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Saturday 13th of August saw Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club hosted its first ever dinghy event as the RS200’s and RS400’s competed for “The King of the Liffey” title which was run as part of the club’s annual Regatta.
With a cruise ship occupying the course racing was postponed for one hour. Competitors gladly took the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality and breakfast rolls laid on by the members and staff at Poolbeg, which more than lived up to its welcoming reputation.

Once the large obstacle had departed, PRO Barry O’Neil and his team wasted no time in getting racing under way. The race officer’s briefing emphasized the aim of the event was to pack as many high quality but fun races into the allowable time and he duly delivered on all fronts. The ten knot Westerly breeze allowed for a perfect windward leeward course to be set. The start line located directly in front of the club house was the ideal spectator vantage point to view the action as boats had a beat towards the East Link toll bridge and barrelled their way back downwind to the leeward gate. There was also plenty of head turning from the passing traffic that paralleled the race course only meters from the water.

Given the tight nature of venue crews had to decide, which side of the river to play upwind. Some beats it appeared to favour going as close as helms dared to the North Wall while other times it paid to tack along the Poolbeg marina and take a chance by dodging into the forest of moorings and club boats on the South side of the river, all of which added to the excitement.

As the day went on the number of spectators grew as the Poolbeg Regatta cruiser racer fleet which include a newly adopted class of six Ruffians returned ashore. The cruisers raced in two classes, with smaller boats competing in a round the cans race on Dublin Bay and the larger yachts enjoying a costal “Three island race”, which took in Dalkey Island, The Muglins and Ireland’s Eye.

After nine races for each of the RS classes and the small matter of another sizeable ship on its way up the river, the fun was over on the water at least. With multiple race winners in each class everyone was left guessing how the final scores would tally up. The competitors had lost count long before the finish.

In RS200’s Neil and Maeve Spain had a very impressive day taking six race wins. Aaron Jones and Rebecca Rock had a very solid event to take second. In third place, with a very consistent set of results, were Triona Hinkson and Helen O’Bernie who showed plenty of potential and will definitely be a team to watch in future RS200 events.
In the RS400’s Peter Bayly and Paddy Blakely grew stronger as the nine race series went on and finished with a three point win over Dave Sweeney and John Downey who took second place on count back from Emmet and James Ryan.

With boats de-rigged crews joined in with the Regatta festivities in the Poolbeg club house just in time to cheer on fellow RS400 sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern as they did all proud in Rio. The evening’s entertainment followed a distinctly Rio theme, with an authentic Brazilian Samba Band complete with Dublin Ports first man-made beach installed at the club for the occasion.
A huge thank you to everyone at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club from all the RS teams and to Dublin Port Company who very generously sponsored the event and facilitated the racing to take place amongst the non-stop shipping operations of the port. The talk amongst the RS sailors was of making this an annual fixture.
Below are selection Youtube Clips of the day’s action.

RS200 RESULTS
Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Total Overall
Neil Spain Maeve Spain Howth YC 2 1 1 1 1 (5) 1 1 2 10 1st
Aaron Jones Rebecca Rock Greystones SC 1 2 2 (4) 3 2 2 4 3 19 2nd
Triona Hinkson Helen O’Bernie Royal St George YC 4 3 4 2 (5) 1 4 3 4 25 3rd
Greg Arrowsmith Toby Hudson Fowler Royal St George 3 5 5 (6) 2 4 5 2 1 27 4th
Jemima Owens Peter Naessens National YC (5) 4 3 3 4 3 3 5 5 30 5th
Emer Raferthy Herbie Fowler Royal St George YC 6 6 6 5 6 6 6 DNF DNS 48 6th

