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Displaying items by tag: EAST ANTRIM BOAT CLUB

With some of the World Championship Toppers appeared to be stuck in a container somewhere, there is some doubt if they'll make it to East Antrim Boat Club in Larne for this weekend's Northern championship. But maybe if they happen to be destined to Larne port they could just be unloaded and wheeled to the nearby Club!

The Topper class is certainly very well-travelled, having had a presence at the Worlds at Lake Garda and also at Weymouth for the Nationals.

The host club is East Antrim Boat Club and Club commodore Lucy Whitford said “We’re delighted to have the Topper family back with us in Larne. This will provide a great boost for our emerging Topper sailors. The organising team led by Gordon Kane and Race Officer Richard Doig has been working tirelessly to ensure that EABC’s reputation for fair and friendly eventing is maintained at the highest level. I am especially delighted to welcome the high-flying Pollards and Driscolls: Callum and Bobby high scoring champion sailors.”

Callum took 4.2 Gold in the Worlds and Bobby took Silver on a countback in the 5.3 division. At the UK Nationals in Weymouth, Bobby was second overall and took Silver again.

The club is also offering – free-of-charge – ‘localised training’ with 420 champion Lucy Kane. This is to acquaint visiting competitors with the vagaries and mysteries of the Larne Lough tides and winds. Interested competitors should pre-book via the club website

Current sailors associated with the club who had their racing grounding in Toppers are Zoe Whitford, Ellen Barbour and Tom Coulter.

Published in Topper

East Antrim Boat Club at Larne recently ran a very successful Discover Sailing Open Day when 29 people turned up to sample the sport under the guidance of 41 club volunteers. The mastermind behind the effort for what was reportedly a fantastic day at the club was EABC RYA Principal, Debbie Hanna.

Conditions were kind with a good breeze and 17 signed up to take part in the forthcoming courses at the Club.

Commodore Lucy Whitford was delighted with the response, "We had an absolutely brilliant day and everyone who attended seemed to enjoy getting out on the water. Events like these need lots of volunteers and I would like to thank all our club members for their support during the day”.

The courses are all Adult (17 and over) Level 1 Learn to Sail are held on Thursdays in June and on Saturday 18th, and on Thursdays in July and on Saturday 23rd. 

Debbie Hanna with left Michael Kane and James Keenan of East Antrim Boat ClubDebbie Hanna with (left) Michael Kane and James Keenan of East Antrim Boat Club

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A combination of rain, mist and flat calm meant a 30-minute postponement by Race Officer Richard Doig for the East Antrim Boat Club Christmas Regatta yesterday (27th).

But that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 37 starters. As forecast, the breeze filled on Larne Lough giving a good breeze of 10-15 knots, and they sailed three races with a bonus for spectators that the leeward mark was just off the club.

Christmas Regatta at East Antrim Photo: Trevor JacksonChristmas Regatta at East Antrim Photo: Trevor Jackson

Commodore Lucy Whitford was pleased with the turnout – “It was great to have visiting boats from Carrickfergus, Ballyholme, Newcastle and Malahide Yacht Clubs”.

Christmas Regatta at East Antrim

The biggest fleet was the Single Handers which included one Aero. Here Laser Coach Barry McCartan came out on top with Gavin Doig just one point behind and Lucas Nixon 3rd. Five Optimists crossed the line and first was Freddie Doig from the host club. That fleet included Siun, Paidi and Tomas A’Coistealbha from Malahide Yacht Club. Ryan Wilson and Katie Nelson in an RS400 won the Double Handers.

Louis Leonard’s three firsts gave her the prize for first Topper and the Flying Fifteen prize went to Philip Ford-Hutchieson and Michael Kane.

There’s just a short break from sailing at East Antrim as racing continues with the late Winter series running from 2nd January to 27th March 2022.

Christmas Regatta at East Antrim

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East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough on the Antrim coast welcomed 60 Optimists from all over Ireland to the Ulster Championships last Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th September. A stalwart of the club, Tom Jobling, reckons it may have been three decades since there was an Optimist event at the Larne

Only four of the sixty strong fleet were from the North of Ireland; the Doig brothers and Ben Brownlees from the host club and Matthew Holden of Ballyholme.

In the 21 strong Senior fleet, Howth Yacht Club sailors Des Turvey and Harry Dunne dominated, finishing first and second, respectively. Turvey finished consistently in the top four, with Dunne never out of the first five but close on their heels was Oisin Pierse of Royal Cork in third slot.

Oisin Pierse from Royal Cork YC chasing Des Turvey (1556)Oisin Pierse from Royal Cork YC chasing Des Turvey (1556)

In the Junior division, first places were spread over the top scorers with Conor Cronin of Malahide, who had three, runner-up Carolina Carra of Royal St.George and fourth-placed Sarah Scott of Howth YC with one each in a fleet of 23.

The 16 strong Regatta fleet had seven races, and here Maeve and Emily Donagh from Lough Derg YC dominated, with Maeve counting four bullets and Emily one to finish first and second in that fleet. In third slot was Basile Dion of National YC.

