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Displaying items by tag: RS400

23 RS400 dinghies made it to Cushendall Sailing Club in County Antrim with many travelling the full length from Cork writes David Rose. The fleet took advantage of the new lazy boy start time of 2pm that the class has chosen, to facilitate those from further afield and avoid an extra night away from domestic bliss. Seems to have been popular, with the drifting cyclonic various wind conditions for the Saturday which could have led to 6 hours of torment, being superseded by a shorter 4 hour session of torment, leaving two hours of extra mental energy to be invested in the goings on of the Cushendall Sailing Club’s shiny new bar. We like to think they rebuilt the bar for our event, so it would have been rude not to give it a suitable work out, and all retired to bed/ the Wedding Party in the local hotel, either fearful, or ignorant, of the appalling forecast for the Sunday….
Actually, star performer with two victories on Saturday, was Robin Gray, our adopted IRO, who succeeded in getting two races in before the gas officially ran out, and the great tow back in was able to commence. A stonking BBQ and quality bar staff attitude allowed for a quick turn around and racing began again about an hour later in the new bar and the rest is a distant memory.
Alex Barry, rather as one might have expected, defied the weather gods and flew around the course at twice the speed of anyone else to score two wins himself, and sealed the deal in Sunday’s tide slide with another podium to close the deal in slow style. I think we were all glad to get back ashore before scurvy set in and we all went mad, as there really was no chance to get any meaningful competition in aside from what was achieved. Only other noteworthy performance was Brian Holmes of Portcoleraine, who nailed his first top three spot in Sunday’s race. We will be expecting great things from this young man in years to come. Also great to see the local boats out again, and hopefully we will see them back on circuit again soon.
As always when we go to visit one of our less well known destinations, the stops were all pulled out, and Cushendall’s fab team left us feeling very heavily loved and pampered, and certainly well fed. Heartfelt thanks to Marc and his merry band of volunteers, you did yourselves proud.
Next up is a trip for the first time to Sligo YC in the slightly North West, for the Westerns, in late June, where hopefully sailing will be a bit livelier. Also on the go we have some local circuitry in the North and East, with a sanctioned series of one day events, mostly regattas, to keep the local activity going strong.

Published in RS Sailing

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

Roll it back a year, with storms and millponds alternating weekly, we had completed only four races by this stage of the Autumn series. Roll forward a year and thankfully after three days racing at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club we are already at nine races completed on Belfast Lough. If we continue like this it is set to be a 36+ race bonanza RS400 Autumn Series writes Dave Cheyne RS Ireland Chairman.

Glorious conditions have prevailed these last two Sundays, and despite a backdrop of Ireland’s sad exit from the other great sporting show in town, the RS400 sailors are in high spirits with great racing fresh in our minds. The first Sunday had been a little topsy-turvy, but that is a distant memory now, with a cracking series to remember well underway.

A few regulars forgot to turn up, presumably solstice responsible for that, though we still had 9 ships on the start line, some without clocks and compasses, which to be honest aren’t that big a help with Gerry Reid calling the last minute out followed by a 100 metre sprint for a beat.

Each race lasts about 15-20 minutes, but this is intense, and teams were wheezing and gasping as they quickly contend with all the hoists gybes and drops. The busy roundings abound and its great competition. For this type of racing all you need is a good Race Officer, a RIB, three marks, and the right attitude as a fleet. Everyone agreed that this was more fun than many of the well-attended full championships we have enjoyed all season.
So Liam Donnelly, in “Zimmer Frame” has established an early lead, Cushendall’s Paul Mclaughlin and Mick McKinley should really be second, but until the discards (could be 6 by the series end….) kick in, DrC and Stevie/Charlie sit in second, with everyone else snapping at their collective heels.

How lucky we are to be involved in this sailing, and what a great focus for the week this is. 

