Please note: All events/activities are open only to members and their guests unless stated otherwise.
BYC News on Facebook
Check out the BYC Facebook Group for more club news:
– Tom Driscoll features in the Spectator after becoming an Irish Under 16s sailing champion
– The RYA Awards where Charlie Winton and Jessica Mackey gave a keynote speech, and Stephen Glasgow and David Nelson took home awards!
– Photos from the hugely successful Family Quiz organised by Junior Committee 21st April 2023
Wind Powered Zero Carbon Guinness World Record
Ballyholme Yacht Club were delighted to host Artemis Technologies in their support of Mixed Catamaran Olympic medallists, John Gimson and Anna Burnet, who we are delighted to report, set a new record (subject to ratification) for the fastest crossing across the North Channel yesterday, Tuesday 26th September 2023. The starting point was off Ballyholme Yacht Club and would see the Olympic Foiling Nacra 17 cross the North Channel finishing at Portpatrick, Scotland.
“Embarking on this Guinness World Record attempt is not just about the thrill of setting a new record – it’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to a cause greater than ourselves. Beyond the excitement of the race, we’re using this opportunity to shine a light on the critical issue of climate change. With every mile we cover between Ballyholme and Portpatrick, we’re reminding the world that urgent action is needed to protect our environment. It’s not just a record we aim to break – it’s a wake-up call we hope the world will heed.” John Gimson and Anna Burnet
Artemis Technologies’ accompanied the Nacra17 in their zero-carbon hydrofoil with a full support team.
Optimist Irish National Championships a blast
Despite Storm Betty, the IODAI championship held 17-20 August was a huge success with almost 130 competitors getting to experience a plenty of racing and a full range of sailing conditions over the course of the event! So many people remarked on what a brilliant place Ballyholme is and the warm welcome they received at BYC.
This is the third major event hosted by BYC this summer which would be impossible without the amazing efforts of the member volunteers who step forward to help. From everyone involved in the race office, race management on the water and the so-important safety crews, to those on the slipway (both in and out of the water!) launching and recovering 128 boats each day, to those who kept volunteers and sailors fed from the galley.
Special thanks go to PRO Ruan O’Tiarnaigh, RO Aidan Pounder and Event Safety Leader Mike Meharg, and to Shaun and Cathy Doran, and Emma and Mark Holden for the massive effort put into planning and running the event. You all did BYC proud!
RS FEVA Northerns, East Down Yacht Club, August 2023
The most recent RS Feva class event were the Irish Northerns hosted by EDYC.
15 boats competed, with visiting crews camping in the beautiful lough shore grounds of the club. The fleet were made extremely welcome and provided with dinner and a quiz on the Saturday evening by the EDYC volunteers.
Saturday saw great winds, competitive sailing and some challenging courses with outer buoys hiding close in to the shoreline. Sunday was quieter, so more challenging to those who prefer a sailing blast, in comparison to stealthy light wind sailing whilst being carried back and forth by a strong tide. Emily & Annabel Ridout took the main trophy, and Sally Nixon & Jessica Dadley won first Juniors, with Polly Robinson & Zara Whelan coming a close second. Peter & Mat Ridout were first family (apparently this was actually won by Emily & Annabel, but the organisers felt sorry for Peter & Mat), and Aileen Smith & Louis / Andrew took the second family prize.
Chloe Whyte and Greta Qutteineh were congratulated by the organisers for sterling work aboard the committee boat on both days – and we now know the reason for long pauses between races is actually due to the volume of work aboard, rather than coinciding with breaks for tea, cakes and sandwiches.
The next Feva event is on the afternoon of 7th October at RNIYC. Three races and a BBQ.
All Feva sailors welcome – especially those just starting.
Ballyholme Yacht Club was delighted to host the Minister of State for NI, Steve Baker on 22 August, along with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Jennifer Gilmour. The Minister enjoyed a great sail with Adrian Allen in his F18, and even tried his hand at Waszp sailing under the watchful eye of Bob Espey. A capable sailor, Minister Baker had nothing but praise for the club and our fantastic sailing area here in Bangor.
Rob Milligan, Commodore
The Ridout family flew over to Follonica, to compete with the top 211 boats from 14 countries at the RS FEVA World Championships. The 5-day event kicked off with a grand parade through the town and fireworks at midnight.
