala and Sonata European Championships at the neighbouring East Down Yacht Club next weekend.

After a tricky beat to Mark 9 at Taggart Island in the second start, YTC1RS got underway, and it was Stevie Andrews in the Hanse 375 Dark and Scary taking a well-deserved bullet, followed by the host club Commodore Gary Shields in second and Kyle Bolton’s Kilcuan in third. Scott Hagan took a well-deserved first in his Albin Express, Midnight Express, followed by Don Bridges second in the Hunter Delta Mississippi and George Cromie taking a solid third in his Achilles 24 Widgeon.

Mike Spence’s A35 Le Basceleur was the winner of YTC1 at the Killyleagh Open Event on strangfron Lough Photo: Tommy BrownMike Spence’s A35 Le Basceleur was the winner of YTC1 at the Killyleagh Open Event on strangfron Lough Photo: Tommy Brown

YTC2RS had a disappointing turnout of only two entries. Paddy Graham’s Intro 22 Screwball and Adam Morrison's Achilles 24 Kili were the only two entries. Adam Morrison took the win, with Screwball in second.

The last start in the sequence saw the Squibs and Flying Fifteens. In the Squibs, local Simon Watson in Volante took the lead over his clubmate Robert Marshall and took first place. The Fifteens were strongly supported, and Killyleagh Yacht Club wish the fleet all the best ahead of their Northern Championships at that Club in June and the British Championships at Strangford Lough YC nearby, also in June. First overall was the McCarthy/Rodgers duo from Portaferry, SC, and the runner-up was Brian Bailie in Flapping Eagle from the club opposite the Narrows, Strangford, SC.

Race 2 got underway with a steady Northerly breeze, and it was again Mike Spence dominating the start on starboard in YTC 1, soon tacking onto port and crossing the whole fleet to win the second race and win overall. Stuart Cranston’s Melges 24 was second, and the consistent Ryan Wilson was third in Elixir. YTC1RS saw the consistent Stevie Andrews take the race win and overall winner of YTC1RS. It was the local boats, Trevor Hooks Nik Nak, a Bavaria 38 in second and Gary Shields Yabadabadoo (Sigma 33) in third.

Scott Hagan dominated the start of YTC 2 in his Albin Express, Midnight Express, to take another bullet and win that class overall, with George Cromie runner-up in the Hunter Delta Widgeon. In YTC2RS, Adam Morrison took another first, with Paddy Graham in second overall.

The Squib results remained unchanged, with Simon Watsons Volante being first overall and Robert Marshall second in Slipstream.

The Crooks Cups was awarded to Stevie Andrews’ Dark and Scary for first place in YTC1RS, and the Westward trophy went to Simon Watson for the first Squib.

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

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

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven't put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full-time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button