RS400 RESULTS
Helm Crew Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Total Overall
Peter Bayly Paddy Blakely Greystones SC (4) 2 2 1 1 1 3 4 1 15 1st
Dave Sweeney John Downey Bray & Monkstown SC (7) 3 4 3 2 2 1 1 2 18 2nd
Emmet Ryan James Ryan Royal St George YC 1 1 3 (5) 3 3 2 2 3 18 3rd
Sean Cleary Luke Murphy Oxford Sailing Club 3 6 1 7 4 4 (8) 5 5 35 4th
Conor Cleary Luke O’Rourke Greystones SC 5 (8) 5 2 6 7 6 3 6 40 5th
Stephen Craig Conor Foley Royal St George YC 2 4 (8) 6 8 6 4 6 4 40 6th
Kevin Brazel Henry Higgins Dungarvan SC 6 5 7 4 7 5 7 (8) 7 48 7th
John Malone Patrick Whyte Mullingar SC 8 7 6 8 5 8 5 7 (OCS) 54 8th

Published in RS Sailing
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Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club hosts it’s first ever dinghy open event as part of their annual regatta. The combined RS fleets, the RS200’s & RS400’s, will race the "King of the Liffey Open Sprint Event" on Saturday the 13th of August. Exciting short course racing will be run on the Liffey opposite the ideal spectator vantage point of Poolbeg Yacht Club. Anyone interested in watching some close racing in the city centre is more than welcome!

Published in RS Sailing

The RS Fleet enjoyed a cracking weekend of racing as Lough Ree Yacht Club played host to the Waterways Ireland 2016 RS Inland Championships last weekend. Race Officer John Leech managed to play the shifty conditions better than most competitors and completed a full programme of six races with winds ranging from sub ten knots to mid-twenties for Sunday’s final blast.

As words don’t do the action justice, check out this video below by Shane Goggin.

Day 1 2016 RS Inland Championships RS400 Video:

Results Summary

RS200’s Top 3 
1st Marty O’Leary & Rachel Williamson 
2nd Neil Spain & Maeve Spain 
3rd Aaron Jones & Rebecca Rock 

RS400’s Top 3

1st Alex Barry & Richard Leonard

2nd Gareth Flanagan & David Fletcher

3rd Emmet Ryan & James Ryan

Published in Inland Waterways

It was a weekend of superb sailing for the RS Fleets in Dublin Bay. Having the season opener in the east at the Royal St. George Yacht Club usually brings out a great fleet and that’s what we had with 42 boats across the three RS fleets at the Championships this year writes David Rose.  Full results are downloadable below as PDF files.

The RS200’s is a class that is heating up considerably this season, with lots of quality sailors already in the fleet and a real injection of fresh competitors in the dinghy park. A few boats are sporting the sharp new design see-through sails, which make the boats look great as well as giving a better view of traffic on the race course. 

The standard in the RS400 fleet has yet again gone up a notch. It is now more like the racing standard at a UK nationals or Europa cup. Our Olympian and multiple Fireball national champion turn Race officer for the weekend Barry O’Neil and his team were impressed by the standard of starting. “It was like Olympic class starting, all boats finding a lane and no mid–line sag. Not much bad behaviour and if the line was not 100% square then it was always going to result in a recall.”

Many thanks go to Barry and his team, including the mark layers giving their time on a bright but cold weekend. The team had to manage large wind shifts, and did so admirably. A new format for the courses was being used for this event. The RS200’s and RS400’s were sharing the same windward leeward, rather than in previous events where the trapezoid course was used for the RS200’s. This was making it hard for the OOD to adjust the course once the 200’s were off. Barry has given feedback already to the classes, and this may result in tweaks for future events.
Michael Keogh provided results and photography at the weekend, and Michael Tyrell was race officer for the RS Feva class, running a separate course inside the harbour.
Thanks go out to club Commodore Justin McKenna and vice commodore Michael Pomeroy and the RstGYC members. The facilities at the George are superb and the fleets really enjoy sailing out of the club. The welcome was extremely friendly and there were many people giving their time both at registration and with the smaller details like helping with trolleys.

Sailing Conditions

Day one was light to medium conditions averaging about 12 knots out of the North. There was a sometimes tricky short chop, and no shortage of oscillation on top of larger shifts that hung about for longer.
Day two had similar shifty conditions, again off the land and this time out of the North West, with more exciting gusts of 20 knots plus at times.