Published in RS Sailing
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Ballyholme Yacht Club in Belfast Lough was chosen not just for its exemplary history of race management and churning out National Champions, and its excellent access to open waters with minimal tide, but also for its ease of access for the Northern UK Fleet of RS400 sailors, in the hope of attracting some of the biggest names in the UK fleet over writes David Cheyne. So it happened that Mike Sims and Richard Brown, recently crowned UK National Champions and reigning Inland Champs, were tempted, along with Josh Metcalfe and Jack Holden from North Wales, a regular top 5 UK team, to see how much our top teams had improved through 2015. How would the cream of Ireland’s two person dinghy sailors fare against the top names of one of the most competitive fleets in the UK.
Much has been said of the RS400 fleets continued expansion in Ireland, with fleets popping up everywhere, and now strongholds in Cork and Belfast Lough, and ongoing growth in Dublin, Howth and the inland clubs like Killaloe. But how is the standard of sailing coming on? One look at the shots taken from the committee boat down the start line, of about 150 metres length, with no midline sag, is testament to the skills and standard right through the fleet, along with the compression of the fleet which finished most of the 45 minute races within 5 minutes from front to back.
Within the fleet itself, there had been a quiet excitement building towards this event, with everyone turning up, resulting in a stunning line up of talent spanning 40 years, and with nearly the entire top 20 being National Champions or better. However, what was most impressive was how tight the racing turned out to be in rest of the 50 strong fleet. Nobody seemed to be struggling, and everyone was out fiddling with rig settings and fine tuning, only a year on from many people trying to work out how to sail the boats for the first time.
Racing on Friday looked like a walk in the park for the top UK team, who took all the bullets, however after a day off to reflect on the Saturday, when the wind refused to play ball, the Irish teams came out fighting and nearly overhauled the visitors who had a much more torrid time of things, with boats speed difference now neutralised, and any sense of intimidation no longer felt. Notable performances came from established pairing Paul McLaughlin and Mick McKinley of Cushendall, who seemed to be flying around the course and regularly chasing the top 5; Barry McCartin, 2014 and 2015 Irish Fireball Champion, and top Irish performer in 11th place at the recent Fireball Worlds, sailing with Finbar Bradley, not long in the fleet, constantly chasing the leading pack; top Irish Laser sailor and coach Chris Penney, with Simon Martin, and George Kenefick, 2011 ISA Helmsman’s Champion filling out the top ten.
It was clear however, that there was a top 5, with the two top UK teams and three Irish teams of 2014 Champions Alex Barry and Richie Leonard, 2013 Champions Bob Espey and Michael Gunning, and multiple Irish National Champion in many fleets, Gareth Flannigan, with Dave Fletcher of the home club, knocking ten bells out of each other, and indeed Espey out of his boat at one top mark rounding!
Going into the last day, Flannigan was looking strong in pole position, but the points quickly reversed with discards kicking in, and ever present Alex Barry overhauling the Ballyholme duo before Flannigan was black flagged in the penultimate race to really put the pressure on, as Barry claimed his first win of the series. With the expected jostling for position in the final start, it was the Monkstown team who squeezed out ahead, as Flannigan struggled to pull back through from mid fleet, and it was they who claimed their second successive Irish RS400 title.
So how was it for the rest of the competitors? Well, one of the great things about the fleet is the coming together of so many old friends and adversaries of years gone by, with the likes of 63 year old Liam Donnelly, along with Brian Holmes, Richard Bolton, Charlie Horder and Simon Hutchison of the Scorpion fleet of years gone by, all feeling enthused again to be able to compete against each other again after several years without a double hander to sail. It is such a refreshing sight to see 50 dinghies in a single class with jibs and kites whizzing about, after so much concentration on single handed racing in recent years. The fun of having to get so many variables covered in such a beautifully easy boat to sail fast, looks to be re-energising sailing in Ireland. Who knows what 2016 holds – bring it on!

Published in RS Sailing
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There was an enforced lay day due to lack of wind at the RS400 Nationals, RS200 and RS Feva Northerns when the fleets decided they'd rather head to the bar at Ballyholme Yacht Club to watch the Ireland v Canada rugby match. This proved so popular that some suggested a lay day in the middle of future events although only if rugby readily available which means we'll have to wait 4 years for the next time.

This morning, Race Officer Robin Gray brought the start time early in a hope to fit in five races if possible before the 1500 time limit. Having witnessed the giant killing of South Africa by Japan on Friday night, some of the locals were hopeful that one of them would be able to take down the all conquering English pairing of Michael Sims and Richard Brown from Carsington Sailing Club in Derbyshire. After the first two races of the day, the upset looked on with Ballyholme's Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher only 1 point behind with a 3rd and 1st. The other stars of this morning were the Welsh pairing of Josh Metclafe and Jack Holden, conspicuous with one of the few Dacron mains in the Mylar fleet.

In the afternoon however, Alex Barry and Richard Leonard won Race 6 with Michael and Richard just behind. Flannigan and Fletcher scored a DNF, while the other local boat we expected to see featuring earlier – Robert Espey and Michael Gunning scored the first of 2 seconds despite having fallen out of the back of the boat on Race 4. It can happen to anyone.

The breeze all day was a 10-16 knot southerly with flatter water than Friday and little sunshine. The racing was just as tight with the RS400 fleet pushing the line even under U. After a general recall, Race 7 managed to get away cleanly with only 2 minutes before the time limit. The UK National Champions got away cleanly up the middle of the beat and had a comfortable lead by the gate on the downwind, carrying this through to win the race and the Open Championship overall.

They were followed up the beat closely by Flannigan & Fletcher but a busy windward mark and a wrong manoeuvre at the first gybe suddenly found the BYC boat only 10 places from the back, such was the tight nature of racing even for the last race of the day. They recovered to 14th place but not enough to see off the current Irish National Champions Alex Barry and Richard Leonard who slipped through with a 4th to win 2nd overall and retain their title as Irish champions.

The RS200 fleet saw equally tight racing over the 4 races today with only 3 points separating the top 3 of the 20 boat fleet who raced on the outer loop of the trapezoid course. Despite Frank O'Rourke winning 2 of the 4 races, it was Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson who won the RS200 Northerns from Sean Craig with Olympian crew Ciara Peelo.

The RS Feva fleet showed good speed with the front boats keeping away from the chasing RS200s until the bottom of the outer loop. In fact such recognition was rewarded by the RS200 fleet dropping to O2 from O3 for all but the first race. The biggest smiles were in Race 3 for Lucy Bell and Emma Greer who won the race courtesy of the 4 boats who were pushing the pin end of the start line all scoring OCS. Alex and Henry Start revelled in the windy conditions all day winning the final race and the RS Feva Northerns Championship.

This was the largest RS400 fleet this summer with 51 boats taking to the water today, and over 80 boats between the 3 classes, and all were thoroughly happy but tired at the end of racing. It was great to see so many boats travelling from all corners of the UK and Ireland and shows the strength of the class, especially when looking at the calibre of the sailors involved with numerous Olympians, offshore talent and National champions. Overall RS400 Eurocup winner Michael Sims thanked Ballyholme Yacht Club, their event team for the great event and warm welcome given to all in Bangor over the weekend, and the sponsors Bangor Fuels, Ards and North Down Borough Council and Corona for their support.

Ballyholme Yacht Club looks forward now to next year with the hosting of the Topper World Championships in July 2016. 

RS prizegiving1RS prizegiving2RS prizegiving3RS prizegiving4

Winners Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson with Frank O'Rourke winner of RS200 Travellers trophy and Corona models

RS400

1st Michael Sims and Richard Brown, Carsington Sailing Club, 1, 1, 1, (5), (12), 3, 1 7pts
2nd Alex Barry and Richard Leonard, Monkstown Bay Sailing Club / Royal Cork 2, (7), (4), 2, 2, 1, 4 11pts
3rd Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher, Ballyholme Yacht Club, 3, 4, 2, 3, 1, (50, DNF), (14) 13pts
4th Josh Metcalfe and Jack Holden, Y Felinheli SC, (5), (11), 3, 1, 3, 5, 3 15pts
5th Robert Espey and Michael Gunning BYC 9, 5, (50, DNF), (10), 4, 2, 2, 22pts
6th Barry McCartin and Finbarr Bradley, Cushendall Sailing Club, 11, 3, 8, 4, (26), (34), 11 37pts

RS200

1st Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson, Greystones Sailing Club, 2, 1, 2, (3) 5pts

2nd Sean Craig and Ciara Pello, Malahide Yacht Club, (3), 2, 3, 1, 6pts
3rd Frank O'Rourke and TBC, Greystones Sailing Club 1, 5 ,1 ,(5) 7pts

RS Feva
Alex Start and Henry Start, Royal St George Yacht Club, U18, 2, 3, (12 OCS), 1 6pts
Lucy Bell and Emma Greer, Strangford Lough Yacht Club U16 3, (5), 1, 5 9pts
Catherine Pooler and Anna Wilson, SLYC, U18, 5, (6), 2, 4 11pts

Published in RS Sailing

As expected, some of the cream of Irish sailing turned up for the first day of the Bangor Fuels RS400 Irish National Championshps which is the third and final stage of the RS400 Eurocup writes Mark Mackey. A scan down the entry list reveals current Olympians – James Espey (Laser) and Ryan Seaton (49er) standing in as skippers for others, Artemis Open 60 and World Record holder Michael "Chunky" Ferguson against solo Figaro sailor David Kenefick, previous ISA youth champions Robbie Gilmore and Chris Eames home from college, and Fireball champion Barry McCartin amongst many others.

We sometimes overuse the term "champagne sailing" at Ballyholme Yacht Club due to the great events we have hosted over recent years but this was the common theme of conversation from the smiling faces as they returned after three "very tight races" today - at least in the "middle to back end" of the fleet. A wrong gybe was said to cost 10 places at an event last year, today it could cost 20 places in surfing waves with sunshine and 10-15 knots of breeze.

Race Officer Robin Gray got the racing off like clockwork with windward-leeward courses being the preferred course of the RS400's today. Just as expected was the first of 4 general recalls with boats pushing both ends of the line. The black flag tamed everyone to a degree until the last of the 3 races when 5 boats just had to try too hard.

Pedigree shows and local boat and multi Irish National champion (although not in RS400's) Gareth Flannigan with David Fletcher lead the Irish charge after day 1 with scores of 3,4,2 but it was the Derbyshire pairing of Michael Sims and Richard Brown from Carsington Sailing Club who revelled best in the conditions with 3 bullets and lead after Day 1 with a 6 point advantage already. A quick look at Sailracer shows Sims and Brown as both UK National RS400 Champions and Gul Inland Champions in the last 12 months. Current RS400 Irish National champions Alex Barry and Richard Leonard from Monkstown Bay and Royal Cork lie 3rd with 2,7,4.

Two more days racing look set with similar conditions tomorrow followed by a bit more breeze on Sunday. The RS200 and RS Feva fleets will also join the RS400's for a "regional championships" starting at midday tomorrow.

The RS400 Irish National Championships are sponsored by Bangor Fuels and supported by Ards and North Down Tourism. More information about visiting Bangor can be found at http://www.visitardsandnorthdown.com/.

RS400 Irish National Championships
1. Michael Sims and Richard Brown, Carsington Sailing Club, 1,1,1
2. Gareth Flannigan and David Fletcher, Ballyholme Yacht Club, 3,4,2
3. Alex Barry and Richard Leonard, Monkstown Bay/ Royal Cork YC 2,7,4

Published in RS Sailing

#rs400 – It was a case of perpetual disorientation, but also a high point for Hastings, one of the fleet's main movers and supporters, as he judged the spiralling wind, or Carlingford Kettle, to perfection writes David Cheyne. As those around him thrashed around helplessly, Hastings bore off in a smooth arc, with crew Neil Calvin maintaining perfect kite trim, and scribed a perfect circle, with no adjustments to sheeting angle, truly an incredible sight for all to witness. As the mini tornados spun their way across the lough, availing of the unique local topography, many others did the more traditional 360 rotation, with the rig passing under the boat, and so it came to pass that we had a very odd days racing on Saturday. With a similar South Westerly breeze forecast for the Sunday, many went to bed worried about another day of randomness.

The writing was on the wall for Saturday, as we started the briefing in 20 knots of South Easterly, and finished in 20 knots of South Westerly 10 minutes later. Most relevant question was probably "how deep is it out there?"

