About Us

An introduction to Ballyholme Yacht Club

Ballyholme Yacht Club is located on Ballyholme Bay within the town of Bangor, and at the entrance to Belfast Lough.

The location is superb with a sheltered bay allowing safe sailing and racing for the numerous dinghies and “big boats” within the club.

As well as regular Sunday racing for dinghies all year and Tuesday evening racing during the summer season, we regularly host many other sailing events including Ballyholme Regatta, Sea Bangor, and Regional, National and International events for Optimist, Topper, Laser, RS200/400, Multi-hull dinghies and others.

In 2013 we hosted the World Police and Fire Games to great acclaim. In 2014 we hosted the Fireball Northerns, RS Sprint Series,  F18 Catamaran World Championships, Irish Laser National Championships and the RYANI Youth Championships ( for a third year in a row) amongst others. We also host the Danske Private Banking Icebreaker from October to April with over 100 boats registered each of the last 5 years. Each year is very busy with over 110 days of organised racing and training for club members which relies on the generosity of the many volunteers within the membership e.g. the 2014 F18 World Championships had over 160 volunteers helping out during the week.

Our racing pedigree has provided sailors and officials to the last 5 Olympic Regattas as well as the Principal Race Officer for this year’s Volvo Round the World Race and many other international events.

Ballyholme YC is very proud to boast 3 members who have competed at the London 2012 Olympics – Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern in the 49er, and James Espey in the Laser dinghy. All three have already qualified Ireland and are training for the 2016 Rio Olympics. We are also proud to have a world champion amongst us – Liam Glynn was crowned Topper World Champion 2013. In 2014 Liam won Irish Youth Sailor of the year (joint award). We also have many members on RYANI and ISA youth squads looking forward to 2016 and beyond.

Ballyholme is an RYA recognised training centre and offers courses throughout the year to adults and cadets (age 3 and upwards) with sailing and power boat courses, including Race Officer, mark laying and many others. We also have a very buoyant cadet membership which last year had Wednesday evening “try sailing” sessions under “Dolphins and Sharks” during May and June, as well as numerous other family events such as the Corinthian Cup and Pirates Raid throughout the summer. BYC is also home to the North Down BSAC, our very active diving section, who provide training and diving throughout the year with facilities that are “second to none”.

Ballyholme Yacht Club (BYC) is the home of champions and new sailors alike. It is run by its members, for its members, encouraging sailing, racing, diving, training, water based activities and social events.

There is Club racing every Tuesday evening and Sunday afternoon from April to September and on Sunday afternoon Icebreaker Series through the winter for dinghies. Members are also welcome to race with our sister club Royal Ulster on Thursday evenings.

Members also potter about sailing at any time – particularly when rescue boats are on the water for racing.

Regattas are held most Saturdays through the sailing season in Belfast Lough and a number of Open series are held further afield such as West Highland Week & Cork Week.

Ballyholme hosts, and members participate in, numerous national and international championships throughout the year.

Many varieties of dinghy, day boat and yachts are sailed, including Toppers, Lasers, Picos, Bays, Waverleys, Squibs, Multihulls, Sports boats and Cruisers. Individual boats can be handicapped for racing so any boat can be included! There is a family class so the more people you have in your boat, the more points are awarded.

Facilities include:

  • Changing facilities.
  • Dinghy parks & winter boat storage.
  • Grounds for BBQs.
  • Cadet/Training room.
  • Jubilee Room – available for club and personal functions.
  • Galley (kitchen).
  • Diving cylinder compressors – air & nitrox.
  • Ballyholme Bay, Belfast Lough & beyond!



Upcoming Events

  • CH Marine Laser Ulster Championships 2018
    28th April 2018 08:00 - 29th April 2018 17:00

    The CH Marine Laser Ulster Championships will be held on 28th and 29th of April 2018 at Ballyholme Yacht Club. Entry There is a new…

  • Women on Water 2018
    1st May 2018 18:30 - 14th August 2018 21:30

    New to sailing?  Female?  Then this course is for you. WOW is designed specifically for novice sailors. It starts at 6:30pm on Tuesdays and finishes…

  • Dolphins & Sharks - pre-registration
    4th May 2018 18:00 - 15th June 2018 20:00

    Dolphins & Sharks 2018 This year, it all kicks off on Friday, April 13th.  All interested parents should come along at 7pm to learn more…

  • Friday Night (Adult) Sailing
    4th May 2018 18:30 - 29th June 2018 20:30

    Friday Night (Adult) Sailing returns this summer running for May and June to start with. The first evening will be Friday 4th May starting at…

  • RYA Adult Level 1
    5th May 2018 09:30 - 15th July 2018 16:30

    Adult beginners' courses The scheme is comprised of a series of two-day courses enabling you to progress quickly from beginner to expert in a controlled, safe…

  • RYA Safety Boat 2018
    17th March 2018 09:30 - 12th August 2018 17:00

    This two-day course provides the skills required when acting as an escort craft, safety boat or coach boat for a fleet of dinghies, windsurfers or canoes, or for racing or training activities.

  • RYA Adult L2
    12th May 2018 09:30 - 10th June 2018 16:30

    Adult beginners' courses The scheme is comprised of a series of two-day courses enabling you to progress quickly from beginner to experts in a controlled, safe…

  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 2018
    3rd February 2018 09:30 - 25th November 2018 17:00

    This two-day course provides the skills and background knowledge needed to drive a powerboat and is the basis of the International Certificate of Competence.

  • Family Course - Level 1
    19th May 2018 09:30 - 12th August 2018 16:30

    This weekend course is the perfect opportunity for the family to learn a new skill together. It aims to teach and develop the basic sailing…

  • Open Water (Sea) Swimming 2018
    7th May 2018 18:30 - 3rd September 2018 20:00

    Ballyholme Seals Ballyholme Yacht Club will be hosting Open Water Swimming again this summer in association with members of the Eddie Skelly Memorial Swim and…