Event no.2 of the 2018 RS season happened over the bank holiday of 5/6 May in Rush Sailing Club, North Co. Dublin to host the Eastern Championships for RS400s/200s/Fevas, proudly sponsored by Ropedock.com
In total there was 30 boats entered/60 sailors with many other in support for the event to sail at the rumoured best kept sailing venue secret on the East coast and very accessible for everyone to get to with lots of space and camping facilities to go with.
Forecasts for the weekend seemed to promise first signs of summer for the country and this was exactly to be the case as by about 12pm a sea breeze started literally rolling in with waves from the South to boot. PRO Richard Kissane sent the fleet out the river for first some tacking practice &then 3 races in the building and fantastic conditions.
There were many runners and riders for the event but with one notable absentee Alex Barry and Richard Leonard question was who could step up?
In conditions 15-18knots racing got underway and local legend/chancer Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight stormed away to show the fleet they were in the mood. Gareth Flannigan & David Fletcher pulled in a 2nd with moving up from school in the 200s Neil Spain & Ross McDonald coming in 3rd.
In the second race Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight lead again but Neil Spain & Ross McDonald got them downwind to take win with Barry McCartin & Andrew Penney 3rd. The final race Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight blitzed away again to take bullet, Gareth Flannigan & David Fletcher 2nd & Neil Spain & Ross McDonald 3rd. Racing among the boats was so tight with many photo finishes required throughout the 3 races and the big waves taking a few victims as they fell in downwind.
In the 200s Cian Jones & Luke McGrath revelled in conditions for 3 bullets. Aaron Jones & Katie Kane not far away with 3 2nds and Ben Ferris & Peter Darragh completing the over night top 3. In the Fevas Lily Thorup & Sibeal Nic Giolla Coda dominated with 3 firsts - followed by Matthew McClernon & Erin McClernon with an equally consistent 3 2nd places and Alannah McGuire & Rachel Keane completing the over night top 3.
Everyone retreated ashore in awe of a great day sailing and first pints were flowing by 4pm to make things even better. The club staged a great BBQ, bar and band to keep everyone entertained. Stories were shared and the inaugural prize for "dope of the day" where crews can nominate helms with some including a certain a David Sweeney pulling his boat up onto beach close to race area to supposedly fix something but had a picnic instead, may have been a lovely lady present we are not quite sure. The winner however was grandad of the fleet R400 Liam Donnelly for a very obvious port-starboard called out to him 5mins before but decided to go for the T-bone steak anyway with the fleets own Ed Sheeran otherwise known as Stephen McLernon. The craic went on long into night, way too long for some with many wounded bodies found trying to put one foot in front of the other next day a challenge.
Day 2 lead to a slight postponement as some fog came in before fleet were sent out in a building 11-14 knot breeze. More tacking practice out the harbour and soon enough course was laid and races began. In the first race the racing was super close with only 1min separating the top 10 by finish but Gareth Flannigan & David Fletcher won squeezing Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight into 2nd, Neil Spain & Ross McDonald 3rd. The 2nd race wind picked up slightly again giving more surfing conditions. This time Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight won after a very tight battle with Paul Mclaughlin & Owen McKinley with Barry McCartin & Andrew Penney in 3rd. This secured the event for Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight but places behind were all to play for especially given retirement due to unfortunate toe-strap break on Gareth Flannigan & David Fletcher's boat sending them home early.
This time Paul Mclaughlin & Owen McKinley sailed a great race only for Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight (sailing on anyway) to come from way back as the wind got light and patchy to steal it at the death. Neil Spain & Ross McDonald came in 3rd. This made the final results as follows: Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnigh in 1st with a near flawless scoreline, Neil Spain & Ross McDonald 2nd, Paul McLaughlin & Owen Mckinley in 3rd, Barry McCartin & Andrew Penney 4th &and Gareth Flanagan & David Fletcher in 5th.
The 200s had closer racing as few more boats get in the mix including another Ruigrok Erica Ruigrok & Lauren O'Hare to mix in the top 3 - standing head and shoulders above... her crew with very well practised capsize technique. But in the end Cian Jones & Luke McGrath added 3 more wins to make a perfect scorecard and win Boat of the weekend (just to ruin Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnigh's weekend a little bit :) ) followed by Aaron Jones & Katie Kane in 2nd & Ben Ferris & Peter Darragh 3rd.
In the Fevas Alannah McGuire & Rachel Keane upset the pecking order with a win in the first race of the day. Matthew McClernon & Erin McClernon secured the top spot in the next 2 races giving them the series overall relegating the dominant Lily Thorup & Sibeal Nic Giolla Coda to second overall.
