Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Ballyholme Yacht Club

On the first day of racing at the 2022 Irish Youth Sailing National Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough on Thursday, the event got off to a staggered start with four of the six classes racing. 

A 50-strong Optimist contingent had, what organisers termed 'a false start of sorts' when the fleet sailed to the wrong first mark and the first race had to be abandoned.

In the following two races, Caoilinn Geraghty-McDonnell of the Royal St. George YC emerged as overnight leader from Royal Cork's Oisin Pearse with a slim two boat lead.

Three races had been planned originally for all four classes but the fresh breeze dropped off mid-afternoon.

Nevertheless, two races were enough for Jonathan O'Shaughnessy (Royal Cork YC) to establish a six-point lead over no fewer than five Dublin boats tied for second place amongst the 38 Laser/ILCA6 single-handers.

The group includes Howth's Eve McMahon, the Under 17 World ILCA6 World Champion who was beaten into third place in the opening race right at the finish by O'Shaughnessy and would otherwise have edged ahead in the standings.

"We got two races, it didn't rain so I think everyone's pretty happy," said Olympian and International Umpire Bill O'Hara who is on the race management team this week. "When we went out we were expecting it to be full-on with 15-16 knots and some gusts to 20 and we didn't have any reason to think it wouldn't drop til five o'clock. But the forecast is brilliant (for the next few days) with wind from the northeast and nice, big rolling waves."

In the eight boat 29er skiff event, the lead is tied between Ben O'Shaughnessy with Eimer McMorrow Moriarty and James Dwyer with Andrew Conan both from the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven.

Jack McDowell with Henry Thompson (Malahide Yacht Club) proved most consistent for the day in the 420 event with two race wins in the eleven-boat class. Racing continues on Friday with all classes due on the water from 11 am. 

Published in Youth Sailing

Planting trees is very different to sailing at Ballyholme, but this month a team from the Belfast Lough club travelled to Glas Na Braden wood in the Belfast Hills behind Newtownabbey on the north shore of the Lough to take part in a Woodland Trust tree planting session.

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity and recently secured the future of 98 hectares in the Belfast Hills.

The team planted over 700 saplings to help carbon offset the RIB emissions during the Irish Youth Sailing Championships to be held at the club next week and as part of Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Award.

The Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana is the world’s only ocean conservation organization that engages, educates, and activates the sailing and boating community toward restoring ocean health.

The hilltop site, which has been named via public vote as Glas-na-Bradan Wood, will be transformed into a new native woodland and will be planted for the first time in the Woodland Trust’s history in Northern Ireland completely by the public.

Interestingly the name Glas na Braden does have a connection with the sea in that the historical translation of Glas-na-Bradan is The Salmon Stream.

Published in Belfast Lough

Ballyholme Yacht Club in Bangor on Belfast Lough is the host club for this year’s Irish National Youth Sailing Championships from 21st until 24th April.

The cream of youth and junior sailors from across Ireland will compete in the Laser/ILCA 6, 29er, 420, Topper 5.3 and ILCA 4 classes and making a welcome return for 2022, the Optimist class.

The four days of racing will be on the virtually tide and hazard free Belfast Lough, organised by a club with many years of experience of hosting world, international and national events. There are four days of racing for the ILCA 6, 29er, 420 and Optimist classes, from Thursday 21st April – Sunday 24th and three days of racing starting on Friday 22nd for Topper 5.3 and ILCA 4.

Eleven races are scheduled for the Optimist, ILCA 6, 420 and 29er classes. Eight races are scheduled for the ILCA 4 and Topper 5.3 classes.

One of the standout competitors travelling to Bangor is 18-year-old Eve McMahon, who is Afloat.ie Irish Sailor of the Year 2021. The Howth ILCA 6 sailor won the Gold Medal at the Laser Youth Worlds on Lake Garda in July last year.

The entry list stands currently at 57 and with the early bird entry closing in less than a week on 1st March, and the Optimist entry not yet open, it is expected that there will be many more entries.

Apart from the sailing, there will be speakers each evening giving inspiring and informative talks to the sailors, family, and friends. All young sailors are encouraged to attend these talks (within COVID guidelines), even if not competing.

This is a Clean Regattas event registered with Sailors for the Sea. The event has a set of environmental standards to follow throughout the event, to help reduce the impact on the environment and keep the sea a cleaner place to sail.

