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In 2019 the RS Elite fleet will travel to Ireland to hold its National Championship as part of the popular Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

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.

Published in Volvo Regatta

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.

Elite natioals winners Mike McIntyre 20181988 Olympic Gold Medalist Mike McIntyre (left) was the RS Elite nationals winner

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.

Elite nationals down wind 2018 tapRS Elites downwind

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.

Published in RS Sailing

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!

Published in RS Sailing

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.

Day 2
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.

Day 3
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.

Day 4 

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!

Published in RS Sailing

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.

Published in RS Sailing

#rselite – Strangford Lough Yacht Club were hosts over the 28th-29th June for the 2014 Cardinal Analytics RS Elite Irish Championships writes Mark Fletcher. This was the first Irish championship to be held outside Belfast Lough, due to the newly established SLYC fleet emerging last year. As an added bonus, the event organizers were able to keep the sun shining all weekend. Racing got underway in light conditions on Saturday, and two of the local boats were so keen off the start line they came back for another look after the gun had gone. Thankfully for these two – and without money changing hands – the PRO Davy Young abandoned the race. Within minutes the wind had shifted left and a great breeze filled in which was to stay for the rest of the day.

Results are available to download below as a jpeg file.

In race one Tiffany Brien on Kin took line honours, closely followed by her uncle Mark in Full Marks and Stephen Polly of Storm in third. The rest of the finishes resembled match races, with nothing separating the remainder of the fleet. Race two was a reversal of race 1, with Mark Brien in Full Marks taking line honours from Tiffany Brien in Kin, and Mike Vaughan locking out the final place on the podium. Yet again the following pack was extremely tight, with gains or losses of 3-4 places being spread over several seconds. After a slight break for lunch Race 3 got underway, and it was local boat Tuppence helmed by Brian Corry to cause an upset by holding off the Briens to take line honours. Despite this being their first event, Tuppence had great speed upwind and managed to get in sync with the shifts to hold on for their maiden win. Kin came in second and Storm rounded off the top 3. With the wind forecast for Sunday not looking too exciting, Davy Young wisely opted to sail a fourth race on Saturday when the wind was with us.

The Full Marks boys managed to stay out of trouble all the way round the course and get clean air – no mean feat in such a closely bunched fleet. Jeff Ralston in Upfront sailed a consistent race to come home in second, with fellow RNIYC boat Sea Breezes II helmed by John McDowell coming in third. By this stage the committee boat were getting tired after having to write all the sail numbers down in quick succession, and it was homeward bound for some beer and the championship dinner. Onshore Mark Brien was able to update the Full Marks fans over the phone of their overnight lead.

We weren't privy to the entire conversation but Mark's reply of "don't sound so surprised" must be a quote of the season. General merriment continued all the way to Daft Eddy's, with the Full Marks boys of Marks Brien, Ennis and McNeill confirming they were in full "regatta mode". Day 2 started with no wind, and those who sampled Gerry Reid's concoction/drink the night before were grateful of the delayed start ashore. At least the sun was still shining. After another large wind shift, Race 5 got underway. John McDowell on Sea Breezes II was fast out of the starting blocks and held on to the lead all the way round the course – despite this race being one of the most shifty and patchy in terms of wind of the whole series.

The Full Marks boys had a "sub – optimal" start, and dug deep to recover to 4th, with Jeff Ralston's Upfront taking second and Stephen Polly on Storm rounding out the top three. Unfortunately time ran out and we didn't manage to fit in the final race, but Full Marks had done enough to secure their first Irish Championship win, having sailed an incredibly consistent and fast series. Kin had to settle for second this time round, and Storm were pushed into third by a point. Second to fifth place overall were separated by only 5 points, and further down the overall results were equally tight. This must have been one of the tightest Irish Championships on record, and with multiple Squib, Dragon, Flying Fifteen, Sonata and Laser II champions gracing the start line, the fleet is highly competitive.

SLYC had donated a perpetual trophy to the best placed travelling boat, which went to Carl Allen's More T Vicar of Edinburgh. It was great to see Carl again, who is always a loyal supporter of the Irish fleet. In the first chapter of his acceptance speech Mark Brien thanked the event organizers, PRO, committee boat crew, mark layers and sponsor for putting on a great event. Having said his thank yous and made a move towards his seat he then commenced the second chapter of his acceptance speech when he proposed that SLYC should host the British Championships in the not too distant future – I'm sure that can be arranged!

