Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Kennedy & Kane Top RS400 Winter Series at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

8th December 2021
14 RS400s dinghies are contesting the Winter Series on Belfast Lough
14 RS400s dinghies are contesting the Winter Series on Belfast Lough

The RS 400 Winter series continued to thrive with 14 boats out on a sunny Sunday on Belfast Lough at RNIYC.

As the fleet set off to the race area, a steady 10 knots started to fade and by the start of Race 1 the breeze dropped off and half the fleet were being swept across the line with what seemed like an extra-strong tide.

As the pin end bunch battled for that killer start unfortunately there were two OCS casualties in Trev D’Arcy and Ginge and Brian Homes and Wendy Smith. As the majority of the fleet headed left off the start, they seemingly sailed into a hole which gave the struggling windward end boats battling to make it round the committee boat a much-needed chance.

First to escape the committee boat chaos were Ross and Jane Kearney who managed to tack right and find some pressure which got them into a comfortable lead at the windward mark. Once the wind filled in, the pecking order remained very steady throughout the fleet with Peter Kennedy/Stevie Kane and Liam Donnelly/Rick McCaig chasing hard right to the finish.

Star performer last week Neil Calvin sailing with RNIYC ‘s Leah McCleave had a great 4th place with Leah stepping back into Dinghy sailing after a few years sabbatical.

Race 2 kicked off with a favoured pin end being fairly crowded, with the fleet getting away cleanly and with the wind going slightly left the leaders came in from this side of the course. The first run saw various place changes, Stephen Nelson/Brian Conway gybing off early into clear breeze along with Andrew Vaughan/Peter Todd working out the left side had paid well but it was Bosun Bob and Rory

Higgins who carried on down the right side of the run and judged the lay line perfectly to jump into a nice lead by the leeward mark.

This leeward mark during race 2 saw plenty of action, if there was an action camera attached it would be prime time reality tv viewing! Between 3 boats trying to squeeze into the same spot to PK and Stevie deciding to do some fishing and then mount the leeward mark, it had it all.

Rob and Rory sailed off into the distance thankfully on the lookout as the wind had shifted 40 degrees they had spotted the new windward mark position way out left.

Andrew and Pete chased Rob and Rory hard to the finish with PK and Stevie pulling off a rescue mission to get back into 6th.

With the rescue crew looking cold, race 3 started very quickly, Gerry not holding back to enable us to get 3 great races completed. With some members of the fleet using smoke signals to identify subtle wind shifts prestart along with the strong tide they managed to get caught out and miss the start.

With the line lying more committee boat biased this time, the leaders worked right and continued their form from race 2, Bob and Rory, Steven and Brian, Uncle Liam and Rick had led the fleet round the first lap.

Liam and Rick managed to build and hold a good lead with Ross and Jane, Bob and Rory chasing hard.

A notable performance was from wind shift guru Woo Kearney and Nick Thallon recovering from a late start to finish in 6th.

Following 15 races, Peter Kennedy and Stevie Kane are sitting in pole position with a pack of 3 chasing hard behind.

Published in RS Sailing Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

At a Glance - Irish RS400/200 Events for 2023 

  • RS Westerns Galway City Sailing Club - April 1/2
  • RS Open Training Strangford SC 29/30 April
  • Northerns - Strangford Sailing Club - May 6/7
  • Irish RS Games - Nationals - Blessington Sailing Club 23-25 June
  • UK Nationals Mounts Bay 31 July - 04 August 2023
  • Southerns/Easterns - 26/27 August- Wexford Harbour SC
  • Inlands - 23/24 September - Killaloe SC

RS Feva

  • Feva Easterns Royal Irish YC- May 6/7, RS Feva UK Nationals-Pwhelli, UK- May 27th-30th
  • Irish RS Games - Nationals - Blessington Sailing Club 23-25 June (open to all RS classes)
  • Feva Northerns - East Down YC - 26/27 Aug / Southerns - Monkstown BSC- 23/24 Sept

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2023

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating