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#RS – A strong gusty breeze scared off more than a few of the usual competitors from the DMYC Frostbite Series on Sunday the 8th of March, and a reduced fleet were left wondering as two o'clock approached whether or not racing was going to happen. The race committee decided to postpone by fifteen minutes to see whether or not the wind was going to drop as forecast, they were proven correct, and set the usual trapezoidal course inside the harbour in an ideal ten to fifteen knots, and due to the postponement, made it slightly shorter than usual, signalling four laps. The start was an interesting affair, with all the RS400s and O'Leary and Willliamson's 200 deciding to fight over the favoured boat end. All their efforts came to nothing however, as a general recall was signalled because the wrong flags were used to start the race!

The restart came off cleaner, with Rumball and Brazel getting a clear start slightly to windward of Cleary, with O'Leary and Williamson having to make a quick tack into clear air.

All boats found the shifty, gusty conditions a struggle and it was Rumball and Brazel's 400 that made it to the windward mark in first position, followed by Cleary and O'Leary being the first 200.

The top reach was a very gusty place, with not too many braving a kite after the first lap, when the breeze decided to come up. The lead was hard fought until the second reach, where Cleary's choice to chance a kite proved costly, as they where dragged to leeward by the 400's large asymmetric and they lost ground to Rumball, who decided not to take the risk. The order of the fleet stayed pretty much static from there on in, with Rumball and Brazel taking line honours, and O'Leary and Williamson being the first RS200 home. All in all it was another ideal day to be racing in Dun Laoghaire, with the sun even choosing to make an appearance a few times!

Thanks to Kevin Brazel for this weeks report and Sean Clery for the video.

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#rssailing – Sunday's RS dinghy DMYC frostbites race felt like the first day spring with clear skies and a gentle force 3 breeze to get us started off which steadily increased as the day went on.

Race one again saw some some congestion on the committee boat end of the start line. However, Cleary/O'Brien combination managed to avoid this and arrived at the windward mark first with the help of a left hand shift. They were closely followed by the Ryan brothers and the Rumball boat. The positions remained the same for the rest of the lap despite traffic from the other fleets. On the next beat, the Ryan brothers and the Rumball boat went right more to the better breeze towards the harbour mouth which saw them overtake Cleary/O'Brien. The Ryan brothers then sailed off into the distance leaving the Rumball boat and Cleary/O'Brien to scrap it out. The Ryan brothers took line honors followed by the Rumball boat and then Cleary/O'Brien.

Race 2, saw the breeze begin to rise quite nicely to the stage where the RS's were planing on the spreader leg. Brian O'Hare and Alice Brennan got off to a good start leading the fleet to the first windward. The Ryan brothers and the Rumball boat eventually got past everyone and began their own match race at the front. The Ryan brothers again finished first and were closely follow by the Rumball boat and followed by Cleary/O'Brien.

Next week promises to be an even better outing with the long range forecast predicting a southerly force 4 and a tropical 9 degrees celsius.

Weekly Mug went to Clodagh Hinkson & Helen O'Beirne in the rs 200 for race 1 and Brian O'Hare & Alice Brennan for race 2.

Thanks to Sean Cleary for this week's report.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – Gifted with a northerly breeze of around 12 knots the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite race committee set a longer than usual trapezoidal course outside the harbour, signalling five laps to the 6  RS 400s and 3 RS 200s that ventured out writes Kevin Brazel.

With a large pin end bias the start was always going to be a combative affair and this was proven to be the case when Rumball and Brazel's attempt at a port tack flyer went horribly wrong, spitting them out the back into the rest of the fleet's dirty wind.

With a strong flood tide the first beat was over as soon as it started, with Rumball making his task harder by picking up a penalty turns. After the madness of the windward mark, the fleet was treated to a long downwind leg in perfect RS conditions. Two boats broke away from the fleet, McDonald and Kingston, with Rumball fighting back into contention with Ryan and Cleary to form a tightly bunched chasing pack. This pack remained with constant changes to the order until Clearly broke away on the "bottom" leg of the trapezoid on lap 3 and unluckily missed out on a huge lift that took Rumball/Brazel and the Ryans into their own match race.

