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Nine boats were built in Scotland for £80 each. One of the original owners is Robert Swanston, who still owns "Eileen" 60 years later. This class first raced in May 1939, "Eileen" winning the series of races.
Between 1945/1950, in response to a demand to provide a boat suitable for younger members, a new class of 14' clinker built dinghies took to the water. The Insects, as this class was called, enjoyed great popularity until the advent of modern plywood dinghies in the late fifties. The ability to build cheap, fast and lightweight dinghies from marine plywood heralded the arrival of large fleets of GP14s and Enterprises.
Lightweight dinghies being easily transported saw BYC members travelling to sail in open events in other clubs. BYC however had never organised a major event for visiting boats, this was to change in 1959 when, thanks to the influence of the then Commodore Frank Humphreys, the Irish Dinghy Racing Association (predecessor of the ISA) held their annual Dinghy Week at Ballyholme.
It had never been held north of the border before. So successful was this event that BYC was placed on the map as a Club capable of organising events of the highest quality. To date the Club has hosted national and international events, the British National GP14 Championship in 1969, the Laser European Championships in 1979, the Finn Gold Cup in 1993 and many more championships too numerous to mention. In addition, Bangor Week, which is jointly hosted by BYC/RUYC, is the second largest offshore event in Ireland.
Elementary sailing and seamanship for Cadet members started in 1958 which proved to be the foundation for the Club's outstanding reputation as a training establishment. The Club is now recognised as a major training establishment by the RYA. Over 20 courses run each year covering all ranges from beginner to expert, from dinghy sailing and power boating to cruising and navigation. Membership has expanded to include other marine orientated groups, the Diving Section being a welcome addition to the Club, their membership ever increasing.
BYC in addition to providing excellent facilities has also provided competitors capable of holding their own at the highest level. During the 1960/70's the bedrock classes at BYC were the GP14s and Enterprises. Sailors Maurice Butler and Burton Allen made their mark nationally, then came further success in 1975 when Bill Whisker and Jimmy McKee won the World GP14 title. It was at this stage that laser sailing became popular at the Club, many sailors since competing in the international arena.
In 1984 Bill O'Hara became the first BYC member to compete in the Olympic Games returning for the 1988 Olympics along with fellow competitor Conrad Simpson who made a second Olympic appearance in 1992. Jackie Patton in 1987 a gold medallist in the pre-Olympics in Korea. John Driscoll competing in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. For the years 1995/97/99 Bill O'Hara and Syd Barlow competing in the Laser World Masters in South Africa, Chile and Australia. A further accolade for Bill O'Hara is his role as Team Manager for the Irish Olympic Sailing Team. Richard Honeyford representing Ireland in the Laser Youth Worlds in South Africa in 1998.
John Mullan, Alan Espey and their respective crews, competing in the 1999 European 1720 championships. The most recent success being that of Gareth Flanagan and his crew who brought home a Gold Medal in the World Blind Sailing Championships held in Miami, Florida in October 1999. Former Commodore Ron Hutchieson is an International Judge for sailing, travelling far and wide in this capacity. The aforementioned are indeed commendable records of achievement for a yacht club.
When Bangor Marina opened in 1989, Ballyholme Bay was suddenly devoid of boats; they had emigrated to the safety and security of the Marina, the Club fleet now safe from the northerly gales. The absence of boats in the bay has not been a deterrent to BYC such is the Club's renown, racing and cruising sailors throughout the world carry the Club Burgee. Through the commitment of its officers and members Ballyholme Yacht Club intends to maintain its high standards within the sailing fraternity in this the dawn of a new millennium.
Racing will be governed by the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 1997 - 2000 (RRS), the prescriptions of the Royal Yachting Association, the appropriate Class Rules, these Sailing Instructions (SIs) and any amendments thereto.
Points Series Racing will designated as Category 'B' per Appendix G for all those Classes which have made written application to, and received approval from, the Sailing Committee to race in that Category. Points Series Racing for all other Classes will be Category 'A'. A list of Classes approved to race as Category 'B' will be posted on the Club noticeboard before the start of any series.
These Sailing Instructions may be amended by the Sailing Committee by posting a Notice on the Club noticeboard on the day before the scheduled race start.
