Ballyholme Yacht Club is set to make waves having successfully bid to host the prestigious EurILCA 6 Youth European Championships and Open European Trophy in 2024.
The ILCA 6 Youth European Championships is a major sailing event, where the competitors race in a single-handed Olympic class dinghy, formerly known as a Laser. The event will take place over eight days from 27th July to the 3rd August 2024 at Ballyholme.
The Chairperson of EurILCA, Jean-Luc Michon, flew in from France in October 2023 to meet the BYC event organisers for this event, Robin Gray and Aidan Pounder, to formalise the hosting agreement and familiarise himself with the yacht club and Bangor City. Michon shared his enthusiasm for the venue saying: “We’ve found the facilities to be very good, and with the highly experienced organising team in place, there is no doubt that we will have a great ILCA Youth European Championship at Ballyholme next summer.”
BYC is primed to welcome a phenomenal entry list of some 250-300 young competitors, aged between 15-19 years, from across 42 European countries. In addition, the competitor’s families and some 80 dedicated national coaches will also be present and involved, ensuring a bustling and vibrant spectacle.
“This is a very significant championship for Europe’s youth sailors and hosting the event is a feather in the cap for both the club and for the region,” says Rob Milligan, BYC Commodore. “Competitors are representing their countries and success at these championships is an important step towards representing their countries at the Olympics.
“Hosting the event is a feather in the cap for both the club and for the region…”
“BYC won the bid thanks to the club’s impressive track record of organising many ‘gold cup’ championships such as the F18 World Championships, the Topper Worlds and the World Police & Fire Games along with many other regional and national events. We also benefit from our fantastic location, which offers a top-level competition environment on the open waters of Belfast Lough,” he explained.
Another important aspect for the club and indeed EurILCA, was the ability to deliver a ‘Clean Regatta’. As sailors and water sports enthusiasts, BYC holds a very strong marine environmental position and the club is proud to be signed up to the Green Blue Pledge, hold platinum level Clean Regattas Certification and Final Straw Certification, all of which aligns with EurILCA’s values and has put BYC in an excellent position to meet EurILCA’s sustainability requirements.
The success in hosting such major events hinges on the generous contributions of BYC volunteers, the support of other sailing clubs, the local community, and Ards & North Down Borough Council, who underpin the commitment necessary.
Milligan adds, “The evidenced benefit to the community in delivering such events is a substantial economic boost to the borough and wider community as a whole. With competitors and their supporters often arriving weeks before the event, accommodation bookings, dining, and participation in local activities and tourism experiences are all set to soar. Having travelled to Northern Ireland for the competition, we are encouraging our visitors to stay and experience all that the region has to offer tourists. It will be a busy summer!”
Join the fun and volunteer at EurILCA 6 Youth European Championships
To make this event a huge success the EurILCA Committee are asking for your support. There are many ways in which volunteer helpers can get involved, both on the water and on shore, carrying out a range of roles from marshalling and welcoming our guests, to helping with race logistics. If you can spare some time during the week or can help for the full week the committee would really appreciate it and would like to hear from you. Click on this link to complete the form.
Thanks from the EurILCA Committee