#RS - Dublin-Cork duo Neil Spain and John Downey put in a commanding performance in the RS400 class at the 2018 Inland Championships at Killaloe Sailing Club — the Co Clare club’s first ever RS event — earlier this month.
The forecast was one of extremes, with big breeze promised on the Saturday and virtually nothing expected on Sunday. PRO Robin Gray sent the fleet out in the building breeze with a prospect of four races in light of Sunday’s forecast.
Indeed, it was an arduous day on the water, with the rescue crews kept constantly busy by many thrills and spills in the windy conditions for 38-strong fleet of 400s, 200s, and Fevas contesting their own class Westerns.
Racing got underway amid gusts of up to 25 knots, and Neil Spain and John Downey (Howth/Royal Cork) stormed away to show the fleet how it’s done.
Chris Penny and Jessica Rutherford (Carrickfergus) were chasing hard but couldn’t disrupt the speedsters in front. However, total dominance was not guaranteed, with relative newcomer Sam Pickering and Matt Lloyd — the latter’s first time crewing in a 400 — securing second in race 2, and they eventually secured fourth place behind Robert O’Sullivan and Phil McGlade.
In the RS200s, Frank O’Rourke and Emma Hynes (Greystones) dominated, revelling in the conditions for three bullets and shaking off a disappointing sixth place in the race 1.
Aaron Jones and Rosemary Tyrell were not far away with three seconds and a first, but were destined to be bridesmaids against Frank and Emma’s consistency.
Greg Arrowsmith and Grace O’Beirne (Royal St George) fought hard securing the last spot on the podium against some fierce competition from Helen Rutherford & Katie Kane.
Positions five, six and seven were secured by the top juniors — Joseph Griffiths and Fionn O’Connor (Baltimore), home pair Thomas Drayton and Tadhg O’Mara, and Rosa Lyden and Jane Bolger (Baltimore) — and it proved exciting to see the younger talent shining through.
In the Fevas, Elysia O’Leary and Lily Dwyer (Royal St George) nearly sailed a perfect series, dominating the first three races with three bullets.
The most intense competition was from the smallest and youngest in the fleet. Three boats were tied on seven points after four races with Lily Thorup and Sibeal Nic Giolla Coda (Blessington) taking second place with a win in the last race. Orla Imhoff and Mila la Mignon (Killable) secured third from local rivals David Schutz and Eanna Coleman.
RS Ireland gave great credit to PRO Robin Gray and the race committee for their hard work with the blustery conditions on the Saturday. Tribute was also paid to the organisers, shore teams and catering for keeping the fleet content.
Special mention also went to the sailors of Killaloe who made up nearly a third of the fleet, with 12 entries across 400s, 200s and Fevas.
This fourth event of the 2018 RS season was sponsored by Lyons of Limerick and Waterways Ireland. The next and final event in the 2018 calendar this year the RS Southerns on 15-16 September at Baltimore Sailing Club.
1st Neil Spain & John Downey (HYC/RCYC)
2nd Chris Penny & Jessica Rutherford (CSC)
3rd Robert O’Sullivan & Phil McGlade
1st Frank O’Rourke & Emma Hynes (Greystones)
2nd Aaron Jones & Rosemary Tyrell (GSC/RIYC)
3rd Greg Arrowsmith & Grace O’Beirne (RStGYC)
1st Joseph Griffiths & Fionn O’Connor (Baltimore)
2nd Thomas Drayton & Tadhg O'Mara (Killaloe)
3rd Rosa Lyden & Jane Bolger (Baltimore)
1st Elysia O Leary & Lily Dwyer (RStGYC)
2nd Lily Thorup & Sibeal Nic Giolla Coda (Blessington)
3rd Orla Imhoff & Mila la Mignon (Killaloe)