Petrel under restoration May 2010


Sail No. 12

Former name: OBERON (Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club)

List of past owners sailing with the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club, Enniskillen Yacht Club and Lough Erne Yacht Club

1902 K. R. Sparrow. Oberon allocated Sail No. 11

1902 Miss Scott Hayward

1906 H. R. Haslett

1910 C. Hurst & E. Uprichard

1913 J. McCausland

1913 Sold out of class to Lough Ree

1923 Major-Gen. Sir Harry Neville Thompson, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O.* Renamed Petrel

1924 First season racing on Lough Erne, allocated Sail No. 12

1925 Miss Marcia Stack (relation of Major-Gen. Thompson)

1926 R. Ernest Lemon

1936 The Marquis of Ely (7th Marquis of, 1903-1969)

1949 Miss N. & I. Cooper

1951 M. B. Hughes

1952 J. C. Davison

1967 Mrs Ford

1969 Blaney B. Stuart

1996 John Paul Stuart

2005 Joey Kelly

2008 Paul Louden-Brown. Complete restoration started

2011 Restoration completed

Petrel looking aft, showing her new frames, big knee, stern frame and horn timber, May 2010

Stern planking refastened, ready for new transom board to be fitted


*Major-Gen. Sir Harry Neville Thompson (1861-1925) was born in Ireland, the son of the Rector of Clonmany, Donegal, Rev. Mungo Neville Thompson, JP and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He took his medical degree in 1883. He joined the army in 1884 and took part in the Nile expedition and became a major in the Royal Army Medical Corp in 1898, rising to the rank of major-general in 1917. He also served in South Africa and India and was highly decorated, receiving the DSO. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in 1904.

Thompson was posted to India and during the summer months, when the whole of the colonial administration removed to Naini in the Himalayas. Thompson founded the Naini Tal Yacht Club, becoming its first commodore. Yachting on the lake, up until his arrival, involved an odd mixture of yachts and a handicapping system that resulted in some boats finishing last, but on time difference, actually winning. Thompson decided to start one-design racing and was responsible for bringing out the Linton Hope OD fleet. His term of duty ended in 1913. In the First World War he served with various divisions and earned the nickname “Handsome Harry.” He continued to receive honours including the French Croix de Guerre with two palms and the American Distinguished Service Medal for “exceptionally meritorious services.” In 1919 he was Knighted. He retired from the army to live at Dromard, Kesh, where he became actively engaged once more in yachting earning another nickname the ‘“Grand Old Man“ of Lough Erne sailing.’ He died on 28 June 1925 on the Isle of Wight and is buried in Omagh.

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