Published Saturday, 05 July 2014
Several people escaped injury in the extensive blaze at the Rodgers Quay clubhouse in June 2012. A barman raised the alarm, saving the lives of a number of people who had been inside at the time.
On Saturday, the new premises were opened by Terry Windsor, one of the club's best known members having joined in 1955.
He is also one of Carrick Sailing Club's most experienced sailors and has been Race Officer for the Clubs Points Racing for the last five years.
Determined that the fire would not be the end of the facility, members met the morning after the blaze to begin drawing up plans for the replacement facilities.
And after much fundraising, hard work and volunteering, the restored premises now have state-of-the-art changing facilities, fully accessible to sailors with a disability and a new multi-purpose room ideal for dinghy sailing.
The clubhouse also features a large first floor balcony area with stunning views across Belfast Lough.
Club Commodore Trevor Kirkpatrick said: "It has been a difficult two years but I am so delighted that we are back at the clubhouse that has been our home for the past 35 years. I would like to thank everyone in the sailing fraternity who rallied round and helped ensure this great club continued.
"We are immensely proud of this new building that is not only much more environmentally friendly but also has full disabled access. Carrickfergus is now very well placed to attract a host of major sailing events to our town."
Mr Kirkpatrick also praised club members for their work in ensuring that the club's sailing calendar continued.
"After the fire we were struck by the messages of support we received from sailing clubs as far away as Dublin. Our members really rose to the challenge, volunteering for extra duties and helping to clear up after the fire."
The Deputy Mayor of Carrickfergus, Councillor Lynn McClurg, who officiated at the re-launch, said:"Despite the tragic circumstances of the fire, the Club pulled together and with an immense fundraising effort, has managed to create this very valuable local community asset.
"All of those involved are to be highly commended for their endeavours and the analogy of the 'phoenix rising from the ashes' is entirely appropriate on this occasion."
© UTV News