David McGrath, long term member of Coleraine Yacht Club, died on Wednesday 9th February 2022 following a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Lorraine and sister Lorna.
David was educated at The Honorable The Irish Society School, Coleraine Academical Institution and Greenmount Agricultural College. David was a successful and much respected farmer who took over his father’s business at Wattstown Farm on the outskirts of Coleraine.
In addition to his love of the land and animals David had a keen interest in the sea and sailing. Each Sunday for many year he sailed his Laser dinghy competitively on the River Bann. When sailing moved to Portstewart for the summer months David would deliver one of the safety boats to the harbour before returning to Coleraine to collect his Laser and repeat the process after racing. Not only was he an invaluable member of the club helping out at various sailing and social events but his characteristically quiet, helpful manner was an inspiration to all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
All of us will have special memories of David. For me, it is the day David, Kevin Balmer and myself raced our Laser dinghies from Portstewart harbour to the Bar Mouth and back several times on a clear day with a force 4 southerly breeze, ideal for sailing. My memory, albeit with a touch of poetic licence, is of three Lasers racing across the bay like a flat stone skimming across water. David’s interest in sailing went much further than dinghies. With CYC members we sailed together off the West Coast of Scotland in the sail training boat “Lord Rank”, now sadly lying at the bottom of Rathlin Sound. David’s spirit of adventure also extended to taking passages on Tall Ships.
All of us at CYC express our sincere condolences to Lorraine and Lorna on David’s passing.