A great credit to PRO Richard Kissane and Race Committee who ran the races like clockwork both days setting perfect courses with his mark-team to keep to the schedule and get in 6 races over the weekend. Also to all the organisers, shore teams, canteen personnel and BBQ legends and of course the bar personnel keeping the fleet well oiled long into the night. The photographers/drone operators did an amazing job capturing some great footage of the weekend.
And to answer rumour at the top of report, after such an amazing weekend all round, the entire fleet would agree Rush as one of best venues for sailing, hospitality, great craic and one that everyone will talk about for a long time. Just look at the photos/video to prove it.
Finally, if you don't know it then ensure to make it to next event RS National Championships 6-8 July being hosted by Ballyholme YC in conjunction with the Bangor Town regatta for big boats to make it even larger still. Already entry is Open (http://ballyholme.com/events/bangor-town-regatta-2018/) with a lot of planning in place by a club who are well know at running big events and last time they hosted RS championships there was 50 RS400s on startline so let's hop for even more still so certainly not to be missed!
Photo/Drone credits to: Sean Weldon
1st Alan Ruigrok & Max McKnight
2nd Neil Spain & Ross McDonald
3rd Paul Mclaughlin & Owen McKinley
1st Cian Jones & Luke McGrath
2nd Aaron Jones & Katie Kane
3rd Ben Ferris & Peter Darragh
1st Matthew McClernon & Erin McClernon
2nd Lily Thorup & Sibeal Nic Giolla Coda
3rd Alannah McGuire & Rachel Keane
The RS 2018 season kicked off over the weekend of 7/8 April with County Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead (CAYC) hosting the Northern Championships for RS400s/200s/Fevas.
In total 35 boats entered and 70 sailors for the event from all corners of Ireland with travellers from as far afield as Cork so the anticipation for the first event of year on the RS calendar was high after the off-season.
Conditions for the weekend were to prove a mixed bag, with postponements both mornings to wait for the wind to pick up allowing time for extra boat tinkering and good craic among sailors. However, the wind picked up both days allowing for 5 great races for all classes.
Day 1 saw a cold breeze come in from the sea in the afternoon and a good call from the PRO, Sheela Lewis, to keep sailors out for 3 races – finally getting off the water at 6:30pm. In the 400s fleet Alex Barry from Royal Cork Yacht Club proved he hadn't slowed over the winter with an emphatic first race win over the fleet. The 2nd race was won right at the finish by Gareth Flannigan from Ballyholme overhauling Barry McCartin from Cushendall, and the 3rd race won by the runaway off the pin end start by Alan Ruigrok. Scores were very tight with only a point separating the top 3 overnight and just 5 points separating 4th-10th, proving just how close the racing is in this fleet. The 200s also saw close racing for all but the top spot which was dominated by the home team of Jocelyn Hill/Katie Kane, who stole the show with 3 bullets. Andrew Mitchell and Michael Rock, also from CAYC, started the regatta with fast upwinds and great starts which put them in first position to mark 1 in races 1 and 3. Ben Ferris and Peter Darragh from CAYC pulled consistently high results to sit 2nd overnight with Frank and Kevin O’Rourke from Greystones sitting 3rd. In the Feva class, another CAYC boat sailed by the Corbett brothers led overnight with wins in races 2 and 3, with the Royal St George Yacht Club duo, Elysia O'leary/Lily Dwyer, close on their heels in 2nd.
A long day on the water was rounded off by great hospitality, live music, dinner and ‘much cheaper than over the border’ drink on offer until the early hours.
The winds on day 2 afforded the opportunity for 2 races to decide the championships for all fleets. In the 400s, the first race went to Alex Barry putting himself in the driving seat ahead of Barry McCartin in 2nd and Alan Ruigrok in 3rd. With the championship still open going into the final race Alex Barry got the better of Barry McCartin off the start to be in control to take 1st overall, while Gareth Flannigan won the final race taking him to 2nd place overall. 3rd overall was Barry McCartin, 4th Paul McLaughlin putting in consistent results ahead of Alan Ruigrok in 5th. In the 200s, Jocelyn/Katie added 2 more wins to make a perfect scorecard and take a triumphant win for the home Club, with the other 3 new 200s to the CAYC placing 2nd, 3rd and 4th cementing the Club’s new fleet as a force to be reckoned with in the circuit. In the Fevas, an open and competitive series resulted in the honours eventually going to Elysia O’Leary and Lily Dwyer of RStGYC with a 1st and 2nd on the final day, with CAYC duo James and Daniel Corbett runners up and 3rd place going to Erin and Matthew McLernon of Carrickfergus Sailing Club with a 1st in the final race. Well done to all.
