Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Belfast Lough

Two Belfast Lough sailors are racing in the 50th Anniversary Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Saturday from Cowes on the Isle of Wight and finishes in Cherbourg.

Ewan Finlay is racing as foredeck crew on Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II, an Archambault A13, the one and only A13 ever built. It was formerly known as Teasing Machine and sailed very successfully by a professional French crew. Phosphorus II was sixth overall in IRC in the 2021 Fastnet Race.

Belfast's Ewan Finlay (second left) on board Phosphorus II that competes in this Saturday's Fastnet Race from CowesBelfast's Ewan Finlay (second left) on board Phosphorus II that competes in this Saturday's Fastnet Race from Cowes

Ross Boyd is on onboard Robert Rendell’s Samatom from Howth. Regular Aflaot readers will recall she won the 2021 Sovereign's Cup Regatta Coastal Divison at the first attempt. Boyd says he is pleased that there are two RUYC members racing in this Fastnet, and he says he is “looking forward to the competition in the 104 boat class”.

This Saturday’s 2023 Rolex Fastnet Race will be the biggest offshore race of all time, with a record-breaking entry list of over 490 yachts for its 50th-anniversary edition.

At one point it was thought that the start might have to be delayed as a relatively brief but extremely strong period of southwest winds forecast seemed likely for Saturday afternoon and evening along the south coast of England, but the expected wind and weather conditions for the race while still unsettled, look to be averaging out

Starting from The Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, the course is about 695 miles via the Fastnet Rock to the finish line at Cherbourg.

Published in Fastnet

On Monday last (17th), several search and rescue teams held a very active training session out of the village of Groomsport on the North Down coast.

Taking part alongside Lagan Search and Rescue’s Ribcraft Class 1 Lifeboat were Bangor Atlantic 85 inshore and Donaghadee’s Trent Class Lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Teams from Bangor and Portaferry on Strangford Lough, as well as K9 Search and Rescue and safety boats from Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough.

 The Search and Rescue crews involved in the Joint Exercise on the North Down Coast The Search and Rescue crews involved in the Joint Exercise on the North Down Coast

The aim of the exercise was to replicate a scenario where a boat was sinking near the coastline, requiring survivors to evacuate to a life raft and swim to safety. During the exercise, lifeboats and Quayside Search and Rescue teams, as well as Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technicians, were used in the search for survivors.

Practice using a rescue raft during the SAR Joint Exercise on the North Down CoastPractice using a rescue raft during the SAR Joint Exercise on the North Down Coast

One of the scenarios practised by the Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technicians from LSAR, K9 SAR and Coastguard Rescue was using a rescue raft to practice extracting a casualty from rocks inaccessible by land or boat. They work as a team to swim the raft across a distance of water using ropes in a continuous loop across the water to bring back the casualty on the raft.

Lagan SAR said it was “an incredible opportunity to enhance our skills and knowledge during this exercise, and we're already looking forward to the next one! Thank you to Bangor RNLI for organising”.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

On July 7th, the TS State of Maine, the current training ship of the Maine Maritime Academy, docked at the Gotto Wharf in the Herdman Channel in the Port of Belfast.

She was formerly in the United States Navy service as the USNS Tanner and assumed her present name and role in June 1997. She had been launched in 1990 as an oceanographic research ship.

Maine Maritime Academy is a public, co-educational college located in the coastal town of Castine in the state of Maine in the northeastern United States. The student population numbers approximately 950 in engineering, management, science, and transportation courses.

Four of the volunteers from the charity, the independent Lagan Search and Rescue, along with members of the K9 Search and Rescue NI and Bangor Coastguard Rescue, were welcomed aboard by Captain Gordon MacArthur. They met some of the 300 students and 70 qualified crew. The ship had arrived in Belfast, having visited Ponta Delgada, Portugal, Vigo in Spain, and Kiel in Germany.

She is now back in her homeport in Maine.

LSAR were pleased to have the chance to visit the ship:” Thank you to the Captain and crew of TS State of Maine for the invite and to Doyle Shipping Group for facilitating the visit”.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

The Spring Series at Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough ran over three Sundays in April and attracted 12 cruiser racers. IRC winner after six races was the local boat, five points ahead of Stuart Cranston’s Ker 32 Hijacker from Strangford Lough YC. Michael Eames’ All or Nothing was in third slot.

Final Call II light airs on the first day racing of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Spring Series Photo: courtesy TYTFinal Call II light airs on the first day racing of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Spring Series Photo: courtesy RUYC

In the Whitesail division, Vicki and Martin Dews’ Sigma 33 Elandra was the first of two starters, having something of an easy time of it as Jacada (Andrew Kennedy) sailed only two races.