All things remained equal for the rest of the race, with McDonald first, Kingston second, and the Ryans and Rumball following working hard to close the gap.

O'Leary and Williamson continued their dominance of the 200s, having a healthy lead for the duration, followed by the other two boars of Byrne and Totterdell. The heavier breeze really suited the 400s and they were able to get away from the 200s on PY taking the first four places.

Overall the series is still open with three weekends remaining, however Marty O'Leary/Rachel Williamson have an 8 point lead over Emmet and James Ryan, who have a tight hold on second position.

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#rssailing – RS Sailor David Cheyne reports from Day four of Royal North Ireland's (RNIYC) Autumn Series on Belfast Lough.

You know the way you can want something so badly that you can convince yourself it is something entirely different, well that is what happens when you haven't sailed for 4 weeks due to a truculent weather God, and the relaxed kite pop in 15 knots turns out to be an underestimate by about 100% as you nearly shoot out the back of the boat..... Well, after a drifter on the first Sunday and a couple of hurricanes' backsides on Days 2 and 3, racing of a sort got underway at last at RNIYC today, in a rather fruity 15-29 knots of sunshiney gloriousness.

Why would you sail a simple single hander when you can sail something much more complicated and thus amplify the opportunity for snarl ups, as ably demonstrated by Chrs Penney, who arrived late, with no sheets. Once the appropriate strings had been commandeered from a variety of sources, the Irish Champion, taking time out from his intensive youth squad coaching duties (i.e. Boat preparation, racing tactics etc) promptly yotted off to the race area under limited control, due to his tiller extension not being attached to his tiller, really....

Lots of bits fell off today, including Laura O'Hallorahoolahan, from 1230, and the evergreen Ginge from 825, launching himself unnaturally skyward, into a high tariff dive which drew no applause from Trevor D'Arcy, who was probably wondering if getting back into the class again was going to be as simple as it might have been. For some reason the old timers also decided to drop their kite by pulling the pole out of the front of the boat and cutting the launch line.... always carry a sharp knife when big boat sailing – old habits die hard. Slot gaskets were inspected by all, and by some, such as Dr Hutch and Stuart A, repeatedly, despite Dr H's assertion that No More Nails was just as good as the correct glue. Well I can tell you that it doesn't work as well, and my temporary fix using NMN at Mounts Bay finally succumbed to the endless high wind battering we have had since then, to deliver another fine torrent of foamy sea through the middle of my cockpit. Boat preparation is key it seems.

So onto racing, because that was why we were there, albeit those ashore having lunch might have queried what exactly we were all up to. 12-14 ships set out, and in charge if cat herding was as ever, our long suffering Race Kommandant, Gerry Reid. After giving up waiting for all the boats to be the right way up at the same time, hostilities were commenced, with only one boat capsized on the start line as the sequence started (probably a tactic). Entering the fray, rather later than planned, were Charlie and Wendy, hosing in at mach 2, with their pink kite slightly dictating play, demonstrating that it was still pretty windy. Not sure what happened then, as they came third, so presumably got her spun round in double quick time. Boshing upwind in 20+ knots, DrC and Stevie K punched out a few lengths, and approaching the first mark went for a conservative rounding, which was of course, a red rag to our very own Dick Turpin, Uncle Liam, who saw the gap and snuck through to take the lead. Some fishing by DrC allowed Liam to extend quickly, before a game of hunt the leeward mark broke out. The cleverly camouflaged buoy, sea green in colour, was eventually spotted deeper than expected, taking all the excitement out of the run. Well, there was of course the option of sending it and popping a couple of gybes, but that seemed unwise, and everyone bumbled boringly to the bottom of the course. Lap 2 got a bit livelier again, and it all kicked off at the second top turn, as the gauge strained and, as DC went all softy and declined to pull the trigger on the hoist, the lemmings behind all sniffed a chance, as chutes were launched. This prompted Uncle Liam and Johnny O to stack it and send it over the handlebars, followed by everyone else, who seemed to think this was part of the game. A healthy lead thus established, DrC further embarrassed his family by tacking around at the gybe, providing a good view of the swimming competition behind.
As it looked worse than it was, the rescue cavalry arrived, including the Start/Finish RIB, only to discover that everyone was in fact enjoying the communal activity, leaving Dr C to round the last mark, with no line to finish at. True to form, our erstwhile mobile Race Officer reappeared like Mr Ben, as the leaders arrived at the finish, and rewards were handed out to Dr C/ Steve, and then the two lady crew, with Laura and Paul in second, and Charlie and Wendy in third. The rest all bumbled in thereafter, and with Gerry declaring the whole thing unwise, we all headed for shore. Well, we were meant to, only it was too much fun, so kites were hoisted here there and everywhere, as we all, rather unhelpfully, to the safety teams, went for a quick last blast before bedtime. No harm done, and apologies duly offered and accepted by the Race Team, I think.