The weekend saw the welcome return to battle of 2013 Circuit kings, Dr Bob "Bucky" Espey, and newly engaged Michael Gunning, finally making it back out after a few forays in the SB20 fleet. It was to be fascinating to see how they would fare against all conquering 2014 RS400 champion, Alex Barry of Monkstown, fresh from his win the 1720 Irish Nationals. As seems to be the case from event to event, the calibre of the RS400 fleet becomes ever more stellar, and there cannot have been many more talent loaded one design fleet racing in Ireland, with most of the top 10 being National Champions in many classes, along with resident World top ten 49er and Irish Olympian, Ryan Seaton helming Pretty Boy's boat in the absence of Chunky Ferguson. Figaro competitor and 2013 Irish Sailor of the Year Dave Kenefick, kicked off proceedings with an impressive bullet and looked like he had got himself dialled in quickly in his new boat, but the standard of those around him was quickly evident and he was to have a tough time thereafter, eventually finishing 10th overall.

Diane_Kissane__chases_David_Rose_in_race_4.jpg

Diane Kissane chases David Rose in race 4

Diane Kissane from Howth was another new face to the fleet, borrowing the RNIYC try-it-out boat #510. Typically for the forward thinking RS400 fleet, these RNIYC enthusiasts bought this old boat for about £1500, on EBay I believe, and it has been given the Uncle Liam tender loving care refurb. Diana with crew Finbar Bradley gave the fleet the big thumbs up, and after finishing 13th out of the 31 boat fleet, plan to hit the circuit next year in their own boat, adding yet another National Champion to the list, Diana having been double Irish Optimist Champion in 2005 and 2006.
After a lot of difficult and competitive sailing, going into the final race, there were just three points separating the top 3 of Bob Espey and Micheal Gunning in first from Chris Penny and Simon Martin in second and third placed David Rose and Ian Heffernan, who had won the first race on day two. Just seven points separated first to sixth. This is a clear indication of the quality that we now have throughout the 400 fleet.
Last year the Southern teams were starting to quickly overhaul the established Northern dominance of Espey and Gareth Flannigan, and whilst Flannigan had a mixed event and was to succumb to gear failure after a 2nd place in the Sunday morning opener, the top two slots were to go to the brilliant Espey followed by Olympian Ryan Seaton and Philip Adams, with Ex 400 Irish Champs Emmet and James Ryan two points clear of Rose and Heffernan in third and fourth. Chris and Simon had to settle for fifth.

Other notable performances were from Paul McLaughlin and Mick McKinley in 9th, and a strong showing from George Kingston and Ian McNamee in 7th, taking a split decision over the highly talented, but well past sell by date pairing of DrC and Stevie Kane, who shocked themselves by posting the best total over three races on Sunday (only getting this mention as I am writing the report obviously). Alex Barry, sailing this time with Andrew Lane finished an unaccustomed 6th after being joint leaders overnight.

Other big improvers were Brian Holmes sailing with a completely new crew, progressing nicely and representing the Scorpion fleet of yore, and Peter Bayley getting well in the mix. Sadly, our eldest statesman Liam Donnelly, succumbed to a Mountain Biking injury, and a punctured lung, and wasn't able to race on Sunday, but will no doubt be back to full fighting form for the next one.

So things go from strength to strength in the 400s, with an amazing 31 boats for a regional, and one can only imagine a record turnout for the Irish Nationals 18-20 September at Ballyholme, with about 10 extra teams expected from the UK fleet in what should be the hardest fought of any Irish Championships in 2015.

RS200 and Feva :

In the RS200 fleet, Greystones SC pairing of Aaron Jones and Conor Cleary dominated from the off scoring five straight race wins which allowed them to sit out the final race and be first boat ashore. Ensuring that Jones and Cleary were kept on their toes for the weekend was Meg Tyrell and Katie Noonan from the Royal Irish/Greystones. They scored five 2nd places and a well-deserved win in the final race. In third place was Ciaran & Siobhan Keogh with a great showing representing the newly emerging Cullaun Sailing Club RS fleet.

200_Action_Carlingford.jpg

The RS Feva fleet enjoyed a competitive event with three different race winners all hailing from Dun Laoghaire. The top three boats showed great consistency in spite of the shifty conditions, with none of them scoring worse than a 3rd placing. Coming out on top was Toby Hudson Fowler and Greg Arrowsmith who grew in confidence as the weekend progressed winning the final four races. In second was a very impressive display by Triona Hinkson and Kathy Kelly who managed to hold off the challenge of Clare Gorman and Sarah Fogarty in third.

Published in RS Sailing
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#rssailing – Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Alex Barry and Richard Leonard got the jump they needed when they won the final race of the RS400 Euro–cup in Carnac, France yesterday.

Two races were scheduled for the final day of the Cup. With First gun at 10:30 and no warning signal allowed passed 13:00, it was a tight window.

One race was eventually sailed in 5 – 8 knots from the North and glorious sunshine.

The Cork harbour pair lead the race from start to finish and with their closest competitors having a poor race it meant they moved up to third overall and a prized podium finish.

The race for the overall title was extremely tight with Jim Downer and Jono Price from Cowes winning on count back.

Results downloadable below.

Additional report from David Rose below:

Excellent race management, in mixed conditions over four days, made for a brilliant RS Eurocup in Carnac at the weekend for the large RS fleets competing. The RS400 had the largest, and one of the most competitive fleets with 31 entries.

Emmet Ryan, who had travelled to a well-attended Garda event last season, and was coming off the back of a 3rd place at a very competitive Irish Eastern Champs with brother James, commented that the standard at this year's European adventure was every bit as high as the top class racing he had experienced in the Italian mountains twelve months earlier. Like at that event, Emmet started really strongly, and was best of the Irish with two 8th place finishes on day one. The Ryan's were to remain consistent for the rest of the regatta, never really hitting the dizzy heights they are capable of, apart from one 5th place. They were extremely consistent with only one race outside the top 10, and will no doubt be competing for honours in Ireland all season.

Day two involved a good deal more hiking, with plaining conditions and 3 longer than usual races. When the sweat settled, Alex Barry and Richard Leonard had put in a great shift and brought themselves back in touch with the top end of the fleet after an average first day, with a 6, 3, 1. This form was to continue for another two days, with two races sailed on day 3 and one on day 4. In the final race Alex / Richard were to lead at every mark and record a second bullet in the event. This mercurial team from MBSC/RCYC, who have become accustomed to the winning circle at the Irish events just kept reeling in and passing competitors on the score board, akin to Rory Mac on birdie charge. They were to run out of races in 3rd position, a brilliant result for them, their clubs MBSC and RCYC and for Ireland.

Paul Mc Laughlin and his crew and only lady to travel Michael Mc Minkey performed admirably and finished up in 14th place, followed by Robert O' Sullivan and David Whitaker who faired particularly well on day one, and were to finish 19th. 'Uncle' Liam Donnelly and his crew Richard Mc Caid came in a respectable 22nd overall.

The Irish RS400 fleets was well represented by the following teams in order of their finishing places:

3rd - Alex Barry & Richard Leonard MBSC / RCYC
11th – Emmet Ryan & James Ryan RSTGYC
14th – Paul Mc Laughlin & Michael Mc Minkey
19th – Robert O' Sullivan & David Whitaker MBSC / RCYC
22nd – Liam Donnelly and Richard Mc Caid RNIYC

Published in RS Sailing

#RS400 – After seven races sailed at the RS400 Cup in Carnac, France, Cork Harbour pair Alex Barry and Richard from Leonard from Monkstown Bay Sailing Club stay fourth after counting a three and a six in yesterday's two 15-knot races.

Two more races to complete the series are scheduled for this morning but with a first gun at 10:30 and the breeze typically not arriving in the Bay of Quiberon before 1300 all week there is a question mark over whether a full programme being can be sailed. No race can start after 13:00 today but if racing takes place a second discard applies.

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under

#rs400 – Mid–way through the RS400 Eurocup in Carnac, France and Monkstown Bay Sailing Club's Alex Barry and Richard Leonard lie fourth overall in the international dinghy sailing championships. The Cork Harbour duo 'pulled it together' yesterday afternoon with a 6,3,1 scored to move into medal contention in the 31–boat fleet.

There were blue skies in Carnac and 12 knots of breeze for yesterday's races.The AP was raised ashore until the breeze filled in at 1pm. The three races yesterday were sailed in a very steady breeze. Three more races are scheduled today and two for Tuesday.

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under
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