Ballyholme is lucky to have copious dinghy and car parking and is within walking distance of the town centre.

Bob Espey is a long-time sailor at Ballyholme Yacht Club having raced Lasers, 49ers and RS400s, he now owns a Waszp dinghy. A ‘bonkers’ plan is what he has called his standout fundraising effort for little Jodi Tomalin who has, along with his parents Jeremy and Lisa been through the mill for most of 2021. A year ago Jodi was diagnosed with cancer.

Bob explains “To help raise money for the three charities who supported them through this I’ve come up with a plan of trying to sail a hydrofoiling dinghy (Waszp) across the Irish Sea and back. And so as not to be lonely, I’ve roped in my brother-in-law Matt McGovern (49er Olympian) to accompany me in his own Waszp. It’s about 20 miles from Ballyholme to Portpatrick on the Ayrshire coast across the North Channel and of course the date, which is most likely to be in March, is weather dependent. Bob estimates a time of 3 to 4 hours nonstop and, for their wives reassurance, amongst other reasons, they will be accompanied by safety boats.

Bob continues “A trip like this has never been attempted in a hydrofoiling dinghy and I’ve no doubt it will be a big challenge. I hope you will get behind us to say, “Buzz off to cancer” and hopefully we can raise some money for three very worthy charities – The Cancer Fund for Children, the Children’s Cancer Unit and Angel Wishes”.

Published in Waszp

Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is hopeful that the Weekend of Speed which was cancelled last year will in fact happen in September. The dates set aside are 17th and 18th September and around 50 entries are expected.

Richard Swanston who is organising the event is hopeful that Multihulls, RS 400s, 600s and 700s as well as 49ers, Wazsps, Moths and 505s will enter.

The current Irish Champions, local crew Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston who were in the top 20 in a World F18 event are expected to be joined by another BYC pair, Mat McNichol and Thomas Nixon, the current Irish Champions, and Wyatt Orsmond the 2019 Champion.

Catamarans at the 2019 Weekend of Speed Photo: Wavelength ImagesCatamarans at the 2019 Weekend of Speed Photo: Wavelength Images

49ers will race in an Open Handicap fleet which will include RS dinghies and here Richard Swanston expects to see Tokyo Olympians Rob Dixon and Sean Waddilove as well as Seafra Guilefoyle and Johnny Durcan, 8th, and 20th respectively in last year’s Worlds in Oman. Irish Olympian Matt McGovern from BYC is also likely to compete. Matt is currently running the 49er training programme for Team Ireland.

Bob Espey of the home club has shown an impressive turn of speed in his Waszp last season and is a local favourite. Another foil sailor who Richard hopes to see is Charlie Cullen whose 2021 performance was highlighted by Afloat.ie here. Cullen is a nominee in Afloat’s 2020 Sailor of the Year list.

The 505 class used to be strong at BYC but there has not been a fleet there for many years. Hopefully, that class will be represented, with competition ignited by the World 505 Championship in Cork a month before.

Notice of Race will be posted in due course on Ballyholme Yacht Club's website.

It was grey and damp, with a cold gusty offshore South Easterly in Ballyholme Bay on Boxing Day (26th) but although the morning mass charity swim was postponed, racing went ahead in the afternoon with a mixed dinghy fleet sailing two back to back races. The saving grace was a relatively flat sea on Belfast Lough.

Thirty-five crossed the line formed by a RIB and a buoy on the outer edge of the bay which gave a windward start with the first leg of a triangular course into the bay, finishing at the club battery. Race Officer Des Magee did well to get two rounds into both races.

Ballyholme Yacht Club's Boxing Day RegattaA Laser dinghy start at Ballyholme Yacht Club's Boxing Day Regatta

The mixed large dinghy fleet, which included Bob Espey in his Wazsp, was won by Dave Fletcher and Ryan Smith in a 2000 with Ruan and Rebekah O’Tiarnaigh in a GP14 second.

The largest group was the Laser Standards with 17 out. The winner here was Irish 49er Olympian Matt McGovern with Richard McCullagh runner up. And in the Radial first was Barry McCartan with Lucas Nixon and Joni Rock tying and the tie broken in favour of Nixon.

Matt McNicholl won in the small fleet of three F18 multihulls and in the Small Dinghy fleet of Toppers and Laser 4.7s first was by Bobby Driscoll in a Topper with two first places.