Day 6, races 2-4, Report

15 races scheduled so far, one completed, things could only get better, and so it came to pass, the sun came out, the wind appeared from a glassy lough, and we were offski. Crew swapping done, leaving Liam to speak to his attorney, we headed off for a jolly good bunfight in the shiftless NE 5-7 knots, albeit too light for any injuries or embarrassing scenarios to arise.

DrC nipped out in Race 1 of the day, and a procession ensued, Darcy in first loser spot, followed by event sponsor Bosun Bob, of the little shop on the corner opposite the Marina, doing a great pre-Christmas deal on ships in a bottle. Not a very exciting race really, but it served to double the achievement to date.

Race two was a bit more of a shuffle, with traffic jams at the bottom mark leading to inversions of order, and some shoddy roundings by most. Darcy snuck through by taking the great circle route round the fence stallers, jumping up 4 spots to take the lead coming to the top for the second time. DrC made some ground and tried to snare the men from Carrick, but missed the catch, momentarily, before managing to poke them up the bum with his pole, and conceded to a quick spin to relieve the impropriety. Bit more shuffling and Paul McLaughlin nipped through to take the first of his two first-loser slots of the day. Darcy rumbled on to take the biggest rosette.

Race three was abandoned half way up the beat, after a 30 degree leftie as the start gun fired confused everyone, and left Cushendall man McLaughlin leading the lopsided fleet in a straight line to the first mark. Some felt this to be the right decision by Gerry Reid, our erstwhile Race Officer, though Paul knew fine rightly it was because he was from Cushendall.

Determined to flick his thumb off the underside of his top teeth at the process, Paul promptly raced into a lead in the final race of the day, and looked to have it in the bag, when a masked man on a galloping horse made an unexpected appearance, riding in to pinch it off him.

The day's top performer was probably Bosun Bob, with some great speed and a very consistent 3,4,4, showing his blue boat has clearly exorcised the demons of his red hull of yore.

Steady Force 4 and blue skies on the cards next Sunday, so bring it on again in a week.

Results sheet downloadable below.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – Sunday 16th dawned bright and breezy, but as the RS fleets launched into Dun Laoghaire harbour, the breeze had dropped right off to a shifty five knots for the DMYC Frostbite Series. The fleet was sent outside for racing, and fortunately the breeze decided to play ball and built to a pleasant 10-15 knots from the North East.

After a short postponement, the rs's were the third fleet to start, with a favourable pin end. The fleet jockeyed to get of the pin, with four boats OCS, Mark Nolan and Heather Craig, Andrew Algeo and Paul Nolan, Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson and Chris helme and Alan Claffey.

Marty and Rachel were the sole boat to turn around and restart and were left to chase the fleet up the first of 5 beats. By the windward mark, the fleet had compressed, with some snakes and ladders up the beat. Marty and Rachel rounded first, hotly pursued by Sarah Byrne.

