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Racing starts Thursday at the inaugural Bangor Town Regatta

by Mark Mackley 1 Jul 2018 11:30 BST 5-8 July 2018
The RS400 & RS200 Irish Nationals will be held during the inaugural Bangor Town Regatta © Bangor Town Regatta

There are just a few days to go until the inaugural Bangor Town Regatta hosted by Royal Ulster Yacht Club and Ballyholme Yacht Club in Belfast Lough.

The last Bangor Week was hosted back in 2005 when a full week was then deemed too much for modern sailing or modern lives. Dun Laoghaire Regatta has show the way ahead following Tarbert with a four day event instead, and Bangor Town Regatta look forward to having similar success.

For a first attempt, a fleet of over 100 keelboats and dinghies expected should be a great turnout. Eight keelboat classes will race on one course whilst the RS400 and RS200 dinghies will compete on a second racecourse for their Irish National Championships.

The head turner will be Jamie McWilliam's Ker 40 from Royal Hong Kong YC which must measure 48 feet when the bowsprit is taken into count. Luckily its positioned at the end of Bangor Marina or could take a good high jumper or limbo dancer to get around it. Signal 8 has won many races both in Asia as well as the Wave Regatta in Howth earlier this summer.

The most competitive fleet should prove to be Class 2 dominated by the fast growing RC 35 Class with Pat Kelly bringing his IRC optimised J109 Storm from Howth to do battle with the strong visiting Scottish contingent. Storm dominated both the J109 Nationals last year as well as winning the RC35 Class in Tarbert in May although were pipped to the win in the Wave Regatta overall by RIYC's Juggerknot.

Class 3 IRC and Class 4 Quarter Tonners also look to see double figure entries for both starts. There are also good numbers in the NHC Unrestricted Class 5 and NHC Restricted Class 8.

The RS400 Nationals sees the return of last years Irish champions Alex Barry and Richard Leonard to the home club of Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher from Ballyholme YC. Flannigan is of course used to winning many Irish national titles including several Laser titles and SB20's and a few RS provincial titles with Fletcher. Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight will also look to join the podium having won the recent RS400 Easterns in May at Rush, although there have been strong fleets from Carrickfergus and Royal North Ireland competing regularly on Belfast Lough over the winter and many of these will fancy their chances to crash the party.

Challengers are also coming from as far afield as Wembley SC and Aberdeen, while ex pats Michael "Chunky" Gunning (Round Britain record holder in Artemis) and Philp Adams are bringing their love of pink back from the mainland to compete on home waters.

The RS200 Nationals look to see smaller numbers but plenty of talent with entries from as far as Joseph Griffiths and Zoe O'Connor from Baltimore, and Andrew and Leon Mullally from Killaoe coming to compete against the local talent from Strangford Lough, Larne, Whitehead and Ballyholme.

Racing starts for keelboat classes next Thursday afternoon with registration and briefing in the morning, while the RS classes will start racing on Friday at noon. A great social schedule is planned for bothe clubs across the long weekend with dining every evening and entertainment into the late night.

Spectators can watch the racing from Bangor Marina around to Lukes Point – the fleets at Ballyholme should be leaving one hour before the start of the racing for their day. Keelboat fleets will be set a coastal race on Friday or Saturday with a potential trip around the Copeland Islands on the cards for the bigger classes.

Bangor Town Regatta is also kindly supported by Bangor Fuels and Quay Marinas.

Further Information:

More information about the event can be found on the Bangor Town Regatta Facebook page at

Event Chairman, Jim Coffey of RUYC, said:
In Ballyholme Bay and Belfast Lough we have a wonderful sailing area that is internationally renowned, and in recent years our clubs have hosted a number of international events. Even so, this will be the largest sailing event ever to be hosted in Bangor.

Bangor is a popular tourist destination for day-trippers and holiday makers, and its five-star marina welcomes sailors from all over the world. We are keen to ensure that this is an event that will become a regular feature in the sailing calendar."


  • Class 1 – IRC with TCC 1.041 and above
  • Class 2 – IRC with TCC from 1.015 to 1.040 (RC35 Class)
  • Class 3 – IRC with TCC 1.014 or less
  • Class 4 – Quarter Ton Class – see NOR Attachment 1 for eligibility
  • Class 5 – NHC with Base Number 0.901 or above
  • Class 6 – NHC with Base Number 0.900 or below
  • Class 7 – Sigma 33 OOD
  • Class 8 – Restricted Sail Class NHC

RS400 & RS200 Irish National Championships

A separate Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Paper Entry Form will be issued for the RS400 and RS200 Classes.

You can view most local accommodation through the Ards & North Down tourism website at More information about accommodation can be viewed on the event website page.

Bangor Town Regatta Chairman – Jim Coffey
Tel: 07841 922 036