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Volunteering at BYC

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ILCA 6 Youth European Championships
Youth European Championships 2024
Organised by Ballyholme Yacht Club
Organised by EurILCA


Call for Volunteers

We are currently looking for volunteers for the upcoming events being hosted by the Club.

Whether you can donate just a few hours, a few mornings or give it your all, we want to hear from you! There are opportunities to help on and off the water; jobs include launch and recovery, comms, registration and shore-side management, serving food, water-based committee boat personnel and rescue.

If you could spare any time to help, please email the office with the dates /skills / preferences. We really appreciate your help as these events could not happen without your support.

All about Volunteering at BYC

Why it Makes a Difference

BYC can only exists thanks to the contribution of its member volunteers and together we have created a great club for us all to enjoy.

While the Club Manager Aaron McConnell and Administrator Tatiana, the bar staff and our groundsmen are paid positions everything else only happens through the work of volunteers whether it be the various committees, the parents running Dolphins & Sharks, the rescue and battery crews, or the sandwich makers and marshals at events.

What this means is that whatever your skills or time availability, there is probably a way for you to get involved. Besides helping to create a Club we can all enjoy, volunteering is fun, gets you out to meet people and is apparently good for your health.

Ways you can get involved:

Regular activities

  • Dolphins & Sharks - children's sailing organised and run by parents
  • Club Racing - Rescue & Battery

Occasional activities

  • Race Events - Boat park marshalling, beachmaster, tally, launch and recovery, comms, registration and shore side management, water-based committee boat personnel, canteen
  • Annual silverware polishing for Prize Day
  • Putting up and taking down Christmas decorations
  • Bi-annual Boat Park Clean up
  • Social events such as the Annual Treasure Hunt, Kid's Christmas Party (?)
  • Pop-up activities such as moving chairs, tables, for social events, etc

More about volunteering roles

What is involved in 'Rescue'? 'Rescue' are the teams of people who provide safety support to the racing dinghies from RIBs (rigid inflatable boat). Each RIB is managed by an experienced rescue person who will usually hold RYA Powerboat Level 2 and XX certifications, and may also have sailing experience. Other support crew on the RIB will usually have a one or more of the certifications mentioned above, or be hoping to get them in the near future. If you enjoy being on the water but don't fancy sailing, being in rescue may be just what you are looking for!

What is involved in Battery: The Battery is the hut on the water's edge where the race officials operate from, officiating over the race starts and finishes in summer, and the race finishes only in winter as the races are started from a committee boat. The Battery is managed by an experienced race officer but is supported by a team of people who take on roles such as shouting out sail numbers as boats cross the finish line – no sailing experience required.

What are the various Race Event roles?

  • Boat park marshalling – welcoming visitors and directing them to parking, boat offloading, etc
  • Beachmaster (is this same as launch and recovery)
  • Tally
  • Launch and recovery
  • Comms
  • Registration
  • Shore side management
  • Water-based committee boat personnel
  • Canteen & Hospitality - preparing, serving and clearing up for tea or light suppers


Volunteer Form


FAQ: Why do we host events?

It's true, hosting events such as the RS Championships does mean inconvenience for members, such as the cancellation of Club racing, and the need for members to volunteer, again, so you might reasonably ask why the Club does this.

Hosting such events raises the Club's standing in the sailing community and gives our own sailors the chance to compete at home. It also raises the Club's standing in our local community, putting Bangor on the map and bringing visitors to the town. This is something that serves us well when we apply for grants to improve our facilities, or for favours from the council such as access to the tennis courts when we host events.

We therefore thank all Club members for their support of the events, and accommodation of the inevitable inconvenience as it does benefit the Club in many ways!

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