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The next event on the circuit for the RS fleet is the Waterways Ireland Inland championships, being hosted by Lough Ree Yacht Club, on 23rd and 24th of July, All three fleets will be taking part in what was one of the highlights of the 2014 season, with lots of new comers to the fleet in both the 200s and 400s at their respective Westerns and Southerns event end of June, there should be tight racing across the board. This event will be a great one, with ample camping facilities on site.

This will be the last regional event before the fleets head for Schull for the National championships end of August.

The next RS Feva event is the Westerns in Galway next weekend – July 9th/10th as part of GBSCs DinghyWest. 

The highlight of the year for the Fevas will be Feva Nationals, hosted by Greystones Sailing Club, making use of their fantastic new clubhouse and facilities. There are 10 races planned over the 3 days, and lots of social activities too. For the first time, the RS Feva class are taking a new approach to their Nationals, it will be held during the week from Mon 18th til Wed 20th of July. 

All those who take part will be entered into a draw for a brand new Feva race jib, kindly donated by sponsors, McCready Sailboats. There will also be a separate prize for the first non XL (racing) sail – so even if you are sailing a club boat with training sails there will be good racing for you too. We are also hoping to get some parent and child teams competing – we have two potentially signed up already, and if we get 3 parent/child teams we will have a prize for that category. So….beg/steal/borrow a Feva/child and come and join in!!!

The Feva class will also be joining the 4s and 2s in Lough Ree for the Inlands on July 23rd/24th.

Published in RS Sailing
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It was a weekend of superb sailing for the RS Fleets in Dublin Bay. Having the season opener in the east at the Royal St. George Yacht Club usually brings out a great fleet and that’s what we had with 42 boats across the three RS fleets at the Championships this year writes David Rose.  Full results are downloadable below as PDF files.

The RS200’s is a class that is heating up considerably this season, with lots of quality sailors already in the fleet and a real injection of fresh competitors in the dinghy park. A few boats are sporting the sharp new design see-through sails, which make the boats look great as well as giving a better view of traffic on the race course. 

The standard in the RS400 fleet has yet again gone up a notch. It is now more like the racing standard at a UK nationals or Europa cup. Our Olympian and multiple Fireball national champion turn Race officer for the weekend Barry O’Neil and his team were impressed by the standard of starting. “It was like Olympic class starting, all boats finding a lane and no mid–line sag. Not much bad behaviour and if the line was not 100% square then it was always going to result in a recall.”

Many thanks go to Barry and his team, including the mark layers giving their time on a bright but cold weekend. The team had to manage large wind shifts, and did so admirably. A new format for the courses was being used for this event. The RS200’s and RS400’s were sharing the same windward leeward, rather than in previous events where the trapezoid course was used for the RS200’s. This was making it hard for the OOD to adjust the course once the 200’s were off. Barry has given feedback already to the classes, and this may result in tweaks for future events.
Michael Keogh provided results and photography at the weekend, and Michael Tyrell was race officer for the RS Feva class, running a separate course inside the harbour.
Thanks go out to club Commodore Justin McKenna and vice commodore Michael Pomeroy and the RstGYC members. The facilities at the George are superb and the fleets really enjoy sailing out of the club. The welcome was extremely friendly and there were many people giving their time both at registration and with the smaller details like helping with trolleys.

Sailing Conditions

Day one was light to medium conditions averaging about 12 knots out of the North. There was a sometimes tricky short chop, and no shortage of oscillation on top of larger shifts that hung about for longer.
Day two had similar shifty conditions, again off the land and this time out of the North West, with more exciting gusts of 20 knots plus at times.

RS400 Easterns Report

What a weekends racing for the 20 top class teams that fought it out for national level honours this weekend. It’s a testament to the quality of the field that there were five different race winners over six races. The runner up for this regatta, was to be two time National RS400 champion Alex Barry with local sailor Conor Byrne as crew this time out. The pair were denied any race win in the series but were still extremely consistent as Alex has been for the last two seasons in the class.
Alex was gracious in defeat in round one of a long season and when asked for his thoughts on the weekend he said, “This weekend was exceptionally tight racing, in a fleet full of talent”.
Day one saw the excellence of MBSC sailors John Downey and Sandy Rimmington. They put out their stall early with a superb 2, 1, 6, on a day where most people had at least one bad result. The score was only bettered by one team and by one point. Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher (BYC) had posted a 1, 2, and 5. Robert Espey and Michael Gunning (BYC) were very well placed also carrying a 3, 11, and 1.
Looking further down the sheet, local RstGYC stars and ex national champion Emmet Ryan and James Ryan were lying ninth, and needed to post some good results. They were to open day two with considerably more form carding a bullet. They finished the regatta stronger than they started moving to sixth overall one place ahead of Corks David Rose and Ian Heffernan in seventh.

RS400 Gareth Flanaga David Fletcher

RS400 Winners (from left) Gareth Flanagan with Commodore Justin McKenna vice–Commodore Mike Pomeroy and David Fletcher

On day two it was Espey and Gunning who showed they mean business with a 3, 2 putting them slightly ahead of the two MBSC boats vying for the title, but it was not to be and after carding a tenth that they had to carry, they dropped off the podium and had to settle for fourth place. Bob said afterwards, “Once you find yourself in the pack it’s very hard to fight back”.
Flannigan and Fletcher are a class act and signed off with a second place to finish a sublime regatta and are 2016 Eastern Champions.
Alex and Byrne were second and John and Sandy took 3rd place this time out.
Chris Penny and Simon Martin had a superb regatta and finished on a high with a win in race six and fifth place overall.
So the early season honours and silverware have headed north with Flannigan and Fletcher, the other top teams will want to ensure they don’t have it all way and successfully pluck the Northern trophy from their grasp next time out.

RS Feva Report (By Elaine Malcolm)

RS Feva winners

RS Feva Winners Henry Start and Morgan Devine with their competitors 

In order to encourage the newer members of the RS Feva class this year, the Eastern’s were sailed on a separate course inside Dun Laoghaire harbour.  The 11 boat fleet, under the capable race officer Michael Tyrrell and his team, had 8 races over the two days. 

Local RstGYC sailors Henry Start and Morgan Devine were to master the conditions and win the event.  They were challenged all the way by newcomers to the class, Tim Norwood and Finn Cleary from RIYC.  The pair had stolen a march, winning three of the four races in light winds on Saturday.

Third place went to Marcus O’Leary and Jeff McGovern who just edged out the all-girl crew of Emily Arrowsmith and Caira Little.  Malahide brothers Liam and Aidan Donnelly carded three third places on Sunday, showing their potential going forward. 

Thanks go to our coaches at the weekend Pheobe Norwood and Meg Tyrrell, who provided plenty of encouragement all weekend. Congratulations to all who competed in the RS Feva Easterns.

RS 200 Report

11 RS200s turned out for the first event of the year, the fleet was more of a “mature” crowd, with lots of couple’s combos. This is an area of huge growth in the fleet, and should marry well with the younger contingent who often miss this event due to study commitments.
One of the new faces in the RS200 was multiple fleet dinghy and keelboat champion Neil Spain, who is sailing with his wife Maeve. Another top sailor out there was Women’s match racing star Mary O’Loughlin, joined by past Irish Olympic flag bearer Ciara Peelo as crew. Unsurprisingly they proved to be very competitive. We were also really pleased to have teams up from Caullan Sailing club, which has a very strong local fleet or RS200s.

RS200 Marty OLeary Rachel Williamson

RS200 Winners Marty O’Leary and Rachel Williamson

On Saturday the fleet enjoyed 3 sharp 48 minutes races on the W/L course. Marty O’ Leary and Racehel Williamson showed their considerable pedigree. Marty was not distracted by being heavily involved in the organisation of the weekend for all classes. The pair put their stall out early and led overnight, to give themselves every chance of defending the title of which they were the holders.
It was very close from 2nd to 5th, with a point separating each team after day 1. Our former RS Fleet chairman Frank O’Rourke (GSC), sailing with college team racer Lisa Smith were the top challengers overnight.
So onto day two and the final 3 races of the championship. Sunday involved more breeze and even tighter racing as teams started to get more aggressive and accurate on the start line. O’Loughlin and Peelo seemed to think they were allowed to start before the competition, but were being a little too keen on two occasions and were duly recalled by the race management in races 4, and 5.
Craig and Cooney from the RStGYC showed some excellent pace and moved themselves up into 2nd overall going into the final race. They were not to go all the way however as the event was already signed sealed and delivered with one to go. Greystones O’Leary and Williamson had delivered another excellent performance which is the norm for this very talented pair who defend their title and remain RS200 Eastern Champions for 2016.
O’Loughlin and Peelo finally decided to start with everyone else in race six. This proved to be a very solid strategy as they have plenty of pace and lead the final race from start to finish. Frank and Lisa worked hard and managed to claw back 2nd place, leaving Craig and Cooney to take bronze a point ahead of the Spains.