Published in RS Sailing

#hyc – A Sportsboat Cup for Irish keelboat classes to be held around Midsummers day and tailored especially for 1720s, SB20s, Quarter Tonners, J24s, RS Elites, Dragons, J80s and J70s, is to be staged for the first time at Howth Yacht Club in north Dublin from 20th - 22nd June 2014.

At this multiclass event each of the sportsboat classes will be given their own start, results and prizes.

The event will incorporate the 1720 European championships as part of the event and there is an expectation of visiting UK and continental crews too.

Racing will be one design with the exception of the quarter tonners and mixed class who will race under IRC. Class rules will apply where applicable.

HYC says any other sportsboat type that has an IRC cert will also be accommodated in a mixed sportsboat fleet.

Howth is using the event to champion its sailing facilities both on the water and ashore at the 'bustling fishing village' venue that is also close to Dublin airport.

The largest club in the country has two cranes, a 300–berth marina, sizeable hardstanding, a large club house with bar, terrace and dining facilities not to mention secure changing and showering facilities

HYC is ideally placed to host this Sportsboat Cup. Car parking, craning, berthing and trailer storage are all included in the entry fee and racing will be organised by top National and International Race Officers.

With no racing starting before 12 each day there will be ample time to freshen up in the morning after the great social that is planned for each evening.

Online Entry available by clicking the HYC advert at the top of the Afloat homepage.

Published in Howth YC

#rselite –  RS Elites from throughout the UK have set sail for the UK National Championships at the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club on Belfast lough in two day's time. 

Steve Powells, helm of 'E,TU' and the RS works boat KISS is reuturning to the lough and several local boats are also looking to make their mark in the fleet with Bangor based 'Storm', helmed by Stephen Polly, enjoying strong results recently. Sailing talent and former Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Brien, came runner up in last year's Nationals at Cowes and is hoping for further success this year.

Other contenders with their eye on the glassware include brothers Mike and Gavin Vaughan in 'Toucan' and 'Anchorman' which sees former Olympian John Driscoll in the hot seat.

The series consists of ten races on Belfast Lough and will take place between Thursday 22nd August and Sunday 25th August.

Published in RS Sailing

#rselite – Northern Ireland's Tiffany Brien, Graham Bailey and Simon Brien have finished second overall at the RS Elite UK Championships in Cowes today.

The RS Elite Class took another significant step forward with this exceptional Championship. The largest fleet in the Elite's young history was peppered with hugely experienced names from across the small boat racing world including a Gold medallist, international and national champions. Hosted by the ultimately prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes and with the whole fleet based in their harbour in front of the Castle, no-one will forget the setting, their welcome and the efficiency with which they ran this regatta both on and off the water.

Day 1 was windy – to the point that highly experienced and amiable (in equal measures) PRO Jonathon Peel stated that "Very few other dayboat classes would have raced at all today". Despite a number of big broaches there was no damage greater than a broken spinnaker pole. Crauford McKeon, Paul Bowen and Rupert Harding in Kandoo III were immediately fast out of the blocks with two wins in the first two races, but a 6th in the final race of the day put them a point behind the ultra consistent Eloise sailed by Andy Jameson, James Grant and Lizzie Vickers with 4, 2, 1. All eyes had, of course, been on the reigning Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Brien in Kin, sailing with her Dragon Edinburgh Cup winning Dad Simon Brien and local star Graham Bailey – and their opening day 2, 9, 2 put them in 3rd.

Day 2 was possibly even more testing with patchy breeze and seven hours afloat due to a delay while new breeze arrived and settled. Kandoo followed a win with a tangle with a fishing pot which put a 35th firmly on their score-card. Impressively, best performance of the day with 5, 7, 2 went to Peter Lister in Pipefish, sailing with blond-in-a-boat Pippa Wilson and David Hales – and loving every nerve wracking minute.

