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J109 ‘Jelly Baby’ Heading North for Restoration

27th March 2022
Jelly Baby ready for the road north
Jelly Baby ready for the road north to Kevin O’Neill’s boat-shed at Kirkistown, Co Down

Kevin O’Neill’s boat-shed at Kirkistown on the Ards Peninsula in Co Down has seen many boat restorations, the most recent being the MGRS 34, Twenty Twenty for Rex Robinson of Dublin Bay (renamed Debbie R in memory of his late wife) and another MGRS 34, Juno, for Kevin’s and his son Terence’s own use.

Kevin’s latest project has arrived on its long road trip from Cork Harbour to Northern Ireland. It is Jelly Baby, the J109 which faced destruction when it came to grief on Weavers Point during the final race of Royal Cork’s Autumn League last October.

She was refloated from Bull Rock by the coastguard and a salvage team, and laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard.

Jelly Baby was laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard following the J109’s grounding at the mouth of Cork HarbourJelly Baby was laid up in Crosshaven Boatyard following the J109’s grounding at the mouth of Cork Harbour

Subsequently tracked down by Kevin’s son Terence, she is now on her way to Kirkistown. But it would be a dream that she’d be ready for racing in Strangford Lough this season.

Kevin says Jelly Baby will have “a complete overhaul and be back on the race course again, maybe not this season but the 2023 season”.

It is certainly heartening to see boats being restored and racing again.

Jelly Baby is lifted into position for the road to the Ards PeninsulaJelly Baby is lifted into position for the road to the Ards Peninsula

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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