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RS21 Irish Debut with New Female Racers for the Women at the Helm Regatta

10th September 2022
Women at the helm competitors
Women at the helm competitors from the INSS Credit: Marine Services

Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School Instructor Ciara Moore joined colleagues onboard the RS21 for the recent Irish Sailing Women At Helm Regatta.

The team was led by Irish National Marine Services RS Sailing Rep Heather Wright and sailed on board the RS21, RS Sailing’s modern keelboat designed with corinthian racing at its heart.

It was a new experience for Ciara in more than one way, having not competed in competitive event racing as well as having to master the RS21 with the rest of her crew. Ciara is exactly the type of sailor that Irish Sailing’s event facilitates becoming more involved in a new aspect of the sport and shared here experience of the RS21 and the event.

“As well as learning a new boat, the social aspect meant bonding between people who hadn’t really spoken before. Thanks to Heather's enthusiasm and encouragement, the school entered a 1720 and RS21 in the event. It was such an incredible opportunity to see the other side of the sport, having been heavily involved in teaching. I can imagine it is the same for all the other women competing who maybe haven’t given it a go before or have been doing it for years with a primarily male team.

The varying conditions over the two days meant that both moderate speed and almost no movement were encountered. However, seeing the amount of women on the water from all levels of experience was inspiring. The variety of ages and boat classes and different clubs made it even more significant. It is so important to bring more and more female crew onto racing teams so they have the same chance to participate in regattas and learn on the go. I encourage anyone to take part during the coming years as I certainly will be!”

RS21 racing in the women at the helm regatta

Heather Wright spearheaded the school’s initiative to get young female instructors racing as well as securing the RS21 in time for the event, including a few late night rigging sessions to get the boat prepared, tuned and splashed in time for the event. This combined Heather’s previous experience as Junior Co-ordinator at the school with her current day job as Irish National Marine Services RS Sailing lead.

“Overall we managed to get 19 young female sailors who had never raced before out on the water giving them an opportunity that wasn't there when I was their age. We couldn’t be prouder of the girls and their commitment to the team, Well done ladies.”

The RS21 is now back out of the water and will be back afloat for demo events and test sails over the winter. Prior to the winter DBSC series, the RS21 will be heading to the World Championships in Croatia where RS Sailing are laying on a charter fleet. We cant wait to see where this new venture takes us and the development of the RS21 fleet in Ireland. Team

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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

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  • 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

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