Up the second beat Sarah Byrne broke into the lead, only to be reeled back in by mark and heather sailing 1015 and Marty and Rachel sailing 1170.

Th final order of the 200s was to be Marty and Rach followed by Mark and Heather only to realise they were OCS, leaving second place to Sarah Byrne, 3rd spot went to Chris and Emily Arrowsmith.

RS400 Fleet

The 6 strong 400 fleet had a battle royale from the off.

After what can only be described as a pin end frenzy of a start - Leg 1 saw Andrew Algeo & Paul Nolan (1335) and Emmet & James Ryan (1339) nip out in front from the left side of the course. These were closely followed by newcomer Rumball, with Kingston and Cleary joining the chase from the right side. The first windward mark saw the 5 frontrunners pop kites almost simultaneously, and peel onto a lively leg 2 in surfable swell. Ryan's hoist resulted in a slightly ripped kite, and Rumball (1143) slipped back to 4th, allowing Kingston to slot into third as the pack settled, and planed on downwind.

The next 3 rounds of the trapezoid course saw position changes on almost every leg. Chased hard by Kingston, Algeo (subsequently scored OCS) hung on to pole position for a good portion of the race. The Ryans gallantly powered on with their ripped kite in 3rd, and managed to keep Alexander Rumball, Sean Cleary (1017) and Brian O'Hare (582) at bay. Kingston & Mcnamee finally managed to reel Algeo in on the third round, and went on to put a good distance between themselves and the fleet over the final 2 laps to take another win in the 400 class and the DMYC mug for the day's racing.

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#rssailing – 13 RS 400s came to the Royal North of Ireland line yesterday, with boats coming from Cushendall, Dublin and Ballyholme. The RNIYC series runs for another six weeks, breaking for Christmas, then starting again for 12 weeks as the 'Frosties'.

Published in RS Sailing

#rssailing – A whopping 98 RS sailors across the three fleets took part in a glorious if slightly windless Westerns in Lough Ree last weekend, comprising 24 400s, 14 200s and 11 fevas writes Heather King.
Many boats arrived on the Friday night to make the most of the lovely venue for the weekend. Saturday morning we awoke to a glassy lake and as we launched and drifted out a small breeze piped up. All credit due to the PRO Liam Moloney and his team who with infinite patience and much moving of marks managed to get two races away before finally drawing a line under it for the day.
In the 400s it was Alex Barry and Richy Leonard who were overnight leaders with a very consistent 1 and 2 , 2nd overnight were father and son pairing of Christopher and Niall Eames while newcomers Sandy Rimmington and Richy Harrington who had led to both first windward marks needed a bit of time to practise their downwind speed but still ended up third after day one. In the 200s Sarah and Ciara Byrne who had a 2 and a 1 respectively led from Sean Craig and Heather King while newcomers to the Feva fleet Zach and Ben McMullin counted two firsts .
Saturday evening was spent mostly in the bar after a fantastic meal provided by the club before retiring to tents and boats and campervans for the night.
Sunday had promised a little more wind and indeed it looked good early on. Out on the water some early wind shifts followed by a general recall for the 200s made for a lot more mark moving for the tireless mark laying team and it was only the Fevas who got away promptly on the first race. The 200s and 400s followed in due course and just got in a race before the wind died away completely. Have to say if there is a place to be hanging around between races Lough Ree is not a bad place to do it! No one was complaining as we drifted around chatting and assuming that was it for the day. Just as the sailors were beginning to give up, a small breeze began and built to be the best breeze of the weekend and the PRO got us started again promptly for race 4 of the series. There were two general recalls for the 400s in race 5 with Gareth Flanagan, Harrington and Rimmington and Eastern Champ Sean Cleary falling foul of the black flag. As the second race of the day was finishing there was roughly five minutes left to the deadline start time for the last race of the day, and with literally seconds to go the PRO blew the 5 minute for the Fevas signalling the start of sequence.
After 5 races Alex Barry was clear leader in the 400s with a 1,1,2,4 and discarding a 4, followed by Chris Penney and Simon Martin in second with Christopher and Niall Eames taking third.
In the 200s it was Sean Craig and Heather King who took the title with a very close fight behind him which up until the last reach to the finish in the last race looked like it could have been a three way tie for second, third and fourth. Stephen Craig and Conor Foley came out on top of the bunch securing second overall with Roy Van Maanen and Kevin O Rourke in third.
The Fevas saw local brothers Zack and Ben McMullin taking first overall with three firsts and a fourth to count. Second was Alison Dolan and Grainne Young followed by Greg Arrowsmith and Conor Little in third.
All credit to the Race management team for holding their nerve and patience to get in 5 races in such tricky conditions. Many thanks to Lough Ree for a very warm welcome and I am sure it wont be long till we are back there again. Full results below.

