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The ILCA 6 Youth European Championships – 27 July – 3 August 2024

Home / The ILCA 6 Youth European Championships – 27 July – 3 August 2024

Ballyholme Yacht Club to host international sailing championship this summer!

Bangor will take on an international air this summer when more than 400 youth sailors representing 27 European countries, and as many as 11 non-European countries arrive to compete in the 2024 ILCA 6 Youth European Championships and Open European Trophy, hosted by Ballyholme Yacht Club.

During competition week – 27 July–3 August 2024 – visitors and residents will be able to enjoy the spectacle of hundreds of sailing dinghies on the water while strolling along Bangor’s beautiful waterfront between the Bangor Marina and Ballyholme Yacht Club. 

The event is shaping up to be Northern Ireland’s largest ever sailing event and with racing taking place every day, weather permitting, there will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy this nautical spectacle.

A taste of what is coming to Bangor this summer - ILCA 6 Youth European Championships 2023, Poland -  Photo credit Thom Touw


Jump to: Volunteers | About the Championships | Sustainability | Schedule | Local Residents | Visitors

A taste of what is coming to Bangor this summer – ILCA 6 Youth European Championships 2023, Poland –  Photo credit Thom Touw

Support for the event

The success in hosting such major events hinges on the generous contributions of BYC volunteers, the support of other sailing clubs, the local community,  Ards and North Down Borough Council and our industry sponsors who together make this event possible.

With Thanks to the Generous Championship Sponsors


Ballyholme Yacht Club

Get involved – Be Part of a Spectacular International Sailing Event!

Rescue Roles

With more than 400 competitors and their support team coming to Bangor from across Europe and further afield, the ILCA6 Youth European Championships is going to be a landmark event for our city. If you are interested in being part of the buzz and volunteering, please visit our Volunteers Page to learn more about the many roles that volunteers are taking up for the event. You’ll find a range of roles, on and off the water, some requiring race experience or certifications, but others requiring nothing more than a willing spirit and a welcoming smile for our international guests.

Europe is coming to Bangor this summer! Why not volunteer and brush up on your language skills without the need to go abroad.

Prize Giving

About the ILCA 6 Youth European Championships – The Road to the Olympics

The ILCA 6 Youth European Championships is one of several annual championships organised by the European ILCA organisation, EurILCA, with other championships serving different age groups and different classes of sailing dinghy. The ILCA 6 is a single-handed Olympic class dinghy, formerly known as a Laser Radial. The Youth Championships are for competitors aged 15-19 years old.

Success at the European championships is an important step for the young sailors in their journey towards representing their countries at the Olympics. As such, more than 460 applications have been received for the 440 coveted places available!

As a true representation of a European championship, applications have been received from 26 countries across Europe with close to 130 female entries and more than 330 male entries.  Entries have also been received from young sailors hailing from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Qatar and Brazil, providing an indication of the importance of the event.

As well as the several hundred youth sailors, Bangor will welcome close to 100 accompanying coaches and many more supporting family members and friends. 

While the event itself takes place from 27 July through to 4 August 2024, competitors will arrive early to familiarise themselves with the sailing conditions, and it is anticipated that many will stay after to enjoy visiting the region’s attractions. Expect a vibrant international buzz in Bangor this summer!

Northern Ireland’s Contenders

Amongst the applicants are a number of sailors from local clubs in Northern Ireland. These hopeful applicants will now have to wait until early June to discover if they have qualified for a place on the country squad.

Sustainability at the ILCA 6 Youth European Championships

We are proud to say that the ILCA 6 Youth European Championships will be run as a ‘Clean Regatta’, following Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas guidelines.

As sailors and water sports enthusiasts, Ballyholme Yacht Club is committed to minimising the impact of its activities on the environment. We have written our Sustainably Policy along the guidelines of Sailors for the Sea and RYA’s The Green Blue programme. In addition, we 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.