Elandra, the Sigma 33 of Vicki and Martin Dews (left) with Ian Chapman's Cheoy Lee 36-ft Classic yachtElandra, the Sigma 33 of Vicki and Martin Dews (left) with Ian Chapman's Cheoy Lee 36-ft Classic yacht

The first day’s racing was in light winds, as was the second outing, with only the last meeting having anything of a decent breeze.

The Hijacker team looking relaxed at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Spring Series Photo: Bob EspeyThe Hijacker team looking relaxed at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Spring Series Photo: Bob Espey

For the first three races, Hijacker looked as if they were going to give Final Call II a run for their money with two wins and a second, but a drop to seventh in the final two races meant they were down to second overall. John Minnis says they can laugh about it now but in one of the early races, the crew was debating which spinnaker to use, only to find they actually had none on board. All were in the marina store.

It was good to see three boats new to the fleet - Elandra the Sigma 33, Alan Hannon’s JPK 1030 Coquine and Ian Chapman’s Cheoy Lee 36 Classic yacht.

At the prizegiving, Hon Secretary Catherine Gallagher thanked everyone who helped make the Spring Series successful. She also mentioned the new rating system, RYA YTC, which the club will use this year alongside the more traditional systems.

Michael Gunning, a Final Call II crewman on John Minnis's Archambault 35, the overall RUYC Spring Series winner with Barbara Coffey Photo: Fiona HicksMichael Gunning, a Final Call II crewman on John Minnis's Archambault 35, the overall RUYC Spring Series winner with Barbara Coffey Photo: Fiona Hicks

Stuart Cranston, skipper of Highjacker, the RUYC Spring Series runner up in IRC with Barbara Coffey Photo: Fiona HicksStuart Cranston, skipper of Highjacker, the RUYC Spring Series runner up in IRC with Barbara Coffey Photo: Fiona Hicks

Martin Dews, the Whitesail division winner of the RUYC Spring Series with Barbara Coffey Photo: Fiona HicksMartin Dews, the Whitesail division winner of the RUYC Spring Series with Barbara Coffey Photo: Fiona Hicks

The overall winner John Minnis was happy with the Series and the result of Final Call II. “Great series conditions and racing format for everyone… super to see so many yachts from different clubs creating some tight competition… the RUYC sailing committee, mark layers, battery team and Tom Bell of Grange Wine Merchants deserve special thanks for all their organisation and extremely generous sponsorship” He added, “Well done to the team on Final Call II who showed composure and commitment securing a series win only on the last day”.

Leading high-performance maritime design and applied technologies company, Artemis Technologies, has been named among the winners at the prestigious 2023 Maritime UK Awards.  

Beating stiff competition from UK counterparts, the Belfast-based company received the Innovation award in front of 400 people at a ceremony held in the Hilton Hotel, Hull.

The accolade was presented to the organisation deemed best-in-class for its exceptional commitment to innovation and ability to develop transformative technology that will deliver industry-wide benefits. 

CEO of Artemis Technologies Dr Iain Percy OBE said:  

“At Artemis Technologies, we have a mission to lead the decarbonisation of the maritime sector and we continually strive to develop technology and bring vessels to market that will offer greener, cleaner solutions for maritime operators around the world.

“Our innovations can deliver game-changing benefits and we believe our technology, and its mass adoption, will be integral to not only the UK achieving its Net Zero targets but the collective global fight against climate change.

“We are thrilled to have that potential recognised by the voice of our sector, Maritime UK, and are extremely proud to have triumphed in the Innovation Award category at the 2023 awards.

“Congratulations must go to the entire team at Artemis Technologies, the partners we work with, and indeed the other fantastic finalists we shared the stage with.”

Entries to the Innovation Award category for 2023 needed to showcase an organisation’s ability to not just develop concepts to solve challenges within the maritime sector but to deploy products to market for real-world operations.

Within the last 12 months, Artemis Technologies has successfully launched to market the world’s first commercially viable, 100% electric, high-speed foiling workboat range and the Artemis EF-24 Passenger ferry – a 100% electric foiling, high-speed passenger ferry set to revolutionise waterways worldwide.

The patented Artemis eFoiler® propulsion system which powers these vessels lends itself to varying applications within the workboat, public transport, defence and leisure sectors, providing further testament to the scale of impact the company can have on global operations and creating a more sustainable maritime future.

This award is the latest recognition by Maritime UK of Artemis Technologies’ efforts to decarbonise the maritime sector, having previously chosen the company as winner of the Clean Maritime Innovator award in 2022.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

Did you know that Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and Pancakes is the perfect way to do this? Not that Kevin and the Bangor Marina staff on Belfast Loughwill be undertaking that task next Tuesday, but there will be free pancakes and refreshments on 21st February from 1100 till 1400 in the foyer.

This feast adds to those celebrated at Bangor Marina - on St Patrick’s Day (Irish Stew), Christmas (Mince Pies) and the End of Season Burgers On Board.

Published in Belfast Lough

A Northern Ireland fisherman who landed a blue lobster last week says it was a “one in two million” shot, as Belfast Live reports.

Stuart Brown made the marine wildlife discovery of his lifetime on Friday (3 February) while hauling lobster pots set near Blackhead Lighthouse in Carrickfergus.

“You would get lobsters out there that don’t look normal, they’d be a bit browner or redder, just something different with them, but nothing that extreme,” he said.

As the cerulean crustacean was under the allowable size to keep, Brown snapped some photos before releasing it back into the waters of Belfast Lough — where it may yet surprise another unsuspecting fisher or local.

Belfast Live has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

It was that time of year again for the keen Stand Up Paddlers to get into the Santa and Elf costumes and take to the water in Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough.

Eighty-two went afloat and raised £600 for the local lifeboat with safety cover by Safer Waters NI. All that effort makes them hungry and Iain McCarthy of SUP Hub thanked the Zero waste market store Lightfoot for the refreshments as well as Bangor Marina for permission to use the Harbour and the SUP Hub Team for the volunteering time to help make this run safely.

The winner of Fastest Santa was Kelly Marie Wood, and the fastest Juniors were Theo and Jonas Hamilton. Fancy dress winners shared the prizes - Sylvia Watt, Phil Forsythe, Karen Sykes, Christine, Gemma and Maggie McCullough.

This was the fourth year of the Santa SUP at Bangor HarbourThis was the fourth year of the Santa SUP at Bangor Harbour

This was the fourth year of Santa SUP, and in that time it has seen over 250 Santas take to the water. Iain McCarthy, who runs the company, was delighted with the response: “We have raised over £2500 over the years for the Lifeboat, and we hope to make a fixture of this event on the first weekend of December every year to continue supporting our local lifeboat team, promote our city and celebrate the good fortune we have to be surrounded by such brilliant bodies of water”.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

BBC News reports that the body of a man who went missing from a ferry in Belfast Lough late last month has been found.

Claims that a man had fallen overboard from a ferry on the night of Saturday 29 October prompted a multi-agency search of Belfast Lough that was stood down the following day.

Belfast Harbour Police have now confirmed that a body found on Thursday morning (17 November) on a beach in Holywood, Co Down is that of the missing ferry passenger.

As previously noted on, the man was understood to be “a high-risk missing person” and had been on a crossing from Cairnryan in Scotland to Northern Ireland on the Stena Superfast VIII.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

A major search operation for a man believed to have gone overboard from a ferry in Belfast Lough at the weekend has been stood down and the matter handed over to police.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, searches were suspended on Sunday (30 October) and a spokesperson for Belfast Harbour Police told the newspaper it is “engaged in an ongoing investigation into a high-risk missing person”.

It was reported in the Irish press that Dublin Port was contacted on Saturday evening by someone with concerns for their relative, a 39-year-old Limerick man who was expected on a ferry to the capital from Holyhead in Wales.

It later emerged that the man in question was on a crossing from Cairnryan in Scotland to Belfast on the Stena Superfast VIII.

Commenting on social media, Larne Search & Rescue — which was one of the many partners involved in the multi-agency response — said it was stood down on Sunday afternoon with nothing found.

“During the search, our dedicated volunteer crews were out in testing conditions in very little visibility,” it said. “Both lifeboats were deployed alongside Quayside teams and rotated through five crews during the long searches through the night and the following day.”

Larne Search & Rescue added: “It is very difficult for the team to not have a positive outcome, but…the area was extensively searched by all assets using various search patterns.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this time and we hope for positive news.”

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under
Page 1 of 30

Royal Cork Yacht Club

Royal Cork Yacht Club lays claim to the title of the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. 

It is currently located in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, Ireland and is Cork Harbour’s largest yacht club and the biggest sailing club on the south coast of Ireland.

The club has an international reputation for the staging of sailing events most notable the biennial world famous Cork Week Regatta.

In 2020 RCYC celebrated its tricentenary under its Admiral Colin Morehead.

