Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Sigma 33s Hopeful of the Magic 15 at Bangor Town Regatta's Irish Championships

24th February 2022
Sigma 33 - Squawk 2 (Paul and Emma Prentice)
Sigma 33 - Squawk 2 (Paul and Emma Prentice)

In this post lockdown era, there are so many events on offer that sailors keen to compete in the big competitions are spoilt for choice, and this has never been so true as with the Sigma 33 class this season.

This year’s Irish and Class Championship will be included in Royal Ulster’s Bangor Town Regatta in late June; but for some, it may not be possible to do more than one regatta. There’s the Scottish Series in early June and the coinciding Howth’s Wave Regatta; on 25th June the regatta of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, home to several of the class Cork Week in July (for which there are already a total of 89 entries), and for some who are lucky enough to race in more than one class, the Squib Nationals at Kinsale on the same date as Bangor Town Regatta.
But Paul Prentice, Class Captain for Northern Sigmas is hopeful of reaching what he calls the ‘Magic15’. He says “There was a good base of a class of at least 10 for the cancelled BTR 2021.

The 'Insider' crew, winners of the 2021 Irish Sigma 33 ChampionshipsThe 'Insider' crew, winners of the 2021 Irish Sigma 33 Championships Photo: Mark Mackey

There are some who have let the entry rollover, and with the passage of time, some have been sold, so reducing the possible entry. Despite this, we are hoping for a good turnout this year in what are some of the best racing waters in the British Isles. I am keen to see who will enter”.

At the moment there are 14 on Paul’s wish list, several of whom have actually entered, others who are planning to come.

Leaky Roof 2 (Alan Harper, Eric Robertson and Kirsty Robertson) from Cove SC, ArgyllLeaky Roof 2 (Alan Harper, Eric Robertson and Kirsty Robertson) from Cove SC, Argyll

Last year’s Irish champions, Stephen Mullaney and Ian Martin’s Insider from Howth will I understand be racing, as will of course runners up Paul and Emma Prentice’s in the local Squawk. Several who finished at the top in the 2019 Irish Championships at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta have expressed interest. Winner Leaky Roof 2 (Alan Harper, Eric Robertson and Kirsty Robertson) from Cove SC, Argyll, runner up James Miller in Mayrise based at Helensburgh, third-placed Busy Beaver (Mark Bradshaw and Jack Gallagher from Fairlie) and fourth-placed Sea Pie of Cultra (Jerry Colman Manx S & CC) are all looking hopeful. Another welcome visitor will be Avril Banks in Quattro from Pwllheli Sailing Club in North Wales. Also, Donald McLaren’s Sigmatic from Helensburgh is planning to make yet another trip across the North Channel and locals Michael and Chris Johnston from Ballyholme are keen to enter Impulse.

Hopefully, there’ll be an additional local showing from Belfast Lough from Meka 2 owned by Jim Shields of Carrickfergus and Kevin Byers and Michael Russel’s Signet from Ballyholme.

So there are the makings of a really competitive fleet, with top-class one-design racing.

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

Email The Author

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

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button