RS400 Easterns Report

What a weekends racing for the 20 top class teams that fought it out for national level honours this weekend. It’s a testament to the quality of the field that there were five different race winners over six races. The runner up for this regatta, was to be two time National RS400 champion Alex Barry with local sailor Conor Byrne as crew this time out. The pair were denied any race win in the series but were still extremely consistent as Alex has been for the last two seasons in the class.
Alex was gracious in defeat in round one of a long season and when asked for his thoughts on the weekend he said, “This weekend was exceptionally tight racing, in a fleet full of talent”.
Day one saw the excellence of MBSC sailors John Downey and Sandy Rimmington. They put out their stall early with a superb 2, 1, 6, on a day where most people had at least one bad result. The score was only bettered by one team and by one point. Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher (BYC) had posted a 1, 2, and 5. Robert Espey and Michael Gunning (BYC) were very well placed also carrying a 3, 11, and 1.
Looking further down the sheet, local RstGYC stars and ex national champion Emmet Ryan and James Ryan were lying ninth, and needed to post some good results. They were to open day two with considerably more form carding a bullet. They finished the regatta stronger than they started moving to sixth overall one place ahead of Corks David Rose and Ian Heffernan in seventh.

RS400 Gareth Flanaga David Fletcher

RS400 Winners (from left) Gareth Flanagan with Commodore Justin McKenna vice–Commodore Mike Pomeroy and David Fletcher

On day two it was Espey and Gunning who showed they mean business with a 3, 2 putting them slightly ahead of the two MBSC boats vying for the title, but it was not to be and after carding a tenth that they had to carry, they dropped off the podium and had to settle for fourth place. Bob said afterwards, “Once you find yourself in the pack it’s very hard to fight back”.
Flannigan and Fletcher are a class act and signed off with a second place to finish a sublime regatta and are 2016 Eastern Champions.
Alex and Byrne were second and John and Sandy took 3rd place this time out.
Chris Penny and Simon Martin had a superb regatta and finished on a high with a win in race six and fifth place overall.
So the early season honours and silverware have headed north with Flannigan and Fletcher, the other top teams will want to ensure they don’t have it all way and successfully pluck the Northern trophy from their grasp next time out.

RS Feva Report (By Elaine Malcolm)

RS Feva winners

RS Feva Winners Henry Start and Morgan Devine with their competitors 

In order to encourage the newer members of the RS Feva class this year, the Eastern’s were sailed on a separate course inside Dun Laoghaire harbour.  The 11 boat fleet, under the capable race officer Michael Tyrrell and his team, had 8 races over the two days. 

Local RstGYC sailors Henry Start and Morgan Devine were to master the conditions and win the event.  They were challenged all the way by newcomers to the class, Tim Norwood and Finn Cleary from RIYC.  The pair had stolen a march, winning three of the four races in light winds on Saturday.

Third place went to Marcus O’Leary and Jeff McGovern who just edged out the all-girl crew of Emily Arrowsmith and Caira Little.  Malahide brothers Liam and Aidan Donnelly carded three third places on Sunday, showing their potential going forward. 

Thanks go to our coaches at the weekend Pheobe Norwood and Meg Tyrrell, who provided plenty of encouragement all weekend. Congratulations to all who competed in the RS Feva Easterns.

RS 200 Report

11 RS200s turned out for the first event of the year, the fleet was more of a “mature” crowd, with lots of couple’s combos. This is an area of huge growth in the fleet, and should marry well with the younger contingent who often miss this event due to study commitments.
One of the new faces in the RS200 was multiple fleet dinghy and keelboat champion Neil Spain, who is sailing with his wife Maeve. Another top sailor out there was Women’s match racing star Mary O’Loughlin, joined by past Irish Olympic flag bearer Ciara Peelo as crew. Unsurprisingly they proved to be very competitive. We were also really pleased to have teams up from Caullan Sailing club, which has a very strong local fleet or RS200s.

