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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Betty Armstrong

Betty Armstrong

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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

Race Officer Robin Gray (second left) with the North Down Model Yacht Group
What do keen big boat and dinghy racers do when they want a rest from the usual inshore and offshore circuits? On the North Down coast, they gather twice a week with their one-design radio-controlled model yachts either in Groomsport…
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Beach
Searching online for B&B by the Sea more than likely brings up a list of Bed and Breakfasts, but there is soon to be aired a 15-part series of BBC programmes with that title. It is billed as “ A…
Portrush Yacht Club on the Causeway Coast
Portrush Yacht Club on the Causeway Coast in North Antrim in Northern Ireland, has taken the initiative of providing a warm and welcoming place for members of the public and community groups who may be feeling the pinch of the…
Charlie McAllister and Jeff Harrison in the Limbo 6.6, FAToo have stamped their mark on the Antrim Boat Club Winter Series and have won the Shane Memorial Cup
Antrim Boat Club on the northeast shore of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles, welcomed the start of the winter series on 6th November, the 51st year of the two-part series. Now, after…
Lofna's first sail in over ten years on Belfast Lough
A Swan 36 from the famous Nautor yard in Pietarsaari, Finland was the type of boat that Del Fairley had set his heart on, but the one he found in 2018 on the hard at East Down Yacht Club on…
Ulster Windsurfing Championships on Ballyholme Bay
That Scottish word dreich aptly described the weather at Ballyholme Bay on Belfast Lough the last weekend in October – wet, dull and dreary – but livened up by the colourful windsurfers and wingfoils.They were there for the Ulster Windsurfing…
The restored mirror sailing in Lough Erne
Upon Reflection is an appropriate name for another resurrected Mirror dinghy which has found a new home at Lough Erne Yacht Club. It’s not often boats are the subject of an exchange deal, but that is what happened when Paul…
John Minnis’ A35 Final Call II was the IRC 1 and NHC winner of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Autumn Series on Belfast Lough
Some would say that there were better racing conditions at the end of the 2022 season for the Royal Ulster Yacht Club Autumn Series than during the summer. A total of 13 boats in two classes competed over nine races…
Ards and North Down Council managed to remove and safely dispose of a ‘ghost’ net from the beach at The Parade in Donaghadee
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost, or discarded in the ocean. They are a major environmental hazard to marine and other wildlife, contributing to an estimated 10% of all marine plastic as well as causing harm…
The Halloween Paddle organised by SUPhub NI took place in Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough
SUPhub NI is well known for its Santa SUP but this year the Halloween Social paddle in Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough exceeded expectations as it was slotted in at short notice, taking advantage of a weather window on the…
Gavin Watson is Vice Chair of RYA Northern Ireland
Gavin Watson has recently been appointed Vice Chair of RYA Northern Ireland. He is the Honorary Sailing Secretary of Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough, and it is believed that he is the first RUYC member to take on…
The RS Elite The Love Bug from Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough with Mike Browne, Jane Buchanan and Connor Simms on board who topped the six-boat fleet at the Strangford Lough Yacht Club Frostie Series
The long-running popular Strangford Lough Yacht Club Frostie Series ended last weekend with the 42-boat fleet having enjoyed a complete ten-race programme in varying conditions over five weekends. Competitors came from clubs around the Lough and from Belfast Lough. The…
Gordon Patterson's Fagin from Royal North (centre) among a bunch of Squis at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater One Design Regatta
The Lough Derg Freshwater One Design regatta last weekend was, for most, a two-day event reduced to one, and for the Northern Ireland sailors who made the long journey to Dromineer somewhat disappointing, especially for the Belfast Lough Flying Fifteen…
Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is running, in association with the Irish Windsurfing Association, the Open Ulster Championships on 22nd October
 A year to the day after a successful inaugural windsurfing event last year, Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast Lough is running, in association with the Irish Windsurfing Association, the Open Ulster Championships on 22nd October, and a Coastal windsurf or wing…
Gordon Patterson' Fagin (100) chasing David Stewart's Granat from Royal Irish YC on Strangford Lough
It is a long way to Tipperary and Lough Derg Yacht Club at Dromineer from the Squib strongholds on Belfast and Strangford Loughs in the North. Dromineer lies on the shores of Lough Derg, on the River Shannon and 10km…
John Minnis and his team on Final Call II from Royal Ulster Yacht Club are Celtic Cup winners
It all came good at the end of the 22 season for John Minnis and his team on Final Call II from Royal Ulster Yacht Club on Belfast Lough. Eight weeks after a serious hiccup in June during Bangor Town…
Gavin Vaughan (Toucan) right, winner of the Glenarm Race with Gordon Patterson
The Vaughan family in the Jeanneau 349 Toucan win the second Glenarm Race in Northern Ireland. The chance to end the season on a high rewarded those who took part in the Royal North of Ireland annual Glenarm event in…
The overall Carlingford Lough Yacht Club Cruiser Regatta winner, the SB20, So-Brr! skippered by Ron Finegan
The last big event of the cruiser racing calendar at Carlingford Lough Yacht Club took place on the last weekend in September and drew an entry of nine boats from all around the Lough. Carlingford Lough lies between the south…
2022 Warrenpoint Regatta Prizewinners
So far in this late season, Carlingford has enjoyed mostly kind sunny weather for its open meetings on the Lough and Warrenpoint Regatta was no exception. Warrenpoint is a small County Down port town at the head of Carlingford Lough…
Carlingford Lough junior regatta winners
On the last Saturday in August, it was the turn of the Juniors of Carlingford Lough Yacht Club to race in their own regatta, along with visitors from across the Lough at Carlingford Sailing Club. Carlingford Lough YC is situated…
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