#RS SAILING – The RS400, RS200 and RS Feva traveller series kicked off this weekend on Lough Ree Yacht Club.
A brisk North-Easterly blowing down the Lough greeted the RS teams on Saturday morning. The conditions were made tougher with a sharp chop, heaped up by the gusty conditions. Not "ploughing the bow" into the waves was the key to upwind speed. Remaining in full planning mode and keeping the show on the road in the gusts was the order of the day downwind.
Race officer Vincent Rafter and event organiser Donal Herraghty did a fantastic job to squeeze four windward leeward races in on Saturday in anticipation of the gale-force winds that led to Sunday's racing being cancelled. The quick turnaround between races was greatly appreciated by everyone on the water.
In the RS400's former 49er campaigner Robert Espey and crew Michael Gunning from Ballyhome Yacht Club took the top stop. The pair finished level on points with Simon Hutchinson and Trevor Darcy from the Royal North but took top spot with a lower discard. The Royal St George pairing of Emmet and James Ryan finished in third place.
The level of quality in the RS400 fleet has certainly risen with some high calibre additions to the class. The strength of the Northern fleet which had fourteen RS400's competing in the Ballyhome Icebreaker Series this winter was certainly evident in the testing conditions.
In the RS200's it was Sean and Heather Craig from the Royal St George who came up trumps with a perfect score card of four firsts. The battle for second place was tight, with Clive Coffey and Helen Cassidy from Newcastle Yacht Club edging out the Royal St George father and son pairing of Ian and Tom Simington on count back.
In the ever popular RS Feva's the top spot went to Dan and Conor O'Bernie of the Royal St George who piped local Lough Ree sailors Tiarnan Dickson and Caolan Croasdell on count back. Third place went to Blathnaid and Rosanna Cassidy of the Royal St George.
Top three results in each class:
RS400: 1stRobert Espey & Michael Gunning (BYC) 2ndSimon Hutchinson & Trevor Darcy (RNIYC) 3rdEmmet Ryan & James Ryan (RStGYC)
RS200: 1stSean & Heather Craig (RStGYC) 2nd Clive Coffey & Helen Cassidy (NYC) 3rdIan & Tom Simington (RStGYC)
RS Feva: 1stDan & Conor O'Bernie (RStGYC) 2ndTiarnan Dickson & Caolan Croasdell (LRYC) 3rdBlathnaid & Rosanna Cassidy (RStGYC)