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Displaying items by tag: Lough Foyle Yacht Club

Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan from Royal North YC on Belfast Lough topped the 26 strong GP14 fleet at the Ulster Championships over the third weekend this month. The event was hosted for the first time since 2018 by Lough Foyle Yacht Club near Derry in the north west of Ireland. Kearney was Afloat’s sailor of the month in September 2018.

The club lies at Culmore Point on the north shore of Lough Foyle where the River Foyle meets the Lough and from where in a very different craft, St Colmcille is said to have started his journey to the island of Iona off Mull on Scotland’s west coast to found the Abbey. The Gaelic cuil mor does indeed depict the location well as the ‘big corner’.
In conditions described as testing with south westerly gusts it was clear that this would indeed provide a valuable precursor for the forthcoming World Championships in Skerries in August.

GP14 dinghies racing on Lough Foyle GP14s on Lough Foyle

With the GPs keen to make their mark, the first race suffered from over eager starters and after the second general recall the black flag claimed the Sutton pairing of Hugh and Dan Gill. With the fleet up and away, the locals, Keith and Mateo Louden (LFYC) used their knowledge of the Lough, to go right early and to good effect, though with the wind variable around the course, those who made good use of the puffs were also faring well.

After several position changes on the long beats, the strategy of conservatively playing the right allowed Colman Grimes and Ross Gingles from Skerries SC to take the first win of the weekend, followed by Ger Owens and Melanie Morris of the Royal St. George YC who managed to keep Peter and Stephen Boyle of Sutton DC at bay down the last reaching leg. First in the Silver fleet were Conor Twohig and Matthew Cotter from Sutton with the tenacious Lara Sunday and Jennifer Bryce of Newtownards SC 1st in Bronze.

The second race saw rain clouds blow in and with the river now fin full spate, rounding the weather mark proved dramatic. Having sat out the first race, the fresh-legged Hugh and Dan Gill from Sutton claimed first slot with Kearney and Vaughan second and the Boyles showing their consistency with two 3rds now under their belt. Sam Wray and Luke Henderson of Sligo YC took 7th place and first Silver and with some swapping around in the bronze fleet, it was now Mullingar’s Michael Collender and Brian Walker time to shine.

Race three had a light air start which caught the fleet out with several struggling to make the line. Ger Owens and Mel Morris spotted the favoured right-hand corner having noticed earlier in the day and were largely uncontested, pulling out a very substantial lead and easy win. The Gill’s conviction that the left should pay finished with an 18th, while in contrast Josh Porter and Cara McDowell of Newtownards SC came second having noticed Ger and Melanie’s progress. Peter and Stephen Boyle made it a hat-trick of 3rd places. First Silver were Michael Cox and Claire Cromie of Newtownards SC with Collender and Walker went on to improve their positions in the Bronze fleet with a 10th.

Overnight results left the contest wide open with Owens leading overall but unable to sail the next day.

Day Two brought the same conditions and John and Donal McGuiness of Moville had a better day and took first In Race 4 with the host club’s Keith and Mateo Louden second and the Sligo pair, Diarmaid Mullan and Lauren Donaghy in third.

Puffy shifty conditions produced an awkward sea for Race 5. Kearney and Vaughan made the most of it, powering through the chop to secure another win, putting them in a good position to close out the series provided they could discard their 11th. Hugh ad Dan Gill took second.

It was close at the top going into the final race and again the black flag was out. At first, the Boyles looked good but overlaid the windward mark with Grimes and Gingles having a decent beat, but Conor Twohig and Mathew Cotter pipped them to the mark. After a windy reach, Grimes and Gingles closed out the race with another win, but a fourth was enough to secure the title for the Royal North pair. Twohig and Cotter’s second in the final race gave them the Silver overall first and the Bronze went to Michael Collender and Brian Walker.

Ross Kearney and Andrew Vaughan from Royal North YC on Belfast Lough topped the 26 strong GP14 fleet at the Ulster ChampionshipsRoss Kearney and Andrew Vaughan from Royal North YC on Belfast Lough topped the 26 strong GP14 fleet at the Ulster Championships

In July the same stretch of water will see very much bigger 70-foot boats sail through with the Round the World Clipper Race fleet arriving for its stopover in Derry mid-month.

Published in GP14
Next weekend's Foyle Days (21 and 22) is set to welcome the return of the Johanna Lucretia, a two masted wooden schooner built in 1945, along with other vessels which are to visit the north-west city, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The annual maritime festival will bring the sailing boats upriver on the River Foyle and berth at the Queen's Quay. The public are invited to come on board free of charge and explore the vessels. The largest being the 96ft Johanna Lucretia, which was built originally as a fishing boat but never used for that purpose.

Over the years she has changed hands between Dutch and UK interests for recreational use. Several years ago she starred in the RTE TV reality show 'Cabin Fever' where she replaced the show's first ship Camaret of Cornwall (branded as 'Cabin Fever') after it ran aground off Tory Island.

During the two-day festival (11am-5pm) the boating community at the event will include the Coleraine Yacht Club, Foyle Paddlers, Foyle Punts, Lough Foyle Yacht Club, Lough Swilly Yacht Club, Moville Boat Club, RNLI and the Foyle (SAR) Search and Rescue.

Visitors to Foyle Days can call to the Clipper stand and learn more about the city's entry of the Derry~Londonderry boat in the 2011-2012 Clipper Round the World Race. Learn more about the countries the crew will visit and also how to get involved in the event. For more information about the race, at 40,000 miles is the world's longest race go to

Running alongside the festival a continental market with 40 stalls will be open to all at the recently revamped Guildhall Square. For further details about Foyle Days click here.

Published in Maritime Festivals
28th July 2009

Lough Foyle Yacht Club

Lough Foyle Yacht Club is situated on the banks of the River Foyle at Culmore Point, approximately 3 miles north of the Foyle Bridge.

New members are always welcome. If you are interested in finding out more about the club and sailing at Culmore, come along to our club and talk to us. Members will be at the club on the days and times shown on our Sailing Programme
or Contact us: [email protected]

Lough Foyle Yacht Club, Culmore Point, Londonderry BT48 8JW, N. Ireland. Email: [email protected]

(Details courtesy of Lough Foyle Yacht Club)

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Published in Clubs