See you all at the next event.

Published in RS Sailing

The RS Feva class had a really successful training clinic over the Easter holidays, with 26 sailors taking part over the 3 days. Led by our National coach, Stephen Craig, assisted by Meg Tyrrell, we had great pleasure in welcoming sailors from Galway, Malahide and Greystones as well as those from the RSGYC and NYC. It was great to see so many new faces coming in to the class this year writes Elaine Malcolm

On the Sunday we started the day with some ice breakers and a rigging session, where everyone participated in rigging a Feva from scratch. We launched soon after and began with a warmup inside the harbour, before heading outside the harbour where we did upwind exercises with focus on pointing and lane holding. Tacking on the whistle allowed us to coach each sailor individually from our RIBs as they sailed upwind. We followed by doing long downwind grinds with focus on efficient hoists and drops. Conditions were light to moderate.

On Monday conditions were lighter still, although in the morning we managed to get in some upwind training with a focus on roll tacking and boat balance, with an improvement in both of these aspects. When the wind did drop to virtually 0 knots halfway through our session, we carried out games to keep the sailors entertained for the remainder of the water session.

On Tuesday we started off with about 0-2 knots, and so we planned for a day with very little breeze. We launched and did some fun races and games, however halfway through our session the wind filled in to about 7 knots and we managed to cover some upwind practice followed by downwind training. We put a focus on angles when sailing downwind and how to sail the best possible course. We then ended the day with a session on starts and how to find the bias, followed by races. When we returned ashore there was pizza waiting for the sailors as a very welcome way to end the clinic.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – To the untrained eye it was business as usual for the RS400 class racing out of the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire over the weekend. We had a big and very competitive fleet of 25 RS400's add to this the sight of new sails pouring out of the McCready's sailboats van on the first morning and the scene was set. The expectation of great racing, and a forecast for good wind and sun had everyone excited.

Overall results sheets for each fleet are downloadable below as pdf files.

The fleet's current top names are all well-established now. But look down the fleet at the new names and the general quality of the field and you will know that this event and this season is something special in Irish Sailing. Nobody in the top 12 was a rookie this year and Sean Cleary, defending Eastern Champion and runner up at the Sothern's and for the overall traveler's series last season was to finish up 12th. He was sailing with a new team mate Donal Murphy who had helped him to second RS400 in the local frostbites a few weeks earlier. Sean heads to England for a new job now and he will be sorely missed at Irish regionals. We look forward to following his progress, no doubt at the front of the UK 400 scene. He is expected to re-appear at the Irish Nationals later in the season.
New class member and Ex-helmsman's champ George Kenefick finished 16th overall. He will no-doubt be more competitive as the season progresses, and expressed some frustration at his form, he is one to watch over the season. Ex-Mirror world runner up and Ex-Mirror National Champion Andrew Woodward and crew Michael Walsh on their first outing with fresh sails came in 13th. Of course this is just one event and high quality sailors like Andrew, Sean and George will always find a way to excel in a class, but there is a feeling now in this class that anyone can be outside the top 10 in any race. A notable statistic looking at the results is that only three sailors managed to have all six race results inside the top ten over the Eastern championship weekend.

Now let's talk the business end of the fleet. Coming into this regatta, Alex Barry and Richie Leonard of MBSC/RCYC had been pushed hard for all of the 2014 season, but were an unbeaten pairing in the Irish events they attended together and had taken the travelers title, and Nationals. Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher were of a pedigree that had them likely to compete for top honours, with a history of winning national titles in a variety of classes including the Laser and SB20. Local RStGYC team and Ex RS400 national champion paring of Emmet Ryan and his brother James were together again for their first regional since the 2013 season (James had been on a year of travel).

