The President’s Cup & Hansa 303 Irish National Championship

Over fifty skippers and crew representing Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster enjoyed fabulous conditions on Belfast Lough off Carrickfergus over the weekend 12-13 August competing for The President’s Cup and Hansa 303 Irish National Championship for sailors with disabilities.

We partnered with Carrickfergus Sailing Club and Carrickfergus Marina to organise this major sailing event, sponsored by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Abbey Insurance, Carrick Marine Projects, JP Corry, Survitec Group and Translink Staff Charity. A great time was enjoyed by all afloat and ashore; day – and night!

Team Munster successfully defended The President’s Cup, with Team Ulster achieving their best ever result in the event, coming second ahead of Leinster. The Ulster team comprised sailors from BLS and Foyle Sailability.

Best local results were from Kerry Mussen who won the Paralympic 2.4 Metre class, with Eoin Bannon, John Patrick and Bill Foster coming second only by a tiebreak sailing the Hawk 20 boat. Foyle Sailability’s Gary Crothers helmed the Ulster Squib with Foyle’s Ken Curry and BLS’s Rudi Summerville crewing.

In the Hansa 303 Irish Nationals, BLS boats finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th – to Champions, Munster/ Kinsale Yacht Club’s Meabh Ahern and Judy Moynahan – crewed by Martin Quinn and Brian Courtney (2nd), Elizabeth Black and Hugo Crawford (3rd), and Louis Summerville and Paul Green (4th). Hansa 303 course Race Officer, Sheela Lewis, commented on how impressive the sailing standard was by everyone. What a great job by Sheela, and Chris Lindsay who was Race Officer for the 2.4mR, Hawk 20 and Squib course.

BLS Chair, Paul Bunting, compered the prizegiving with trophies presented by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Deputy Mayor, Cheryl Johnston, with Abbey Insurance director, John McMichael, Survitec Group Managing Director, Gavin Gillespie, and Damian Bannon from Translink Staff Charity.

Huge well done to Anne Taylor and her organising team – and our superb volunteers! And everyone who took part and made it all so much fun! And huge thanks to all our event sponsors and supporters!

This is the second major sailing championship organised at Carrickfergus by Belfast Lough Sailability with Carrickfergus Sailing Club. Judging from the positive reaction of visitors from near and far, it certainly will not be the last. Meanwhile, next year we have the delights of a trip to Galway Bay Sailing Club to look forward to.


The President’s Cup:

  1. Munster – 26 points
  2. Ulster – 40 points
  3. Leinster – 85 points

Hansa 303 Irish National Championship:

  1. Meabh Ahern and Judy Moynahan, Kinsale YC/ Munster – 5 points
  2. Martin Quinn and Brian Courtney, BLS/ Ulster – 11 points
  3. Elizabeth Black and Hugo Crawford, BLS/ Ulster – 12 points
  4. Louis Summerville and Paul Green, BLS/ Ulster – 16 points
  5. Anna Gabriel and Judy McGrath, Kinsale YC/ Munster – 26 points

Many more photos and full results will be posted at the event website:

(Main photo above: a Hansa 303 start by Nigel Thompson)

The Ulster Squib, Hawk 20 and 2.4mR enjoying close racing (Nigel Thompson)

Protected species! (Iain McAllister)

Ready for off at Carrickfergus Marina (Iain McAllister)

Warming up for the Hog Roast in The CSC Boatshed (Damian Bannon)