International honour for Antrim Boat Club

Dame Mary Peters pictured with members of Antrim Boat Club at last week's announcement.
Dame Mary Peters pictured with members of Antrim Boat Club at last week's announcement.

Dame Mary Peters joined the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor John Scott, the crew, committee and friends to announce Antrim Boat Club, will host the 2018 Atlantic Challenge International Contest of Seamanship.

Dame Mary said,” It is a great honour to host such an event on the shore of Lough Neagh, to bring so many young people together, to learn from each other, work with each other and make new relationships. Northern Ireland has a great record of making people welcome here and in running successful sporting events.”

Lough Neagh will provide the setting for around sixteen 38ft. wooden gigs and over 300 young people from Europe, Scandinavia, America, Russia, Indonesia and the UK to compete over 7 days in July 2018. Competition will include rowing, sailing, navigation and various other traditional nautical tasks to test the crews’ ability to work together.

Contests have previously been held in France, Canada, Finland, Ireland, USA, Italy, Denmark and Wales, but this is the first time the contest will be held in Northern Ireland.

Dame Mary Peters, Patron of the Northern Ireland organisation, also wished the Northern Ireland crew every success as they prepare for the 2016 contest in Roskilde Denmark. The crew will leave in early July for training in Denmark, before the excitement of the contest, on the 16th July. The new set of oars purchased with the help of the Enkalon Foundation will aid the crew achieve success.