The Ryan team had been tuning up in the frostbites and it showed, with a great recovery from an average start line position and an opening race win to set their stall out early. They would be competitive to the end, and had they won the last race would have been champions. In the end the Ryan's had to make do with a couple or race wins that contributed to their 3rd place overall. James will be proud of the fact that he clearly has not lost his competitive edge on his travels.
Gareth Flannigan showed why he has about six nicknames mainly describing him as some sort of fish in water as he and David Fletcher had pace to burn upwind and were extremely consistent all event off the start line. Like Ryan he recorded two bullets, but he also managed to keep his other scores in the top 5 and had the sort of regatta dreams are made of.

Alex Barry and Richie Leonard were not going to be easy to beat, and showing their class, after a string of top 3 finishes, the top Irish pairing fought off David Rose and Ian Hef on the last run of the last race to record a bullet and do enough it would seem to take the regatta. As it turned out, a boat that had been disqualified for being OCS on day one had been reinstated (It felt from where I was sitting that a few boats were over on that start) and Alex and Richie were to be denied due to this points change and only by the a countback, having matched Gareth and David's 11 point tally.

This fleet is super competitive and there were just six points separating the 3rd placed Ryan team on 20 points with 5th and 6th placed teams Chirs Penny (Artemis-Racing) and Simon Martin, and David Rose and Ian Hef on 26. Ross McDonald and Dylan Gannon finished 4th just two points behind Ryan on 22, after an excellent regatta. Ross is an Ex-Laser National Champion. So congratulations to Gareth and David sailing out of BYC who are well deserved 2015 RS400 Eastern Champions. Excitement is already building for the Northern champs up next in the regional calendar. Remember for those in the fleet looking to sharpen up their skills, there is a sprint regatta out of the Royal St George Yacht Club on May 9th, for RS200's and RS400's.

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RS Fevas

Sixteen Feva teams turned out to compete for the Eastern title this year. This is an exciting year with a trip to the worlds coming up later in the season. The fleet included two visiting teams from Galway (GBSC), and both fared very well in the event with a fourth for Aaron O'Reilly and David Carberry and a seventh for Brian Murphy and David O'Reilly. Great to see Feva's that are willing to travel and make this class really exciting.

The top three places were all local Dublin bay RSGYC sailors. Triona Hickson and Kathy Kelly won the first two races of the event and finishing just 3 points off the lead in third place could easily have been champions.
Toby Hudson-Fowler and Greg Arrowsmith had an excellent regatta and would finished second on 10 points, just one point behind Tom and Henry Higgins, who took the championship in the last race.
Congratulations to Tom and Henry Higgins who are RSFeva Eastern Champions for 2015.

RS200s

There were many very well attended events last season in Ireland. This season is an exciting one for the RS200's particularly as the fleet welcomes a revamped sail plan that modernizes the boats look and feel.
The turnout for this event was effected by exam season for the younger members of the class, so expect bigger fleets as the season progresses.

The top end of this fleet looked very familiar, as Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson sailing out of RSGYC continues to dominate the RS200 Class in Ireland with a performance including three bullets, two seconds and a third. Marty and Rachel had showed their class before the event, finishing runner up to the Ryans RS400 team in the frostbites.

