#ruyc – Royal Ulster Yacht Club's (RUYC) fiftieth Ailsa Craig Race starts tomorrow evening at 8pm and is an important anniversary for the Northern Ireland Yacht Club.
A classic in the Northern Offshore yacht racing calendar, the course taking the fleet overnight round the famous rock at the mouth of the Clyde and back to Bangor.
Tomorrow, on June 15th, the club will stage the 50th anniversary race, the first of which was held in August 1962.
In that year the 11 ton sloop Tyrena, owned at that time by Dr and Mrs W Glover, was the first winner of the trophy, a silver replica of Ailsa Craig. Many of the original competitors, several of whom are now in their 80s, are expected to compete.
This special event, and indeed the other three races in the offshore series, will be sponsored by Hamilton Shipping, who have previously been generous supporters of Sigma 33 racing hosted by Royal Ulster.
Gordon Hamilton, Managing Director of the company, is delighted to be once again associated with racing at Royal Ulster: "Given the importance of Belfast Lough to our business, we like to support Royal Ulster Yacht Club, particularly whenever the club has worked so hard over many years to maintain offshore yacht racing in Northern Ireland. We hope the history attached to this year's Ailsa Craig Race will make things a little special for all competitors.'
The Sailing Instructions will set out the starting and finishing details; the race will start on Friday 15th June with a course that will take competitors from the Royal Ulster YC start line via the South Briggs Buoy (to port) around Ailsa Craig and back to the South Briggs Buoy (to starboard) and thence to the Finish Line also at Royal Ulster YC. There will be breakfast laid on for competitors who finish in the morning and a 50th Anniversary Dinner on the Saturday evening.
The Classes racing in this special 50th Anniversary event include IRC Unrestricted and No Spinnaker Divisions and also CYCA Unrestricted and No Spinnaker.