Holywood Yacht Club Triple Celebration
On 17th March, St.Patrick’s Day, Holywood Yacht Club was presented with the prestigious Volvo RYA Champion Club award by John Taggart, Chairman of the Royal Yacht Association NI.
Holywood has been recognised for it’s very active racing programme, focusing on the Laser 4.7, Topper and Mirror
classes. The club encourages and supports young sailors to
develop and progress throughout the RYA Youth and Olympic
programmes. This award comes as the club marks their 150th Anniversary year and follows on from their successful year when they were awarded Harland and Wolff RYANI Club of the Year and RYANI Volunteer of the Year (Stephen Rutherford).
Commodore, Michael McDowell understands the importance of developing as a club, “Achieving Volvo RYA Champion Club status has been the result of an amazing and challenging development at Holywood Yacht Club. For a small sailing club to reach this level of excellence is confirmation of the hard work put in by coaches and volunteers, not to mention the achievements of our young members themselves. Having been awarded RYANI Yacht Club of the Year, the Volvo RYA Champion Club award ensures that Holywood Yacht Club is in a very happy position. Congratulations to all.”
Holywood Yacht Club is one of only 13 clubs in Northern Ireland and 186 nationwide to be awarded this esteemed status. Richard Honeyford, RYANI Performance Manager said, “Holywood’s recognition as a Volvo RYA Champion Club follows a lot of hard work by club members to recruit, grow and support young sailors and is a very encouraging step in the club’s development. It is particularly fitting that HYC receive this in an Olympic year, especially when Matt McGovern, who began his sailing at HYC, will be representing Ireland at the Games in the 49er class.”
Richard Honeyford presented certificates to all the young sailors, and Stephen Rutherford, the club’s Junior Co-ordinator praised them for their success in bringing the VCC to Holywood.
The Volvo RYA Champion Club Programme aims to encourage young sailors and windsurfers at grassroots level to stay in the sport and learn to compete, while encouraging clubs to introduce youngsters to the sport and help develop their skills.
Holywood will also have access to Volunteer Grant funding through RYANI to further enhance club coach and volunteer development.
The occasion was marked by the inauguration of the HYC Tiny Topper squad providing fun and sailing games on and off the water for 7 to 11 year olds.
A presentation training event took place for Lasers and Toppers, and the day was rounded off with a party and of course, music in the bar.