EDYC honored with RYA-Northern Ireland – Club Project of the Year 2023

EDYC honored with RYA-Northern Ireland – Club Project of the Year 2023

EDYC – Leisure 17 fleet have been recognized for their 2023 project; ‘Celebrating 50 years of Leisure 17s at EDYC; promoting sailing, delivering training and fostering community’.

2023 entailed a schedule of activities that included the interests of all members of the EDYC L17 fleet while also welcoming boats from other classes, clubs and other like minded adventurous individuals. The year was packed with dates for club  and regatta racing with one design starts for L17s, day cruising on the waters of Strangford Lough and beyond, and complemented with social and educational evenings off the water.

The year demonstrated an active promotion of sailing for all in EDYC community, aligned with the vision and values of the RYANI, 5 year strategy ‘Navigating the Future’:

Vision: An active community working together on or around the water, where everyone has a place.


– Approachable & Supportive

– Visible

– Brave & Adventurous

– Transparent

– Passionate & Proud

– Embracing Equality

 For further detail see rya.org.uk/news/RYANI-launches-new-five-year-strategy-and-Hall-of-Fame

Since the club’s foundation, sailors from Belfast and County Down have given their time to promote inclusive sailing experiences for all, developing a well-known family approach to sailing. The introduction of the Leisure 17 in 1973 continues in this vein. The boat and its nature has inspired diversity among both new and seasoned sailors, many of whom have became dedicated volunteers within the club, branching out into roles like RYA powerboat instructors, RYA sailing coaches, and RYA Officials, with notable members such as Laura Hampton, who completed a transatlantic crossing and is currently racing in the Clipper Round the World race as a first mate, exemplify the club’s adventurous spirit. Laura and her brother Gareth can often be found during their down time at the club competing in Leisure 17 racing , in their beloved ‘Goose’.

Over the past five decades, the Leisure 17 community at East Down has fostered a supportive environment for sailors across Strangford Lough, organising training activities and events – including  regattas and cruises. Presently the community works tirelessly to help maintain the standards of the club as an RYA training centre, ensuring a positive learning experience for all members.


Within the past year this group has been visible facilitating training for many of the members inside and beyond their association. These activities have included: sail trim awareness; tactical sailing awareness, under the watchful eye of Richard Ramsey of Ramsey Sails and Roy Edwards, RYA Officer; Mooring; Boat Maintenance; Rig Tension, under the watchful eye of the EDYC Rear Commadore, John Paterson. This dedication and effort, as well as the desire for improvement within EDYC, has led to the club having a complement of twenty five Leisure 17 boats.

East Down boasts one of the largest keelboat classes in Ireland, and possibly Britain. Looking forward, the club recognizes the challenges faced by smaller cruiser class fleets and aims to address them through initiatives like, day cruises with other classes.

Sailing community enjoy an evening of celebration at the RYA Northern Ireland Annual Awards – write up


and a video of the event is available.

Earlier –

RYANI Annual Awards 2022


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