Cork Harbour's own Alex Barry will be out to retain his southern title in the RS400 class as part of Royal Cork's Dinghyfest that starts tomorrow. It's one of a number of championships being staged as part of the Crosshaven initiative to foster dinghy sailing.
Barry, the current holder of the ISA's All Ireland Sailing title is also a keen National 18 sailor but campaigning his RS400 takes priority this weekend. The passionate centreboard sailor has spoken previously to Afloat.ie about plans to keep dinghy sailing alive. 'Friendships Through RS Sailing is the key to future of dinghy classes', the All Ireland Champ told Afloat.
Running as part of the weekend – that looks certain to attract over 100 boats – is the RS 200 Euro Cup & Irish National Championships, the National 18 National Championships, the RS Feva and RS 400 Southern Championships plus a PY fleet and an Optimist fun Fleet.
In the RS400, Ballyholme's Gareth Flanigan leads the challengers with Baltimore's top Laser sailor Fionn Lyden also entered in the double–hander.
There will be four course areas with two inside Roche’s Point at Cuskinny and the Curlane Banks while two more course areas will be in the outer harbour between Roche’s Point and Power Head.
The RS200 and the larger RS400 will sail together while the International 420s and the National 18s will be in the same group on an outer courses. The Irish 420 fleet is buoyed up by some international results scored last week at Kiel Regatta, Germany.
Prizes are provided by event sponsors CH Marine and their Zyck range of sailing gear.
Racing gets underway on Friday for the start of the national championships in the RS200 and 420 classes while the total DinghyFest will be afloat over the weekend including the foiling Moth class from 2.30pm on Saturday where John Chambers is also expected to debut his Waszp dinghy too.