Royal Cork Yacht Club FAQs

The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world, and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the World’s leading yacht clubs, and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. It is the organiser of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. It has hosted many National, European and World Championships. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, continental and national sailors among its membership.

The Royal Cork Yacht club is in Crosshaven, Co Cork, a village on lower Cork Harbour some 20km south-east of Cork city centre and on the Owenabue river that flows into Cork Harbour.

The club was founded as The Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in 1720, in recognition of the growing popularity of private sailing following the Restoration of King Charles II. The monarch had been known to sail a yacht on the Thames for pleasure, and his interest is said to have inspired Murrough O’Brien, the 6th Lord Inchiquin — who attended his court in the 1660s and whose grandson, William O’Brien, the 9th Lord Inchiquin, founded the club with five friends.Originally based on Haulbowline Island in inner Cork Harbour, the club moved to nearby Cobh (then Cove) in 1806, and took on its current name in 1831. In 1966 the club merged with the Royal Munster Yacht Club and moved to its current premises in Crosshaven.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club today encompasses a wide variety of sailing activities, from young kids in their Optimist dinghies sailing right through the winter months to the not-so-young kids racing National 18s and 1720s during the remaining nine months. There is also enthusiastic sailing in Toppers, Lasers, RS Fevas and other dinghies. The larger keelboats race on various courses set in and around the Cork Harbour area for club competitions. They also take part in events such as the Round Ireland Race, Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race. In many far off waters, right across the globe, overseas club members proudly sail under the Royal Cork burger. The club has a significant number of cruising members, many of whom are content to sail our magnificent south and west coasts. Others head north for the Scottish islands and Scandinavia. Some go south to France, Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean. The more adventurous have crossed the Atlantic, explored little known places in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while others have circumnavigated the globe.

As of November 2020, the Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is Colin Morehead, with Kieran O’Connell as Vice-Admiral. The club has three Rear-Admirals: Annamarie Fegan for Dinghies, Daragh Connolly for Keelboats and Mark Rider for Cruising.

As of November 2020, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has approximately 1,800 members.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s burgee is a red pennant with the heraldic badge of Ireland (a stylised harp topped with a crown) at its centre. The club’s ensign has a navy blue field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and the heraldic badge centred on its right half.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. The club also hosts many National, European and World Championships, as well as its biennial Cork Week regatta — widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club has an active junior section with sailing in Optimists, Toppers and other dinghies.

Charles Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club regularly runs junior sailing courses covering basic skills, certified by Irish Sailing.


The Royal Cork hosts both keelboats and dinghies, with the 1720 Sportsboat — the club’s own design — and National 18 among its most popular. Optimists and Toppers are sailed by juniors, and the club regularly sees action in Lasers, RS Fevas, 29ers and other dinghy classes.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has a small fleet of 1720 Sportsboats available for ordinary members to charter.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House office can provide phone, fax, email, internet and mail holding facilities for a small charge. Club merchandise and postcards may be purchased. Showers and toilet facilities are available 24 hours a day, free of charge. Parking is plentiful and free of charge. Diesel and petrol are available on site. Marina berths are generally available for a fee payable in advance; arrangements must be made before arrival.

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club’s Club House has all of the usual facilities, including bars and restaurant, which are open during normal licensing hours. The restaurant provides a full range of meals, and sandwiches, snacks etc, are available on request.

Normal working hours during the sailing season at the Royal Cork Yacht Club are 9am to 9pm daily. For enquiries contact the RCYC office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

Yes, the Royal Cork Yacht Club caters for all types of events rom weddings, anniversaries, christenings and birthday celebrations to corporate meetings, breakfast meetings, luncheons, private dinners and more. For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

New members are invited to apply for membership of the Royal Cork Yacht Club by completing the Nomination Form (available from and returning it to The Secretary, Royal Cork Yacht Club, Crosshaven Co Cork. Nominations are first approved by the Executive Committee at its next meeting, and following a period on display for the members, and are reviewed again at the following meeting at which any objections are considered.

No; while ordinary members of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are usually boat owners, there is no requirement to own a boat when submitting an application for membership.

The annual feel for ordinary members (aged 30+) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club is €645. Family membership (two full members and all children aged 29 and under) is €975, while individuals youth (ages 19-29) and cadet (18 and under) memberships are €205. Other rates are available for seniors, associates and more. All fees quoted are as of the 2020 annual subscription rates.

Memberships of the Royal Cork Yacht Club are renewed annually, usually within 60 days of the club’s Annual General Meeting.
For enquiries contact the Royal Cork Yacht Club office on 021 483 1023 or email [email protected]

©Afloat 2020