Martin & Amanda Wadhams and Paul Fisk sailing their new boat Kiss came out top on Day 3, leading around the top mark in the first two races of the day and eventually posting 3, 1, 7. Kandoo opened with an 18th after even they could not recover more from a dodgy start and now their pressure was fully on – both discards spent and three races still to go in very tricky conditions. Following up with 2, 1 demonstrated impressive mental recovery... and, we gather, a slap from the crew. This put them at the top of the board going into the last day's showdown.

Defending champions Jono, Lyn and David Brown in Aeolus, lying in fifth overall, led the final race from the outset on Day 4 with Kin in 2nd and Eloise 3rd. Kiss was lying 6th and worked up to 3rd, enough to prevent Aeolus beating them overall. But Eloise dropped places and that allowed Kin to take second overall as the numbers were crunched in all the leading boats, mark by mark.

But the day belonged to Kandoo – they took no risks, rounded the top mark in 8th and climbed to 5th, comfortably good enough to deservedly lift the 2012 National Championship title after showing blistering pace across the wind range.

From the moment RS Elite owner Charlie Egerton-Warburton of the RYS took on the role of 2012 Championship Organiser, the event's success was assured. Charlie and his family pulled it off in such comprehensive style that it will be a tough act to follow. The social programme was relentless – and special thanks should go to Julia E-W who selflessly tested countless Wight Vodka cocktail mixes earlier in the year in the pursuit of the perfect blend for this event. Sponsorship from Crewsaver, Sebago, Nonsuch Bay Resort, Corries Cabin, Paul Newell Sails, Island Ales and countless more Isle of Wight companies ensured the overall prize-giving table was better stocked than Sainsbury's!

So, the RS Elite Class moves forward and the next exciting event on the calendar looks set to be on Antigua, where the stunning Nonsuch Bay Resort have a fleet of RS Elites simply beckoning.

Overall results – top six

1st Kandoo III – Crauford McKeon, Paul Bowen, Rupert Harding 20pts

2nd Kin – Tiffany Brien, Graham Bailey, Simon Brien 25pts

3rd Eloise – Andy Jameson, James Grant, Lizzie Vickers 28pts

4th Kiss – Martin Wadhams, Paul Fisk, Amanda Wadhams 32pts

5th Aeolus – Jono, Lyn, David Brown 34pts

6th Pipefish – Peter Lister, Pippa Wilson, David Hales 41pts

Published in RS Sailing

#rs – Northern Ireland's Tiffany and Simon Brien along with Graham Bailey are in third overall at the RS Elite National Championships with one race left to sail to day in Cowes.

There were more testing conditions on the Solent yesterday, but despite a delay while the wind shifted and settled in the middle of the day, three races were completed as scheduled.

Crauford McKeon's Kandoo team tested their nerves - after their lobster pot issue yesterday were buried at the start of race 7 and simply couldn't find a way back, finishing 18th and using their second discard. This demonstrates how evenly matched the boats are and how easy it is to drop down the fleet. Kandoo came back with 2, 1 to lead the championship with just one race to go - but they cannot afford another mistake so it is far from in the bag.

In contrast Andy Jameson in Eloise has the most consistent series, adding 5, 3, 3 and laying in second overall, two points ahead of Tiff Brien in Kin whose 2, 5, 9 kept them right in touch.

Kiss had the best day, with Martin Wadhams team posting 3, 1, 6 in their new boat to maintain 4th overall going into the last race. The top four all have a chance to win this championship, and there have been races with nearly all of them well back in the pack so the stage is set for the showdown on Sunday morning.

The Class dinner at the Royal Yacht Squadron last night began with Wight Vodka cocktails on the lawn and everyone looking glamorous as they sat down to dinner with a stunning panoramic view across the Solent. None of this could have happened without the sponsorship of Wight Vodka, Crewsaver and a host of support from many Isle of Wight businesses.

Top six with 1 race to go:

1. Kandoo III- Crauford McKeon, Paul Botterill, Rupert Holmes, 15 points

2. Eloise - Andy Jameson, James Grant, Lizzie Vickers, 21

3. Kin -Tiffany Brien, Graham Bailey, Simon Brien, 23

4. Kiss - Martin Wadhams, Paul Fisk, Amanda Wadhams, 28

5. Pipefish - Peter Lister, Pippa Wilson, David Hales, 31

6. Aeolus - Jono, Lyn & David Brown, 33

Published in RS Sailing
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