All content copyright Belfast Lough Yachting Conference 2013-2019
Welcome to BLYC for 2019. First of all my thanks and appreciation to Terry Graham from CIBC for looking after things so well over the last two years. This year and 2020 sees RNIYC in the chair for this important gathering of representatives from the clubs which make up the conference around Belfast Lough.
On behalf of RNIYC I hope we can do justice to this institution, which has served our combined interests so well for so long.
When I started sailing on Belfast Lough back in the early nineties I remember being amazed and delighted to see the many big boats, including specialist cruiser-racers, with enormous colourful spinnakers and crews of 12 plus whose close quarters tactics seemed destined to give their VROs apoplexy! But with smaller keel boats and dinghies milling around before starts it looked, to a novice, complete chaos out of which would suddenly emerge the order of a class heading off to to the first mark.
Regrettably we don’t seem to muster the same numbers these days of boats or participants. Regattas seem tamer, more ordered affairs without the excitement and spectacle of those days I fondly remember. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves what we want from our regattas. For most clubs it’s the showpiece of the year both on and off the water. But it isn’t a world championship or Olympic event. We want to have as many boats as possible for tight, competitive racing providing a colourful spectacle for those watching on shore and then the usual refreshments for sailors, families and friends back in the clubhouse. That’s what regattas should be about.
I look forward to seeing you on the Lough this year.