Published in RS Sailing

#RSsailing – Normally you have to drive for a couple of days with an overnight ferry and a long slow tunnel through a montagne to get sailing conditions like those enjoyed by the RS fleets at Strangford Lough, this weekend.

Sunshine both days normally means one good day, balanced by another with fickle breeze and a lot of sitting around. Thankfully the high pressure system in the Atlantic sat far enough the left to drag a steady northerly airstream whizzing straight down the lake like the Ora we so love in Italy. Okay, so it wasn't 25 degrees and in fresh water, no spectacular cliffs plunging into the lake as James Bond writes off a new Aston in the tunnel by the start line, and the sun was on the wrong side of the rig, but the breeze was super steady, with the only shift over 10 degrees was the one on Saturday night which meant the windward mark was set 100 metres left of its starting position the first day. It was also every bit as beautiful with the green rolling basket of eggs topography and low lying islands dotted around.

As always the crew at SLYC looked after us terrifically well, with a great team led by Mark Fletcher. Rock and roll on Saturday night was provided by the maestro himself, Charles Horder, outstanding.

With no hills to mess with the wind, we were treated to a fantastic force 2-4, with no need to muck about with the course between races. Speed is king in this sort of breeze = pain in the legs, but with the adrenaline maxing out on the dials, there was no time to complain. Needless to say, the kings of speed were Dr Bob and Mike Gunning, racking up 5 bullets to easily take the crown for the nth year in a row. With the result not really in doubt after Saturday's four races, many would be expected to plan an early drive home after Sundays two planned races, but that is not why we sail RS400s. A quick straw poll on Saturday after racing drew an unopposed majority decision to run an extra 7th race on Sunday. Just as well for many on Sunday race 1, as a bit of confusion spread from the pointy end to the middle of the running order, with half the fleet deciding to sail to the finish line after lap 2. Never a good thing to do in a three lapper, the race leaders were to limp home in double figures, and Espey rolled in the winner yet again.

Race 6 was notable for the fact that Bob and Mike didn't win, after Dr DC and Hardman Steve Kane romped off for one of the most impressive victories in living memory. Their amazing uphill speed, mostly fear driven, was to immediately desert them in race 7, with the usual running order resuming and a 5th Espey bullet. If it sounds like the event winners had an easy ride, it wasn't the case, with plenty of teams pushing them hard before their class brought them through in the end. Multiple Irish Champions Gareth Flannigan and Dave Fletcher bagged lots of 2s to claim a deserved 2nd, and Sean Cleary and Steve Tyner would undoubtedly have got a bit closer with some more consistency, as they were frequently the only ones with boat speed to match the Ballyholme duo.

First geriatrics were Dr C and Stevie Kane in 4th, courtesy of 2 wins and Dave Rose's exploding rudder stock, which stymied his impressive upward progress since joining the fleet this year. Another new face getting faster all weekend was Chris Penney, ex laser Champion, slotting in at 7th in their first event, whilst Aidan MacSweeney of Corkway scored his first top 10 in 9th, despite having the handicap of Ben Duncan crewing for him. Robbie Gilmore with his old man John, showed that Charlie Horder's horse is actually a very fast boat in the right hands, as top SLYC team in 10th, and first laydee was Paul McMahon in 12th. We were also treated to the sight of the great Peter Kennedy finally racing a 400, thanks to Saturday-racing-only-please Terry Fair's generous loan of his boat.
So, 25 RS400s at a regional event......getting hotter!