Emily and Annabel qualified into gold fleet while Peter and Mat competed in silver in the “family class”. After five great days of racing, with day two bringing thirty knot winds and a massive swell, everyone was tired, but the amazing venue and friendly competitors made the journey to Italy well worth it. Around 50 Fevas travelled from the UK, and the event was won by Ben Greenhalgh (grandparents from BYC) and Tom Sinfield who both sail in North Wales.
The RS Feva class is fun, furious, and very friendly.
If you are 8-18 years old and interested in Feva sailing, get in touch with Glynis or Mat Ridout.
The world championship next year will be held end of July in the Netherlands and plans are afoot for a larger NI group to go.
The Multihull Championships concluded at Antrim Boat Club on Sunday the 6th. August,Adrian Allen and Barry Swanston regained the Irish title after an exciting high wind tussle with the 2022 Champions Matt and James McGovern. Sean Lemonnier and Ally O’Sullivan Galway Bay Sailing Club winning the Junior prize.The fleet came from the four corners of Ireland, with one competitor Wyatt Orsmond flying in from Portugal.Saturday’s four races were sailed in fantastic Lough Neagh conditions of 15 – 20 knot winds with no quarter being given between 5 of the leading catamarans. The rest of the fleet including two talented Junior sailors from Galway who swapped positons throughout the racing. At the end of the day Adrian and Barry had a small lead over last year’s champions, all to play for on Sunday.
Sunday arrived to sunshine and calmer weather. Three race were to be held in the lighter airs. Lough Neagh served up flukey lake conditions with sharp increases of breeze from mirror like flat water. Racing got underway in a solid force 2-3 the two leaders jousted with each other only to find Matt McMurtry/Emma combo and Watt and Tom Murphy ruining the party, a 4 way fight now.
Unfortunately the last race had to be abandoned after the wind came up briefly to 25knots dropped to 5 -10 knot to allow the course to be changed and race started then abandoned as it switched twice through 180 degrees and disappeared.
Our very own National RO Aidan Pounder was masterful in his control and race management.
The IMA would sincerely thank all at Antrim Boat Club and their members for their enthusiasm and friendliness. The club is a superb example of the organisation for an excellent championship.
Alongside our Committee, BYC have recently established a Junior Committee. There are seven members each with their own position.
The members are:
- Annika Hunter as Junior Commodore
- Charlie O’Malley as Vice Junior Commodore
- Niamh Pyper as Honorary Secretary
- Eva McDonough as Treasurer
- Hannah Archer as Water Sports Representative
- Effie Lappin and Chloe Whyte as Shore Representatives
Irish Sailing Awards 2022
Success for Ballyholme Yacht Club at the Irish Sailing Associations Awards in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, 25th of March 2023.
Winners & nominees in two categories.
Possibly the Fastest AGM on record?
The 103rd AGM of the BYC was over in just half an hour with agreement on all issues raised which included:
- adoption of the minutes from the 102nd AGM, the annual report, statement of accounts and appointment of the auditor
- an membership fee increase of 5% to help offset the increase in energy and general bills
- a change to the rules allowing temporary associate membership for those living within the previous 30 mile limit
- election of the officers, including a welcome to our new Commodore Rob Milligan, and Rear-Commodore (Sailing) – Jonny Henry.
Click to view the AGM Agenda and Annual Reports.
Outgoing Commodore Doug Rennie reads out highlights from the annual report (top left), welcoming in the new Commodore Rob Milligan with an exchange of ties and burgees (top right), Alex Ward (Treasurer), Charlie Winton (Hon Sec outgoing), new Rear-Commodore (Sailing) – Jonny Henry, new Commodore Rob Milligan, and Rear-Commodore (Shore) – Jessica Mackey
Vote for Ballyholme Yacht Club
Water Quality in Ballyholme Bay
We have had some correspondence back from DAERA and NI Water in relation to water quality in Ballyholme Bay, please click on this link for more information.
BYC Tree Planting Day
Saturday, 11th March 2023 at 11am
After our very successful Tree Planting day last year we are once again aiming to carbon off-set our 2023 events with a local tree planting day with the Woodland Trust.
So join us at Glas-na-Bradan Wood in the Belfast Hills to plant some trees.
