CSC Reopening of bar facility

Carrickfergus Sailing Club is pleased to announce that it is reopening the bar to members from Saturday 4th July. In line with the government guidelines, the only option at present (without serving food) is bar service in an outdoor area. We are lucky to have an extensive grass area with beautiful views and if the weather picks up again it will be a delightful area for our members to meet up, albeit socially distanced. The clubhouse remains closed and only the bar staff, cleaning staff and committee members will have access. Unfortunately, we are not yet in a position to offer catering, so for the time being we are only permitted to use an outside space to serve drinks. We hope to recommence catering soon.
Initially the opening hours will be 14:00 – 18:00 on Saturdays and Sundays but this will be regularly reviewed. The temporary arrangements will only work if the weather is good so lets hope for a good summer…at least until further relaxation and government guidance.  Drinks cannot be ordered at the bar but members orders will be taken by the waiting staff at the balcony area. Drinks will be prepared by a member of bar staff and the waiting staff will serve at an agreed table.
Rather than presenting your bar card please advise the server of your number so discount can be applied. We have a new bluetooth card machine so contactless is the preferred method of payment.
We will naturally be observing all the government protocols on social distancing, hand hygiene and queues similar to how you see it in local shops and supermarkets. We will have hand sanitisers available for use and soap and water will be available within the toilets, as well as disinfectant spray and hand towels. The only toilets in use will be in the ladies and gents changing areas, accessible from the side door. There is limited capacity so you may have to queue.
There are picnic tables and other chairs available for use but please feel free to bring your own chairs or picnic rugs. Please bear in mind social distancing at all times, you should only be in groups from the same household or social bubble. Some members may be nervous about coming out again and we want to make sure everyone feels comfortable but more importantly, safe. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult at all times. 
Only drinks purchased from the bar will be permitted on the premises. While catering is not yet available members are free to bring some food and snacks on the premises but please take your litter home or use the bins provided.
The premises are open to members only at this time. Names of those on the premises during the opening hours will be kept in case of tracing requirements, for a period of 21 days. Please DO NOT come into the grounds if you, or anyone you have been on contact with, are showing signs of Covid-19. If you show symptoms within 2 weeks of being on the premises please advise a member of the Committee. 
Please continue to close the main gate on arrival and departure.
These are not normal times and as we slowly start to edge out of lockdown we ask you all for your understanding, patience and support as the situation we find ourselves in is new to us all. The Committee are working hard to restore as many facilities as we can, always in line with Government and RYA guidelines. Things are changing so quickly and advice can sometimes change on a daily basis but our priority is to ensure the health and wellbeing of our members and of our staff. It is great that our sailors are starting to get back on the water and we continue to plan for a return to club racing as soon as we can.

Slipway open for recreational use

The slipway was finally opened this week for recreational sailing use by members and one of the first families to take advantage of the reopening and widened slip for the first time were the Calvin family.

Neil has been instrumental in the resurgence of dinghy sailing in the club after returning home from university and initially getting a fleet of Lasers on the water, which has progressed into the RS 400 fleet.
He has also been involved in assisting the Club obtain the vital planning permission for the widened slip.

As a junior sailor Neil was one of the team of junior sailors who completed the challenge  to sail an optimist dinghy across the North Channel to Scotland and actively sailed Mirror dinghies before progressing into Lasers. It was good therefore to see him along with his children, junior members Emily and Ollie take to the water not in the RS 400 but their newly acquired Pico recently purchased from the club fleet to make way for our new RS Qubas.

During the 1980’s Neil’s father and mother Ray and Maggie who were for many years responsible for junior training at the club, sailed a yellow Ruffian 23 called Bounder for a number of years before progressing to much larger yachts and many sailing adventures abroad.

Emily and Ollie have named their yellow Pico ” Little Bounder” in memory of their grand parents boat and took to the water wearing Ray and Maggie’s “Bounder”  caps from the original boat.

The Calvin’s were quickly followed on to the water on Saturday afternoon by the MacFarlane family who decided to wait until there was a full tide and a strong southerly wind head on to the slip. No balmy evenings for them!

Frank, like Neil started life as a junior sailor in the club and progressed through the junior training programme and various boats into Lasers and eventually his own RS400.

Frank has also been actively involved in assisting the Club achieve the slipway improvement and as an Environmental Engineer prepared the essential Environmental Management Plan for the works to support the planning application and importantly obtained the necessary Marine License to allow the works to proceed and has been invaluable in the slipway development.

Frank’s boat of choice for the first launch off the slip was not his RS400 but again the Pico and whilst he worked out his plan for tacking off the slip dispatched his children junior members Ana and Matthew to clear the seaweed for him!

Frank successfully completed a full tack out off the slip in a strong headwind something which would have been impossible off the original slip, particularly for the conditions encountered on Saturday. 

Frank, Ana and Matthew enjoyed a great sail in the harbour reminding us all of the benefit of this facility for training and sailing on those unfavorable days.

Hopefully as restrictions ease we will see not only the Calvin’s and MacFarlane’s but many other families and individuals take advantage of the improved slip and get on the water over the summer months while we all look forward to full activity returning and hopefully an official opening event.