The Lough experienced some of the very quiet conditions, which have occurred frequently in the North over the last couple of weeks, but Race Officer Richard Doig and his team did manage to get six races in the Senior and Junior fleets and seven in the Regatta fleet.

Full results here

Published in Optimist

Despite a smaller than usual turnout at Larne last weekend for the East Antrim Boat Club Regatta, racing was keen, and on Saturday, the fleet enjoyed perfect conditions, with the breeze picking up for the second race on the Sunday.

Racing run by Race Officer Richard Doig was held outside Larne Lough on the east Antrim coast, where the club is based, between Town Parks and Drains Bay, about 6km north of the Lough entrance.

East Antrim BC Regatta weekend -  Mayor Cllr William McCaughey Mid & East Antrim Council, Luch Whitford (front) and the crew of SiriusEast Antrim BC Regatta weekend - Mayor Cllr William McCaughey Mid & East Antrim Council, Luch Whitford (front) and the crew of Sirius

Visitors from Carrickfergus SC on in Belfast Lough topped the overall results both days with Alan McClernon's J80 Jezebel first overall on Saturday with the Flying Fifteen of Bryan Willis second. On a Sunday, it was Brian and Ryan Wilson's Corby 29 Elixir first, with the host club's Richard Doig's GK24 Sirius helmed by Ryan Brown, runner up.

Brian and Ryan Wilson's Corby 29 ElixirBrian and Ryan Wilson's Corby 29 Elixir

Local business Allan Dorman and Son sponsored the weekend.

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It was back to dinghy racing at the Larne club, East Antrim, for the May Day regatta on Sunday 2nd under current NI Covid restrictions.

There was a good turnout of 21 in four classes – Optimist, Toppers, Single and Double Handers.

The Doig family dominated the Oppies and Toppers, with four members in the Optimist and Toppers. Freddie was the first Optimist with three bullets, and Fraser won the Toppers coincidentally with the same score. Tom Coulter took first in a Laser Radial with another Doig, Gavin, runner up in the ten single Handers. Zoe Whitford and Kelly Patterson in a 29er won the Double Hander fleet, which included three Flying Fifteens.

Tom Coulter racing in the Laser Radial at EABC Photo: Sue KitsonTom Coulter racing in the Laser Radial at EABC Photo: Sue Kitson

Sunday racing continues through until September.

Seventeen single-handers took advantage of a favourable day on Sunday last (20th) to hold a Christmas Regatta at East Antrim Boat Club on Larne Lough before the shut down in Northern Ireland on Boxing Day.

The fleet consisted of two Optimists and a Topper racing together, nine Laser Radials, four Laser 4.7s and an Aero starting as a group.

The fleet raced in Larne Harbour, currently the base for MPI Resolution, the world's first purpose-built vessel for installing offshore wind turbines that is pictured top and as Afloat reported previously here.

Gavin (left) and George Doig at East Antrim Boat Club Photo: Sue Kitson Gavin (left) and George Doig at East Antrim Boat Club Photo: Sue Kitson

The Doig family dominated the results with three generations out on the water. Freddie Doig finished first overall in his Optimist with his younger brother George second, and Dad Gavin was the first Radial with up-and-coming sailor 15-year-old Tom Coulter runner up. First Laser 4.7 was Zoe Whitford – she and Tom both won prizes at the Youth Championships in September. To complete the Doig trio, Grandad Peter raced the Aero.

Commodore Lucy Whitford was pleased with the event. "We had a great day today, cold but good sailing. Unfortunately, due to restrictions we are sailing single-handers".

Mixed single-handed dinghies racing at the EABC Christmas Regatta on Larne LoughMixed single-handed dinghies racing at the EABC Christmas Regatta on Larne Lough

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East Antrim Boat Club in Larne has appointed Lucy Whitford as Commodore, only the third lady in the Club's 70-year history to enjoy that position.

The others were Lilian Stewart and Anne Morris.

Although Lucy is a regular sailor, and her daughter Zoe is a leading Topper helm as well as a 29er sailor and is currently on the RYANI's Youth Performance Programme, Lucy comes from a motorsport background. She competed in motorsport from the age of 16, first auto testing and then rallying, surely a lot faster than anything she would be used to now. It was a family thing as both her parents competed, and her husband is also involved.

Although Lucy appreciates the responsibility which is now hers, she says " Being a woman in the role wasn't actually something that was in my mind at all. I suppose both in my sailing and motorsport I never wanted to be singled out as a girl - I just wanted to compete. I feel the same about this position and for me it is about everyone working together to continue to retain the values we have at EABC as we are a relatively small family orientated club. I sailed a lot with my Dad, Mike Ford-Hutchinson but after he died suddenly in 1999, I moved away from sailing and back to motorsport where I started rallying. I didn't sail for about 10 years, but I was keen for my daughter to learn and that really brought me back to the Club. It's been great to get back to club sailing and take our daughter to sailing events across Ireland and farther afield which has allowed me to re-connect with old friends and meet new ones!"

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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).

Published in Topper

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.

Published in GP14
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