They were matched this time on points by the every present Ex National champion Sean Craig and Heather King, who would only be second on countback having matched Marty and Rachel this time also on a final point's tally of 7. Frank O'Rourke and Sarah Byrne were eight points back in third, and Luke Murphy and Patrick Cahill had some great moments and finished fourth overall. Luke and Patrick are strong prospects for the future and sail out of RSGYC. Congratulations to Marty and Rachel who are RS200 Eastern Champions for 2015.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – Lots of enthusiastic experienced RS sailors are racing the new sailors on the block up and down the country writes David Rose of the Irish RS class association. The winter is being used more and more as an opportunity to sharpen up for the exciting summer circuits on offer, and the boats keep arriving on these shores in ever greater numbers.
2014 has been a fantastic year for the Irish 400 fleet. 2015 is already showing signs of shining even brighter. There has been a massive uptake in new 400's on order in the UK as the Irish are threatening to take over, by buying every good boat in sight on the market for the last few years. It has gotten to the stage that those who were responsible for the initial uptake in sailing these fast hiking double handers can now sit back and watch as the fleet takes on a momentum of its own.
I spoke to Ben Fusco who is involved in Feva training in Dublin. Ben - "We have 12-14 boats training regularly. We are looking at maybe 8-10 boats to go to the RS Feva worlds in Travemunde in Germany, as an Irish team. The season opener for 2015 is the confusingly named RStGYC Christmas Cracker on Feb 7th, we will have a separate Feva Start."
"We love the level of competition" - Emmet Ryan 2012 400 Champ. "The RS boats are fantastic, and we have had great fleets for many years now in Ireland. We hit a tipping point last season, it's really taken off. We are seeing many different generations of dinghy sailors converging on this class like never before. This is largely due to the wide competitive weight band for these boats, we have super light crews up against heavy crews and no matter what the wind speed, both can be competitive."
It is not all about the pointy end either, lots of teams of various standards are getting involved. There is an opportunity here for people with kids, to have a double stacker and turn up to an event with any combination of Feva, 200 and 400. Couples are a regular sight on the race course in both the 200 and the 400 classes, and we have had lady helms and crews competing well all season. All of this creates an atmosphere that is exciting and friendly. Events tend to have camping available where ever possible to keep costs to a minimum.
Meeting up with the UK fleets in sunnier places like 2014 Lake Garda in Italy, or in 2015, Carnac France, and you end up with a recipe for fun and success. There are also excellent training holidays available in the Canaries, with a full Range of RS boats. The UK events are very accessible next season and all the calendar details are available online. The Irish fleet are starting to record ever better results when mixing with the excellent UK scene. In the UK, the 200 nationals has over 100 boats and the 400 has 70+. Our Irish fleet sizes are very healthy too, our traveler's series recorded 31 RS200's seeing competitive action and 56 RS400's.
The RS scene in Ireland right now is all about well attended regional events and sprints (sprints are often one day and less formal), and travelling numbers have been great, but there is also a growing local racing scene in the bigger hubs of Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Limerick. There are plans to have excellent training in these locations next season as well as regular fleet racing.

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The RS classes are delighted to be involved in the Mixed Dinghy week in the Royal Cork Yacht Club. The RCYC has been a great supporter of the RS classes in the last few years and the 400 Southern champs will be part of the event along with the 200 and Feva National championships. This has the effect of allowing some sailors to take part in both the 400 Nationals and either the 200 or Feva main event. The 400 Nationals is heading north this year to Ballyholme Yacht club.
Dave Cheyne comments on the 200 class. "We are starting to see a few more 200's arriving in Ireland for next season. I have bought one myself and look forward to racing it with my son. I will still campaign the 400, both boats have lots to offer."
Marty O'Leary who previously had a 400 is now fully focused on the 200 and won in impressive style at the well-attended southerns last year. He continues to show the boat to be competitive under yardstick racing in Dublin. I have been told that Marty is likely to include a few UK200 events next season and test himself against the very high standard on those shores also.
We expect the already good numbers in the Irish 200 fleet to grow quickly next season as so many more people have been exposed to the RS scene in Ireland. Keep an eye out for test days at your club. This is an exciting year for the 200 as the boats are getting an updated sail plan that includes a fully transparent main bringing their looks up to date and making it easier to see traffic.

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#rssailing – Sixty one Feva's, RS200's and RS400's descended on Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) from the 8th to the 10th of August to compete in what was each class's 2014 National Championships writes RS Ireland Class communication officer David Rose. This organisational marriage of classes from RS continues to work really well together and brings with it a wide range of sailors from all over Ireland. There were many new faces in all classes and the atmosphere was really inclusive and enthusiastic for the competition ahead.

GBSC was represented fantastically by its members with amazing support for the event. Launch and recovery was aided by a team of helpers, and the race officer and commodore David Vinnell and team were outstanding throughout, providing a tactical and interesting race course every time. All races were sailed in planing conditions. For the strong breezes, the sea was tame for the west coast, but was still challenging, as crews worked for each wave upwind and down. True beats and good lines make for great racing and we had them throughout.

RS Feva Nationals, 9 Races, 2 Discards, 15 Boats

The Feva is one of Ireland's most successful boats and they have become visible on the water sailing out of most of Irelands sailing clubs. They provide a platform for young people to race competitively in a high performance boat with a modern configuration and build that makes them damn near indestructible. The Nationals this year was a superb showcase for the boats, with young sailors coming together to fight it out on the same course as the larger 200 and 400's. This generation of two handed sailors look set to have a great impact on Irish sailing going forward.

The racing was excellent, and one team stood tall with an amazing display of speed, recording eight race wins and a fifth. It is always an outstanding achievement to discard a bullet, and that is just what happened for the Blessington SC team of Alison Dolan and Grainne Younge.
The battle for second was an altogether tighter affair, coming down to the last race and being edged by only a point by Grace O' Beirne and Helen O'Beirne of RstGYC over Triona Hinkson and Katherine kelly also of the RstGYC. Local sailors David Carberry and Ciaran Jordan showed great pace and represented the host club with a string of seconds and thirds to remain competitive in fourth.
Chatting in the dinghy park with the parents who help make this class tick, it was clear that the event had been a great success, with many teams camping around the club in all classes and the kids and adults alike having fun late into the evenings. The comparison was drawn to the Mirror hay days, and it's hard to ignore this fleet as an option to any parent wanting their kids to sail a boat that requires teamwork and that is exciting to campaign.

There are some great ideas for enhancing the RS Feva Circuit further next season, but if you feel you could help us with these please don't hesitate to get in touch, as we are at the planning stages for next season already.

RS-200 Nationals, 9 Races, 2 Discards, 14 Boats

Roy Van Maanen and Kevin O'Rourke (GYC) have dominated the RS200 Nationals from start to finish, recording an impressive 6 race wins and a second after discard.
Stephen Craig fought back on day two and three with a string of seconds and bullets but it was never going to be enough to outdo the other pairing. Graeme Noonan and Harry Noonan were consistent throughout and finished 3rd on 18 points, with Trevor Fisher and Heather Craig also in the vicinity on 21 points.

Congratulations also go to the John McKelvie and Sarah Watson, 2013 Irish National Champions for their strong showing in Garda recently recording a 9th in a strong 28 boat fleet.

This was competitive, fast and furious racing in a class that looks set to grow in 2015, as the profile of the RS sailing increases throughout Ireland and the many excellent features of the 200 become better known. This is a design that has advanced from the success of the RS400 and has a hugely strong UK and Irish fleet.

RS 400 Nationals - 9 Races, 2 Discards , 31 boats 
In the 400 Class, after an opening day and 4 races, McCready Sailboats sailed by Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher were showing the form of past and future champions and led clear of the pack. There was to be no resting on ones laurels however as several boats were still within striking distance with a gaggle of teams on 12 and 13 points overnight.

It had been a fast and furious day, with no let up from hiking after the weather mark, and no shortage of adrenaline as the fleet came thundering downwind trying to out gybe and think each other on lay-lines. With 3 rounds, there was ample time to work your way into better or worse positions on the race course.

Interestingly the following pack included sailors from every corner of Ireland, showing how strong the class has now become throughout the country, including "The Full Irish" single handed sailor Dave Kenefick who at his first event teamed up with Sandy Rimmington of MBSC eventually finishing 11th overall, David looking exhilarated after day one, described the boats as "all the fun of a 49er without the swims".

Day two was to be very similar and just as exciting and fun as day one. The story was of another team now sailing like champions and leading the pack. Alex Barry and Richard Leonard of MBSC and the RCYC were now sitting clear by a few points from Sean Cleary and Steven Tyner, the talented pair from GSC who were Eastern champions earlier in the season. Also a prominent challenger now was the UK pairing of Howard Farbrother and Dan Martin, who had featured well in the Europeans at Garda recording a seventh. Two Irish 400's had also made the trip to Garda for the Europa cup recently with Emmet Ryan and Jay Stacy finishing 10th and David Rose and Ian Heffernan Finishing 12th at that event and both teams were in the hunt here, as was the ever present Dave Cheyne and Richie McCullough. These teams were to fade away however by the end of day two when the final discard was applied after 8 races.
(Sean Cleary and Steven Tyner showing their class on day two) Day three was expected to be a huge storm, but the forecast had been inaccurate all week, and this appeared to be the case as the fleet launched in light air. This calm however was not to last long, and the race offers managed to squeeze in another exciting race for all classes, before an "End of the World" style storm cloud made for a spectacular and at intimidating scene in Galway bay. Visibility reduced and it blew very hard for a short period of time.

The Race officer had his regatta and called time on proceedings. It's a testament to the three classes that no rigs were lost for the entire event, and apart from some worried parents and competitors all was okay and the fleets got home safely to finish what had been a fantastic 3 days sailing out of GBSC.

When the dust settled, Alex and Richard of MBSC and RCYC had won the 400 Nationals, followed by Howard and Dan from QMSC and Sean and Steven in third. Alex had this to say after the event: "What a fantastic event, consistent breeze and excellent competition meant for exhilarating racing. The RS classes are the only place to be at the moment. It's great to see such prestigious sailors such as Ross McDonald and Dave Kenefick who had moved into the yachting scene back in dinghies and picking it up so fast. Thanks to all who were involved in the organisation of the event, delighted with the win, absolutely knackered now tho."

This movement of accessible high performance sailing dinghies continues to bloom, and be enjoyed by a wide variety of competitive and enthusiastic sailors of all ages.

We look forward to seeing you all at the final event of the season, the RS Southerns in Kinsale on the 13th and 14th of September 2014. For those on a budget consider the activity centre for hostel style accommodation. Kinsale is a great venue so please support the event

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#rsfeva – The 2014 RS Feva World Championships went off with a bang in true RS Feva style with 184 RS Fevas, 368 sailors and hundreds of parents, siblings and supporters descended on Yacht Club de Carnac, in Brittany for the seventh World Championships in eight years. Ireland was represented by two crews. Blessington Sailing Club pair Alison Dolan and Grainne Young finished 106th and Triona Hinkson and Katherine Kelly of the Royal St. George Yacht Club were 113th in a massive 184–boat fleet.

First launched in 2002 and with around 550 boats sold every year the fleet has grown at an incredible rate on a global scale, and the World Championships, now held annually since being awarded ISAF International Class status, demonstrate the sheer volume of sailors and nations involved in the class. This year, competitors from 18 different nations around the world came together to compete in the small town in France, making for quite the on-the-water spectacle for the unsuspecting holidaymaker in Carnac.

The event officially welcomed each team with the Opening Ceremony after the first full day of the qualifying series. 2 days of qualifying and the 184-boat fleet were split into gold, silver, and bronze, to kick off championship racing.

Wind conditions throughout the week were varied, testing sailors across the range. After an opening light day a couple of heavier wind days were followed by some more lighter air – with a postponed start to racing on the penultimate and last days. The event was blessed with sunshine, and YCCarnac provided a fantastic atmosphere in the boat park for sailors and supports alike. In true Feva style, the camaraderie among the sailors is at it's highest at the Worlds, with sailors enjoying the nations beach rugby after sailing.

Five nations featured in the top ten, illustrating the sheer international scale the RS Feva has grown to. On the water British duo Harvey Martin and Bobby Hewitt sailed a successful championship clinching the title and holding off fellow British pairing Piers Nicholls and Freddie Peters who took silver. Czech team Nikol Stankova and Vaclav Brabec took bronze at the end of the regatta, repeating their 3rd place from the European Championships in May.

In the silver fleet British team Tristan Payne and Jake Capenter finished the series in first place, closely followed by French duo Jean Leo Touffet and Jade Saunier. Dutch pair Martijn Jessurum and Nynke Nell took home gold in the Bronze fleet.

Socially throughout the week, the RS Feva Class did not disappoint. Following the Opening Ceremony, the week continued with the Dutch Party and a live band in the boat park, followed by the Championship BBQ hosted by the club and Pimms Party run by the Brits. Prize giving concluded the week and gave the sailors a chance to say final farewells until the next international event – although a large contingent of Dutch, French, Italians, Czechs, Estonians and Brits did play beach rugby and consume ice creams together until darkness intervened.

The RS Feva Class has grown from strength to strength over the years, being fully integrated into the performance development programs of many of the European sailing federations including the UK, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. In addition significant racing and training activities are high in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Estonia France, Germany, Malta and Switzerland. In North America club fleets are developing, and more and more junior sailors are adopting the Feva as their chosen boat. The Feva sits perfectly between the Optimist, and youth classes such as the 420 and 29er as a transitional boat, as well as acting as a learn-to-sail boat for sailors just starting out. Further development for the class is prominent in both Australia and New Zealand, and in Asia and the Middle East. A fair number of ex-Feva sailors now grace the top echelons of the 470, Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX classes as well!

The World Championships in 2015 are set to be held in Travemunde, Germany from 18-25 July with over 20 nations expected to attend.