Ownership, Helming And Eligibility
A boat in a Class sponsored by the Club shall be wholly owned by one or more Club Members and shall be helmed by a Club Member in any race. A boat may be exempted from this restriction only on prior authorisation from any Flag Officer or the Hon. Sailing Secretary.
A boat will be disqualified from a series of races if for any race of that series any Club Member normally on board that boat has failed to fulfil their Battery duty without providing reasonable excuse.
A boat may be disqualified or otherwise penalised in any race or series of races if, at the time of that race or of any race in a series of races, the subscription or park fees of any Club Member on board that boat is unpaid.
In amendment of RRS 40, each person sailing in Centreboard or Multihull Classes shall wear personal buoyancy when afloat. Wetsuits or drysuits are not considered to rank as personal buoyancy.
All dinghies shall carry an adequate towing warp of at least three metres in length and which does not form part of the sheets, lines or rigging of the dinghy. The warp shall be secured to a strong point at all times. Al keelboats shall carry adequate personal buoyancy for each person on board. All keelboats shall carry an anchor with a twenty metre warp.
In the event of inadequate availability of rescue services, foul weather or any other safety-related reason, the Race Officer may at his complete discretion display Flag 'N' together with one or more Class Flags per SI 6. This amends RRS Race Signals. The signal may be displayed from the Club Flagpole before the Class warning signal at any time before or during the starting sequence, and will be accompanied by three sound signals. Boats of those Classes whose Class Flag is so displayed shall not go or remain afloat while the signal is displayed,and subsequently may only go afloat after obtaining individual and express approval from the Race Officer in consultation with the Rescue Co-ordinator after completion of the starting sequence. Failure to comply with this SI may result in a hearing under RRS 69.
The course to be sailed will be indicated by a board or boards on the front of the Battery. The board(s) to the north indicates the course for the IRC Handicap, 1720, Cruiser PY Handicap, and Multihull Handicap Classes. The board to the south indicates the course for all other Classes.
"Short Courses" will use the following marks: the north-west Mark No.11 approximately 1/4 nm. to the north of Luke's Point, the north-east Mark No.7 to the west of Ballymacormick Point, the south-east Mark No.8 in the south-east of Ballyholme Bay, and the south-west Turning Mark which is the orange pillar buoy immediately to the east of the Battery. The Turning Mark should be distinguished from a second (outer) orange pillar buoy which is the limit buoy for the Long Course starting line per SI 7.1 (c), and is not a mark of the course. The Short Course marks are orange in colour. The courses will be as indicated in the Course Diagram of SI 12.1.
"Long Courses" will use RUYC/BYC marks as indicated in the Course Table of SI 12.2. The south-west Turning Mark (T/M) is the orange pillar buoy immediately to the east of the `Battery. The Turning Mark should be distinguished from a second (outer) orange pillar buoy which is the limit buoy for the Long Course starting line per SI 7.1(c). Long Course marks (other than those described above) are black in colour with a contrasting top.
The "Topper Courses" will have the same configuration as those shown in SI 12.1 diagram, but their north-west mark will be situated inside Luke's Point, their north-east mark will be situated inside Ballymacormick Point and their south-east mark will be situated to the west of the south-east mark described above for Short Courses. The south-west Turning Mark is the same mark as for other courses and is defined in SI 5.2(a). Topper Course marks are coloured black with a distinctive topmark.
Flag "T", when displayed prior to Start No.1 and prior to the finish of that race, shall refer to all classes listed above for those races. If one or more of the individual classes in Start No.1 are to sail lesser numbers of rounds of the course, the individual Class Flags shown bracketed above will also be used with Flag "S" to indicate the finish for the class(es) whose flag is displayed.
Starting & Finishing Lines
The Starting Line is an imaginary line drawn from the Striped Board on the front of the Battery through the "Y" pole to the east of the Battery. The extremity of the Starting Line is marked by the orange pillar buoy defined in SI 5.2(a)and SI 5.2(b) as the south-west Turning Mark. For the IRC Handicap, 1720 and Cruiser PY Handicap Classes ONLY, the extremity of the Starting Line is marked by an outer orange pillar buoy which is located to the east of the south-west Turning Mark T/M defined in SI 5.2(b). The south-west Turning Mark is not a Starting Mark for these Classes.