In conjunction with Ulster Wildlife, we will be running a Beach Clean Competition and hosting an Ulster Wildlife talk on our local sea life and a fascinating update on the Bangor Marina Oyster project as part of the event.

sustainability award
Sustainability Winners
Irish Sailing Clean Regatta

Event Schedule

Dates Activity What to expect
Fri 19 July Site set up Ballyholme Yacht Club, Luke’s Point Carpark, The Tennis Courts and The Sunken Gardens will transform into a Competitor Village. This does include closure of Luke’s Point carpark (closest to the Seacliff Road Pumping Station) and The Sunken Gardens for the duration of the event.
Fri 26 –
Sun 28 July
Registration of Competitors Boat parks will fill up with and there will be a lot of activity on Seacliff Road
Sun 28 July
– 2pm
Practice Race Competitors will take to the water for their first ILCA6 Youth European Championship race in Belfast Lough
Sun 28 July
– 6pm
Opening Parade Competitors will parade with their country flags between Luke’s Point (opposite Jamaica Inn), along Seacliff Road, to Ballyholme Yacht Club.
Mon 29 – Wed 31 July Qualifying Races 2 races daily with different fleets, usually between 10am-4pm, weather dependent
Thurs 1 – Sat 3 August Qualifying and Finals races followed by Prize Giving on Saturday. 2 races daily with different fleets, usually between 10am-4pm, weather dependent

Race Results

Results will be published on the official event websiteThe ILCA6 Youth European Championship & Open European Trophy – as well as event social media channels and on this website. We expect to receive significant media coverage, especially in local media.

Information for Local Residents

With more than 400 competitors, their coaches and supporters, we expect there to be significant activity in and around the Ballyholme Yacht Club in the days and possibly weeks before the event as teams prepare and practise in our fabulous sailing area.

There will undoubtedly be some disruption which may take the form of slow-moving traffic along the Seacliff Road and on surrounding roads in addition to additional vehicles parking in the area. Ballyholme Yacht Club will endeavour to keep any traffic issues to a minimum and have employed the services of Greentown Ltd to assist with traffic management when boats are being moved from the additional off-site boat parks.

If any problems do present themselves, residents are asked to please contact the Ballyholme Yacht Club office which will be staffed from 0800 – 1800 hrs daily for the duration of the event and from 0900 – 1700 hrs in the week leading up to the start. The Office can be contacted on Tel: 02891271467 and email:

Ballyholme Yacht Club greatly appreciates the support and patience of our neighbours as we host this major championship which is a significant win for Ballyholme Yacht Club, Bangor and for Northern Ireland.

Information for our Visitors

We are fortunate enough to be situated in a very beautiful part of the world, and there is plenty to see and do in the city of Bangor, in Ards and North Down as well as in Northern Ireland and indeed, the whole island of Ireland


  • Pickie Fun Park (suitable for young children)
  • North Down Museum
  • Eddie Irvine Sports
  • Airtastic Inflata and Ninja Indoor Play Area
  • Stunning Coastal Walks along Belfast Lough and towards Groomsport
  • Open House Festival 
  • The Ark Open Farm

Ards and North Down

  • Boat trips
  • Kayaking adventures
  • Kirkistown Motor Racing Circuit
  • Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary
  • Mount Stewart Estate and Gardens
  • Ulster Folk Museum
  • Ulster Transport Museum
  • Scrabo Tower
  • Castle Espie Wetland Centre
  • Grey Abbey
  • Golfing

Northern Ireland

  • Titanic Experience Belfast
  • Giants’ Causeway and the Causeway Coastal Route
  • Game of Thrones Studio Tour
  • Hillsborough Castle, a Royal Palace
  • St Patrick’s Centre, Downpatrick
  • The Mourne Mountains
  • Fermanagh Lakelands
  • The Historic Walled City of Derry Londonderry

Details about activities and experiences to enjoy in Bangor and the wider Ards and North Down area can be found on the official Ards and North Down visitor website – Visit Ards and North Down. In addition, the Visitor Information Centre Visitor holds a range of information leaflets and the Visitor Centre team are more than happy to advise visitors and participants on things to do in the area in their spare time. The Visitor Information Centre is located close to Bangor Marina at Tower House (recognisable by its tower), on Quay Street facing the marina.

For information about activities and experiences in Northern Ireland, please visit Discover Northern Ireland.



There is a wide variety of accommodation options available for visitors:

  • Hotels, guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts: search for availability on the Visit Ards & North Down website
  • A championship motorhome park and  campsite close to Ballyholme Yacht Club
  • Local residents' properties for rent
  • House swaps

More information can be found in the accommodation section of the official event website. 


Thank you for your interest and we look forward to an exciting summer ahead. For more information about the 2024 ILCA6 Youth European Championships and Open European Trophy please visit the event website.

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