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On the weekend of 6/7th May, a total of 28 RS400s and RS200s gathered at Strangford sailing club in Co. Down for the RS Northern Championships, the second event of the year on the calendar with the furthest travelled from Killaloe in Co. Clare. Fortunately for the fleet, they were met with sunshine, 10 knots of southerly breeze and a warm welcome from the host club…. bacon sandwiches included!

Several class stalwarts dusted off their boats after a long winter under covers, while others have been out training/racing more regularly. As there have also been a few new boats and personnel coming into the fleet, it was sure to be a competitive championship. Fresh from a win with "all firsts" at the RS Westerns, Luke McIlwaine/Ryan Wilson were sure to be in the mix; Stephen McLernon had upgraded his ship, now sailing with Edwina Ternan and feeling confident while never discounting Liam Donnelly/Rick Mc Caig. As it was to turn out, multiple boats showed impressive speed over the weekend. Relative newcomers to the fleet of Dan Sheriff/ Dan Corbett also impressed. Except for a windward capsize on the start line during Sunday's racing, one would have thought this pair had been sailing the boat for years!

Race officer Gerry Reilly from the Host Club Strangford Sailing Club and his team did a good job operating with an oscillating Southerly breeze in 8-12 knots both days, making for exciting racing conditions. Strong tides and overly keen racers, knowing that every inch on startline counts in this fleet, made for the early introduction of the Black flag, which quickly put manners on the 26-boat RS400 fleet.

The RS400s go downwind on Strangford LoughThe RS400s go downwind on Strangford Lough at the class Northern Championships for 2023

With shifty conditions and large tidal variations across the course, it was a “snakes and ladders” sort of day. It was extremely close racing at the top, and after four races on Day 1 (3 to count) put, Luke McIlwaine (Newcastle sailing club) and Ryan Wilson (Carrickfergus Sailing Club) in first place overnight (1,2,16,1). They were closely followed by super consistency of Stephen McLernon/ Edwina Ternan of Carrickfergus (4,1,3,2) and Govan Berridge/ David Coleman of Killaloe in third (5,3,5,3) with two races still planned for Sunday.

Following Saturday racing, there was beautiful evening sunshine; multiple debriefs and topics over cold beers and a BBQ hosted by Strangford sailing club. This once again reminded all the competitors how lucky they were to have been welcomed to such a location. Many camped onsite as well, keeping the fun going.

Sunday provided similar racing conditions to Saturday, with a shifty southerly Breeze, big tides and startlines playing a part once again. Race 5, the top 2 finished in that order, with Simon Hutchison/Ben Williams in 3rd place. That being said, going into the last race of the championship, there was everything to play for the overall title in Race 6.

Right from the final race start, Liam Donnelly/ Rick McCaig finished the series with a now trademark Donnelly pin-end start and, subsequently, the race win. Followed in 2nd by Govan/David and the Purdon brothers in 3rd. Notably, the top two in the series were not in the leading bunch as a match race ensued right from the start between McLernon/ Ternan (after some careful maths) and McIlwaine/ Wilson as they held each other to mid-20s around the first windward mark. However, a testament to their speed all weekend, McIlwaine/ Wilson did start making their way back up the fleet (much to the worry of the other boat) coming back to finish with a score of an 8th on their scorecard. Incredibly though, this was only one point off that which was needed to secure the championship, so in the end, the title went to Stephen McLernon/ Edwina Ternan of Carrickfergus Sailing Club, successfully overturning them in the last race.

RS400 Northern Championships winners at Strangford Sailing Club were Stephen McLernon and Edwina Ternan of Carrickfergus Sailing ClubRS400 Northern Championships winners at Strangford Sailing Club were Stephen McLernon and Edwina Ternan of Carrickfergus Sailing Club

On the same weekend, the RS Feva fleet had a mega turnout of 26 boats in Dun Laoghaire, so things are promising thus far in RS fleets in Ireland.

The next event for the RS fleet is the big event of the year, “RS FEST" in Blessington Sailing Club on 23-25th June, which is to cater for all RS400, 200, Feva, Aeros with camping onsite, activities and BBQ nearby at Avon RI. With even more boats expected to be there, including 10 or more from Greystones SC, Dublin, Cork and more, it promises to be an incredible event both on and off the water.

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Last weekend, the RS400 and RS200 fleets descended on Lough Derg for the RS Inlands, hosted by Killaloe Sailing Club (KSC). Despite the October weather, the event attracted the largest fleet of the season. Perhaps everyone was keen to have a good nose around the brand-new facilities, as KSC has just redeveloped their grounds, adding in a clubhouse and boathouse and extending the dinghy park and car park.

With the forecast for Sunday threatening 30+ knot gusts, Race Officer Michael Tyrell scheduled four races on the Saturday.

The 17-boat-strong RS400 fleet kicked off the racing into a challenging southerly beat. Most of the sailors were used to compensating for tides and waves and so had the comparatively novel challenge of fickle lake winds to contend with. The fleet split early as everyone headed to the eastern or western shores to search for the best pressure. Perhaps it was local knowledge that won out in the search for the wind as Govan Berridge and David Coleman of KSC led at the windward mark, a lead they held to the race finish, despite the challenge from Marty O'Leary and Kevin Johnson of Greystones SC, who themselves kept John Downey and Sandy Rimmington from Monkstown Bay SC in third.

The second race was a stand-out victory for Paul Phelan and Alan Leddy of Greystones SC. They practically ran aground on the Tipperary shore before tacking to the mark and consolidating a massive lead that nobody could overhaul. Robbie O’Sullivan and Phil McGlade from Monkstown Bay SC, who had explored the Clare shoreline before, came home to second place, beating Peter Bayly and Paddy Blackley of Greystones SC to third.

Peter Bayly and Paddy Blackley of Greystones SCPeter Bayly and Paddy Blackley of Greystones Sailing Club on Lough Derg for the RS400 end of season event

The third race was another cat and mouse affair, with Bayly and Blackley proving the eventual winners, while the almost inevitable split in the fleet probably gave them huge headaches about who to cover, made slightly easier by O'Leary/johnson breaking their boom clean in half! Berridge and Coleman took second place, with O’Sullivan and McGlade in third.

Killaloe Sailing Club's Govan Berridge and David Coleman were the winners of the RS Inland Championships on Lough DergKillaloe Sailing Club's Govan Berridge and David Coleman were the winners of the RS Inland Championships on Lough Derg

The final race of the day featured the most lead changes, with the nip-and-tuck racing bringing equal measures of satisfaction and stress, as everyone continued to seek the best pressure across the width of the lake. Berridge and Coleman, eventually found the front of the fleet at the final windward mark and held on during the final downwind to pip Bayly and Blackley, while Downey and Sandy took the final placing.

Sunday’s forecast proved frustratingly accurate, and so the results from Saturday stood, with overall winners Govan Berridge and David Coleman taking the trophy to Killaloe. Second place went to Peter Bayly and Paddy Blackley with consistent showing by Robbie O’Sullivan and Phil McGlade earning them third overall.

While it may be obvious that the author wasn’t following the RS200 fleet, Galway City SC’s Alex and Martin Roe scored a series of bullets to take the overall win, with KSC pairing Pat Culloo and Susan Le Mignon coming second. Third place was taken by the Galway Bay SC duo, John Barry and Margaret Cronin.

All competitors, however, enjoyed the KSC hospitality and their new club facilities had a proper commissioning!

Report by David Coleman

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In a year that Ireland has hosted the 505, GP14, Fireball, SB20 World championships, some of the other classes have had a quieter year.

However, the RS fleet has seen some resurgence with boats changing hands quickly already in late summer/autumn with sailors joining fleet for first time and some coming back to join the fleet after a year or two away.

Why sail RS? RS is a forward-thinking sailboat manufacturer, the boats are light, fast and fun, sure to put a smile on your face and a thrill for sailing.

The RS Aero has transformed the game while RS200 numbers thrive as youth/lighter teams come through with as many as 180 boats at UK Nats in Hayling Island August-2022.

The RS400 is the original "modern classic" RS boat. It has a wide weight range that combines power & speed with an asymmetric at an affordable price! Just take a look at this video from RS400 Nationals this year (in champagne conditions in Ballyholme. 

The RS fleet is scheduled to have the final event of the year 8/9 October in the brand new clubhouse of Killaloe SC, Co. Clare for the RS200/400 Inlands. The club already has an established RS fleet, with many more coming from strongholds of Greystones, Blessington and across Northern Ireland expected to travel.

Signup is available for the inlands for anyone thinking of coming, NOR, Entry Page, SIs and Whatsapp Group, all listed on the page with some suggestions for places to stay while Camping etc will be available at the club.

For those not yet with a boat but interested in joining the class, there is a Crew Union Facebook page below (anyone interested can join) and Class website here and the Irish RS200 / RS400 Dinghy Crews' Union (Facebook page)

The AGM is to be scheduled at the end of October and will decide Irish events for 2023.

Already confirmed for 2023 is RS400 Eurocup is the epic venue of Torbole, Lake Garda 29 May-2nd June and UK Nationals Mounts Bay SC 31st July-4th Aug with the same event strongly rumoured to be coming back to Northern Ireland in 2025.

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It looked as if the RS fleets were in for a drenching on the second day (20th) of the Championship event at Ballyholme with torrential rain for the early part of the morning, then the clouds broke, and the sun shone on Belfast Lough. Winds were fresh with lulls at times and a less bumpy sea than Friday, but the breeze took a while to settle in the southwest.

Race Officers were Robin Gray and Sheela Lewis for the two race areas.

In the RS 200 National Championship after seven races Joycelyn Hill and Jenny Lewis of County Antrim YC are firmly in charge with another run of first places in the four races with Alex and Martin Roe from Galway some 5 points behind. Third place is held by the host club’s Martin and Vicky Dews who also represent Donaghadee SC.

In the RS 400 division Bob Espey and Richard McCullough still maintain the dominant place and were only knocked off the top once, and that was in Race 7 by Mikey Ferguson and Philip Adams from the host club. The Greystones pair, Conor Galligan and Evan Smith have hardly anything to play with, being just one point ahead of Ferguson.

Bob Espey and Richard McCullough RS 400 with Robert Hastings and Michael McAlister behind Photo: Simon McIlwaineBob Espey and Richard McCullough RS 400 with Robert Hastings and Michael McAlister behind Photo: Simon McIlwaine

The Aeros, Fevas and 2000s had their first races for the Northern Championships and in Aeros had their first races for the Northern Championship and here Liam Glynn (BYC) leads by three points from Daragh Sheridan of Howth YC counting three firsts to Sheridan’s three seconds. Glynn was began racing in a Topper at which he excelled and has now retired from the Irish Sailing Performance Team. Daragh Sheridan won the Aero Nationals at the same venue in May.

RS Feva fleet Photo: Simon McIlwaineThe RS Feva fleet Photo: Simon McIlwaine

The nine-strong Feva fleet the lead is held by Ross and Ellie Nolan of Royal North of Ireland YC a few miles along the Belfast Lough coast with three wins from four races, with the Ridout family taking second and third places. Matthew and Peter were second and Emily and Annabel third.

Dave Fletcher and Ryan Smith hold a three-point lead in the RS2000s, having counted three bullets with Aileen and Dave Smith lying second with a consistent run of second places.

Racing continues today (21st) at 10.55hrs

Results downloadable below

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The westerly at Ballyholme Yacht Club on Friday which reached 20 knots at times, delivered exciting racing in a bouncy sea for the RS200 and RS400 fleets on day one of the three-day National Championship in Belfast Lough.

It was the County Antrim YC pair, Jocelyn Hill and Jenny Lewis who go into the second day with a one-point lead in the five-strong fleet over the far travelled Alex and Martin Roe from Galway City SC.

Joycelyn Hill and Jenny Lewis County Antrim YC photo Ryan WilsonJoycelyn Hill and Jenny Lewis County Antrim YC photo Ryan Wilson

The fifteen in the RS400 fleet were dominated by the host club’s and event organiser Bob Espey crewed by Richard McCullough who have a comfortable lead of six points. In second slot were Conor Galligan and Evan Smith of Greystones SC and tying on 15 points for third slot were Robert Hastings and Michael McAlister (Royal North and Strangford Lough YC) and Robbie Gilmore and Sam Purdon of SLYC.

Robert Espey and Richard McCullough of BYC Photo: Ryan WilsonRobert Espey and Richard McCullough of BYC Photo: Ryan Wilson

Saturday (20th) sees the second day of the RS200 and RS400 Nationals and the start of the Northern Championships for the RSFeva, RSAero, RS 2000.

Download results below

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The RS Nationals were recently held at Rush Sailing Club. The event included the RS400, RS200, and Feva classes.

Three days of racing were scheduled under David Lovegrove and Harry Gallagher and the Rush racing team. 

Day 1

Friday started light and shifty and took a while for the breeze to settle. After a few false starts with fickle winds racing eventually got underway. Only RS400 and RS200s were racing on Friday. A full programme of three races were conceded with some very tight and competitive racing. In the RS400s it was very close racing at the top with the venerable Robert Espey & Richard McCullough leading by a slender margin of 5 point just ahead of Christopher Eames & Rachel Tilley fresh from competing in the UK RS400 Nationals in second with 6 points, followed by Barry McCartin & Andrew Penney in third on 8 points.

In the RS200s Frank O'Rourke & Rachel O'Leary dominated proceedings with 1,1,2 - followed by David Jones & Rob Keal, Sarah Dwyer & Henry Start, Tadgh Donnelly & Meabh Ryan, and Martin & Vicky Dews at their first event having recently joined the RS200 fleet!

Dying breeze and strong tides made conditions challenging for both the race committee and competitors with up to 4 marks drifting at various stages due to strong tides. 

Barry McCartin & Andrew PenneyBarry McCartin & Andrew Penney in the RS400 Photo: Sean Weldon

Day 2

Day two dawned with the promise of more wind. It didn’t disappoint! The competition was fierce from the start with UFD flags very quickly being deployed for all starts as the battle for position on the line intensified.

In the RS400s Robert Espey & Richard McCullough continued to dominate with two race wins from 4, closely followed by Christopher Eames & Rachel Tilley who secured a race win in the last race where the wind shut down completely at times on the last leg. Paul McLaughlin & Owen McKinley won race three proving that the fleet is tough and competitive and the leaders will have to work hard to stay ahead.

A similar story unfolded for the RS200s with Frank O'Rourke & Rachel O'Leary extending their lead, but not without challengers as Tadgh Donnelly & Meabh Ryan won the first race of the day, and Martin & Vicky Dews won the last race with some impressive “ferry-gliding”/tactical use of strong tide and no wind!

RS Feva racing at Rush Sailing ClubRS Feva racing at Rush Sailing Club Photo: Sean Weldon

The Fevas had their first day of racing with Isobel Bloomer & Oscar Legge keeping their noses in front on countback from Emily Ridout & Annabel Ridout with 2 race wins as both teams were tied on points. Siofra O’Donnell & Saoirse Corry followed in a close third meaning that it was all to play for in the final day of racing. Isobel Bloomer & Oscar Legge continue their strong form after winning the RS Feva Inlands and Emily Ridout & Annabel Ridout are serious contenders after a 3rd place at the RS Feva Northerns.

Day 3

The final day of racing was going to be a challenge - the forecast was not looking great coupled with strong tides in Rush. After an initial postponement ashore a whisper of breeze developed above what was forecast and David Lovegrove and Harry Gallagher pulled the trigger to proceed. One final race was sailed enabling an additional discard for the RS400 and RS200 fleets.

Marty O’Leary & Kevin Johnson secured the win throwing a cat among the pigeons wich might have seen Christopher Eames & Rachel Tilley win the event on countback had they secured the win, so they had to settle for 2nd. Robert Espey & Richard McCullough secured a 3rd ensuring a 2nd National title in a row. Barry McCartin & Andrew Penney had a tough day finishing 6th, but this did not affect their 3rd place finish.

Frank O'Rourke & Rachel O'Leary also had a tough day finishing 6th but this did not change their dominant performance on previous days to secure another National title. Tadgh Donnelly & Meabh Ryan made the best of the conditions to secure a final race win cementing their 2nd place overall. Sarah Dwyer & Henry Start managed to fend of a last-ditch 3rd place finish by David Jones & Rob Keal to secure 3rd place overall on count back, pushing the Cork lads to 4th.

Sarah Dwyer & Henry StartSarah Dwyer & Henry Start Photo: Sean Weldon

Isobel Bloomer & Oscar Legge stamped their authority on the event with a final race win after a disappointing 5th in the last race on Day 2. Ronan Blake-Hickey & Hugh Meagher secured a 2nd to cement a solid 4th place overall. Jane Collins & Noah Doherty from Cullan SC had their 1st podium finish which is great to see different teams securing top spots. Emily Ridout & Annabel Ridout and Siofra O’Donnell & Saoirse Corry had a tough last day but they had both done the hard work on Day 1 to secure 2nd overall and 3rd overall respectively. 



RS400. winners - Robert Espey & Richard McCulloughRS400 winners - Robert Espey & Richard McCullough

1 - Robert Espey & Richard McCullough

2 - Christopher Eames & Rachel Tilley

3 - Barry McCartin & Andrew Penney


RS 200 winners - Frank O'Rourke & Rachel O'LearyRS200 winners - Frank O'Rourke & Rachel O'Leary

1 - Frank O'Rourke & Rachel O'Leary

2 - Tadgh Donnelly & Meabh Ryan

3 - Sarah Dwyer & Henry Start


Feva winners - Isobel Bloomer & Oscar LeggeFeva winners - Isobel Bloomer & Oscar Legge

1 - Isobel Bloomer & Oscar Legge

2 - Emily Ridout & Annabel Ridout

3 - Siofra O’Donnell & Saoirse Corry

Next Events

Marty O’Leary will represent the RS400s in the Senior Champion of Champions event in the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Conor Galligan will represent the RS400s in the Junior Champion of Champion event in Schull. The next event will be the RS Southerns in Baltimore on October 2nd/3rd and the final national event will be the RS Easterns in Greystones on October 23rd/24th

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The RS200, RS400 and RS Feva dinghy classes have published a provisional 2021 racing calendar subject to COVID restrictions.

The year starts at Greystones Harbour with the Eastern Championships on April 24/25 and a month later the three fleets will travel to the Southern Championships at Baltimore Sailing Club in West Cork on May 29/30. 

As Afloat previously reported, the RS class was an early sign-up to Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta for its one-design event from July 2nd.

The full calendar is below:

RS200, RS400 and RS Feva 2021 Fixtures (Provisional)

  • Easterns - Greystones Sailing Club - Dublin - April - 24/25
  • Southerns - Baltimore Sailing Club - Cork- May 29/30
  • Leinsters Dun Laoghaire Regatta - Dublin - July 2/3/4 - 200/400 Only
  • RS Eurocup - Lake Garda, Italy - July 26-30
  • Inlands - Blessington Sailing Club - Wicklow - July 24/25
  • Northerns - Carrickfergus Sailing Club - Antrim - August 14/15
  • Nationals - Rush - Dublin - September 10-12
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As the RS400 fleet comes together on Belfast Lough this weekend, the newly crowned RS200 champion Chris Bateman reviews the recent RS gathering at Galway Bay Sailing Club that provided a weekend of racing in tight competition. 

As Afloat previously reported here, several events were to be run over the three days. RS 400s and Fevas were competing in their Western championships, with the RS200 fleet competing in their National Championships. Two days of racing were scheduled for those entered in Westerns, three days were scheduled for those racing in the RS200 Nationals.

Feva sailingRS Fevas were competing for Western championships honours

It was a grey start to day one of the RS 200 nationals. Cloud and light rain created an authentic scene for the west of Ireland. The sailors arrived early to rig their boats. With a short briefing at 10:30am, the competitors were ready to sail.

A twelve-knot breeze blew down the bay. With a long course set, racing was underway. Taking the win for race one was Conor and Jack Galligan from Greystones SC. Race two was won by Chris Bateman and Atlee Kohl (MBSC/RCYC). With the wind dying slowly, racing became tricky. Jocelyn Hill and Katie Kane from Co. Antrim SC showed good speed, winning the final race of the day. Conor and Jack Galligan sailed well, giving them an overnight lead after day one.

Another dull morning greeted the fleet for day two. The RS 200’s were joined by the 400’s and Fevas, who arrived early to make it in time for the 11 am start. Howling winds blew across the bay, with winds in excess of 25 knots. A one-hour postponement later, and racing was called off for the day.

Day three dawned with much more promising views. A steady 10-12 knot breeze had filled in overnight and racing was sure to go ahead. The competitors had a quick briefing and in no time were on the water. Four races were scheduled, and conditions were perfect.

The RS 400 fleet started first, with 11 boats lining up on the start. Barry McCartin and Andrew Penney (CSBC/RstGYC) took first place in race one of their westerns. The RS 200 fleet started second, and as points were tight the start line was a competitive place. Taking another win was the Galligans. In the Feva fleet, two boats joined the other RS sailors to race in their Westerns.

Race two saw Barry McCartin and Andrew Penney take first place. This was the second of four wins in total (a clean sweep). In the RS 200 fleet, Adam Power and Jack Young (Previous RS 200 nationals winners) took the win, having sailed exceptionally well around the course.

Race three and four were got underway quickly, to finish racing within the time limit. In the RS 400’s McCartin and Penney got two more wins. In the RS 200 fleet, Chris Bateman and Atlee Kohl also clinched two wins, in very tight racing.

The sailors returned to shore, tired but having had a solid day sailing. A few protests later, and prizegiving was underway. In the RS 400 fleet, Barry McCartin and Andrew Penney took first place, winning the Western championships. In second was Chris and Niall Eames (SLYC). In third place was Govan Berridge and David Coleman (Killaloe SC).

For the RS 200 Nationals, it had been tight racing with high competition. Winning the Championships was Chris Bateman crewed by Atlee Kohl (MBSC/RCYC). In second place (a point below) was Conor and Jack Galligan (Greystones SC). In third place was Frank O’Rourke and Emma Hynes (Greystones SC), having sailed fast, and holding a very consistent series.

FrankORourke HynesFrank O'Rourke and Emma Hynes, 3rd place RS 200 Nationals

 The Galligans The Galligan's, 2nd RS 200 nationals

Chris BatemanChris Bateman crewed by Atlee Kohl, 1rst RS 200 nationals

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Strangford Lough is often accurately described as a ‘hidden gem’ writes John McKelvie. While only 30 minutes from Belfast, as you pass the rolling fields and gastropubs of Killinchy, you really aren’t sure what to expect - until you see it from the crest of a hill. 58 square miles of sea lough, over 300 islands, and a comfortable white clubhouse sitting in a bay jammed full of racing and cruising yachts.

26 RS200 teams made the journey from all over Ireland, Scotland, England, and even Guernsey - special mention to Henrik and Georgina who has now been on every ferry on these islands!

Download full results below

A crack race team under Angela Gilmore had been assembled, the competitors were keyed up, and then… nothing. Not a breath of wind on the first day so a decision to postpone was made Some took the chance to visit the sights around the Lough by RIB, while others found solace in one of the many aforementioned gastropubs. They serve Guinness,… certainly enough to dampen some teams’ performance in MJ Gifford’s brilliant pub quiz that night.

The fleet departs from Strangford Lough Yacht ClubThe fleet departs from Strangford Lough Yacht Club Photo: Sarah McKelvie

Saturday had four races in light and shifty conditions. Sophie Mear and David Jessop in 1659 put the schnell into schnellwurst and probably had the legs on the fleet, but overnight leaders were Alex Sutcliffe and Andy Brown. The fleets then sat down together for the famous three-course SLYC Championship Dinner.

Big Sunday brought a sold 20 knots, gusting 25 and more. The RS400s kindly stayed ashore and let the 2s go play. Only faintly terrifying at times - it felt fast downwind and looked even faster in the photos. Most of the fleet managed to get the centreboards out of the water and boats airborne, and those who stayed upright scored well. Alex and Andy had cemented their lead at the top, followed by Jill and Andy Peters, but the final podium step was where the action was, with Charlotte Cotter and SLYC local John McKelvie in 3rd, closely followed by Sophie Taylor and Brendan Lynch, and the 1659 combo likely still to be in contention when discards kicked in.

Ultimately it all came down the final race. Pre-start, 806 and 1546 circled with John driving Brendan down to the unfavoured end of the line. This continued through the first beat and run, but both boats kept popping out at the front of the fleet! Sophie/David recovered well after a bad first beat, and the three boats finished within touching distance of each other, with job done for 1546 who completed the podium and took the RS Northern Championship. Sophie/David claimed 4th overall with Sophie/Brendan rounding out the top 5.

Congratulations to Alex and Andy who sailed a fantastic series and are well deserved 2019 EuroCup champions. Thanks are due to all the members at SLYC who volunteered to make the event so successful - two favourite quotes were, “I don’t want to go home”, and “can we come back here next year?”

Download results below

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The second RS event of season kicked off in 2019 at Strangford Lough YC in Co. Down to host the RS200 Eurocup over four days and RS200/400 Northern championships racing over the weekend. In the 200s this attracted numerous British visitors for racing on Irish shores to make it more interesting and bigger fleets to contend with. It started off a misty morning with not much breeze but shortly after midday it began to clear and the boats all launched. The 400s along with the impressive 200 fleet on the same Windward/Leeward course racing began beside ‘Dead Mans’ rock, hovering over the course with Strangford’s infamous low tide. The first start went off without a hitch highlighting the importance of clean air and matching up the patches of gusts and shifts. The sun also decided to come out to play resulting in one of the warmest days of year! However, On the second lap, the race committee made the call to abandon the race due to wind falling below an acceptable level of 3 knots and a significant wind shift causing an unfair advantage. No favouritism shown to the Strangford local Hammy Baker in his shiny refurbed boat who made a nice gain on the second beat to be in the lead at the time.

Shortly after the wind picked up a bit more and steady enough to race so once some course adjustments made the fleet jostled for position and got away. In this one again McCartin/Penney lead from Baker/Chimney and Team Purdon early on but on second beat Donnelly/McCaig came back into it finishing second in end to McCartin/Penney and first and Penney/Rutherford recovering to 3rd by final downwind. The 2nd race of the day and one general recall later for the 400s the racing got away once allowing bit more even bias to spread boats along line away from the prime position and shiny committee boat of line. The wind had picked up at this stage closer to 10-12knots at times allowing for flat hiking and at-or-close-to planing conditions downwind to make it fun. This start had an individual recall (with the offender making amends going back) and led by the mighty pairing of Stephen McL and Ryan Wilson at the top mark but were caught up by McLaughlin/McKinley and the dynamic duo of Peter Kennedy/Stephen Kane on the downwinds. By the second lap McLaughlin/McKinley got the win with Kennedy/Kane in 2nd surviving a late charge from McCartin/Penney in 3rd. The introduction of dark clouds and an ever-increasing flooding tide meant that big gains were made on boats committing to one side of the course so consistency was proving difficult.

There was no hanging about for the last race of the day with another busy committee end start. The leaders where mixed throughout the race with a big split on first downwind causing the fleet to almost reverse in order at one point but showing great skills McLaughlin/McKinley were once again in lead taking initiative to gybe off to better wind side to build an extending lead with O'Sullivan/McGlade in 2nd and Purdon/Purdon 3rd. On second lap the fleet got tighter once more with plenty place changes last downwind. McLaughlin/McKinley stayed ahead and Purdon/Purdon who got through to second on the last gybe to finish suddenly felt their rudder go right at finish which was very unfortunate. Penney/Rutherford came 3rd. The fleet retired a shore to a great social in the club and catering set up for a championship dinner as part of entry keeping everyone around which was great with music and good fun into the night as the fleets relaxed.

Day 2 woke up to the opposite scale of conditions and with high gusts coming through in the higher 20's region, the decision was made to race one fleet at a time on the course to minimise fleet overlap and potential collisions on a shorter Windward/Leeward course and also to ensure enough rescue cover. The 200s went first to the gaze of 400s from balcony as the sharp gusts caused a few early capsizes and breakages among many top boats retiring many of the fleet early. From this, the decision was made to call-off the 400s from further racing meaning results from Day 1 stood. This meant Barry McCartin/Andrew Penney won ahead of Paul McLaughlin/Owen McKinley and Chris Penney/Jess Rutherford finishing 3rd.

A final thanks here should be left to John McKelvie, the Club committee, Race team, marks, and the (busy) rescue/beach teams that made the event run so smoothly and professionally on all sides. Also, in particular, thank you to all the competitors who made the effort to travel and enjoy the lesser known spoils and toils of Strangford Lough! Many more events on the RS circuit to come with RS Inlands in Blessington 27/28July, RS Westerns in Galway 10/11 Aug, the biggest event of year RS400 UK/Irish Nationals in Royal North 25-29Aug and final one RS Southerns/Dinghyfest in Cork 14/15 Sept.

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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