Displaying items by tag: RS Elite
The six RS Elites entered for Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough now warrant their own class and with three days of the early bird entry left, there is still time for more to join them at the bargain rate.
Among the six are Jeff Ralston’s Upfront from Royal North, last year’s Irish champion as well as the second-placed boat in that event, the host club’s Storm (Polly, Kelso and Gunning). Storm was also the highest-placed boat from Northern Ireland in the National Championship last year at Dun Laoghaire Regatta, at eighth overall in the 31-boat fleet.
At present four of the six Elites are from Belfast Lough, and the others, John McRobert’s Swallow comes from Ballyronan Boat Club on Lough Neagh, and Janice McCrudden’s Bamboozled hails from Strangford Lough YC.
And it’s worth noting that berthing for boats not normally berthed in Bangor’s Quay Marina is included in the entry fee, as is, for the RS Elite class only, cranage. The Race Documents can be found on the Event website
The RS Elite Association is pleased to announce Brewin Dolphin as the Headline Sponsor for the Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix, to be held at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes from 9th to 12th July 2020. The event incorporates the RS Elite UK National Championship and an International Invitational Regatta. It is set to be the largest RS Elite event to date with a projected entry of up to 60 boats, with entries expected from the UK, Guernsey, Germany, Norway, Italy, Australia and the USA.
The RS Elite Class held a highly successful National Championship at the Royal Yacht Squadron in 2012, when there were in excess of 40 entries. Since then, the Class has grown in the UK and internationally. The 2020 Brewin Dolphin RS Elite International Grand Prix will be a showcase for the boat, which is known for highly competitive sailing by top sailors who include Olympic medallists and World Champions. The Class looks forward to returning to the Royal Yacht Squadron, where it can expect superb race management and excellent social events.
Paul Fisk, RS Elite Association Chairman has said: "The Association is hugely appreciative of Brewin Dolphin's generous commitment, which is vital to ensuring the event's success and will go a long way towards building the RS Elite fleet internationally. This announcement will boost the already high buzz of excitement around the event. We look forward to working in close partnership with Brewin Dolphin and the Royal Yacht Squadron to deliver another memorable RS Elite regatta."
The 2019 RS Elite National Championship, held as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, produced a nail-biting finish with the final result not decided until the tenth and last race. Mike McIntyre and crew, sailing RS Elite 76 Foudafafa, retained their title as National Champions despite being tied after nine races with Ossie Stewart and crew, sailing RS Elite 67 More T Vicar. In third place were Paul Fisk and crew in RS Elite 110 Legs Eleven.
Dun Laoghaire proved to be a popular venue for the RS Elites with 14 out of a total of 31 boats taking part making the journey from England. The remainder of the fleet came from the strong RS Elite contingent in Northern Ireland. The competitors were not disappointed. PRO Peter Crowley and his on-the- water team did a generally excellent job in sometimes difficult conditions and the Protest Committee’s handling of a tricky redress hearing was eminently reasonable and fair. On the social side the fleet enjoyed the hospitality of the Royal St George Yacht who hosted an enjoyable class Dinner on the Saturday Night and provided a base for some very entertaining craic and refreshment throughout the event.
Boats were launched by the Royal St George team on Wednesday, July 10th and racing took place from 11th to 14th July. Wind conditions were generally light to moderate with day two (July 12) producing the best breeze of 15-20 knots from the northwest. Winds were lighter on the other days. The wind was particularly tricky on day one with the first race starting in a light and shifty north-westerly breeze which swung by 180 degrees as the sea breeze set in, converting the leeward gate into a windward gate. Wind conditions continued to be challenging throughout the event, particularly on days three and four, with the wind blowing off the land and producing some sizeable shifts.
Racing was highly competitive with sailors from Hayling Island Sailing Club, the original home of the RS Elite, taking the first six places overall. Among the first three, the highest number of first places (four) went to Ossie Stewart’s More T Vicar but, with better discards, Mike McIntyre’s Foudafafa (two firsts) took the championship with an overall 22 points to More T Vicar’s 27, demonstrating the value of consistency throughout the event. Paul Fisk’s Legs Eleven took third place with 38 points having taken first place in races five and six.
Other highlights from the results table included seventh place which went to RS Elite 63 E’tu sailed by Steve Powell from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Steve is the former RS Elite Class Association chairman whose tireless work did so much to ensure the success of the class. He was making a welcome return to the fleet after several years. The highest-placed boat from Northern Ireland was RS Elite 37 Storm sailed by Stephen Polly and crew from the Royal Ulster Yacht Club who finished eighth overall. RS Elite 19 Tuppence sailed by Brian Corry from Strangford Lough Yacht Club, finishing 11th, was the only boat from outside the top three to score a race win, finishing first in race two.
The 2019 Nationals was a milestone event for the RS Elite fleet being the first time the event had been held outside the UK and the first time as part of a larger event. The popularity of the venue ensured a healthy entry with all the fleets in mainland UK and Northern Ireland represented. Outside of the leading group the first boat from Cowes was RS Elite 101 Centurion sailed by Robert Holbrook in 10th place, RS Elite 111 Kin sailed by Tiffany Brien and crew from the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club was 13th and RS Elite 68 Serious Moonlight sailed by Richard Bavin and crew from Royal Burnham YC was 14th.
Class Chairman Paul Fisk commented that the efforts of the regatta organisers, in cooperation with the four yacht clubs, made for a seriously impressive operation that delivered a fabulous event. He also thanked the Royal St George Yacht Club for their wonderful hospitality and for the impeccable handling of boat logistics by their shore team.
The international theme will continue in 2020 where the UK National Championship will be held as part of the RS Elite International Grand Prix, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes.
Results are below
1988 Seoul Gold Medalist Mike McIntyre from the Star Class leads Ossie Stewart (Bronze medalist in Barcelona in the Soling) at the top of the leaderboard.
Both British legends are from the UK south coast at Hayling Island Sailing Club. Indeed, the top seven places in the 31-boat keelboat fleet are all taken by Hayling Island Sailing Club.
The first Irish crew, Stephen Polly, John Gunning and David Kelso, from Royal Ulster Yacht Club, sailing Storm, are eighth overall.
Final races are tomorrow.
Former Olympic champion Mike McIntyre showed why he is favourite to retain his current crown this week as he got his defence of the RS Elite UK National title off to a flying start on Dublin Bay.
The three-hander class, a throwback to the classic designs of the XOD and Swallow, has adopted the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta as championships host with real zeal.
At 31 entries, it is the biggest one-design fleet at the event, toppling this year’s 23 Flying Fifteens from their usual dominant position.
And there’s no shortage of quality among the quantity, either.
Ossie Stewart won bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Games, crewing with Lawrie Smith in the Soling, while Simon Brien, from Cultra on Belfast Lough, is a former holder of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup.
But it was McIntyre – a Star class Gold medallist at the 1988 Seoul Olympics – who laid down the early marker, claiming victory in the first race ahead of Hayling Island clubmate, and current International 14 World Champion, Andy Partington.
He finished the day at the top of the leaderboard, although a second race bullet for Strangford Lough’s Brian Corry, one of a large Northern Ireland contingent in the fleet, promises plenty of cut and thrust in store for the days ahead.
The regatta has been held biennially since 2005 and is the largest regatta in Ireland. This is a new departure for the RS Elites which have traditionally held championships as standalone events in RS Elite clubs.
The Dun Laoghaire Nationals is anticipated to be a very popular event with high-quality racing and race management combined with the traditional RS Elite social scene but with the addition of the facilities provided by Dun Laoghaire’s four waterfront clubs. Friends and family can enjoy the tourist attractions of Dun Laoghaire and the rest of the Dublin area. A large attendance is expected from RS Elite sailors from mainland Britain as well as the fleets in Northern Ireland. Currently, there are no RS Fleets active in the Republic of Ireland.
The Notice of Race is due to be published in the first week of November with a Super Early Bird Entry (where 10% of those entered are in with a chance of having their full entry fee refunded) and an Early Bird Entry which normally runs to 31 March – the full entry fee applies thereafter. Entry fees are expected to be similar to 2017 when the Early Bird fee was €160.00 (approx £140.00) with standard entry €225.00 (approx £200.00) including lift in and out, event berthing and race fees.
Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club hosted the RS Elite UK National Championships over four days last weekend at Cultra on Belfast Lough. The event has added interest for Irish sailors as next year it comes to Dublin Bay for Dun Laoghaire Regatta where it will be rebranded the European Championships.
The Local Club enjoyed, like we all did the glorious weather, with a kind sea breeze to aid very close racing. The fleet of 19 included boats from the host club, Carrick, Bangor, Strangford and the South coast of England with a few past Olympic sailors to add to the competition of the event.
The race officer Ruan O’Tiarnaigh on loan from Ballyholme Yacht Club, did a superb job with the ten race series. It came as a surprise to everyone with the hot conditions that the wind stayed steady for all four days averaging 10 knots. This made for some of the tightest racing ever seen in the RS Elite Fleet, with the daily leaders changing each day.
On the first day(Thursday) was won by Royal Ulster boat “Storm”, helmed by Stephen Polly, they scored two seconds and a filth totalling nine points, three ahead of the next boat from Hayling Island “Foudafafa” helmed by Mike McIntyre on twelve points and Ossie Stewart on thirteen points on his “More Tea Vicar” also from Hayling island yacht club.
A social evening was held on board SS Nomadic, for all the competitors, giving the visitors a glimpse of Belfast Shipbuilding heritage.
On Friday, day two, all the competitors arrived fresh (ish) ready to go for another tough day of three more races. Racing got away bang on time as it did every day. Again competition was tight throughout the fleet. A simple mistake could cost six or seven places.
Today the points were tied for third, with” More Tea Vicar” and “Shaken not stirred“ (Hayling Island) Helmed by Colin Smith both on thirteen points, Royal North Boat “AnchorMan” helmed by Oliver Loughead took second for the day, ten points, with two seconds and a sixth. But the Day went to “Foudafafa” with a very impressive three firsts.
The social on Friday evening included a BBQ, music and Late bar, with much craic, had by all.
On Saturday the penultimate day of racing all competitors arrived with the same disadvantage, sore heads! The scorching sun was not helpful. But despite this the racing was intense, the race committee didn't think it could possibly get tighter, the last race was one of the most completive the committee boat had ever seen or had been part of.
Three more races on the day's schedule, the event was still wide open, with the second discard due to kick in. Saturday’s daily point came down to “Storm” and Brian Corry’s “Tuppence” ( Strangford Lough YC) both on fifteen points on joint third. Second “Foudafafa” on thirteen points and Paul Fisk’s “Legs Eleven” (Hayling Island) on eleven points to win the day. On Shore the fleet gathered for the Gala Event dinner hosted by the events kind sponsors Brewin Dolphin, the competitors and guests enjoyed a sumptuous meal followed by a humorous game, and comedy speeches, by the event director Mark Brien and others. Another late bar licence ensued and the great atmosphere and craic of the venue continued.
Many were hurting on Sunday morning for the last race of the series. Once again racing got off bang on time. Today only had one race so it was easy to calculate the day's points.
Third went to “Shaken not Stirred” second to “Legs Eleven” and the lead boat of the day was Royal North’s “Anchorman” This was a popular win for the fleet as the Sponsors were on board!
The overall results all came down to the final race, it would be safe to say that “Foudafafa” had it in the bag by Saturday evening, however, 2nd to 10th was still open. In Fifth overall “Anchorman”, Fourth,”Shaken not Stirred” Third, “Legs Eleven” Second was the local boat “Storm” and the overall Winner was Mike McIntyre’s “Foudafafa” congratulations to Mike and his crew the new National Champions. Also well done to the two other Hayling Island boats who finished in the top four.
In the prize giving and speeches, Mark Brien thanked the kind Sponsors Brewin Dolphin, the event Team, mark layers and Ruan O’Tiarnaigh for superb race management. Mike McIntyre also thanked the usual suspects, and congratulated the venue Royal North for one of the best RS Elite Nationals so far!!
It would be fair to say with the combination of the blistering sunshine, iconic yacht club location, constant steady breeze, high level of tight sailing, excellent race management and a packed social programme, this event will be hard to top, even by Royal North itself.
Next year the event moves to Dublin for the first time, retitled the Europeans, to be held as part of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. At least 30 Elites expected on the start line for that event.
Carrickfergus on Belfast Lough hosted the RS Elite Championships last weekend. There was strong competition on the start line of a 16–strong fleet. The Current UK Champion Mike McIntyre on Foudafafa was over from England to get the feel of the local waters before the UK National Championships in two weeks time over at Royal North. Other contenders were Tiffany Brien on Kin, Jeff Ralston on Upfront and local Carrick sailor Ryan Wilson on Eclipse.
Day one started with a brisk breeze, Ryan Wilson showed his local knowledge and was quick of the mark, He led for most of the first lap with Foudafafa hot on his heels by Lap 2 very little separated the fleet with the top five boats all in the running for the finish in the short run from the leeward marks to the finish. Foudafafa got the win with Ryan Wilson second and Oli Lochead on Anchorman Third Jeff Ralston fourth and Ross Vaughan on Toucan Fifth.
On Race two a large squall came down the Lough ramping up the wind. Mike McIntyre’s Foudafafa once again stayed on top this time Tiff Brien giving the leader all the pressure on second and the Bangor Boys Stephen Polly on Storm third and Ryan Wilson on fourth.
All was to change for race three the lid had gone light and was coming from the direction of the shore, a correction of the race course and the race got underway, Oli Lochead started very successfully on a port flyer. Ross Vaughan was also up at the top of the fleet, all looked good then the wind stopped playing. After about 10 minutes the breeze picked up from a totally new direction, paying dividends for those at the back of the fleet and upsetting the former leaders. Storm was now in pole position to take the win followed by Jeff Ralston In second Kin in third and Foudafafa in fourth. After Day one Mike McIntyre’s Foudafafa was leading the event, Storm on second and Kin third.
Day two and the competitors not at there best post the championship dinner! But again today's wind was steady. Race four was again tight between the fleet, and the start was key to this race, a boat length misjudgement and your race were over. Foudafafa once again took the line honours, followed by Storm with UpFront third and Ross Vaughan’s Toucan in fourth. At the start of the fifth race, the points at the top were tight. Storm going better today tacking the win followed by Tiff Brien and Foudafafa on third once again Ralston on fourth.
The last race was all to play for and a wee bit of controversy. Tiff Brien was leading this race, however on the downwind leg approaching the committee boat the blue finish flag was hoisted during lap one, (In the sailing instructions you could not sail downwind through the start/finish line while this flag was up) Tiff had to crash gybe sail around the committee boat and lost her comfortable lead. (The flag was later lowered again, oops) Storm took this final race and the Championship on nett points, Mike McIntyre on second although with gross equal points to storm Positions third and forth also had joint equal gross points, after discards Tiff Brien on third and Ryan Wilson on fourth Jeff Ralston fifth.
The UK National Championships are in a weeks time First race Thursday 28th.hosted by Royal North, to have two national championships in such a short period in unusual but great for the fleet! Several South coast English boats are expected, the local boats don't plan to make things easy for them!
After having successfully launched 20 RS Elites with the club crane on Wednesday, the event organisers could breathe a sigh of relief that they hadn’t dropped anyone! Wednesday night consisted of introducing our English visitors to Oysters and Guinness followed by copious amounts of Bushmills Whiskey; thankfully everyone woke up the next morning not the worse for wear.
PRO Davy Young had told the fleet he might avail of the option to run four races instead of the usual three, owing to the forecast for light winds on Friday. With the race area being so close to the club moorings, everyone was able to saunter out at a very reasonable hour. Race one got under way in a moderate southerly, with the gun going to RUYC’s Stephen Polly, John Gunning and David Kelso on board “Storm”, followed closely by Recent Irish Champions “KIN” (Tiffany and Simon Brien, Colin Leonard), and Hayling Island’s Mike and Caroline McIntyre and Simon Childs on board “Foudafafa” in third. The rest of the fleet was extremely closely bunched, which meant missing a shift could cost you dearly.
Race two got underway in a strengthening breeze, and it was the same three boats vying for line honours all the way round the course. This time KIN came out on top, followed by Foudafafa, and Storm in third. For the rest of the fleet, the lay line to the windward mark seemed to be busier than the M25 at rush hour; with those trying to get through on port being relegated to the back of the fleet in no time. Downwind saw the fleet split down both sides of the course; with everyone so close it was those who were able to get a clean track who benefitted most when we all converged on the leeward gates.
The committee boat thankfully gave us all time to get some lunch, but it was then straight into race three. After the committee boat end being jam packed in the previous two races, many of the fleet decided to start farther down the line and get a clean start. RNIYC’s John Driscoll, Hal Catherwood and Stephen Cartwright on “Anchorman” made the most of a pin end start, and quickly built up a small lead over the chasing pack. Foudafafa followed club mates the Fisk’s on “Legs Eleven”, but Anchorman eventually got overtaken by Foudafafa on the beat.
With tired bodies, the fleet mustered for the final race of the day, with the wind decreasing slightly. CSC’s Ryan Wilson and his RS 400 compatriots on “Eclipse” showed the fleet how to make a perfect start, and held on to their lead all the way round the course. What’s even more impressive is the fact this is pretty much a scratch crew who came 4th in the Irish Nationals last weekend. Surely a boat to watch as the championship progresses. Storm and Foudafafa had a battle for second, but Storm pulled through in the end. Once again for the rest of the fleet it was a game of snakes and ladders, with the windward mark lay line being extremely busy.
Overall then, Foudafafa lead by one point from Storm who lie on 10 points, with KIN sitting in third with 15 points. With the fleet so closely bunched, small gains in day two could propel crews up the leader board…. or the reverse could equally happen! The evening meal was held at Daft Eddy’s, where some members of the fleet managed to “fit in with the locals” in traditional Irish attire. Music from the “Folkin eejits” meant the Whiskey and Guinness went down a little too easily for some people! When the band had stopped, the Elite fleet stalwarts continued to entertain themselves, with Hank “the magnificent" Anstey tinkling the ivories well into the wee small hours.
With four races the previous day and various libations at Daft Eddy’s the night before, the fleet was somewhat depleted in numbers. The event organizers decided to split their crew up and enable the visiting boats to get to the start line with a full complement of crew.
Race five started with a couple of boats missing from the start line: race organizers on board T’nT sacrificed their crew to sail on Charlie and Julia Egerton – Warburton’s “Soak Therapy” and “Way to Blue” (it’s a long story…). Having not been physically present at race one, and other crews having a hazy memory of what happened, we have to rely on the results sheet to say that Foudafafa took line honours, Aeolus (Ossie, Cameron and Tom Stewart) second, and Legs Eleven third. Race six got underway with a (very) light breeze from the North. Those on the pin end got the favoured start, and were looking good up the first beat. The Hayling Island boats of Foudafafa, Aeolus, Legs Eleven and Way to Blue (Nick and Kate Peters, with guest crew Mark Fletcher from T’nT) seemed to revel in the light winds, as this bunch lead the fleet round the patchy breeze. The wind became very light on the run, with some Elites deciding to take their jibs down to try and get their kites flying! On the final beat it looked like those who decided to go left made big gains, and only half the fleet finishing inside the time limit. Frustratingly for many – including Soak Therapy – the line seemed mere metres away when they were timed out.
Memories of racing on day three were severely impaired by the class dinner that evening and copious amounts of Whiskey and Scottish dancing… The fleet was greeted by a southerly once again, and it was Foudafafa and KIN who were jostling for the bullet, but it would stay in that order for the finish. Jeff Ralston, Stuart Vaughan and Gerry Reid on Upfront showed the pace we all knew they have, to round out the podium. Foudafafa once again worked the shifts upwind in race two to take another bullet, followed by Legs Eleven and Aeolus. Although the lead bunch had a bit of a gap over the rest of us, the windward mark starboard lay line was tightly congested as the fleet seemed once again to resemble a dog fight with bad tacks or missing a shift costing over 10 places to some unfortunate boats. The final race of day couldn’t come soon enough for many of the fleet, as this was shaping up to be a tight championship all the way down the pecking order – only a few points separated a large portion of the fleet. Eclipse had the perfect committee boat start and were able to tack into clean air. They never looked back for the rest of the race, and sailed the perfect race to score their second bullet of the championship. Previous predictions of their form were obviously well founded! Class Chairman Steve Powell, Donald MacLean and Botty in E’Tu couldn’t quite catch the young guns and had to settle for second place. Aeolus were third, with Way to Blue (and yet another change of crew!) coming in fourth.
The morning after the night before had resulted in an unenthusiastic fleet; fortunately, the wind gods obliged and racing was postponed for an hour. The final race of the championship got underway in light air, and it was RLymYC’s Freebie Knot of the Archibald’s who made the best start by the committee boat and were first to the windward mark. Cheers were heard and the crew were spotted jumping for joy, before they then realized they had to hoist their kite! Foudafafa and Eclipse snuck through by the end, but Freebie Knot held on to lock out the podium. Once again, the rest of the fleet resembled a dogfight, with several places won or lost in a heavily congested beat and downwind leg. Not only this, but overall positions were very tight, so gains or losses were made on this final race of the championship.
Overall then, Foudafafa were crowned the 2016 Cardinal Analytics RS Elite National Champions, with Aeolus second, whilst Storm were only just a few points behind to take third overall, and best local boat. Although the winners had a comfortable margin over the chasing pack, this has possibly been one of the closest national championships in years, with the entire fleet congregating at the windward and leeward marks at the same time. It’s no wonder the Elite is proving to be such a hit with young and old, (former) Olympians and Corinthians alike: racing doesn’t get much closer than this. And the social side of things is equally competitive – with friends and family as crew mates, the après sailing events are always very friendly and welcoming. All in all then, a great event, great boat and great people. We can’t wait for the Nationals to be held at Hayling Island Sailing Club next year!
The RS Elite Irish Nationals has just taken place, hosted this year by Carrickfergus Sailing Club. With brisk conditions and a lumpy sea, Holywood man Simon Brien Championship win was an impressive affair.
There was stiff competition from Stephen Polly, and Mark Brien (Brother of Simon) also Solent boat Mike McIntyre, but Simon on board “KIN” (RNIYC) along with his daughter Tiffney and Oli Loughead had a very impressive 5 wins and one 3rd leaving Kin with a perfect score of 5 after discard. Stephen Polly’s “Storm” (RUYC) finished 3rd overall with John Gunning and David Kelso on board. Hayling Island boat “Foudafafa” helmed by Mike McIntyre tacking second overall.
Carrick ran a very impressive Event, 3 races each day with race management by Ballyholme’s Robin Gray, great social and a taxi service across the Lough to and from RNIYC. Carrick celebrating its 150 years did it in style!
The Irish Elite Nationals was just a warm up for the fleet as the attention turns this week to Strangford Lough where the UK Elite Nationals are being hosted. A strong English representation is expected and competition will be very stiff. For this Event “Kin” will be helmed by Tiff Brien who has narrowly missed out on winning this event in the past, that said some of the Strangford Elites with local knowledge will not make it easy for her. Also Ryan Wilson on “Eclipse” could show good form at this Championship. Wind is expected to be lighter this week.