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Saturday morning’s Irish National Sailing Club's Super Series attracted four RS Aeros (three 6s and a 7) and had five tight two-lap windward-leeward races writes Noel Butler.

Conditions were gusty and shifty, with everything from 10-20 kts in a very mild, almost warm southerly. Race Officer Kenny Rumball and his team of Heather Wright and INSS staff did a great job of putting the weather mark right on the median wind direction and running the races off sharply, minimising any waiting, even starting the Aeros while the other fleets were still racing.

The Super Series is unique to other racing offered in the bay as, unlike in the winter DMYC frostbites and DBSC summer series, the Aeros have their own start, as races are short and run as a sprint style this is a perfect opportunity for training for the larger national and regional events.

This Saturday saw the addition of three Fevas from the Irish National Sailing Schools Feva development squad, as the super series has the ability to run form both inside and outside the harbour depending on conditions it allows for an extremely safe environment for the young sailors, Coach Roann Mooney joined in a rib as a safety boat while also providing some coaching between races. The Short sprint style racing is such an amazing opportunity to gain vital experience in racing and developing skills first hand in a safe, fun and friendly environment while also providing a competitive element.

After plenty of thrills and spills, we adjourned back to the INSS terrace café for a hot drink and delicious gourmet sandwiches/wraps and some de-brief and gentle slagging, comparing capsizes and such!

Apart from the racing, this really was excellent training on par with the afternoon session in Howth the Friday before the Easterns. In my view, this sort of racing is the quickest way up the learning curve for anyone keen to make progress. For anyone who wants to get some intense Aero racing in a safe and friendly environment, the next race day is on Saturday, December 3rd, first start 10am.

Published in INSS
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The growing Irish RS Aero fleet closed out its summer season with a blustery Eastern Championships in Howth Yacht Club on the Hallowe’en Weekend. Thrills, spills and tactical racing were the order of the day, while shifting winds and strong tides gave the competitors something extra to think about while trying to keep the boat upright.

Top UK Aero sailor Peter Barton from Lymington (where the surname ‘Barton’ is sailing royalty) led a pre-event coaching day on Friday. It’s a testament to the International Aero community how generous the leading sailors are in sharing their tips for success. And the takeaway from this was there is no substitute for time in the boat – it was a shared experience and not at all a hard sell for the RS Aero.

Racing was postponed on Saturday due to torrential rain and blustery winds. Sunday provided champagne conditions to complete four races. Racing was held in the Sound close to Ireland’s Eye, where it was important to be aware of the tidal flow.

Local sailor Paul McMahon may have been out of his usual role at the front of the Puppeteer 22 fleet, but he showed some good late season Aero RS form, taking three wins from four races. Despite that, racing was actually very close. The overall result was still up for grabs on the last beat of the last race, with Peter Barton getting caught out of the tide and on the wrong end of a wind shift, allowing Paul to take the final race and title.

Daragh Sheridan of HYC coming in under an “interesting” sky to take third overallDaragh Sheridan of HYC coming in under an “interesting” sky to take third overall

Irish Champion Daragh Sheridan finished in third, one point behind Peter, with a seriously consistent score-line never outside the top three, while visiting Dublin Bay and Strangford Lough sailors Noel Butler and Hammy Baker rounded out the top five.

First Master from Greystones in his ILCA 6 rig was Roy Van Maanen, with new Aero owner Abby Kinsella taking first Youth and Female. Thanks from the Irish Aero RS Class to all involved in running the event, INSS for providing spares, support and prizes, Rooster Sailing providing plenty of goodies and Howth Yacht Club for providing top class hospitality.

HYC Vice Commodore Neil Murphy with Paul McMahon, Aero RS Eastern Champion 2022HYC Vice Commodore Neil Murphy with Paul McMahon, Aero RS Eastern Champion 2022

Published in Howth YC
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The 22nd of October was the first date in the 3 Saturday morning Super Series run by the Irish National Sailing Club.

MarineServices.ie as the RS agents are the event sponsors. The series, unlike other racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, offers unique sprint-style racing that sailors would not be accustomed to in their usual fleet events.