Club Grounds Reopen

Good news for our members!
We are pleased to announce that the grounds of Carrickfergus Sailing Club will reopen to members, effective from tomorrow, Saturday 13th June. The gates will initially be unlocked from 10am to 6pm. The gate should remain closed over for now so please open and close over again on arrival, but do not lock. When on club grounds please adhere to social distancing guidelines, i.e. 2 metres apart from anyone who is not from your household, and not in groups larger than 10. Please be mindful when in contact with any hard surfaces and we recommend you bring hand sanitizer, wipes and other PPE as required, to mitigate passing on any infection. Please dispose of any rubbish, including PPE responsibly.
The health and safety of our members remains our priority and we ask that any activity is carried out in  a conservative and considerate manner to help safeguard public health and not put any additional pressure on the emergency services.
The clubhouse and boatshed remain closed for now and there is no access to toilets or water. Planning to reopen the clubhouse is ongoing and we continue to follow the Government and RYA guidance on this. The boatpark remains closed (excepting those who have agreed access via
There are just a few final items to be completed by the Contractor on the slipway and a few bits and pieces to ensure the boatpark is safe for use BUT we are planning to have the slipway available for use w/c 22nd June. While awaiting completion of the slipway, the Committee have been working on a “Back on the Water Plan” and a further note to members will issue next week outlining those measures being put in place to get back on the water and the guidelines to keep everyone safe.
Once again we would like to thank members for their patience and please bear with us as we restore your services in a managed and controlled way.

Virtual Sailing – Week 3

Friday 29th May saw the final set of races in the inaugural Virtual Summer Series. Ryan Seaton was the clear winner with a nine point lead over Rick McCaig in second, only beating Steve Atkinson to third by a single point. The racing was all very close with place changes regularly taking place throughout the races and frequently  on the final run to the finish line. The craic has been good with some spectators joining the Zoom call each week to watch the racing being streamed.

There has been sufficient interest for us to continue on and run some more racing through the next stages of lockdown. The format of four races in an hour seems to have worked, although there has been some discussion about the preferred day for racing.


We all need to do our best to stop the spread of Coronavirus and the best way to do this is to STAY AT HOME


  • only go outside for food, health reasons (collect medicines or for daily exercise) 
  • if you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times; ensuring a maximum number of six from separate households (outdoors)
  • do not travel unless necessary; 
  • you can ring NHS111 for information or advice and they will help you decide if you need to contact your GP; 
  • wash your hands well and often, and avoid touching your face


If any of our vulnerable or elderly members require assistance or support, please contact or contact us via social media

For up to date advice please refer to:


The popular Thursday night quiz finished just before lockdown for the season. However, while the club is closed we are going to run a virtual quiz fortnightly, on Zoom, starting 7:30 pm Wednesday 3rd June. There will be 4 rounds of questions, including general knowledge and some specialist subjects…should last no more than an hour. Please register your interest by email to 

CSC Update

Good news this week, the NI Health Minister eased Coronavirus Restrictions, permitting Outdoor Activity, including “some water activity”. The RYA has interpreted this to permit all forms of boating activity, including sailing, but only when safely:

  • undertaken by individuals or members of the same household; 
  • there is no sharing of hard surfaces (including all types of boat);
  • public health guidance is followed at all times;
  • strict social distancing can be undertaken.

The health and safety of our members is our priority and we ask that any activity be carried out in a conservative and considerate manner to help safeguard public health and not put any additional pressure on the emergency services.   

Please note there is restriction on the number of people who may gather outdoors from separate households of six (adhering to Social Distancing).    

The slipway contractor remains onsite and while the final works complete the boatpark remains closed. It is hoped that the works will complete over the next few weeks. However if anyone needs to physically access the boats that are not within the contractors compound in the short term please contact yard@carrickfergussc.orgwith some advance notice for access. We request that if you are in the grounds of CSC that you adhere to social distancing, i.e. 2 metres apart from anyone who is not from your household.

Please note that the Clubhouse and Boatshed remain closed and there is no access to toilets or to water. Anyone visiting their boats should ensure they have adequate sanitiser and PPE. Please DO NOT come onto Club premises if you or a member from your household are presenting with any symptoms of Covid-19.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience, please bear with us as we try to restore as many services and facilities as we can in a managed and controlled way.

Virtual Summer Series – Week 1

Friday 15 May saw the first night of the club Virtual Summer Series with 19 people entered. Fourteen people made it on to the virtual water to enjoy four races over an hour. Several competitors were even seen on the Zoom call dressed for real racing with buoyancy aids, foul weather gear and sun glasses. After the success of the evening everyone is looking forward to the continuation of the series this Friday. 

J/24 Virtual Northern Championship

Last weekend, 16/17 May, should have been the first J/24 event of 2020 at Carrickfergus. In the absence of real sailing due to the lockdown the J/24 class took to the virtual water with a series of ten races over two days. 

Cillian Dickson initiated proceedings to get everyone onboard, participating via the Virtual Regatta Inshore game. Custom races were handled by Cillian Dickson, Rick McCaig and Brendan Ryan. The club was able to assist by hosting a Zoom call enhance competitors experience with a bit of craic. 

25 entries necessitated a split into two fleets on Saturday to determine Gold and Silver fleets for the racing on Sunday. Five races were run over an hour on both Saturday and Sunday morning. 

Close racing prevailed as expected in both fleets; one race on Saturday had only 4 seconds between 3rd and 10th place at the finish line. 

Congratulations to Ryan Glynn, Michael McCormack and Garrett Kinnane who were 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Gold fleet, and Matthew Hennessy, Brendan Ryan and Donal McCormack in the Silver Fleet. 

With the success of the event the class plans to run a similar event for the J/24 Westerns to be hosted by Sligo Yacht Club towards the end of June, if lockdown/social distancing continues.