RYA Northern Ireland recognises unsung heroes in newly launched Hall of Fame - Bill O’Hara OBE

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. This week, RYA Northern Ireland is running a special feature on each of the four inductees. First up is Bill O’Hara OBE.
28 Mar 23
Bill O'Hara, OBE, with Dame Mary Peters and RYA Chair, Chris Preston
Bill O’Hara OBE from Bangor is a member of Ballyholme Yacht Club and Royal Ulster Yacht Club and was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to sailing in 2021. 

His accomplishments are wide ranging, including competing in the Finn class in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. 

He has attended eight Olympic Games in total, a competitor at two, a coach at two, on the International Jury at two and a rules advisor at two. 

In 2001 Bill became an International Judge and he took on the role of Youth Performance Manager for RYA Northern Ireland and the Irish Sailing Association. 

He has been at the centre of many major sailing events such as the Volvo Ocean Race as Co-Chairman of the Jury in 2005/6 and Principal Race Officer for the last four races. 

Bill has also been Chief Umpire at many of the professional circuits including the Extreme 40s, MOD 70s, 52SuperSeries, GC32s, M32s and the J Class.

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.”