The series brings together Waszps, RS Aeros, RS 200s/400s and RS Fevas in a short windward leeward course, with two laps for the Waszps, RS 200s/400s and Aeros and one for the RS Fevas. Thus giving the ability to get in as many races as possible and giving sailors a new challenge.

The Irish National Sailing Club’s Super Series brings together Waszps, RS Aeros, RS 200s/400s and RS Fevas in a short windward leeward courseThe Irish National Sailing Club’s Super Series brings together Waszps, RS Aeros, RS 200s/400s and RS Fevas in a short windward leeward course

The morning started with race officer Kenny Rumball attempting to lay the racecourse out of the harbour; however, strong southerly gusts forced the decision to move the course inside the harbour in the hopes for more shelter.

The first race proved particularly challenging, with strong winds from the South/Southwest coming off the land. It soon proved too much for the RS Feva sailors who were sailing in the event as part of the previously reported Irish National Sailing and Powerboat schools initiative to stem the gap between training courses and racing.

The event started in the morning with 3 RS Aeros, 3 Waszps and 3 RS Fevas, with 1 more RS Aero and 2 Waszp joining after the first race. Shortly after the first race, the weather had different plans dying off, bringing light conditions and proving a real challenge for the Waszps who struggled to get enough speed required to foil. Thankfully as the wind continued to back, it increased again to a lovely 15kts.

The Waszp fleet was enjoying the fast foiling conditionsThe Waszp fleet was enjoying the fast foiling conditions

Roy Van Mannen and Noel Butler swapped 1st, and 2nd place finishes in the Aero Fleet. Sarah Byrne was in 3rd, with Daragh Mc Donagh sailing with the bigger 9 rig in 4th.

The Waszp fleet was enjoying the fast foiling conditions, Max Goodbody was very fast, but the persistent Marty O’Leary was always hot on his heels!

The Aero fleet was primarily sporting the new 6 rig that was developed to bridge the gap between the Aero 5 and the Aero 7. A major selling factor of the Aero is how easy it is to swap in between rig sizes. Sailors who may usually have opted for the slightly larger 7 rig in lighter summer air now have the opportunity to downsize just by a meter for the stronger winter winds. This allows Aero sailors of different sizes, genders, ages and fitness all to race competitively together and have the flexibility to change between rigs within a matter of minutes.

A fantastic day and we look forward to the next two races on Saturday, 12th November, and Saturday, 3rd December. We are happy to accept more entries for the remaining dates.

Published in INSS
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Ballyholme Yacht Club will be the venue over the weekend of 19th till 21st August for an RS championship event which organiser Bob Espey hopes will attract around 60 competitors.

The event will be held in the waters of Belfast Lough and consists of two different championships; the two day six race RS Aero, RS Feva and RS 2000 Northern Championship 2022 on the Saturday and Sunday and the three day nine race RS 400 and RS 200 National Championship which starts on Friday 19th August.

This will the first time the RS2000 class will have an individual start.

Entrants are encouraged to take advantage of the Early Bird entry fees if booked before 15th August, and the first 30 entries will get a free one-off event T shirt. And among the prizes will be the daily Mug of the Day award, a frequent fun feature of BYC competition and a new idea, the best Social Media post of the event.

RS championship

The Race Officer for the two-day event, sponsored by Simply Telecom and supported by Ridgeway, will be Aidan Pounder, and for the RS200/400 event, Sheela Lewis.

More information is here 

Published in RS Sailing

What happens if you race an RSAero 5 against an Aero 6 and an Aero 7 in big wind? That’s exactly the question that was on the minds of the competitors in the RS Aero fleet at the recent DMYC regatta at Dun Laoghaire.

The Aero fleet in Ireland uses the PY handicap system so that all ages, genders, sizes, shapes and abilities can race together regardless of the weather.

On a very windy day - upwind the theory would be that the smaller 5 sail would have the advantage of being less powerful and downwind the 7’s extra power would be better, with the 6 coming in the middle. As it happened four sailors Roy Van Maanen and Damien Dion as the lightweights in 5 rigs, Brendan Foley as a middleweight in a 6 rig and Stephen Oram as a more athletic sailor in a 7 rig put the theory to test.

