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The growing RS Feva class in Northern Ireland is still going strong and will have yet another open event next weekend (8th/9th June) when the Northerns will take place at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club at Cultra on the south side of Belfast Lough.

Recently, the Feva UK Nationals in Weymouth was a good hunting ground for the NI competitors. The Ridout family from Ballyholme clocked up great results, with Emily and Annabel Ridout 15th overall and third female boat and Matthew and son Peter finishing 10th overall and second family boat.

There will be racing for under 18 and a Family class with six races over two days. With the forecast kinder than of late, good racing is 'guaranteed' for expected sailors from East Down YC on Strangford Lough, Ballyholme and the host club.

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Ben Greenhalgh comes from a Bangor Co Down sailing family, and he races an RS Feva at Port Dinorwic SC near the Welsh Bangor on the Menai Straits. Ben is the joint winner with Topper sailor, Jess Powell, of the Yachting Journalist Association (YJA) Young Sailor of the Year award.

A boost to the RS Feva Irish Nationals fleet, it looks as though fifteen-year-old Ben and his crew Tom Sinfield (14) along with two other Welsh boats, will make the trip to the other Bangor on the North Down coast in August for the Irish Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club in August.

For Ben’s father, Simon, it’s like a Deja Vue as he used to race Cadet dinghies at Ballyholme in a class coached by his father, David. Simon is now Chairman of the RS Feva Association and says he is encouraging more Fevas from the rest of the UK to travel to Bangor.

BYC Cadets at Pwllheli 1987 Worlds. Simon Greenhalgh front right and David Greenhalgh back leftBYC Cadets at Pwllheli 1987 Worlds. Simon Greenhalgh front right and David Greenhalgh back left

Ben Greenhalgh became a double world champion in 2023, winning the RS Tera World Championships and the RS Feva Worlds.

Glynis Ridout, who is one of the movers and shakers in the local Feva class, says, “This will be a well-attended event with a strong turnout in all three classes - Juniors (under 13), Seniors (18 and under) and Family (parent and child). The Nationals will run alongside the first event in the UK Feva class GP Series 24/25 to be run in Northern Ireland and we are planning a fantastic weekend for the sailors and their families with fun evening events. The combined entries could see 40 or more Fevas on the start line”.

Taster Team racing is scheduled for the Friday (16TH). This will have a separate sign-up and is an optional add-on event, and those taking part do not need to have any team racing experience. Boats will be placed randomly into teams on the day. This event will also have some super prizes.

There will be camping and motor home spaces available for those wishing to base themselves at the club, and a good range of Airbnbs and holiday accommodations will be available nearby.

The event is scheduled for 16th till 18th August, and entries will open in about a month.

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The RS Feva class has been growing steadily in Northern Ireland in recent years, and to the satisfaction of Northern Ireland's Ballyholme Yacht Club, the club will host the Irish Championships, designated a 'GP 1' event, on the weekend of 16th – 18th August. The three-day event will possibly include a day of team racing. Incidentally, RYANI is running an U19 team racing training programme starting next month.

Aidan Pounder, Principal Race Officer, is confident that he and his team will put on an excellent programme of racing out of the club on Ballyholme Bay on the south coast of Belfast Lough, with its wide expanse of virtually tide and hazard-free water.

It is claimed that the RS Feva is the world’s leading double-handed dinghy for youngsters and parent/child teams.

The entries open in about a month, and it is already rumoured that competitors from England will travel to the event.

Expected to race will be home competitors Jessica Dadley-Young and Sally Nixon, as will sisters Emily and Annabelle Ridout and the parent/child duo Matthew and Peter Ridout. East Down YC on

Strangford Lough is hoping to have at least two boats, possibly three at the event and Royal North should also have representation.

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Ten RS Fevas from clubs around Belfast Lough rounded off their season with a Final Fling at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club recently.

After the initial strong wind died down to just in time to allow the event to take place, the fleet of ten boats came to the line, five from Ballyholme, including Kirsty and Rory McGovern, new to the class and five from the host club.

Race Officer Terry Rowan set the course and got three races away without delay. This was a bonus for the fleet to have the experience of three short races and practice at starts.

The Rideout sisters - Emily and Annabelle from Ballyholme, won Race 1, and Matt and Peter Rideout pipped them to the finish line on Race 2. However, the girls got back to win the third race and took the overall prize. Sally Nixon and Jess Dadley-Young from BYC got in three good races with a second and two thirds. Niamh Coman and Ellie Nolan (RNIYC) had their top result of a fifth and two sixths whilst Mum Aileen and son Louis were consistent to finish 4th overall. As the afternoon progressed the wind died to nothing, and the sailors were ably assisted to shore by the rescue crews.

After racing the competitors enjoyed a meal together, everyone being awarded prizes including the youngest helm and crew (Martha Nolan and Cara Coman), newcomers to the fleet (Izzy Stout and Amelie Stevenson) and best capsize (Finlay Pierce and Benjamin Wallace).

Published in RS Sailing

The RS Feva Southern Championships, scheduled for this weekend at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club, has unfortunately been cancelled due to the bleak forecast throughout the weekend.

Saturday's wind in Cork Harbour is expected to increase throughout the day, and Sunday's conditions are predicted to be even worse.

The event organiser, Ewen Barry, expressed his regret over the cancellation and extended his appreciation to the parents and children who had entered, including six boats that had planned to travel from Dublin.

With 23 entries, the event was shaping up to be a great one. Barry assured that all entry fees will be refunded and the organisers are now looking to reschedule the event as a one-day affair during October.

Fourteen boats with a mixture of duos and family crews took part in the East Down Yacht Club hosted RS Feva Northern Ireland championships over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The club is situated on the sheltered shores of Holm Bay on the western side of Strangford Lough and is blessed with acres of room on a very large site, with parking for caravans, tents, cruiser-size yachts and dinghies.

The results were in three divisions, with the Ballyholme YC pair of Emily and Annabel Ridout winning the Youth section with a run of four firsts and a third and they were fortunate to discard an NSC in Race 3. The runners-up in that section, Felix Dion and Lucas Browne, who travelled from the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, also discarded an NSC. Felix and Lucas are well-travelled this season, having finished 11th overall out of 46 in the UK Championships at Pwllheli in Wales earlier. In third slot was the host club pair of Jakub Ozarek and Daniel Long.

Emily and Annabel Ridout leading downwind at the RS Feva Northern Championships Photo: EDYCEmily and Annabel Ridout leading downwind at the RS Feva Northern Championships Photo: EDYC

Topping the Juniors were Sally Nixon and Jessica Dadley-Young (BYC), who finished 20th in the UK Nationals with Niamh Coman and Ellie Nolan of the Belfast Lough club, Royal North runners up, and in third place were Zara Whelan and Polly Jackson representing Ballyholme and National Yacht Clubs.

The Feva Northerns also included a family division, which Matt and Peter Ridout from Ballyholme won with Aileen, Louis and Andrew Smith runners-up. In third was the Royal North pair, Ross and Martha Nolan.

For the six races on a mixture of Triangular and Windward Leeward courses, conditions were very different on each of the two days. Saturday’s three races saw about 14 knots, and Sunday was the opposite with light airs, making the tide harder to negotiate.

Vice Commodore Liam Kelly was pleased that the club rose to the occasion: “East Down YC has always had a strong history of dinghy double-handed sailing. Traditionally, we have used our fleet of Fevas for training – the main, competitive fleets being Mirrors, Wayfarers and GP 14s. Last year, to the club’s welcoming surprise, the RS Feva Association proposed if our club would like to host the Northern Championships, with a more rapid focus on extending the fleet and celebrating junior/youth sailing in double handed sailing. We took it on, and following a gruelling seven months of training that never deterred the enthusiasm of the young sailors or dedicated volunteers, EDYC had four boats race ready for their debut championship. The event itself was wonderful test of our race management skills, commitment from the volunteers around the lough, and a testament to how much our youth sailing had grown”.

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RYA Northern Ireland has issued the Notice of Race and opened entries for the 2023 edition of the RYANI F10 Marine Youth Championships, which will take place on the weekend of 9-10 September.

Following the cancellation of last year’s championships due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, RYANI welcomes back the prestigious event to uncover the Northern Ireland champions across junior and youth sailing classes that include Toppers, Optimists, Fevas and 29ers, ILCA 4 and 6 and a regatta fleet.

Andrew Baker, performance manager at RYANI said: “Our annual Youth Championships is a major event in the youth sailing calendar and for many their first experience of a larger event. Whether a sailor turns up as the favourite to win or it’s their first time on a racecourse, the event really delivers something for all young sailors in NI.

“It is probably the biggest event we run alongside our clubs, at times it can be logistically challenging and demanding on volunteer resources but ultimately demonstrates what can be achieved when everyone plays their part and gets involved.”

RYANI is also excited to announce a new headline sponsor for the event in F10 Marine, an online boat shop that offers a wide range of products for boating enthusiasts and provides quality items to enhance the boating experience and cater to diverse needs.

Damian Goodman from F10 Marine said: “F10 Marine is proud to announce its sponsorship of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Championships, scheduled to take place in September. This significant partnership reflects F10 Marine’s commitment to supporting youth development in the field of sailing and its dedication to promoting water sports in the region.

“By supporting this event, F10 Marine is actively contributing to the growth of the sailing community and empowering young sailors to pursue their passion for the sport.”

On the announcement of the sponsorship, RYANI chief executive Greg Yarnall said: “It is fantastic to have a company like F10 Marine on board to support the RYANI Youth Championships, we would like to thank F10 Marine for their support, and we hope it will be the start of a long lasting partnership between the two organisations that can enable us to further develop sailing and boating in Northern Ireland.”

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

It is 36 years since the father of Ben Greenhalgh, winner of the RS Feva UK Nationals at Pwllheli, raced in the same waters in the Cadet Worlds in a team from Ireland. Simon Greenhalgh from Ballyholme YC was part of a team competing all those years ago before the days of RYA NI instructors and coaches. None of that team won the Worlds, but happily, at least recently, Ballyholme Yacht Club not only had three boats in the 2023 RS Feva Nationals but those three plus one from Royal North and one from East Down made their mark on the overall results.

They were accompanied by Performance Manager and Coach Thomas Nixon, who has been working with the fleet at home.

Racing was in a big fleet of nearly 100 at Plas Heli in Pwllheli in North WalesRacing was in a big fleet of nearly 100 at Plas Heli in Pwllheli in North Wales

Racing in the big fleet of nearly 100 at Plas Heli in Pwllheli in North Wales were the five-strong team from the North. From East Down YC on Strangford Lough were Rose Kelly and Kate Jennings, from Belfast Lough clubs, Ross and Ellie Nolan (Royal North of Ireland YC), and from Ballyholme were Matthew and Peter Ridout, Emily and Annabel Ridout and Jessica Dadley-Young and Sally Nixon.

In the Gold Fleet, Matt and Peter came 3rd in the family class and 19th overall, counting a fifth as best result. Emily and Annabel Ridout, with a fifth top result, were 4th in the Family class (20th overall). Ross and Ellie Nolan from RNIYC were 38th overall, finishing one race at seventh in what was Ellie’s first big event. In the Silver Fleet, Rose Kelly and Kate Jennings from East Down YC were 31st, finishing ninth in their best race, and Jessica and Sally from BYC were 38th, counting a fifth as their top score.

On Days 1 and 2, the competitors raced randomly in four colour groups to produce rankings for the last two days’ racing. The fleet was then ranked into Gold (top 47 boats) and Silver fleet (lower 47 boats) for days three and four.

Team NI at the UK RS Feva NationalsTeam NI at the UK RS Feva Nationals

Conditions varied during the event, but the sun remained consistent. Winds ranged from light and shifty to stronger, no wind, and finally, perfect sailing weather.

RYANI was very pleased with the NI sailors’ results posting on Facebook; “With a fleet just shy of 100 boats, our sailors did a great job and were competitive despite limited previous training. In our new Strategic Aims to Improve Diversity, Re-Imagine Pathways and Maxamise Athlete Potential, double-handed sailing is a critical area of development. We do have good fleet racing for double-handed sailing in NI; however, it has been less so in the youth and junior fleets that historically go down single-handed pathways of Topper / ILCA. It is our mission to have sustainable pathways for these age groups and build them into our Youth Performance Programme. This in turn will not only feed into the established classes in NI but ensure we have the opportunities in place for those aspiring to towards future Olympic class competitions”.

The next big event for the RS Fevas is the Northerns, to be held on the 26th and 27th of August at East Down Yacht Club on Strangford Lough.

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With just over three weeks to go to the inaugural RS Fest hosted by Blessington Sailing Club incorporating the RS200/400 National Championships, the RS Feva Nationals, RS Aeros & RS Teras, we thought it would be good to get a quick update out!

Entries are live and bookable on the all new RS Ireland Website, this website has been constructed to cater for all the RS classes in one dedicated website giving the entire RS Class Associations within Ireland a concise place for all news, information and entry links for each specific fleet! Entry for the Fest which incorporates all these classes is available here. Just find the relevant link for your class below and follow the few simple steps to enter.

Racing will be across two race courses, the 200s & 400s will start their National Championships on the Friday, racing through until Sunday. The Fevas & Aeros on course two kick off on the Saturday and racing Sunday too with the potential for a smaller course for the fledgling Tera fleet depending on take up!

RS FevasRS Fevas

Camping accommodation is available on site in Blessington Sailing Club, however, it is booking up fast, even more of an incentive to get your entries in sooner rather than later! Blessington Sailing Club always cater excellently for camping on site… Coffee, showers & good vibes guaranteed!

RS AeroRS Aero

The Avon resort is booked for Saturday night craic and entertainment for all the classes. Meal and drink vouchers will be provided, and within their food court, there is plenty on offer from the Big Blue Pizza Bus, Big Dog Burgers, Sweet Churros, Brew Twenty one and an outdoor Bar! For all the info, have a look here. The Avon Food Court has a marvellous selection of premium sweet & savoury food trucks to choose from. Take your pick and fill your belly while you take in panoramic views of the lake. See you at The Food Court! 

Local RS agents who are supporting the event, Kenny and his team have some great prizes available to raffle off with all proceeds going to the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea. Rumour has it that sails, clothing and boat parts are up for grabs, however you have to be there to win! Kenny & His team will be on hand all weekend to keep boats on the water with a trailer full of spares, tools, ropes, sails etc all there to keep the fleet on the water.

Charter boats are available for all classes, Feva, 200, 400, Aero & Tera. However pre booking at least 5 days in advance is essential as boats would need to be transported, rigged etc. Please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] if you require a boat!

Don’t forget to book in now for this fantastic weekend of RS Sailing at Blessington Lakes Sailing Club!

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Thirty entries from all over Ireland kicked off the RS Feva circuit hosted by Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire at the weekend.

Sailors from Mullochmore, Ballyholme, Howth and Greystones competed alongside Dun Laoghaire entrants in light and variable conditions, which freshened up to close on 20knts on the second day of racing.

Race Officer Michael Tyrrell delivered a six-race championship, with many competitors racing in tricky Dublin Bay conditions for the first time.

Three fleets battled it out for podium positions in each fleet, and there were additional prizes for best newcomer, furthest travelled, and resilience on the water.

Emily and her sister Annabel Ridout from Ballyholme led the gold fleet with five first places and a second. The second prize went to Jules Start and Grace Gavan from RSGYC and the third prize to Jessica Dudley Young and Sally Nixon, also from Ballyholme.

“Great competition, camaraderie and across all fleets!” commented Class Captain David Whelan of NYC.

Heather Wright revealed the new RS Ireland brand and generously contributed loads of prizes and quality merchandise, including McWilliam sailing bags and an RS Feva Racing Jib, which was raffled raising over €300 for the RNLI.

Download results below

Next stop RS Nationals at RS Fest in Blessington on June 24th and 25th.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
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