Sailability names three vessels for Carrick fleet

Kevin Johnston (left), Belfast Lough Sailability volunteer, his wife Marion (2nd left) and son Stephen (right) with Anne Taylor, chair of BLS and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe. INCT 42-002-PSB
Kevin Johnston (left), Belfast Lough Sailability volunteer, his wife Marion (2nd left) and son Stephen (right) with Anne Taylor, chair of BLS and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe. INCT 42-002-PSB

Belfast Lough Sailability has introduced three new additions to its fleet at a special boat-naming ceremony in Carrickfergus.

Anne Taylor, chair of BLS, welcomed the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor Billy Ashe and dignitaries to Carrickfergus Marina on a beautiful autumnal day.

Mr Ashe performed the honours of naming the 2.4 Olympic class boat ‘PEG’, stating: “ ‘God bless her and all who sail in her.”

The first citizen then thanked an anonymous donor for the generous gift of a boat for Belfast Lough Sailability, an organisation that offers a unique facility to the Mid and East Antrim Borough and the wider community.

The second 2.4 was named ‘SKYE’ by Kerry Mussen, BLS volunteer co-ordinator and the first to try this one-person-boat out on the water.

“I hope that this Paralympic-class boat named the ‘SKYE’s the limit’ will encourage our disabled sailors to reach for the ‘SKYE’.”

The naming ceremony was completed with a Hawk 20’ day sailor keel boat, which can take up to six crew, providing comfort and stability to sailors with disabilities, named by sponsors Kevin and Marion Johnston.

Anne said: “Thank you BLS for preparing ‘ARICA’ and I hope she will bring a lot of pleasure to a lot of people with disabilities for a very long time.”

All three vessels are on station with immediate effect, taking their place in the Sailability fleet and expanding the services available to those with disabilities and disadvantaged by circumstance up to competition level and the paralympic path.

More information at www.belfastloughsailability.com