In wind conditions with a base in the high teens and gusting to 30+ knots in the squalls it was remarkable to see that on the Olympic-style triangle/sausage course that the three rig types changed places multiple times upwind and downwind. The smaller 5 sail of Van Maanen rounded the weather mark first as he was best able to de-power but then downwind the 6 and 7 passed him only to lose again upwind.

The breeze that was not only gusty was very shifty leading to multiple capsizes from all competitors. In the end, it was the 6 rig of Brendan Foley that prevailed over the two races just beating the 5 rig of Van Maanen on count-back, with the 7 rig of Stephen Oram in 3rd. In truth the 5, 6 or 7 rig could have won demonstrating how the choice of rigs plus the PY format allows sailors of different sizes, genders, ages and fitness all to race competitively together.

RS Aeros DMYC Regatta

  1. Brendan Foley Aero 6, 1321 (3)
  2. Roy van Maanen Aero 5, 3822 (3)
  3. Stephen Oram Aero 7, 3288 (6)
  4. Damien Dion Aero 5, 3431 (8)

The 5 and 7 Aero rigs have been around for some time while the 6 is newly arrived. The 5 is similar to ILCA 5 or Laser 4.7, the 6 to the ILCA 6 or Laser Radial and the 7 comparable to the ILCA 7 or Laser full rig. The RS Aero fleet surveyed its global membership and the request for a 6 was so strong they went and made one. It is expected that the vast majority of Aero sailors in Ireland will race the 6 or 7 rigs with the 5 for young and light sailors and the massive 9 rig yet to appear at an event in Ireland and unlikely to gain traction here. In the future when the class has enough 6 or 7 rigs, one design as well as PY handicap racing will be offered.

The Aeros will race the PY format for the upcoming National Regatta, the Royal Irish Regatta and the Royal St George Regatta, allowing the class to further explore racing multiple rig sizes together over a variety of conditions.

While the Dun Laoghaire fleet battle it out, Aero sailors Daragh Sheridan (7 rig) of Howth, Roy Van Maanen of Greystones/Dun Laoghaire (5 rig) and Noel Butler (7 rig) of Dun Laoghaire will be at Columbia River Gorge, Oregon in the US for the RS Aero World Championships. All are capable of top 10 finishes or better - we wish them well.

Published in RS Aero
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After the Covid enforced hiatus, the first one-day regatta hosted by a Dun Laoghaire harbour yacht club in four years took place last Saturday, with the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club “breaking the ice” for the other three clubs.

Despite a good deal of sunshine on the day, the wind forecast wasn’t so benign and a South-Westerly of 15 knots gusting to 23/24 knots was “on the cards” from early in the week before. Indeed, on the morning of the regatta, the three Race Officers, Susanne McGarry (DBSC Hut), Barry O’Neil (Green Fleet), Cormac Bradley (Dinghy Fleet) and Regatta Co-ordinator, Ben Mulligan, contemplated an hour-long postponement in the hope that the predicted and apparent breeze might ease. It didn’t and the Race Officers and their RIB entourages set out to provide the day’s racing. The dinghies, comprising Fireballs (5), Aeros (4) and ILCA 6s (5) represented about half of the starting roster with Squibs and Mermaids absent and no other ILCAs coming out to play.

The dinghy course was set off Salthill inshore of the Green Fleet and well to the West of the DBSC Hut Fleet who initially set out westwards before peeling off on a spinnaker leg to the East. While a hand-held was recording regular wind speeds of 15 – 17 knots, the numbers went up on a routine basis to record gusts in the low twenties and their arrival was heralded by darker clouds passing overhead. A postponement was flown to allow the dinghy participants more time to get to the race area but even those who did make it decided that there was to much “oomph” on the water and hightailed it home almost as soon as they arrived.

Racing in winds in the high teens/low twenties can be challenging enough, but couple that with multiple gear failures and the day goes from potentially intimidating to downright frustrating. One well-known Fireballer suffered a broken main halyard before the racing started. Having taken some time to resolve that and present himself on the start line he would go on to suffer a broken spinnaker sheet and a shredded mainsheet, proving that even multiple throws of the dice by an experienced hand can still produce ones.

The five-boat Fireball fleet saw both races won by Josh Porter & Cara McDowell (14695), though they did get a slice of luck in the second race when the boat leading into the last leeward mark capsized giving them the win. Adrian Lee (14713) took second place ahead of Frank Miller & Neil Cramer (14915). On a day when staying upright was key, the level of competition within the fleet was modest and exchanging tacks on the course was not a primary activity. However, Porter & McDowell showed what a light crew can do on a heavy-duty day and looked very comfortable, both upwind and downwind. Spinnakers were flown in both races but not on both reaches of either race.

Another to score a pair of aces was Hugh Cahill (216594) in the ILCA6 fleet which also had five boats racing. Hugh was well placed in the first race, but not leading, when the lead boat went for a swim, allowing Hugh to take the first gun. In the second race he didn’t have to rely on others making errors in order to cross the line first. In overall terms he was followed home by Damien Delap (183295), and Michael Norman (219126).

The Aero fleet mustered 3 Aero 7s and an Aero 5, the latter sailed by Roy van Maanen. This added a bit of intrigue to their racing as it meant there was a handicap race going on within their fleet. Stephen Oram indicated that they enjoyed close racing by way of the lighter van Maanen in the smaller rig being competitive relative to the “bigger helms” sailing the Aero 7. Three of the four Aeros enjoyed relatively close racing with the fourth boat being off the pace. Brendan Foley took the regatta win in the Aero 7, followed by Roy van Maanen (Aero 5) and Stephen Oram (Aero 7).

With two races in the bag and a recent gust of 26 knots recorded on the handheld and given that the Green Fleet had shut up shop for the day, the dinghies were dispatched to the harbour where the day’s proceedings were assessed under a blue-sky afternoon.

DMYC Regatta 2022.

Fireballs
1. Josh Porter & Cara McDowell, 14695 (2)
2. Adrian Lee & crew, 14713 (5)
3. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer 14915 (6)

ILCA6s
1. Hugh Cahill 216594 (2)
2. Damien Delap 183295 (4)
3. Michael Norman 219126 (7)

Aeros
1. Brendan Foley Aero 7, 1321 (3)
2. Roy van Maanen Aero 5, 3822 (3)
3. Stephen Oram Aero 7, 3288 (6)

Published in DMYC

Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) PY dinghy overall leader Noel Butler was on the podium at the weekend at the third Italian RS Aero event of the season on the beautiful Island of Elba.

The event was dominated by national champion Filipo Vincis from Sardinia, with Davide Mulas also from Sardinia in second.

Butler, of the National Yacht Club, finished third and Greystones/RStGYC’s Roy Van Maanen finished fourth in a small but very competitive fleet and very light and tricky conditions.

Both Irish sailors will be back in action as usual in DBSC racing on Tuesday evening in Scotsman’s Bay.

At the end of the month, Van Maanen, Daragh Sheridan of Howth (the recently crowned Irish national champion) and Butler will compete in the RS Aero World Championships in Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon, USA.

Published in RS Aero
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The National Yacht Club's Noel Butler sailing his RS Aero 'Orion' was on top again in the DBSC's AIB Summer dinghy series with two more wins in Tuesday night racing (May 24th) in his RS Aero dinghy to bring his strike rate to seven from eight races sailed.

Richard Tate's Finn took second last night with Aero helmsman Roy Van Maanen in third place in race eight. These top three positions are reflected in the overall leaderboard. 

Seven competed in the two races held in Scotsman's Bay under Race Officer Suzanne McGarry. Westerly winds ranged from 14 to under ten knots.

Laser

Like Butler, Gary O'Hare sailing Buster III maintains his overall lead in the Laser Standard division with two wins last night giving him seven wins from eight.