The next weekly racing is the Icebreaker Sunday Series 2 which starts on 6th February.

Published in Belfast Lough

Great patience was required from the 44 youngsters competing in the 39 dinghies at the Ballyholme Yacht Club Cadet Christmas Regatta as wind was scarce on Belfast Lough. But persist they did in a variety of dinghies – Toppers, Picos, Fevas, Lasers and a lone Optimist.

First Topper 5.3 was Katie Brow and runner up was Ella Fitzgerald who had travelled from Dun Laoghaire. The 4.2 top prize went to Jessica Dadley-Young. In the Fevas Annabel and Emily Ridout repeated their success in the Junior Icebreaker taking first place with Hanna Bell and Evie Pringle second. The Laser win went to Zak Dalzell.

Dave Nelson with Hannah Bell and Evie Pringle runner up in the Feva classDave Nelson with Hannah Bell and Evie Pringle runner up in the Feva class

Again, as in the Icebreaker Series, Matthew Holden had a sail over in his Optimist.

The prize for the most Christmassy dinghy went to Isabel Nixon who decorated hers with fairy lights and tinsel. And Chloe Whyte got a mention for coming as a Christmas Present.

The next big gathering at the Club will be on Boxing Day (26th) for the traditional mass swim in the morning and a Regatta in the afternoon. 

Topper 5.3

1. Katie Brow
2. Ella Fitzgerald
3. Emily Macafee

Topper 4.2

1. Jessica Dadley-Young
2. Alex Eadie
3. James Eadie

Feva

1. Annabel and Emily Rideout
2. Hannah Bell and Evie Pringle
3. Annika Hunter and Romy Maguire

Laser

1. Zak Dalzell
2. Callum Dalzell
3. Eva McDonagh

Optimist

1. Matthew Holden

Published in Belfast Lough

Gone are the days when sail racing was a summer sport and regattas only ran in the warmer months on Belfast Lough. Now even young sailors are afloat virtually all year. Forty-six entered Part One of the Junior Icebreaker series at Ballyholme and had some great sailing in Ballyholme Bay to the east of Bangor before the Christmas Break.

Matthew Holden had a sail over in his Oppie as did Emily and Annabel Ridout in their RS Feva. In the 36 strong Topper 5.3 division, Emily McAfee was first overall with scores of mostly 2nds and 3rds. Second in that class was Annika Hunter counting five third places and first boy and 3rd overall went to Joseph Robinson who improved in the second half of the 16 race series. In fourth, fifth and sixth places were Hunter Reddy. Romy Maguire and Isobel Nixon. Romy never missed a race! The Topper 4.2 fleet saw Polly Robinson with nine first positions top the results with Sally Nixon second and Jesse Gillespie pick up 3rd place.

Dave Nelson and Matthew Holden (Oppie)Dave Nelson and Matthew Holden (Oppie)

The strength of BYC training has been stepped up a notch with the purchase of two new RS Quests to add to the four Bahias already owned by the club.

The Junior Icebreaker resumes on 5th February next year and runs till 5th April on Saturday afternoons.

David Nelson, BYC lead Cadet coach taking delivery of two new RS Quests for the BYC Training TeamDavid Nelson, BYC lead Cadet coach taking delivery of two new RS Quests for the BYC Training Team

Published in Belfast Lough

Investment in a two-mile stretch of Bangor Waterfront on Belfast Lough is part of the recently announced £1billion Belfast City Deal funding. Plans already published for Bangor Waterfront aim to “reconnect the town with the sea through a range of attractions and experiences”. It involves the provision of high-quality public spaces and the regeneration of Bangor Marina and Ballyholme Yacht Club. The plans say that the club “has been identified as the preferred location within Northern Ireland for major sailing and water sports events by the Royal Yachting Association”.

Ballyholme Yacht Club as it is todayBallyholme Yacht Club as it is today - the club has been identified as the preferred location within Northern Ireland for major sailing and water sports events by the Royal Yachting Association

Some of the scheme, which has been designed by Hemingway Design and Aecom, has already caused controversy. There are concerns that the character of Kingsland, the only substantial green area at Ballyholme, will be lost with the development of “tourism accommodation pods, café kiosks and a skate park (now an Olympic sport) set in landscaped gardens.

"Ballyholme Yacht Club has been identified as the preferred location within Northern Ireland for major sailing and water sports events"

There is also the potential for a small cluster of high-quality residential developments to the south of the area”. And the graphics in the Bangor Waterfront document show a landscaped area replacing the very large car park near the Club which may be to the detriment of competitors in large events hosted by BYC. The plans continue “The redevelopment of BYC would provide Bangor with a world-class facility for water sports and the ability to host international events”.

A graphic of the proposed Waterfront development at Bangor, County DownA graphic of the proposed Waterfront development at Bangor, County Down

The Club refers to the proposed new building as Ballyholme Yacht Club and Watersport Centre, to reflect its increased range of activities, which now include diving, SUPs, kayaking, and swimming.

Sea swimming on Belfast Lough at Ballyholme Yacht ClubSea swimming on Belfast Lough at Ballyholme Yacht Club

Kingsland, the only substantial green area at BallyholmeThe tennis courts at Kingsland

It is understood that the Council will publicise opportunities to engage in the whole scheme and that everyone with an interest in the scheme can become involved. Subject to financial/ project approvals and planning permission, work ‘on the ground’ will begin in 2023 (phased), with the projects delivered over 8 to 10-years.

Kingsland is the only substantial green area at BallyholmeKingsland is the only substantial green area at Ballyholme

David McMullan, who leads a small ‘redevelopment’ sub-committee reporting to the Executive Committee of BYC, has explained the Club’s position “On Wednesday 15th December it was announced that £1 billion funding for the Belfast Region City Deal had been approved. This is the first City Deal to be signed for Northern Ireland. Ards and North Down Borough Council (ANDBC) had submitted their plans for the Waterfront Redevelopment in Bangor as part of this Regional City Deal, which included the redevelopment of BYC, and we understand proposed plans have been reviewed and approved in principle. We expect to hear early in the New Year details of the funding for ANDBC’S plans and then be able to conclude discussions with ANDBC on how that will impact the proposed redevelopment of BYC. We will then present this to the membership for discussion and hopefully approval”.

The £40m funding for Ards and North Down Council will be matched by its contribution of £20m from the Council.

Published in Belfast Lough

An entry of thirteen on Saturday 23rd October was certainly not an unlucky number for Ballyholme Yacht Club's first windsurfing event, the Open Ulster Championship, as the Irish Windsurfing Association intends to include this as a ranked event in the calendar next October.

Racing for four classes was scheduled Gold, Silver, Bronze and Youth. The overall winner was Hannes Louet-Feisser who had made the long haul from Limerick (one of several who travelled considerable distances to be there).

He counted six first places and two seconds with Martin Pelican runner up with one first, four seconds and a third. First in the Silver fleet was Barry Murphy with local Andrew Gallagher second.

Barry Murphy, First Silver fleet Ulster Windsurfing Championships with BYC Commodore Aidan Pounder Photo: Catherine GunningBarry Murphy (right) first in the Silver Fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing Championships with BYC Commodore Aidan Pounder Photo: Catherine Gunning

Winds were offshore, with strong gusts and a flat sea and the fleet launched from Ballymacormick Beach on the east side of Ballyholme Bay. The club had the use of some of the car parks for the event where there was the registration gazebo and an RYA NI information tent as well as the regular coffee trailer.

Andrew Gallagher runner up in the Silver Fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing ChampionshipsAndrew Gallagher runner up in the Silver Fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing Championships

Commodore Aidan Pounder who organised the Championships was delighted with the event. "Ballyholme had about 30 people in the support team covering two Committee Boats, safety boats, overseeing the car park, and back at the Clubhouse - a mid-afternoon Barbecue. We are pleased with the compliments from the Irish Windsurfing Association and from the competitors and are delighted that this will be a ranked championship event next year".

Martin Pelican runner up in the Gold fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing ChampionshipsMartin Pelican runner up in the Gold fleet of the Ulster Windsurfing Championships

And Richard Honeyford, Chief Operating Officer of RYANI was one of the Competitors; "Ballyholme Yacht Club provided a great welcome for competitors for the Ulster Windsurf Championships. Despite some shifty conditions, well laid (and adjusted) courses allowed for eight races. Thank you to Aidan Pounder and the whole BYC team for putting it together, from set up, shore support, racing and safety. Thanks also to Ards and North Down Borough Council for their support. Everyone appreciated the effort to get good racing in."

Page 1 of 10

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating