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#rs400 – Mid–way through the RS400 Eurocup in Carnac, France and Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Alex Barry and Richard Leonard lie fourth overall in the international dinghy sailing championships. The Cork Harbour duo 'pulled it together' yesterday afternoon with a 6,3,1 scored to move into medal contention in the 31–boat fleet.

There were blue skies in Carnac and 12 knots of breeze for yesterday's races.The AP was raised ashore until the breeze filled in at 1pm. The three races yesterday were sailed in a very steady breeze. Three more races are scheduled today and two for Tuesday.

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#rssprint – After watching the forecast fluctuate from a force 7 to a force 2 during the week, the fleet of RS400's were treated to a nice force 3-4 breeze and sunshine on the morning of the RS sprints at the Royal St. George Yacht Club. While numbers were smaller than usual at RS400 open events, the fleet felt more than big enough due to the tight start lines and short courses. The standard of the fleet also remained very high. Every boat in the fleet has had their time at the top including the newest members to the RS400 fleet, Barry McCartan and Connor Kinsella. They are current Fireball national champions and their entrance to the fleet is a shining example of what cyber peer-pressure can achieve. Also making a welcome appearance for the first time in the class was Olympian, Dan O'Grady.

The first 3 races saw the Ryan brothers dominate in tricky conditions with the wind beginning to drop and shift. Race 4 saw Sean Cleary and crew Luke Murphy gain a lead after a tough start. However, the breeze died off completely just before they rounded the leeward mark and the fleet grinded to a halt with the strong tide leading to the race being abandoned.

A steady southerly breeze kicked in 20 minutes later and the fleet began racing again. Races 4 and 5 saw the Ryan brothers take 2 more bullets. As the breeze continued to build, Ross McDonald took over at the front scoring firsts in the final 3 races.

Racing, as usual for the 400's was extremely tight in each and every race. Results were inconsistent for everyone showing how close the competition was. The Ryan brothers finished first. Second was McDonald/O'Grady and third was Paul McMahon and Laura Houlihan who showed great form throughout the event.

Next up is the RS Northerns in Carlingford Lough on the 27/28th of June where large numbers in all fleets is expected!

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#rssailing – To the untrained eye it was business as usual for the RS400 class racing out of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire over the weekend. We had a big and very competitive fleet of 25 RS400's add to this the sight of new sails pouring out of the McCready's sailboats van on the first morning and the scene was set. The expectation of great racing, and a forecast for good wind and sun had everyone excited.

Overall results sheets for each fleet are downloadable below as pdf files.

The fleet's current top names are all well-established now. But look down the fleet at the new names and the general quality of the field and you will know that this event and this season is something special in Irish Sailing. Nobody in the top 12 was a rookie this year and Sean Cleary, defending Eastern Champion and runner up at the Sothern's and for the overall traveler's series last season was to finish up 12th. He was sailing with a new team mate Donal Murphy who had helped him to second RS400 in the local frostbites a few weeks earlier. Sean heads to England for a new job now and he will be sorely missed at Irish regionals. We look forward to following his progress, no doubt at the front of the UK 400 scene. He is expected to re-appear at the Irish Nationals later in the season.
New class member and Ex-helmsman's champ George Kenefick finished 16th overall. He will no-doubt be more competitive as the season progresses, and expressed some frustration at his form, he is one to watch over the season. Ex-Mirror world runner up and Ex-Mirror National Champion Andrew Woodward and crew Michael Walsh on their first outing with fresh sails came in 13th. Of course this is just one event and high quality sailors like Andrew, Sean and George will always find a way to excel in a class, but there is a feeling now in this class that anyone can be outside the top 10 in any race. A notable statistic looking at the results is that only three sailors managed to have all six race results inside the top ten over the Eastern championship weekend.

Now let's talk the business end of the fleet. Coming into this regatta, Alex Barry and Richie Leonard of MBSC/RCYC had been pushed hard for all of the 2014 season, but were an unbeaten pairing in the Irish events they attended together and had taken the travelers title, and Nationals. Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher were of a pedigree that had them likely to compete for top honours, with a history of winning national titles in a variety of classes including the Laser and SB20. Local RStGYC team and Ex RS400 national champion paring of Emmet Ryan and his brother James were together again for their first regional since the 2013 season (James had been on a year of travel).

The Ryan team had been tuning up in the frostbites and it showed, with a great recovery from an average start line position and an opening race win to set their stall out early. They would be competitive to the end, and had they won the last race would have been champions. In the end the Ryan's had to make do with a couple or race wins that contributed to their 3rd place overall. James will be proud of the fact that he clearly has not lost his competitive edge on his travels.
Gareth Flannigan showed why he has about six nicknames mainly describing him as some sort of fish in water as he and David Fletcher had pace to burn upwind and were extremely consistent all event off the start line. Like Ryan he recorded two bullets, but he also managed to keep his other scores in the top 5 and had the sort of regatta dreams are made of.

Alex Barry and Richie Leonard were not going to be easy to beat, and showing their class, after a string of top 3 finishes, the top Irish pairing fought off David Rose and Ian Hef on the last run of the last race to record a bullet and do enough it would seem to take the regatta. As it turned out, a boat that had been disqualified for being OCS on day one had been reinstated (It felt from where I was sitting that a few boats were over on that start) and Alex and Richie were to be denied due to this points change and only by the a countback, having matched Gareth and David's 11 point tally.

This fleet is super competitive and there were just six points separating the 3rd placed Ryan team on 20 points with 5th and 6th placed teams Chirs Penny (Artemis-Racing) and Simon Martin, and David Rose and Ian Hef on 26. Ross McDonald and Dylan Gannon finished 4th just two points behind Ryan on 22, after an excellent regatta. Ross is an Ex-Laser National Champion. So congratulations to Gareth and David sailing out of BYC who are well deserved 2015 RS400 Eastern Champions. Excitement is already building for the Northern champs up next in the regional calendar. Remember for those in the fleet looking to sharpen up their skills, there is a sprint regatta out of the Royal St George Yacht Club on May 9th, for RS200's and RS400's.

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RS Fevas

Sixteen Feva teams turned out to compete for the Eastern title this year. This is an exciting year with a trip to the worlds coming up later in the season. The fleet included two visiting teams from Galway (GBSC), and both fared very well in the event with a fourth for Aaron O'Reilly and David Carberry and a seventh for Brian Murphy and David O'Reilly. Great to see Feva's that are willing to travel and make this class really exciting.

The top three places were all local Dublin bay RSGYC sailors. Triona Hickson and Kathy Kelly won the first two races of the event and finishing just 3 points off the lead in third place could easily have been champions.
Toby Hudson-Fowler and Greg Arrowsmith had an excellent regatta and would finished second on 10 points, just one point behind Tom and Henry Higgins, who took the championship in the last race.
Congratulations to Tom and Henry Higgins who are RSFeva Eastern Champions for 2015.

RS200s

There were many very well attended events last season in Ireland. This season is an exciting one for the RS200's particularly as the fleet welcomes a revamped sail plan that modernizes the boats look and feel.
The turnout for this event was effected by exam season for the younger members of the class, so expect bigger fleets as the season progresses.

The top end of this fleet looked very familiar, as Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson sailing out of RSGYC continues to dominate the RS200 Class in Ireland with a performance including three bullets, two seconds and a third. Marty and Rachel had showed their class before the event, finishing runner up to the Ryans RS400 team in the frostbites.

They were matched this time on points by the every present Ex National champion Sean Craig and Heather King, who would only be second on countback having matched Marty and Rachel this time also on a final point's tally of 7. Frank O'Rourke and Sarah Byrne were eight points back in third, and Luke Murphy and Patrick Cahill had some great moments and finished fourth overall. Luke and Patrick are strong prospects for the future and sail out of RSGYC. Congratulations to Marty and Rachel who are RS200 Eastern Champions for 2015.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – Last Sunday, no one was quite sure what wind to expect with Windguru forecasting a 8-14 knots and the Atlantic charts saying otherwise. Racing got underway in the harbour where the tide was exceptionally high due to the recent ecclipse.

Race 1 got underway in a South Easterly breeze of around 12 knots. The fleet had a clean start and immediately split with Rumball, Emmet opting for the left side and Cleary going for the right side. Rumball and Emmet reached mark a good distance ahead leaving Cleary to play catch up. The racing eventually settled down with Emmet/James crossing the line first followed by the Rumball and Cleary boat respectively after the race was shortened.

The wind was beginning to drop and back whilst waiting for race 2 which was to a starboard rounding course. The line was quite biased to the pin end(now on the right) which led to a bit of a queue to round the pin.

This time, the fleet stayed more compact with the patchy wind not allowing anyone to get too far ahead.

A broken Wing-Wang line saw the Rumball boat retire. Riding on the last bit of wind on the last lap, Cleary closed the gap to Emmet. However, the last phase of the race was to be in slow motion with a nice pile-up at the out-loop leeward mark involving a few Kamikaze lasers fire their way in! Emmet/James finished first just 2 seconds clear of Cleary/Donal!

 

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#RS – A strong gusty breeze scared off more than a few of the usual competitors from the DMYC Frostbite Series on Sunday the 8th of March, and a reduced fleet were left wondering as two o'clock approached whether or not racing was going to happen. The race committee decided to postpone by fifteen minutes to see whether or not the wind was going to drop as forecast, they were proven correct, and set the usual trapezoidal course inside the harbour in an ideal ten to fifteen knots, and due to the postponement, made it slightly shorter than usual, signalling four laps. The start was an interesting affair, with all the RS400s and O'Leary and Willliamson's 200 deciding to fight over the favoured boat end. All their efforts came to nothing however, as a general recall was signalled because the wrong flags were used to start the race!

The restart came off cleaner, with Rumball and Brazel getting a clear start slightly to windward of Cleary, with O'Leary and Williamson having to make a quick tack into clear air.

All boats found the shifty, gusty conditions a struggle and it was Rumball and Brazel's 400 that made it to the windward mark in first position, followed by Cleary and O'Leary being the first 200.

The top reach was a very gusty place, with not too many braving a kite after the first lap, when the breeze decided to come up. The lead was hard fought until the second reach, where Cleary's choice to chance a kite proved costly, as they where dragged to leeward by the 400's large asymmetric and they lost ground to Rumball, who decided not to take the risk. The order of the fleet stayed pretty much static from there on in, with Rumball and Brazel taking line honours, and O'Leary and Williamson being the first RS200 home. All in all it was another ideal day to be racing in Dun Laoghaire, with the sun even choosing to make an appearance a few times!

Thanks to Kevin Brazel for this weeks report and Sean Clery for the video.

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#rssailing – Sunday's RS dinghy DMYC frostbites race felt like the first day spring with clear skies and a gentle force 3 breeze to get us started off which steadily increased as the day went on.

Race one again saw some some congestion on the committee boat end of the start line. However, Cleary/O'Brien combination managed to avoid this and arrived at the windward mark first with the help of a left hand shift. They were closely followed by the Ryan brothers and the Rumball boat. The positions remained the same for the rest of the lap despite traffic from the other fleets. On the next beat, the Ryan brothers and the Rumball boat went right more to the better breeze towards the harbour mouth which saw them overtake Cleary/O'Brien. The Ryan brothers then sailed off into the distance leaving the Rumball boat and Cleary/O'Brien to scrap it out. The Ryan brothers took line honors followed by the Rumball boat and then Cleary/O'Brien.

Race 2, saw the breeze begin to rise quite nicely to the stage where the RS's were planing on the spreader leg. Brian O'Hare and Alice Brennan got off to a good start leading the fleet to the first windward. The Ryan brothers and the Rumball boat eventually got past everyone and began their own match race at the front. The Ryan brothers again finished first and were closely follow by the Rumball boat and followed by Cleary/O'Brien.

Next week promises to be an even better outing with the long range forecast predicting a southerly force 4 and a tropical 9 degrees celsius.

Weekly Mug went to Clodagh Hinkson & Helen O'Beirne in the rs 200 for race 1 and Brian O'Hare & Alice Brennan for race 2.

Thanks to Sean Cleary for this week's report.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – Gifted with a northerly breeze of around 12 knots the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite race committee set a longer than usual trapezoidal course outside the harbour, signalling five laps to the 6  RS 400s and 3 RS 200s that ventured out writes Kevin Brazel.

With a large pin end bias the start was always going to be a combative affair and this was proven to be the case when Rumball and Brazel's attempt at a port tack flyer went horribly wrong, spitting them out the back into the rest of the fleet's dirty wind.

With a strong flood tide the first beat was over as soon as it started, with Rumball making his task harder by picking up a penalty turns. After the madness of the windward mark, the fleet was treated to a long downwind leg in perfect RS conditions. Two boats broke away from the fleet, McDonald and Kingston, with Rumball fighting back into contention with Ryan and Cleary to form a tightly bunched chasing pack. This pack remained with constant changes to the order until Clearly broke away on the "bottom" leg of the trapezoid on lap 3 and unluckily missed out on a huge lift that took Rumball/Brazel and the Ryans into their own match race.

All things remained equal for the rest of the race, with McDonald first, Kingston second, and the Ryans and Rumball following working hard to close the gap.

O'Leary and Williamson continued their dominance of the 200s, having a healthy lead for the duration, followed by the other two boars of Byrne and Totterdell. The heavier breeze really suited the 400s and they were able to get away from the 200s on PY taking the first four places.

Overall the series is still open with three weekends remaining, however Marty O'Leary/Rachel Williamson have an 8 point lead over Emmet and James Ryan, who have a tight hold on second position.

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#rssailing – RS Sailor David Cheyne reports from Day four of Royal North Ireland's (RNIYC) Autumn Series on Belfast Lough.

You know the way you can want something so badly that you can convince yourself it is something entirely different, well that is what happens when you haven't sailed for 4 weeks due to a truculent weather God, and the relaxed kite pop in 15 knots turns out to be an underestimate by about 100% as you nearly shoot out the back of the boat..... Well, after a drifter on the first Sunday and a couple of hurricanes' backsides on Days 2 and 3, racing of a sort got underway at last at RNIYC today, in a rather fruity 15-29 knots of sunshiney gloriousness.

Why would you sail a simple single hander when you can sail something much more complicated and thus amplify the opportunity for snarl ups, as ably demonstrated by Chrs Penney, who arrived late, with no sheets. Once the appropriate strings had been commandeered from a variety of sources, the Irish Champion, taking time out from his intensive youth squad coaching duties (i.e. Boat preparation, racing tactics etc) promptly yotted off to the race area under limited control, due to his tiller extension not being attached to his tiller, really....

Lots of bits fell off today, including Laura O'Hallorahoolahan, from 1230, and the evergreen Ginge from 825, launching himself unnaturally skyward, into a high tariff dive which drew no applause from Trevor D'Arcy, who was probably wondering if getting back into the class again was going to be as simple as it might have been. For some reason the old timers also decided to drop their kite by pulling the pole out of the front of the boat and cutting the launch line.... always carry a sharp knife when big boat sailing – old habits die hard. Slot gaskets were inspected by all, and by some, such as Dr Hutch and Stuart A, repeatedly, despite Dr H's assertion that No More Nails was just as good as the correct glue. Well I can tell you that it doesn't work as well, and my temporary fix using NMN at Mounts Bay finally succumbed to the endless high wind battering we have had since then, to deliver another fine torrent of foamy sea through the middle of my cockpit. Boat preparation is key it seems.

So onto racing, because that was why we were there, albeit those ashore having lunch might have queried what exactly we were all up to. 12-14 ships set out, and in charge if cat herding was as ever, our long suffering Race Kommandant, Gerry Reid. After giving up waiting for all the boats to be the right way up at the same time, hostilities were commenced, with only one boat capsized on the start line as the sequence started (probably a tactic). Entering the fray, rather later than planned, were Charlie and Wendy, hosing in at mach 2, with their pink kite slightly dictating play, demonstrating that it was still pretty windy. Not sure what happened then, as they came third, so presumably got her spun round in double quick time. Boshing upwind in 20+ knots, DrC and Stevie K punched out a few lengths, and approaching the first mark went for a conservative rounding, which was of course, a red rag to our very own Dick Turpin, Uncle Liam, who saw the gap and snuck through to take the lead. Some fishing by DrC allowed Liam to extend quickly, before a game of hunt the leeward mark broke out. The cleverly camouflaged buoy, sea green in colour, was eventually spotted deeper than expected, taking all the excitement out of the run. Well, there was of course the option of sending it and popping a couple of gybes, but that seemed unwise, and everyone bumbled boringly to the bottom of the course. Lap 2 got a bit livelier again, and it all kicked off at the second top turn, as the gauge strained and, as DC went all softy and declined to pull the trigger on the hoist, the lemmings behind all sniffed a chance, as chutes were launched. This prompted Uncle Liam and Johnny O to stack it and send it over the handlebars, followed by everyone else, who seemed to think this was part of the game. A healthy lead thus established, DrC further embarrassed his family by tacking around at the gybe, providing a good view of the swimming competition behind.
As it looked worse than it was, the rescue cavalry arrived, including the Start/Finish RIB, only to discover that everyone was in fact enjoying the communal activity, leaving Dr C to round the last mark, with no line to finish at. True to form, our erstwhile mobile Race Officer reappeared like Mr Ben, as the leaders arrived at the finish, and rewards were handed out to Dr C/ Steve, and then the two lady crew, with Laura and Paul in second, and Charlie and Wendy in third. The rest all bumbled in thereafter, and with Gerry declaring the whole thing unwise, we all headed for shore. Well, we were meant to, only it was too much fun, so kites were hoisted here there and everywhere, as we all, rather unhelpfully, to the safety teams, went for a quick last blast before bedtime. No harm done, and apologies duly offered and accepted by the Race Team, I think.

Day 6, races 2-4, Report

15 races scheduled so far, one completed, things could only get better, and so it came to pass, the sun came out, the wind appeared from a glassy lough, and we were offski. Crew swapping done, leaving Liam to speak to his attorney, we headed off for a jolly good bunfight in the shiftless NE 5-7 knots, albeit too light for any injuries or embarrassing scenarios to arise.

DrC nipped out in Race 1 of the day, and a procession ensued, Darcy in first loser spot, followed by event sponsor Bosun Bob, of the little shop on the corner opposite the Marina, doing a great pre-Christmas deal on ships in a bottle. Not a very exciting race really, but it served to double the achievement to date.

Race two was a bit more of a shuffle, with traffic jams at the bottom mark leading to inversions of order, and some shoddy roundings by most. Darcy snuck through by taking the great circle route round the fence stallers, jumping up 4 spots to take the lead coming to the top for the second time. DrC made some ground and tried to snare the men from Carrick, but missed the catch, momentarily, before managing to poke them up the bum with his pole, and conceded to a quick spin to relieve the impropriety. Bit more shuffling and Paul McLaughlin nipped through to take the first of his two first-loser slots of the day. Darcy rumbled on to take the biggest rosette.

Race three was abandoned half way up the beat, after a 30 degree leftie as the start gun fired confused everyone, and left Cushendall man McLaughlin leading the lopsided fleet in a straight line to the first mark. Some felt this to be the right decision by Gerry Reid, our erstwhile Race Officer, though Paul knew fine rightly it was because he was from Cushendall.

Determined to flick his thumb off the underside of his top teeth at the process, Paul promptly raced into a lead in the final race of the day, and looked to have it in the bag, when a masked man on a galloping horse made an unexpected appearance, riding in to pinch it off him.

The day's top performer was probably Bosun Bob, with some great speed and a very consistent 3,4,4, showing his blue boat has clearly exorcised the demons of his red hull of yore.

Steady Force 4 and blue skies on the cards next Sunday, so bring it on again in a week.

Results sheet downloadable below.

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#rssailing – Sunday 16th dawned bright and breezy, but as the RS fleets launched into Dun Laoghaire harbour, the breeze had dropped right off to a shifty five knots for the DMYC Frostbite Series. The fleet was sent outside for racing, and fortunately the breeze decided to play ball and built to a pleasant 10-15 knots from the North East.

After a short postponement, the rs's were the third fleet to start, with a favourable pin end. The fleet jockeyed to get of the pin, with four boats OCS, Mark Nolan and Heather Craig, Andrew Algeo and Paul Nolan, Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson and Chris helme and Alan Claffey.

Marty and Rachel were the sole boat to turn around and restart and were left to chase the fleet up the first of 5 beats. By the windward mark, the fleet had compressed, with some snakes and ladders up the beat. Marty and Rachel rounded first, hotly pursued by Sarah Byrne.

Up the second beat Sarah Byrne broke into the lead, only to be reeled back in by mark and heather sailing 1015 and Marty and Rachel sailing 1170.

Th final order of the 200s was to be Marty and Rach followed by Mark and Heather only to realise they were OCS, leaving second place to Sarah Byrne, 3rd spot went to Chris and Emily Arrowsmith.

RS400 Fleet

The 6 strong 400 fleet had a battle royale from the off.

After what can only be described as a pin end frenzy of a start - Leg 1 saw Andrew Algeo & Paul Nolan (1335) and Emmet & James Ryan (1339) nip out in front from the left side of the course. These were closely followed by newcomer Rumball, with Kingston and Cleary joining the chase from the right side. The first windward mark saw the 5 frontrunners pop kites almost simultaneously, and peel onto a lively leg 2 in surfable swell. Ryan's hoist resulted in a slightly ripped kite, and Rumball (1143) slipped back to 4th, allowing Kingston to slot into third as the pack settled, and planed on downwind.

The next 3 rounds of the trapezoid course saw position changes on almost every leg. Chased hard by Kingston, Algeo (subsequently scored OCS) hung on to pole position for a good portion of the race. The Ryans gallantly powered on with their ripped kite in 3rd, and managed to keep Alexander Rumball, Sean Cleary (1017) and Brian O'Hare (582) at bay. Kingston & Mcnamee finally managed to reel Algeo in on the third round, and went on to put a good distance between themselves and the fleet over the final 2 laps to take another win in the 400 class and the DMYC mug for the day's racing.

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#rssailing – 13 RS 400s came to the Royal North of Ireland line yesterday, with boats coming from Cushendall, Dublin and Ballyholme. The RNIYC series runs for another six weeks, breaking for Christmas, then starting again for 12 weeks as the 'Frosties'.

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