Aidan Pounder – RYA Lifetime Commitment Award 2022
Aidan has been a key player in Ballyholme Yacht Club’s success for many years. A member since childhood, he has served as Powerboat Instructor, RYA Principal, Rescue Convenor, Rear Commodore Sailing and most recently, as an outstanding Commodore. As Commodore through the pandemic lockdowns, he set up a working group to maintain close liaison with RYANI and co-ordinate volunteers, preparing plans and risk assessments and ensuring that guidance and regulations were complied with. He was instrumental in increasing the membership of the club, encouraging the relatively new sport of paddle boarding, and sea swimming. He led the way as one of its first qualified SUP instructors. He has championed both the cadet programme and the successful training programme for disadvantaged children, demonstrating that sailing and water sports are for everyone. Aidan has been very supportive of volunteers and meticulous in crediting those who have given their time. He is now a qualified National Race Officer and remains an integral part of Ballyholme Yacht Club.
Reducing BYC Bills – we need your help
Some of you will have noticed little plastic covers to the light switch in toilets and changing rooms. The down position for these lights are ‘auto’, the lights come on as you enter the room and will go off automatically. The covers are to prevent accidentally moving the switch from ‘auto’.
We are looking at other measures to reduce our utility cost and seek your support to keep all our fees lower particularly with the use of the hose (switch it off as soon as you can) and length of showers, particularly kids! BYC is on a water meter so every bit counts!
Thanks for your support.
Sporting events showing in the Members’ Lounge
Ulster v Lions – Friday, 17th November at 7.35pm
Ulster v Edinburgh – Saturday, 2nd December at 5.15pm
Pilates with Lisa Tomalin
Restarting in September
Friday, Jubilee Room
9.30am – 10.30am
To book your place contact Lisa on 07975701682
Price for 6 weeks:
£36 – Members, £42 – Non-members
Pay as you go: £8.50 (Please contact Lisa to book your space)
Yoga at BYC
Specializing in Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, meditation and pranayama, Tribal offers a variety of expertly designed classes that support overall wellbeing and respond to a range of different needs – whether that is to energize, destress, calm the mind, or refocus during the day.
Wednesday 6.30-7.20pm – Tribal Revive
Wednesday 7.30-8.20pm – Tribal Restore
Under Northern Ireland licensing laws bar staff will stop serving an hour before the closing times indicated. All members and their guests MUST be off the premises at the closing time.
*(If there are groups of people wanting to stay on and use the bar after this time it will remain open until 21:00)
Snow Patrol ‘Prinks’ at the Club- Wednesday, 31st August
We will have the Members Lounge open on Wednesday 31st August before the Snow Patrol concert in Bangor.
It is expected that as well as the 5000 people attending the concert, the bars around town will be busy with other people who just want to see and hear what’s going on.
Our plan is to open at 3pm and stay open until 7pm when concertgoers can dander round Seacliff Road and enjoy the gig!!
Members can of course bring guests but please ensure they are signed in as normal in the Visitors Book.
BYC at the Feva World Championship 2022
Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy, England, 21-27th July 2022, by Glynis Ridout
Feva Frenzy abounds as BYC’s double-handed fleet of RS Fevas dramatically increase over 2022. Four of our sailors, Matt & Peter Ridout, Emily & Annabel Ridout and one Beachmaster, Glynis Ridout, took part in the UK RS Feva Nationals in May and more recently the RS Feva World Championships in July. Both events were held at the Olympic venue of Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in England. The buzz was tangible at the World’s as 370 sailors came together to compete.
Our BYC teams commented on the super vibe and the friendliness of the class both on and off the water and how much their skills have improved from the experience provided by sailing in large fleets. The sail tell-tales were clinging on for dear life during the first 3 days of sailing and our own BYC sailors have plenty of stories of wipe-outs to share! Next year the UK Nationals will be held in Pwllheli Sailing Club, Wales and the World’s in Italy.
Optimist Irish Nationals 2022
11th – 14th August 2022, Royal St George Yacht Club
A fleet of over 120 boats, including a strong contingent from GB, was racing over 4 days in fabulous but challenging conditions.
BYC’s Matthew Holden won 2nd in Senior Silver Fleet with an overall position of 18th and he was 10th Irish boat. As a result Matthew’s now been upgraded to Gold fleet.
A fantastic result for his first year in Senior fleet!