Regatta comes to Ballycastle this weekend

BALLYCASTLE Marina is gearing up for a busy few weeks starting on June 22 and is set to be a hub of maritime festivities this summer. Moyle District Council is hosting not just its first sailing and boating regatta but has also secured its place in being a host port for a flotilla of vessels from Scotland and Northern Ireland on route to join the Clipper Homecoming Festival in Derry/Londonderry.

Harbour Master for Moyle District Council, John Morton explains “This is the next step to put Ballycastle on course to enhance marine tourism and continue its reputation as being a key port along the North Coast. Regatta competitors will enjoy the fun and festivities of the first regatta held in Ballycastle in almost 50 years”.

John Morton highlighted that the aim of the Regatta is to include boat owners not just from within the Moyle area but also from other harbours and marinas throughout Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Moyle District Council are also crewing up with Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club and Coleraine Yacht Club Moyle to offer a broad selection of water and seaside based events, which means you don’t have to own a boat to be able to enjoy the weekend.

Events to include:

* Fishing trips on board local boats around Ballycastle Bay - 4pm-6pm and 6pm-8pm. Trips leaving from Ballycastle Marina, booking essential.

Tackle and rods can be supplied.

* Red Bay powerboating - Saturday and Sunday 1pm-6pm - ‘Captain’ for the Day - Take the controls of an Inshore Powerboat and navigate the high speed craft around the turbulent waters of the north coast. No previous experience required. 30 min trips leaving from Ballycastle Marina, booking essential.

* Ardclinis Outdoor Adventure - Saturday & Sunday 1pm-6pm.

* Kayak ‘Splash and Dash’ taster session. Paddle in kayaks at the mouth of the river Margy. Admission £5 for 30 mins.

* Laser Tag - 10-20 persons per session. Fun team games on Glass Island area. Charge applicable

* Climbing Wall - Admission £3 for 2 climbs

* Sandcastle building competition - 2pm-4pm - Renowned sand sculptor Tony Hawkins will be in attendance. Once creating a whale 30ft in length he’ll be building a special sand sculpture and helping to judge a sand castle competition. Limited number of free buckets and spades available. Venue: Beach area near Margy River. Sunday 24th Judging and prizes at 4pm.

* Boat Jumble - Sunday 10am-3pm - All types of nautical bits and bobs to keep your boat ship shape. RNLI fundraiser, sellers £5.00 charge per pitch. Booking essential contact Marina. Venue: Ballycastle slipway.

* RNLI Display - Sunday 1.30 – 3pm . Watch the RNLI demonstrate their rescue techniques at Ballycastle beach.

All this and you can watch the yacht races, dinghy races and vessel parade from the seafront.

Please note booking is essential for Redbay Powerboating and Sea Fishing Adventure. For further information / bookings contact: John Morton Ballycastle Marina Telephone John Morton on: 028 207 68525/07803505084

or e mail ballycastlemarina@moyle-council.org