RYA Northern Ireland recognises unsung heroes in newly launched Hall of Fame - Maeve Bell OBE

RYA Northern Ireland inducted the first four people to its new Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was set up to recognise the contribution of people to the development of sailing in Northern Ireland. During an event at the Crowne Plaza, Belfast, on Thursday 23 March, the guests were presented with the awards by Lady Mary Peters and RYA’s Chair Chris Preston. Today’s special feature is Maeve Bell OBE.
30 Mar 23
Maeve Bell being inducted into the RYANI Hall of Fame, standing with Dame Mary Peters and Chris Preston, RYA Chair

Maeve is a member of Quoile club on Strangford Lough. 

With her husband, Adrian, Maeve Bell sailed a fireball competitively for a number of years. 

Some highlights included a 3rd place finish in the 1985 world championships in Italy.

Maeve and Adrian have sailed extensively on their beautiful Arcona 430 “Oiśin bán” including exploring Denmark and the Baltic.

She has been integral to the development of RYA Northern Ireland over many years. She worked closely with the former Chair Doug Smyth and Hon Sec, Harold Boyle in working through organisational changes and became the first Chair of RYANI.

Maeve was an effective and fully committed Chair of RYANI seeking opportunities for developing the role of the Governing Body, promoting sailing as a sport and recreation and actively pursuing sources of funding.

In 2005 with the support of RYA and Sport NI Maeve secured funding for the post of Chief Operating Officer. This was a significant step forward towards building a suitable structure for RYANI.

With ongoing support from Adrian, Maeve retained her interest in RYANI beyond her two-year term as Chair, helping to arrange several biennial Cruising Conferences.

RYA Northern Ireland’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Yarnall said: “I am delighted that to recognise four very special people in our sailing community. We are proud to have welcomed the first inductees to our newly established Hall of Fame. 

“People are at the heart of our sport and it is fantastic to be able to celebrate some of those who have made such a hugely positive impact over many years.”