Leisure17 schedule of activities for 2024 at EDYC

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

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 of smaller cruisers, continuing to advocate for smaller classes at regatta conferences; organising mixed helm (both youth and gender) races within club events, and on-water training sessions with RYA Keelboat trainer Roy Edwards.

The 50th Anniversary of the Leisure Association at EDYC has been a time of reflection and celebration, highlighting the club’s strong sense of investment in members, community, and heritage. As we look to the future, the association continues to be committed to encourage club principals of participation from a wider audience while maintaining a culture of mutual appreciation and support among members.

For the season ahead, in addition to club racing at EDYC on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, the following are cruising dates and Strangford Lough Regatta Conference dates with L17 one design starts:

Sunday 5th May 2024Cruise 1: EDYC to Kircubbin & return
Saturday 8th June 2024Cruise 2: EDYC to Newtownards Sailing Club & return
Saturday 15th June 2024Quoile Yacht Club Regatta
Saturday 6th July 2024Strangford Sailing Club Regatta
Saturday 20th July 2024Killyleagh Yacht Club Regatta
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th JulyCruise 3: EDYC to Peel, Isle of Man, cruise in company, inline with main EDYC fleet
Saturday 10th August 2024EDYC Regatta
Saturday 31st August & Sunday 1st September 2024Cruise 4: EDYC to Ardglass, overnight and return
Sunday 15th September 2024Cruise 5: EDYC to Knockinelder Bay, via The Narrows & return
Saturday 21st September 2024Cruise 6: EDYC to Ardkeen Bay and return
Open invitation to all. Please contact Stephen Perry, EDYC L17 Class Secretary, email: stephenmperry@btinternet.com

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