Billy White Obituary, Death – It is with a heavy heart that we shall be grieving the departure of one of the finest characters in Strangford Lough, Billy White, also known as “the pipe” by his many friends and acquaintances. A lifelong member and sailor who will be deeply missed has passed away, and there is a sense of loss throughout the clubhouse at the Portaferry Sailing Club. The majority of Billy’s earlier years were spent sailing with Norman Watson in the Flying Fifteen class, mostly based out of the Kircubbin Sailing Club, which was known for being a formidable opponent.
When Norman made the decision to hang it up and call it a day, Billy wasn’t ready to hang up his boots, much to the chagrin of a great number of sailors working in the lough. He purchased “Shanty,” a Verl 790, and throughout the following few decades, while the rest of us kept upgrading our boats, Billy continued to race on “Shanty.” There is not a regatta or series that does not have her name engraved on it; this is a genuine tribute to the fact that newer is not necessarily better, in Billy’s opinion, as he raised another trophy.
I had the privilege of accompanying him on his first vacation to the Isle of Man, along with Pockets, Oddi, Bru, and my Dad. Although what takes place on the island stays on the island, I will never forget the wonderful memories we had there. If you crossed Billy, the pipe would be removed, and he would let you know it. Billy was a real character and one of the nicest guys who ever raced on Strangford Lough, but you didn’t want to cross him. Rest in peace, Billy, and continue your journey with the rest of your friends.