RS200 Marty OLeary Rachel Williamson

RS200 Winners Marty O’Leary and Rachel Williamson

On Saturday the fleet enjoyed 3 sharp 48 minutes races on the W/L course. Marty O’ Leary and Racehel Williamson showed their considerable pedigree. Marty was not distracted by being heavily involved in the organisation of the weekend for all classes. The pair put their stall out early and led overnight, to give themselves every chance of defending the title of which they were the holders.
It was very close from 2nd to 5th, with a point separating each team after day 1. Our former RS Fleet chairman Frank O’Rourke (GSC), sailing with college team racer Lisa Smith were the top challengers overnight.
So onto day two and the final 3 races of the championship. Sunday involved more breeze and even tighter racing as teams started to get more aggressive and accurate on the start line. O’Loughlin and Peelo seemed to think they were allowed to start before the competition, but were being a little too keen on two occasions and were duly recalled by the race management in races 4, and 5.
Craig and Cooney from the RStGYC showed some excellent pace and moved themselves up into 2nd overall going into the final race. They were not to go all the way however as the event was already signed sealed and delivered with one to go. Greystones O’Leary and Williamson had delivered another excellent performance which is the norm for this very talented pair who defend their title and remain RS200 Eastern Champions for 2016.
O’Loughlin and Peelo finally decided to start with everyone else in race six. This proved to be a very solid strategy as they have plenty of pace and lead the final race from start to finish. Frank and Lisa worked hard and managed to claw back 2nd place, leaving Craig and Cooney to take bronze a point ahead of the Spains.

See you all at the next event.

Published in RS Sailing

#rs400 – It was a case of perpetual disorientation, but also a high point for Hastings, one of the fleet's main movers and supporters, as he judged the spiralling wind, or Carlingford Kettle, to perfection writes David Cheyne. As those around him thrashed around helplessly, Hastings bore off in a smooth arc, with crew Neil Calvin maintaining perfect kite trim, and scribed a perfect circle, with no adjustments to sheeting angle, truly an incredible sight for all to witness. As the mini tornados spun their way across the lough, availing of the unique local topography, many others did the more traditional 360 rotation, with the rig passing under the boat, and so it came to pass that we had a very odd days racing on Saturday. With a similar South Westerly breeze forecast for the Sunday, many went to bed worried about another day of randomness.

The writing was on the wall for Saturday, as we started the briefing in 20 knots of South Easterly, and finished in 20 knots of South Westerly 10 minutes later. Most relevant question was probably "how deep is it out there?"

The weekend saw the welcome return to battle of 2013 Circuit kings, Dr Bob "Bucky" Espey, and newly engaged Michael Gunning, finally making it back out after a few forays in the SB20 fleet. It was to be fascinating to see how they would fare against all conquering 2014 RS400 champion, Alex Barry of Monkstown, fresh from his win the 1720 Irish Nationals. As seems to be the case from event to event, the calibre of the RS400 fleet becomes ever more stellar, and there cannot have been many more talent loaded one design fleet racing in Ireland, with most of the top 10 being National Champions in many classes, along with resident World top ten 49er and Irish Olympian, Ryan Seaton helming Pretty Boy's boat in the absence of Chunky Ferguson. Figaro competitor and 2013 Irish Sailor of the Year Dave Kenefick, kicked off proceedings with an impressive bullet and looked like he had got himself dialled in quickly in his new boat, but the standard of those around him was quickly evident and he was to have a tough time thereafter, eventually finishing 10th overall.

Diane_Kissane__chases_David_Rose_in_race_4.jpg

Diane Kissane chases David Rose in race 4

Diane Kissane from Howth was another new face to the fleet, borrowing the RNIYC try-it-out boat #510. Typically for the forward thinking RS400 fleet, these RNIYC enthusiasts bought this old boat for about £1500, on EBay I believe, and it has been given the Uncle Liam tender loving care refurb. Diana with crew Finbar Bradley gave the fleet the big thumbs up, and after finishing 13th out of the 31 boat fleet, plan to hit the circuit next year in their own boat, adding yet another National Champion to the list, Diana having been double Irish Optimist Champion in 2005 and 2006.
After a lot of difficult and competitive sailing, going into the final race, there were just three points separating the top 3 of Bob Espey and Micheal Gunning in first from Chris Penny and Simon Martin in second and third placed David Rose and Ian Heffernan, who had won the first race on day two. Just seven points separated first to sixth. This is a clear indication of the quality that we now have throughout the 400 fleet.
Last year the Southern teams were starting to quickly overhaul the established Northern dominance of Espey and Gareth Flannigan, and whilst Flannigan had a mixed event and was to succumb to gear failure after a 2nd place in the Sunday morning opener, the top two slots were to go to the brilliant Espey followed by Olympian Ryan Seaton and Philip Adams, with Ex 400 Irish Champs Emmet and James Ryan two points clear of Rose and Heffernan in third and fourth. Chris and Simon had to settle for fifth.

