100 year old Ain Mara to race again
The 36 ft yawl Ain Mara celebrates her 100th birthday this year and her owner, Dickie Gomes plans to take part in Royal Ulster’s 50th Anniversary Ailsa Craig race in June.
Built in 1912 at Ringsend in Dublin, Ain Mara was originally a Gaff yawl constructed of pitch pine on oak and in 1930 was converted to Bermuda rig. She was bought by the Gomes family in 1965.
On board with owner and skipper Dickie and his wife Deirdre will be brothers James and Winkie Nixon and Denis Fusco. They will, no doubt, be trying to repeat Ain Mara’s Class 2 wins of 1970 and 1973.
Other entries already received are the more modern Spindrift owned by Richard and Pauline Donnan, the Taylor/Furney Partnership’s Blue Squirrel who won in 2005 and Tony Weston’s Mandolin Wind.
The Ailsa Craig takes the fleet overnight round the famous rock at the mouth of the Clyde and back to Bangor. The race starts on the evening of June 15th and many of the original competitors, several of whom are now in their 80s, are expected to compete. The first winner of the prestigious trophy, Darty Glover, hopes to return from Australia and John Taylor is travelling from New Zealand.
This special event, and indeed the other three races in the offshore series, will be sponsored by Hamilton Shipping. Gordon Hamilton, Managing Director of the company, is delighted to be once again associated with racing at Royal Ulster: “Given the importance of Belfast Lough to our business, we like to support Royal Ulster Yacht Club, particularly whenever the club has worked so hard over many years to maintain offshore yacht racing in Northern Ireland. We hope the history attached to this year’s Ailsa Craig Race will make things a little special for all competitors.'
Photo Credit: Winkie Nixon