Only three Lasers competed in last night's racing with Conor O'Leary second and Theo Lyttle in third in race eight. All three are from the Royal St. George Yacht Club

Fireball

In a five boat turnout for the Fireball class, Neil Colin's Elevation from the DMYC also won both races last night. Overall, Colin leads after eight races with clubmate Frank Miller in second and Pink Fire skippered by Royal St. George's Louise McKenna third. 

Full results in all DBSC classes are below. Three live Dublin Bay webcams featuring some DBSC race course areas are here

Published in DBSC
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Howth Yacht Club's Daragh Sheridan continued his recent run of good form to win the Irish RS Aero National Championships on the 14th & 15th of May 2022 in Ballyholme Yacht Club. The second Nationals of the fast-growing Aero class was held in tricky light to moderate conditions on Belfast Lough. The result went right down to the wire with a last race, winner takes all decider between Sheridan and Hammy Baker of Strangford Lough.

A healthy entry of 17 competitors were made to feel very welcome on arrival and throughout the weekend by Robin Grey and all involved with running the event in Ballyholme.

Day one saw Noel Butler of the National Yacht Club get off to a cracking start by winning the first two races in light, shifty and gusty conditions. Butler threaded the needle superbly in the variable breeze coming out of Ballyholme bay to lead at the end of the day by adding a fifth-place to his opening wins. In second was Baker with a consistent 2,4,3 scoreline. Holding on to third thanks largely to a win in the final race of the day was Sheridan. Most sailors had at least one bad result on day one, which they hoped would be their discard. This was the case for Rob Howe from Monkstown Bay Sailing club who had to hold a ninth in race one alongside two excellent second-place finishes.

Day two dawned with the promise of more breeze but it proved to be quite fickle and made for another challenging day for the sailors and those on the Committee Boat. Race four saw Sheridan take the win from Baker in second and class President Brendan Foley from the Royal St George Yacht Club in third. In the next race, Baker reversed the order with his first win of the series, with Sheridan in second and Howe third.

This meant that Sheridan led by one point from Baker going into a winner takes all last race. The final was a terrific encounter with the top four boats rounding the first weather mark almost overlapped. Sheridan gained a lead on the downwind which he held to the finish to take the overall win. Butler completed the podium in third and Rob Howe was fourth and first Master with Foley in fifth.

Sarah Dwyer was first Lady choosing to sail her 7-rig due to the light conditions.

Irish RS Aero National Championships resultsIrish RS Aero National Championship results

Special mentions go to Brain Bibby who sailing at seventy-six years young providing a superb example to us all in taking home the Grand Master prize.

RS Aero class President Brendan Foley commented “A big thank you to Ballyholme Yacht Club for a great welcome and in particular Robin Gray for all the organising. Our second national champion Daragh was a highly deserving winner sailing smartly in very challenging shifty conditions. I was delighted to see lots of new faces in the fleet and in the words of our grandmaster sailor Brian Bibby “Your friendship is quite overwhelming” which sums up what the Aero fleet is all about - fun, friendship, and great competition.”

The next Irish regional event sees a return to Ballyholme for the Northerns in August. Prior to that the highly active Irish Aero sailors travel to the UK Nationals, Italian regionals, and the World Championships in Oregon in the US later in June.

Published in RS Aero
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Another win for Noel Butler last night in DBSC Tuesday night dinghy racing gives him four wins from five starts of the PY division in his RS Aero dinghy.

Race five was run by Race Officer Declan Traynor in Scotsman's Bay to the East of Dun Laoghaire Harbour in light southeast winds.

RS Aeros took the top three places with Paul Phelan's SeeSea second and Sarah Dwyer's Tikka third.

Overall it means Butler leads by nine pints from rival Greystones Harbour RS Aero sailor Roy Van Maanen. Third overall is Finn sailor Richard Tate. 

In the Laser Standard, Gary O'Hare, sailing Buster III won from Conor O'Leary.

O'Hare leads overall on three points from Royal St. George clubmate Theo Lyttle on five. 

Last night's scheduled race six for all classes was abandoned due to lack of wind. 

Full DBSC results are below.

Published in DBSC
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