Other notable performances were from Paul McLaughlin and Mick McKinley in 9th, and a strong showing from George Kingston and Ian McNamee in 7th, taking a split decision over the highly talented, but well past sell by date pairing of DrC and Stevie Kane, who shocked themselves by posting the best total over three races on Sunday (only getting this mention as I am writing the report obviously). Alex Barry, sailing this time with Andrew Lane finished an unaccustomed 6th after being joint leaders overnight.

Other big improvers were Brian Holmes sailing with a completely new crew, progressing nicely and representing the Scorpion fleet of yore, and Peter Bayley getting well in the mix. Sadly, our eldest statesman Liam Donnelly, succumbed to a Mountain Biking injury, and a punctured lung, and wasn't able to race on Sunday, but will no doubt be back to full fighting form for the next one.

So things go from strength to strength in the 400s, with an amazing 31 boats for a regional, and one can only imagine a record turnout for the Irish Nationals 18-20 September at Ballyholme, with about 10 extra teams expected from the UK fleet in what should be the hardest fought of any Irish Championships in 2015.

RS200 and Feva :

In the RS200 fleet, Greystones SC pairing of Aaron Jones and Conor Cleary dominated from the off scoring five straight race wins which allowed them to sit out the final race and be first boat ashore. Ensuring that Jones and Cleary were kept on their toes for the weekend was Meg Tyrell and Katie Noonan from the Royal Irish/Greystones. They scored five 2nd places and a well-deserved win in the final race. In third place was Ciaran & Siobhan Keogh with a great showing representing the newly emerging Cullaun Sailing Club RS fleet.

200_Action_Carlingford.jpg

The RS Feva fleet enjoyed a competitive event with three different race winners all hailing from Dun Laoghaire. The top three boats showed great consistency in spite of the shifty conditions, with none of them scoring worse than a 3rd placing. Coming out on top was Toby Hudson Fowler and Greg Arrowsmith who grew in confidence as the weekend progressed winning the final four races. In second was a very impressive display by Triona Hinkson and Kathy Kelly who managed to hold off the challenge of Clare Gorman and Sarah Fogarty in third.

Published in RS Sailing
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#rssailing – The RS200 has replaced the Topper Argo as the Endeavour Championship boat for the 2015 event to be held 9-11 October at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

The generous support of Topper Sailboats, suppliers of a brand-new fleet of Xenons and Argos for the annual Endeavour Championship for nine years, has come to a natural end, leaving the RS200 to take the role as the new Endeavour boat.

Unlike the Topper Xenons and Argos that Topper Sailboats supplied as ready-to-sail fleets however, competitors for this year's event will need to source their own boat on a charter basis.

Sally Campbell – RS200 class secretary – said the RS class association will be on hand to help however they can: "We are absolutely delighted that the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club has chosen the RS200 for this most prestigious event. We will do all we can to support the organisers and the sailors."

To ensure the racing for this Champion of Champions event remains as fair as possible, RS Sailing will supply each boat with identical suits of new sails and spinnakers, which will be offered at a significant discount to the owners of the boats following the event. In addition, Kingfisher will provide mainsheets and jibs for each boat.

Edwin Buckley, event organiser commented: "We are so grateful for all the invaluable input from Topper over the years. However, we are delighted that the new format will bring exciting changes to the event and we are looking forward to working alongside the RS200 class association, and RS Sailing who are offering support."

Matt Burge, current Endeavour champion said he couldn't think of a better class to replace the Argo: "On behalf of all competitors who raced at the Endeavour between 2005-2014 I'd like to extend a huge thank you to Topper, who through their extreme generosity in supplying identical brand-new boats each year, created the fairest contest of sailing possible between the different dinghy classes.

