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9th October 2011

RS Duo Lead Endeavour Trophy

Twenty-year-old James Peters and crewman Alan Roberts are overnight leaders of the 2011 Endeavour Trophy, the UK's champion of champions sailing trophy.

RS200 national champions Peters and Roberts sailed an impressive series in today's testing conditions and lead this champions of champions event by just one point from OK national champion Nick Craig and Toby Lewis.

RS200UKendeavour

Peters and Roberts Lead Endeavour Trophy. Photo: Sue Pelling

Racing, over short-sharp, windward/leeward courses, in the gusty 14-16kt north-westerly breeze, at the mouth of the River Roach a couple of miles down stream from the host club, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, kept the fleet on its toes throughout the day and the level of competition – with national champions from 25 of the most popular dinghy racing classes represented – was, not surprisingly, extremely high.

At just 20 years old, this is Peters' first time at the Endeavour Trophy, which makes his leading performance even more creditable. Chatting as he sailed ashore after a tough day on the water, Peters commented: "We are really happy with how we sailed today. Obviously it is a really tough event with loads of really high quality sailors here, so we were happy to put in some consistent results, and we had really good fun as well. Interestingly we've never sailed a Topper Xenon before but I have to say we are impressed. After five races we feel we are just about getting used to it."

Endeavour veterans Craig (who's won the event four times before) and Lewis, know from experience that with three races left to sail, there's a long way to go. Commenting after racing Craig said: "It was fantastic racing, and we really, really enjoyed it, despite it being such hard work. With five, 45-minute races today, we really 'got out money's worth'. We are looking forward to a bit more wind tomorrow. However, we are going to have to watch young James and Alan though, they are really sailing well. They make us feel like old men!"

Andy Davis and Tom Pygall representing the Merlin Rocket class kick started this year's event in race one today, with some spectacular sailing which pulled them through the fleet from ninth on the second beat an overall race win with Peters and Roberts in second. Competition is so high, however, that even with a 1,5 to count they are still in seventh place.

Stuart Bithell and Christian Birrell – last year's Endeavour Trophy winners – are back again this year, but having each won independent class championships, they are in separate boats. Both talented young helmsmen, it is not surprising to see them both atop the score sheet with just four points between them at close of play today. Bithell, representing the GP 14 class is sailing with Matt Johnson and is lying in third place overall, while Enterprise champion, Birrell, sailing with Sam Brearey is lying sixth.

Scorpion representatives, Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan, notched up some consistent results including a couple of third places, which leaves them fourth place with three races remaining.

The forecast is for the wind the wind to increase tomorrow for the final three races of the series. Race officer, Kim Allen, is keen to get the racing underway as soon as possible at 1030 which means a new Endeavour winner should be revealed by 1500.

This evening, competitors and guests are attending the annual, grand Endeavour dinner at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, and last year's winners, Stuart Bithell and Christian Birrell are giving a speech.

Special thanks to the Endeavour Trophy sponsors which include the following: Topper, Allen Brothers, Calltracks, Hyde Sails, Selden, English Braids, Petticrows, Musto, Noble Marine.

Results (after 5 races, and 1 discard)
1st RS200 – James Peters and Alan Roberts 7pts
2nd OK – Nick Craig and Toby Lewis 8pts
3rd GP14 Stuart Bithell and Matt Johnson 17pts
4th Scorpion – Tom Jeffcoate and Mark Hogan 18pts
5th Osprey – Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff 19pts
6th Enterprise – Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey 21pts

For full results visit: www.royalcorinthian.co.uk/endeavour-championship

Published in Racing
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Blustery conditions formed the backdrop to the Irish RS 200/400 National sailing championships, which took place in Cushendall this weekend. Greystones sailors Simon Herriott and Tom Moran led the RS400 class, while Roy Van Maanen and Glen Reid won top prize in the RS200 fleet.

The championships, which were sponsored by Neil Mathews Architects, saw 18 RS400 boats and 13 RS200s enter. There were five races held over Friday and Saturday, while gusts of nearly 40 knots saw Sunday's races abandoned.

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Local sailors John Lowry and Neil Diamond attempt to right their capsized RS400, while Greystones' Fiachra Etchingham and Eoghan Simpson pass the mark at the RS200/400 National Sailing Championships in Cushendall at the weekend

Roy Van Maanen and Glen Reid from Greystones Sailing Club led the RS200 fleet, bagging three firsts, a second and a third. In second place were Trevor Fisher and Heather King from Royal St George Yacht Club in East Down. And then it was Greystones again, with Sean Cleary and Steven Tyner amassing a first, second, third and two fourth place finishes to end up in third place overall.

Paul McLaughlin and Mick McKinley were first home from the five local crews that took part in the RS400 class, finishing fifth overall.

Gerry and Avril Cannon lifted a prize as the first mixed crew home in the 400s, while Sarah and Ciara Byrne in an RS200 were the first all-woman crew home.

Richard Doig and Dr Michael Hill from East Antrim Boat Club kindly officiated as Race Officer and Assistant Race Officer for the series.

Published in RS Sailing
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Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club has completed its keelboat fixture sponsored by Brewin Dolphin consisting of three fleets; RS Elites, SB3s and Squibs, racing six races over two days. The RS Elites was the joint largest fleet this year made up mostly of local boats and two visiting Elites from Ocean Youth Trust. The Squibs were next in numbers, followed by The SB3s.

RS_Elite_Class_Winners_Simon_Brien_Jack_Brian_and_Ryan_Seaton

RS Elite Class Winners Simon Brien, Jack Brien and Ryan Seaton

Simon Brien on "Kin" was to rule the Elite class, and he found he was going to have to fight for it. On Day one, his brother Mark on "Full Marks" was covering him tack for tack and very little separated them on all three races. John McDowell' "Sea Breezes" [From Carrick] was also on the pace and finished the day one point behind "Kin". Bob Espey and Matt McGovern [Ballyholme] on an Ocean Youth Trust Boat was also consistently at the top of the fleet.

SB3_Class_Winners_Gareth_Flannigan_Ross_Nolan_and_James_Espey

SB3 Class Winners Gareth Flannigan Ross Nolan and James Espey

The SB3 fleet also had it tight, day one saw a battle between Gareth Flannigan on "Splash Gordon" with James Espey and Ross Nolan on board match race with Peter Kennedy on "Ridge Fence" both boats finishing the day on equal points, followed closely by Trevor Darcy and Andrew Vaughan on "Bullet" on 8 points. On the Squibs, Greg Bell was out to flex his mussels on his new Squib "Prodigal" against him was Sam Lyness on "Worm" and Peter Wallace on "Toy for the Boy". The first race went to "Worm" with "Toy for the Boy second and "Prodigal" third, however a later protest was to knock "Worm" of her top spot and allowed everyone else to slide up one place. Race two also went to "Worm" followed by "Prodigal" and "High Flyer" in third. The third race again saw a change in the top spot this time "Toy for the Boy" taking pole. By the days end yet another fleet had two boats tied on points for the top spot, "Prodigal" and "Toy". Sundays racing was postponed for an hour to allow for the wind to fill in, and this was welcomed by many of the competitors due to lots of revelry the night before.

A fresh southerly breeze filled in and allowed Principle Race Officer Neale McCullough to get racing under way. Royal North's Commodore Mike Vaughan took race four in the Elite Fleet with "Kin" second and "Full Marks" third.

The fifth race "Kin" was back to her number one slot with the Vaughan's second and Andrew Allen's "No Match" third. The last race in the Elite fleet had to be seen to be believed as each boat tacked up the beat, each boat having to dip a boat that had dipped them on the previous tack and vice versa, by the top mark an d spreader mark they were bumper to bumper only a few inches separating them they looked like a train!

Eventually Simon Brien's "Kin" took the line honours and the series followed by Mike Vaughan's 64 and John McDowell's "Sea Breezes" in third overall.

In the SB3 fleet the second days racing saw no let up in fierce competition between Gareth Flannigan and Peter Kennedy in the end the series went to Flannigan's "Splash Gordon" with Kennedys "Ridge Fence" one point behind and Trevor Darcy's "Bullet third over all.

Squib_Winners_Greg_Bell_and_Leah_Anderson

Squib Winners Greg Bell and Leah Anderson

Race Four for the Squibs gave Greg Bell his first win of the series with Des Clayton on "Inishmara" second and "Worm" third. All change again for race five this time the Anderson brothers "Born Wild" took the bullet followed by the worm and Gordon Patterson's "Quickstep" third. All was to play for in the last race as the series top three places was wide open.

In the end Sam Lyness won the race and secured him a second place overall. "Quickstep" took second giving them a fourth overall. Johnny Parks "Gizmo" finished third in that race quite satisfactory for the Squib newcomer. But the Series top spot went to Greg Bells "Prodigal" on twelve points one point ahead of "Worm" and "Toy for the Boy" third overall on 16 points.

The Commodore of Royal North Mike Vaughan thanked the sponsors Brewin Dolphin and all those who had been involved in the event, he commented on the extremely close racing in all fleets but especially in his own fleet the
Elites which were extraordinary!

Published in Racing
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8th September 2011

RS Fleets Gather in Cushendall

Sailors from across Ireland and the UK are due to arrive in Cushendall today and tomorrow for the RS 200/400 National sailing championships. The three-day event rounds off Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club's 2011 sailing season, during which the club celebrated its 50th anniversary. The club has also hosted the Topper Ulsters and Flying Fifteen East Coast championships this year, with hundreds of participants taking to the water at the picturesque Red Bay setting.

The RS200 and 400 are modern, high-performance two-man sailing dinghies, with the RS200 suiting lighter and younger crews. The boats have developed a huge following and competitive fleets across Ireland and the UK, with Wicklow's Greystones Sailing Club alone due to bring five 'under 18' boats and more boats for other young people to Cushendall this weekend.

CSBC Commodore John Lowry said: "The RS400s and RS200s are a great fleet, providing very fast and exciting racing. We had them for a competition around this time last year and it was fantastic. With this being the National Championships, we're expecting an even bigger fleet as well as some visitors from across the water. After racing in the evenings, we've lined up some great catering and live music so this should be a great event. As a competitor myself in this type of boat, I'm especially looking forward to it. According to the weather forecast, it looks like sailors will be treated to a wide range of wind conditions this weekend – as well as the Cushendall hospitality that we have become known for."

Published in RS Sailing
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The 2011 RS400 and RS200 Traveller Series draws to a close this weekend with the National Championships taking place at Cushendall Co. Antrim.

Two strong fleets of over 40 boats in total are expected.

In the RS400's Simon Herriott of Greystones SC, who scored some very impressive top ten results in the 86 boat UK Nationals is going to have some notable competition with the recently crowned Irish Fireball National Champions and Cushendall locals Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella rumoured to be entered.

junior_stacker

 Greystones SC is bringing five 'under 18' boats and more boats for sailors in their late teens /early twenties to Cushendall this weekend. The Club's hard work getting kids into fast doublehanders is bearing fruit.  See more on this initiative here. Photo: Sarah Byrne

Also bolstering the fleet is multiple Laser regional champion Paul McMahon, who also has plenty of asymmetric experience from his time in the SB3 fleet. Along with the Irish contingent some of the hotly contested UK fleet may make the trip across.

In the RS200 fleet the season long battle between Greystones rivals Roy Van Maanen and Graeme Noonan is set to continue. But the Wicklow 200's may not have it all there own way, with Clive Coffey and Emily Smith sure to be contention.

Published in RS Sailing
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Questions over the next step for juniors after the RS Feva point to the bigger RS200 writes Feva sailor Ciara Byrne

The RSFeva has become the world's best selling two-person dinghy in recent years with fleets also growing in clubs all over Ireland. It is fast becoming the most popular and widespread choice for teenagers and youth sailors who enjoy competitive, active and exciting sailing.

However many questions were being asked recently at the RSFeva Nationals, held in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, regarding the next step for young, talented sailors who wish to continue racing in large fleets without the difficult transition of transferring from the Feva into a larger, unfamiliar dinghy. This uncertainty has led to many sailors dropping out of sailing altogether, while the remainder have split the fleet into Lasers, the 420/470 or moved on to cruisers.

However these dinghies require a lot of time and effort of getting used to, leaving some sailors frustrated and also, less motivated. To avoid this altogether, there is one simple solution: the RS200.

The RS200 is a spacious, one-design, double-handed, hiking, high-performance dinghy which has developed a huge following at club, circuit and championship level in the UK with a growing fleet in Ireland. A pivoting centreboard and rudder allow easy launch and recovery with a thwart giving the crew a comfortable position for light winds. With the asymmetric spinnaker, similar rigging and a similar design, it can be considered as a larger and faster Feva which makes for an easy changeover and the most logical and simple step up.

The ideal weight for an RS200 is 115-145kg (18-23 stone) which allows people of all ages to sail and race effectively in this dinghy. Ideal for teenagers emerging from the Feva, parents, youths, couples, friends and relatives can also come together which enhances the family and social scene.

Even though the 420 has a larger total sail area, the RS200's asymmetric spinnaker of over eight square metres, with a smoother single line hoist and drop system, similar to the Feva's. makes for a faster boat and requires greater tactical and more exciting downwind sailing. This encourages competitive racing and enhanced racing skills.

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An RS200 at full speed off Greystones. Photo: Fiachra Etchingham

A maintenance free hull, made of lightweight polyester GRP ensures a long competitive life and second hand boats can be in very good condition so that older hulls are without the disadvantage experienced in fleets such as the 420. Furthermore, every hull comes from the same manufacturer giving no subtle advantage to any one boat; therefore racing just comes down to the sailors' tactics, boat handling and general knowledge of sailing and racing.

While the RS200 is not an Olympic class, there are large UK and Irish fleets which are active and competitive. Johnathan Lewis, a UK Feva coach and RS200 sailor, strongly encourages Feva graduates to move into the RS200 as it is an easy transition and makes for fun and exciting sailing. RS200 fleets are strong in Irish clubs such as those in Northern Ireland including Ballyholme, Newcastle and Cushendall as well as Greystones Sailing Club in Co. Wicklow.

Greystones Sailing Club boasts probably the largest asymmetric dinghy fleet in Ireland with fifty five asymmetric dinghies, twenty one of those being RSFevas and the majority of the remainder being RS200s. Recognising the RS200 as the natural progression from the Feva, ages range from fifteen to fifty five across the RS200 and RS400 fleets in the Club, with most of these boats competing in national events in Ireland, and some in the UK and further afield.

RS200heeling

Rounding a mark in the RS200. Photo: Fiachra Etchingham

As fleets build in Dún Laoghaire and Howth yacht clubs, the RS200 is gradually becoming a popular progression from the Feva, and with the RS400 as a follow on boat for larger crews, young sailors can remain involved and spirited in asymmetric racing. The RS200 satisfies a thirst for speed and pace which generates more exciting, competitive and enjoyable sailing for those emerging from Feva fleet.

A Dublin Sailor (who has asked not to be named) has sent us comments on this story:

As one involved in junior and youth sailing at club level, one of the big decisions that faces youths is where to go after junior classes such as Optimists, Toppers, Fevas. Like any other sport, there is a high attrition rate after the age of 14 / 15, especially among girls which is an even greater shame as they can compete on a par with the guys.

We need a class that will keep youths engaged. The 420 & 29er are great boats but require higher levels of boathandling, are much more competitive and tend to attract the top sailors. They also suffer from an inability to match up crews who will stick together - teenagers chop and change all the time and its difficult to race a boat like a 420 / Fireball / 29er wihout a constant crew partnership.

We need a boat/class that:
  1. Enables swapping around of crews without a major impact on the boathandling / teamwork. A sailor's plans for the weekend / event / season are not scuppered because of crewing issues.
  2. Does not need a highly competent crew (e.g. ability to trapeze and fly / gybe a kite etc.) so that sailors can sail with their mates who may not necessarily be top-notch sailors but who can acquit themselves well in a slightly less complex boat.
  3. Has a good mixed social scene which is the most important element of any class, youth or otherwise.
  4. Does not cost the earth in terms of purchase price, is easy on wear & tear on kit (hence replacement & upgrade costs) or does not go soft and become uncompetitive needing a new hull after three to five years etc
  5. Has international competition that is closeby (UK, FR, Bel, Ned etc) for those aspiring to a bit more
  6. Has a motiviated class structure to help grow the class.

The fear is that we are starting out another class that will dilute the current youth class efforts. However I believe that the 420 and 29er will hold their own and continue to attract top sailors with ISAF ambitions.

On the other hand, if we continue to support these we will continue to lose the middle ground (and majority) of young sailors from our sport. Youths are fickle enough and if its too much hassle to deal with all the challenges of getting afloat they just won't bother - sad but true.


The ISA needs to take a lead in this and while its Olympic ambitions are great to see, it will fail the sport as a whole if it does not tackle this gaping need in its portfolio of support.


I believe that the RS200 and R2400 provide the best solution to these challenges. They appear well-built and the manufacturer certainly appears well organised and gets involved.


Looking from outside and without any vested interests (other than the health of junior and youth sailing) the RS's get my vote as a class that can make a radical difference.

Published in RS Sailing
The new marina may not yet be open but recent developments at Greystones harbour means it now has one of the best slipways on the east coast. The new facility was put to good use launching 19 dinghies for this weekend's Open Junior Feva and Asymmetric Regatta at Greystones Sailing Club.

Seven races were sailed and Howth visitors David Johnston and Louise Flynn Byrne emerged clear winners from Dun Laoghaire's Stephen Judge and Patrick Riordan by a margin of 12 points. Full results here.

Published in RS Sailing
Over the weekend of 20 and 21 August, Royal Ulster Yacht Club in Bangor will be hosting two sailing competitions, the RS Elite Irish Championships and the Laser SB3 Northern Area Championships writes Betty Armstrong.  These events, which are sponsored by BT Infinity, will bring together some of Ireland's top sailors to compete in Belfast Lough.

In the RS Elite fleet defending Irish Champion John Patterson with crew David Kelso and Stephen Polly in Momentary Lapse will be up against some of the highest scoring boats from the recent National Championships at the Royal Forth Yacht Club, namely Simon Brien's Kin who finished third at that event and John McDowell's Sea Breezes who came fifth.

RS_ELITE_AND_SB3

John Patterson, David Kelso and Stephen Polly who will be defending their Irish RS Elite title. Credit Thomas Anderson

In the SB3 Class local sailor Peter Kennedy and his crew in Ridgefence will be looking for revenge after Howth's Ben Duncan in Sharkbait beat them into second place at the Western Championships in Galway in June this year. Sharkbait is the boat in form, having won the Best Small Keelboat trophy at the recent Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta when she topped the 33 strong SB3 Class.

Royal Ulster Yacht Club is delighted to bring BT Infinity on board as event sponsor and with their help the event will be "bringing it all together" for two days of great racing.

"It is really a great opportunity for BT Infinity to support the major sailing championships this year at Royal Ulster", says Peter Morris, Consumer Director, BT in Northern Ireland. " Effective communication through the use of the latest technology is at the very heart of our business and as we rollout Superfast fibre optic broadband speeds, not just in Bangor, but across Northern Ireland, slow down, as in racing, just isn't a factor. The best of luck to all the crews and have a safe and successful competition".

Royal Ulster YC also acknowledges the support of North Down Borough Council and Quay Marinas, Bangor Marina in the running of this event.


Published in Racing
It's not just Ireland that has a love affair with this dinghy sailing class, Malta has become the latest country to launch the RS Feva class, with a sixteen boat fleet recently delivered and more expected in the coming months. Following evaluation of boats suitable to provide a pathway from entry level sailing to bigger youth dinghies, the spearhead Maltese Birzebbuga Sailing Club selected the Feva and asked Paul Debono of Fairwind Sailing to become an RS dealer to co-ordinate the orders and import the boats.

Paul Childs, a qualified instructor from RS Sailing, visited Malta to run an initial coaching weekend, helping to set up the boats and introduce the young sailors to Feva sailing techniques. "As usual, the kids were really excited about the Fevas and they had a brilliant time on their first weekend" he reports. "Some of them are clearly already talented young sailors and I reckon we'll see some of them heading towards the top of the class pretty quickly. But the main thing is... they all had fun."

Adoption of the RS Feva class means Malta follows the pathway adopted by an ever increasing number of nations. The Feva can be used for training as well as racing, with the rotomoulded polyethylene construction system giving a durable and affordable boat. Young sailors are attracted by the performance, modern style and asymmetric spinnaker.

The 2011 RS Feva World championships, sponsored by Allen Performance Hardware and Magic Marine, take place in Holland in late July with entries expected to exceed last years 150 boat fleet from as far afield as Hong Kong.

You can find out more information about the growth of the RS Feva class in Malta by contacting Birzebbuga Sailing Club – www.birzebbugasailing.com and full details of the RS Feva can be found at www.RSsailing.com or the International Class Association at www.RSsailing.org .

Published in RS Sailing
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