Final results here 

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under

#rs – Some statistics from the Irish RS Sprint Championships 2014 at Ballyholme YC  last weekend. 46 individual competitors (including Neill Strain's swaps), 40 Flight Starts, 214 recorded finishes, 490 individual hoists and drops (taking out DNFs etc), and a lot of weary bodies, not just the competitors! Full Sprint results are available to download below as a pdf file.

The Irish RS400 fleet has a full calendar for the year, along with the RS200s and Fevas, but with the exam season in full progress, there is usually a gap in May. The Sprints have thus been moved to fill this gap, and the excellent turn out justified the ongoing inclusion of this event in the calendar.

23 RS400s and an RS200 rolled out for the Annual Irish RS Sprint Championships, held for the first time in the North, with hosts Ballyholme Yacht Club under the guidance of our favourite Race Officer Robin Gray, putting on a tremendous event, in what always seems to me to be a complete nightmare of an event to run. Robin clearly loves a challenge, as he has offered to do it again next year!

Always a great opportunity to get some boat handling practice in, it also provides a workout for those of us navigationally challenged, and more than a few salvages were provided on my boat by Steve advising me where to point the boat next. The whacky M course was a great success, sort of slaloming to the left, and then having an on the edge kite reach across the bottom, to make sure you didn't recover too much before the next race.
We have always asked that we are not kept sitting around too long, and Robin's team kept things pinging off at a furious rate, not giving you time to realise how your body was slowly disintegrating as the afternoon progressed. That said, I was pleased to see that some of the young ones were whinging as much as we elder statesmen, about how battered they felt.

In a Northerly there are few better venues than Ballyholme, with champagne conditions (can we finally park that expression, though it does serve the purpose I guess) of 15 knots steady, a 3-4 foot short swell allowing some fruity downhill slides. As good as it gets I'd say. Also clearly suits the locals, with Bob Espey and Gareth Flanagan and their respective engineers, Mike Gunning and Dave Fletcher, leading the way, along with Sean Cleary and Steve Tyner from Greystones, current Inlands Champs, in amongst the leaders. The flights were rejigged midway through Saturday, and again for Sunday, giving no-one any idea who was winning, apart from the obvious fact the Bob and Mike were running away with it. That said, everyone had a piece of the action, and as always, when the racing is good, we all go home happy.

Biggest thanks however have to go to the mark layers, who did an unbelievable job to lay and move so many marks with so little delay, outstanding.

Next up is the slightly less chaotic RS Northerns at Strangford Lough Yacht Club in late June, with usual format windyleewards; though if the size and intensity of the Easterns was anything to go by, carnage and chaos will return. We should have some serious entertainment, as the deep southerners, from the fast growing and worryingly talent packed Cork fleet, fresh from their own Sprint event, rejoin the fray. Great times for the RS fleet.

Published in RS Sailing

#RSsailing – Blessington Sailing Club is hosting the 2013 RS Inland championships and after three races Franks and Kevin O'Rourke lead the biggest fleet, the 12–boat RS200s. Blessington's own Alison Dolan and Grainne Young top a 6–boat Feva fleet. Another Greystones boat, sailed by Simon Herriott and Tom Moran, lead the 11–boat RS400 fleet. Results to date are downloadable below as a html file.

 

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under

Two races were sailed today in predominantly light conditions at the combined RS Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club. The race officer made a good call to postpone proceedings until Sunday when the afternoon breeze completely shut down.

There are 18 RS 400's, 8 RS200's and 6 RS Fevas competing.

RS400 Results:
1st E.Ryan J.Ryan R1(2) R2(1)
2nd J.Espey M.Gunning R1(1) R2(3)
3rd D.Cheyne S.Kane R1(3) R2(5)
4th M.Ferguson J.Tomalin R1(7)R2(2)
5th R.Seaton M.McGovern R1(5)R2(4)
6th G.Flannigan D.Fletcher R1(4)R2(7)

RS200 Results:
1st C.Coffey H.Cassidy R1(2) R2(1)
2nd F & K O'Rourke R1(1) R2(5)
3rd R.Milligan P.Blamphin R1(5) R2(2)

RS Feva Results:
1st N.Eames M.Fekkes R1(3) R2(1)
2nd B.Coburn A.Mitchell R1(1) R2(5)
3rd R.Fekkes A.Harley R1(1) R2(6)

Published in RS Sailing
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