"The selection of the RS200 for this year's event is a sensible next-best alternative being strictly one-design, widespread (making borrowing one easier) and catering for a relatively wide crew-weight range. They are easy to sail and not overly technical to set-up, so competitors should be able to get up-to-speed relatively fast and negate any advantage held by those familiar to the class."

To assist those unfamiliar with the class RS technicians will also be on hand to help with rigging/set up throughout the Endeavour weekend. There will also be an RS class trainer in attendance.

Given the new format, a demand for suitable boats in the run up to the October event is likely. Plans for chartering therefore, should ideally be made as soon as possible following the completion of individual class championships.

An RS200 open meeting at the Royal Corinthian YC on 26-27 September – two weeks before the Endeavour Championship takes place – could tie in as a good charter handover location.

Published in RS Sailing
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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 – A chilly Easterly breeze in the mid-teens kept the RS fleet on their toes for Sunday's two four lap races. With the unusual wind direction came an unusual course. Well, the same trapezoid course but with starboard hand mark rounding's instead of port.

With right hand turns and the top mark positioned under the East Pier, the first bear away proved to be a bit of a minefield. The RS fleet had to pick their way through capsized Laser and PY masts before figuring out if it was too tight to hoist the kite or not.

In race one there were plenty of lead changes at the front between Alexander Rumball, Sean Cleary and Emmet Ryan in the RS400's. Unfortunately Alexander fell victim to a semi submerged PY mast, with his rudder blade coming off second best. In the end the Ryan brothers edged out Sean Cleary by half a boat length. In the RS200's super sub Graeme Grant of Howth Yacht Club filling in for Marty O'Leary claimed top 200 spot.
With the weather mark moved slightly away from the confused wind zone under the pier, race two settled down quite quickly after the first mark. Sean Cleary led the fleet home with a comfortable win form Emmet Ryan. Graeme Grant again showed the 200's the way but was kept honest throughout the race with Conor Totterdell snapping at his heals until the very end.

Two more weekends of Frostbite racing remain, then the RS classes look forward to joining in DBSC Tuesday night racing. For the coming season DBSC have recognised the huge growth in popularity of the RS200's and RS400's and will be giving and RS's a class start for the first time for the DBSC summer series.

Published in RS Sailing
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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.

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under

#laser – As 40 Laser dinghies enter the last few weeks of typically close racing in the perennial DMYC Frostbite series, dinghy sailors are looking forward to the warmer months, especially after some subtle but significant changes by Dublin Bay Sailing Club writes our Dublin Bay Laser fleet correspondent.

DBSC has been engaged in lengthy discussions with all dinghy classes and there are a few key format tweaks, including two new classes in the shape of the Laser (previously in PY) and the RS 200/400. The idea for Lasers is to focus everybody on Tuesday evenings for club racing, thereby freeing up weekends for other sailing (eg, Laser regattas or other DBSC classes) or indeed for family obligations. Some other DBSC dinghy classes, however, stick with the tried and trusted Saturday plus Tuesday format. Horses for courses and Hats Off to DBSC for a flexible approach.

Download poster below for more details of the new initiative.

But one thing's for sure ; the simple Laser formula is as popular as ever. A perfectly competitive boat is just €2k and the associated costs are very low. The healthy exercise from hiking and working a Laser is catching the Fitness wave too and makes the single-hander a popular lifestyle choice for sailors who also cycle, run or whatever. In anything over 5 knots it's the ultimate full body workout ! In the last 18 months we're also seeing young graduates from the vibrant DL scene for the smaller 4.7 and Radial rigs. How great it is to see them transition into the local racing scene. Many of these younger sailors - like us older types (!) - are inspired by the international exploits of the Waterfront's own Annalise Murphy and Finn Lynch, who can be seen out training on the Bay, using exactly the same equipment as the rest of us.

So....Get that Laser out of the garden, or don't put it away after the Frostbites ! Join us on Dublin Bay for glorious Tuesday night racing and other events highlighted in the attachment. We want to see all ages and ability levels. We'll even lay on some coaching and we'll definitely meet up for a drink after racing each Tuesday.

Published in Laser
Page 2 of 5

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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