Displaying items by tag: Antrim
#Angling - The World Youth Fly Fishing Championship is coming to Ireland's border region next month.
And as the Carrick Times reports, Carrickfergus in Co Antrim is looking forward to hosting part of the event at the Woodford Fly Fishery.
What's more, local lad and Woodford member Darren Crawford will be among the all-Ireland fly fishing squad vying for the international title at the event, co-sponsored by the Loughs Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Rivers and lakes hosting the competition are spread over the counties of Antrim, Louth, Monaghan, Meath and Tyrone.
In other inland fisheries news, Galway Bay FM reports that testing carried out after a fish kill in Loughrea Lake last month found no evidence of any bacterial or viral outbreak.
The cause of the incident that killed 100 perch in the lake are still unclear, though stresses connected with the spawning season are a distinct possibility.
The great circumnavigation of Larne Lough, a 'chase race' for Meningitis is a brand new event on the Irish sailing calendar. But what is it?
To be held on Saturday 7th September and hosted by East Antrim Boat Club, it is a type of pursuit race. However in reaching into every possible creek of the Lough, together with a variety of 'on-course hurdles,' it will be a race like no other. How many races have a built in roundabout to navigate? Overall it is a fundraising day drenched with fun, frolics and challenges.
Open to mono-hulled dinghies, day boats and sports boats with a Portsmouth Yardstick number between 900 and 1600 the day will actually consist of two races; one is for the juniors which will precede the main race. Both races will feature windward starts.
The driving force for the Meningitis Chase Race is the Jobling family. Tom and Jane lost their three-year-old grandson Stanley to Meningitis. The family are well known in competitive sailing circles but this is the first time that they have taken their fundraising campaigns afloat.
Tom Jobling said; "Stanley was always a fun loving boy, always joking, smiling so another boring old sailboat race wouldn't suit him at all. The day on Larne Lough will be full of surprises, both on and off the water. Stanley's dad Barry, himself a champion sailor will be delighted if our two key objectives can be achieved.' Tom's daughter Gemma continued, "We want at least 50 assorted boats out on the water and have raised £1,000 for the Meningitis Trust. And of course have remembered Stan's smile."
Information on the Meningitis Chase Race will filter out as the big day approaches but in the meantime call the Jobling family (tel) 0044(0)2827 6960 (091 from RoI) or look into www.thechaserace.co.uk Information is also available from the East Antrim Boat Club website; www.eabc.org.uk
The volunteer lifeboat crew had an early call out on Sunday morning (17 February) to the kayaker who got into trouble on the water at West Bay.
There were strong southerly winds at time which caused a swell. The kayak capsized and was whipped by the prevailing wind into the harbour area, leaving the kayaker stranded and treading water.
A Portrush lifeboat crew member who witnessed the scene on the West Strand spotted the incident and promptly raised the alarm.
The inshore lifeboat crew - including Mark Mitchell as helm, Andy McClelland and Stevie Ritchie - launched within minutes and had the kayaker back at base within 20 minutes.
Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: "The kayaker was very fortunate as the winds were quite strong in the West Bay. Our volunteer crew launched quickly and was able to bring him back to shore safely."
McQuillan set out to document every aspect of Mennie's surfing life on the north Antrim coast, from the pre-dawn starts and protein-heavy breakfasts to the gruelling solo training sessions and the thrill of the surf itself.
And he made sure to get up close and personal with his subject, using waterproofing equipment to photograph him underwater - and even following him on a jet-ski to the secret offshore surfing spots known only to Mennie and his fellow big wavers.
The snapper described the surfer as "incredibly at home" in the water. Not surprising for a man used to taking on the enormous Finn McCool swells off the Giant's Causeway, or paddling across the North Channel for charity as he did this past spring (see more pics of Mennie surfing HERE).
As Mennie tells the Belfast Telegraph, he has the good fortune to be able to ride “the biggest, scariest waves on the planet” in his own backyard.
It comes at a price - Mennie must be in peak physical condition at all times, as one never knows when the big one might come - but it's a price he's more than willing to pay, with his body and his mind.
“Big-wave surfing is at least 80 per cent to do with your mind, and the physical aspect boosts the mental side," he tells The Irish Times. "I don’t feel 100 per cent in myself unless I’m training properly.”
Meanwhile, The Irish Times also highlights the best places to get your wetsuit on and go surfing in Ireland during the increasingly popular winter season, with schools in the hotspots of Lahinch in Co Clare - the focus of a new book by journalist Keith Duggan - and Bundoran, Co Donegal upgrading to meet the demand.
And even if its waves aren't up to scratch, the east coast still is getting some of the action, with stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) becoming the latest way to ease into the sport.
#SURFING - Northern Irish surf pro Al Mennie will be taking on a different challenge later this month, when he sets out to paddle a surfboard from the Giant's Causeway to Scotland in the name of charity.
"It will be the northernmost crossing of its type in the world," says Mennie of the 25-mile route from Antrim to the Scottish island of Islay.
"I will have to deal with freezing cold temperatures, large open ocean swell, potentially high winds and the deadly currents around a well known navigational hazard of a North Atlantic island."
Mennie will be on his own except for a support boat carrying food and water. He will be wearing a 6mm wetsuit and crossing the most dangerous stretch of water around the Irish coastline, "known for its extremely deadly currents as the Irish Sea tides drain between Rathlin Island and Northern Ireland".
The NI surfer is embarking on the challenge in aid of Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, which is a charity close to his own heart.
"My dad died suddenly of a heart attack aged 50 and I know lots of people who have also lost loved ones to heart problems too," he says, "so I really want to help make a difference by raising money for this charity."
For more details or to make a donation, visit the charity page at Al Mennie's website HERE.
According to the News Letter, the NoSalmonNets campaigners "have swapped their fishing rods for laptop computers", using Facebook to attract support for their campaign to bring an end to the offshore netting of wild salmon stocks.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Northern Ireland's Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) has called for a voluntary ban on offshore salmon fishing, following new research that shows a significant drop in their numbers in the North's rivers.
Seamus Donnelly of NoSalmonNets has welcomed DCAL's recent decision to stop issusing licences for commercial salmon nets that may "contravene European law" off Antrim's north coast, made in an effort to protect salmon stocks in the Foyle river system.
Donnelly explained that the campaign was borne from frustration at the apparent inaction by the NI Executive over the protection of salmon.
“One of the keys to our success has to be Facebook," he said. "The internet has an unlimited reach and we took advantage of that.”
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.
#ANGLING - Northern Ireland's taxpayers could be left with a bill for millions in EU fines if action isn't taken to reverse the decline of salmon stocks, the News Letter reports.
Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann said he believes that voluntary measures to help protect the North's Altantic salmon will not remove the threat of "fines which would likely run into millions which [the people of NI] will end up paying".
Annual monitoring of the North's salmon rivers has shown a failure to reach targets most years since 2002, with the survival rate of salmon in the marine phases in some cases dropping to as little as 5%.
Coastal drift nets and bag nets off the north Antrim coast - which contravene EU directives - have been blamed for intercepting salmon stocks before they reach the rivers, and anglers and conservation groups have already called for a ban.
But Swann says that Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) does not yet have the legislative power to stop them.
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.
#SURFING - One of Ireland's top surfers claims he has found the world's biggest waves off the coast of Ireland.
As Irish Central reports, Portrush waverider Al Mennie says that he and surfing partner Andrew Cotton have found two waves reaching as much as 120 feet in secret locations off the coasts of Antrim and Donegal.
The duo are currently waiting for the right conditions to surf the biggest swells.
"The good days are few and far between – 90 percent of the swells are unrideable and we'd reckon that only two days each year are rideable," Mennie told the Irish Independent.
Their location is being kept under wraps for now due to safety concerns, as the waves crash down in a hazardous rocky area - making them definitely not suitable for novices.
Irish Central has more on the story HERE.
There's a new look to Red Bay Boats all new look 6. 5 metre RIB and by all accounts from this week's Southampton Boat Show the Irish built performance RIB is a real head turner. They could've easily be dubbed the Show boat, 'Silver shadow' or then again 'White Lady' with her stunning tubes, stianless steel work, seating and white hull.
The Stormforce 650 is one of the most innovative RIBs produced by Redbay so far. The design came from a need for a standardised RIB of around 6.5 metres that could be built quicker and lighter in the County Antrim factory.The 650 has one of the best handling hulls in its class, and we've seen her easily out-perform larger rival RIBs in rough weather. Although the basic hull is that of the Stormforce 6.5, the 650 features a redesigned bow and sheer line.
Master boat builder Tom McLaughlin was on the Southampton stand talking to Rib enthusiasts from across Ireland and the UK. The Red Bay name is now synonymous with heavy weather Ribbing and the boats have a reputation for their safety and comfort in big seas.
The 650 features a fully moulded internal deck. This gives a a fresh clean appearance. It also makes it easy to maintain. The 650 features a standard 4 seater side by side console and bow locker. The deck can be either finished in a quality non-slip coating or as in the case of the Show boat above with an in tek-deck.
It is fitted with a 175hp Suzuki 4-stroke outboard, 4-seater console, Garmin 750s touchscreen chartplotter, Garmin 100i DSC VHF, teak-decking, LED navigation lights.
Last year's East Coast Championship in Carlingford was won by Strangford Lough Yacht Club's Buckfast, helmed by Darren Martin. Brian McKee, also from Strangford Lough Yacht Club in Killinchy, and sailing Stifflers Mom is currently ranked first in the national fleet, with only this weekend's event left to race. David Gorman aboard Hy5ive and from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire is second; while Strangford Sailing Club's Gerry Reilly on Over the Moon is ranked third. The winner of the south coast championships at Dunmore East two weeks ago, John Lavery is not competing.The Flying Fifteen is a 20-foot keelboat that provides competitive sailing for its two-person crew. There are thriving fleets across Ireland and the UK, with approximately 50 boats regularly competing in races in Ireland. More than 4,000 flying fifteens have been built worldwide to date and a large number of these are still sailing.
CSBC Commodore John Lowry said: "This is the second regional event to be hosted in Cushendall this year, following the Topper Ulster Championships in June. We're all looking forward to some great racing on the water, and great craic off it. We have six Flying Fifteens in our club, and I know that those sailors are excited by the added competition from the visiting boats this weekend. We're crossing our fingers for some good weather," he added.