Just as well Ballyholme Yacht Club is at present extending the south dinghy park and widening one of the launching slips because next July an entry of over 300 is expected for the Laser Youth Radial European Championships which will run from 5th till 11th July writes Betty Armstrong.
But as the event is being left unlimited up to a point, there maybe even more. The limit is set at 400 as per EurILCA regs.
The club lies on a wide sandy bay on the south side of Belfast Lough and this RYA recognised Training Centre has an enviable reputation for running world, international, national and regional events, with a superb 40 sq km racing area in virtually hazard and tide free waters on the Lough close at hand.
Among the world championships hosted by the club were the Topper Worlds in 2016 and the F18 World Championships in 2014. Lasers have been sailed at BYC from the early 1970s and the club hosted one of the first European Championships in 1979 as well as the Laser Radial Europeans in 2004.
The club’s racing pedigree has provided sailors and officials to Olympic Regattas and many other international events. Some members are noted for their expertise in the role of Race officer and one, Bill O’Hara was the PRO for 2017 Volvo Round the World Race.
Interest in competing is already picking up and entries open on 20th November. Rear Commodore Mark Mackey reports that last year sailors at Tarbert in Scotland have expressed a solid interest.
Bangor has a wide variety of accommodation including the new Premier Inn in the centre of the town, but with such a huge influx of people expected, it is advisable to make plans early. Info on the event can be found here