A great credit to County Antrim Yacht Club for hosting an excellent event, including PRO Sheela Lewis and all her team on the water to complete 5 races in some very trying conditions; and to the event organisers, shore teams, and catering and hospitality teams. Also a big thanks to the photographers for some great footage of the weekend.
The next RS event coming up is in North Dublin, where Rush SC will be playing host to the RS Easterns for the 200s and 400s (and an open event for Fevas). Once again a lot of planning is already in place for this, and it should prove another great event not to be missed.
The 2017 RS200 Nationals as part of Cork Dinghyfest,
Racing took place over 3 days from 31st of June - 2nd of July,
A fleet of 22 boats gathered to fight it out for the national title,
Day 1: With 30knots gusting up to 40 at times, the fleet was held ashore, The brave PRO and his team held out until 4pm, when they decided to send the fleet afloat, launching was complete just before 5pm, one was race sailed in high breeze, which lead to plenty of thrills and spills, unfortunately the tide turned against the wind and it was deemed too dangerous to race on the bank, so the fleet were sent ashore to regroup.
Day 2: The fleet was sent out at 10.30am, with a forecast of 18 - 24knots, Four races was the goal for the day, and this was achieved with the fleet making it ashore by 5pm to enjoy the live music, BBQ and pints, After 5 races complete, defending champions Spain/Hughes had a tight grip on the trophy, followed closely by O'Leary/Williamson and Craig/Tyrell.
Day 3: With light breeze forecast in the 10 - 15 knot range and still a swell left from the breeze the previous few days, this left for a much more open racing, with plenty of changes in the top 10 throughout the 4 races. With Spain and Hughes suffering in the lighter breeze, and the lighter crews coming to the front. it was all to play for. some notable prerformances from the Tingles (winning 2 races) and Christopher Bateman and Daniel Hegarty who went on to win the Junior National title.
Luckily the breeze came up for the last race and Spain and Hughes finished off the event with a much needed bulllet, to claim the national title by 2 points over Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson, With Sean Craig and super crew Rosemary Tyrell 1 point back in 3rd.
Junior champions were Chris Bateman and Daniel Hegarty
Female champion Katie Tingle sailing with Brother Jamie
Forty-six boats arrived at HYC for the combined RS 400, RS200 and RS Feva Eastern Championships last weekend. Local interest in the RS Classes would appear to be building, with 8 HYC boats spread between the 3 Classes.
It was a light airs affair. But with expert oversight and thanks to some very efficient management by Rupert Jeffares and the other race management teams, the full complement of 6 races were completed over the weekend.
14 Feva's were in action at the RS Easterns this weekend in Howth Yacht Club. Winds were light on Saturday with Henry Smart and Morgan Devine having a good day at the top of the fleet chased hard by fleet newcomers, Ruth Lacy and Jools Aungier. Sunday morning was looking windless until 11 when the wind filled in and the fleet had 3 great races. Liam and Aidan Donnelly found some extra speed overnight and moved up to 3rd overall, with Ruth and Jools 2nd and Henry and Morgan in 1st place. Very close racing with 5 different race winners and everyone in the fleet showing lots of improvement. Alice and Kate were just pipped for the race win by Marcus and Oscar in race 6. There were lots of other notable results from sailors new to the fleet so well done to all. Sharing the boat park and the race course with the 200s and the 400s is all part of the fun for the Feva sailors and there were lots of happy faces on Sunday evening after racing.
Marty O'Leary & Rachel Williamson showed a clean pair of heels to the fleet in clinching the Eastern Championships, counting 4 wins and a second place. Sean Craig & Lisa Neary finished the event in second place despite the efforts of an RS400 in sabotaging their 3rd race by rounding the leeward mark against the flow of traffic and rafting up with them for a chat. Frank & Kevin O'Rourke from Greystones rounded out the top 3. Johnny Sargent & David Jones sailing under the banner of RCYC won the junior title finishing in 5th place overall with a very consistent series of races.
Alex Barry & Richard Leonard sailed a very consistent series to take the RS 400 Eastern trophy south again. Trailing by two points were Bob Espey & Tiffany Brien with Gareth Flannigan & David Fletcher. Bob and Tiffany took the second place on countback. As usual the 400 class was very competitive with tight racing throughout the fleet, four points separated the top five boats. It was great to see a few new faces giving the RS 400 a try.
The Irish RS class will meet up again in Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on 13th and 14th of May for the Northern Championships.