Given the timing of this event the RS200 and Feva fleets were much depleted by exams and holidays. The Fevas were won by this years new pairing of Alison Dolan and Grainne Young from Blessington and NYC respectively, followed in second by Triona Hinkson with Cathy Kelly from the RSGYC. Third overall was Helen O Beirne and Cliona Coyle. Also out in their first event were local girls Juliette Kennedy and Lucy Bell. Testing conditions in the wind for these youngsters who all showed remarkable boat handling. The 200s were won by Sarah Byrne and Heather King from Greystones and RSGYC, followed by Aaron Jones and Conor Clery also from Greystones. Third was father and daughter paining of Michael and Meg Tyrell from RIYC.

Next event up for the RS family is the Westerns at Lough Ree on July 19/20th. 

Results here

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#rssailing – There was a buzz in the Monkstown Bay SC dinghy park last Saturday morning writes David Rose. There was a real feeling of a fresh start for dinghy sailing in this part of the world, with 20 boats hitting the start line and many new teams competing for the first or second time in the Feva, RS200 and RS400 classes alongside seasoned campaigners. Overall results are available to download below.

There were some nerves and a lot of smiling faces as the teams got through the formalities of rigging and entering, which included a barbecue later that day to replenish the energy spent on the water.

It was clear from the forecast and the talk in the dinghy park that it was going to be a day full of exertion, with an 8 race program to be run over one day. This format is designed to be just as competitive as regional events, but with an emphasis on getting as much sailing in as possible allowing crews to improve their performance. General recalls and protests don't come into it, it's all about the sailing, which makes for a very enjoyable and productive outing for all.

Monkstown was out in strength with a small army of volunteers ensuring that everything was running smoothly and it was.

Racing got underway in glorious conditions, with gusts coming down a sunny racecourse packed with boats. The spectacle was fantastic, and a local sailor viewing from a spectator boat commented to me afterwards that we could have charged for tickets, the racing was so good to watch, with boats flying into the leeward gate from every angle at high speeds.

The race team provided rapid fire 3,2,1 go races with minimal delays, and 8 races were sailed over a long but exhilarating day. Many teams were feeling exhausted when they hit the dock, with some people asking their fellow competitors for help pulling their boats out of the water after giving their all to the racing.

The energy and enthusiasm for the sport was palpable ashore, with crews beaming from ear to ear and telling each other just how wrecked they felt. There was a superb atmosphere in the bar afterwards and it seemed fitting that Alex Barry who had organised the event took the honours in the RS400 class with Paul O'Sullivan crewing, followed by another impressive local performance from John Downey and Sandy Rimmington.

The 200's were won by Trevor Fisher and Heather King who showed great support for the class by making the trip to Cork so soon after a sprint in NI.

The Feva's were won by Cork sailors Harry Durcan and Peter Hyland of the RCYC.

Onwards and upwards for this group of classes. I feel we could get another few new joiners from the success of this non ranking sprint event alone. Many people waxed lyrical about how enjoyable and challenging these two handed boats are to sail.

The next outing is the Northerns, followed by the Westerns and then Riva Del Garda in Italy and a Nationals in Galway before returning to the South for a Kinsale southerns. This is an action packed circuit.

Thanks to OOD Ciarán McSweeney, sponsors the Bosun Bar & Guesthouse and Ramen - "Asian Street Food" and most importantly the army of volunteers from Monkstown Bay who put on an amazing event and fed all of the sailors with a BBQ after etc.

#rssailing – With single day entry for busy people, Ballyholme Yacht Club on Belfast lough is pulling out all the stops to make a big success of this month's Irish RS400 and RS 200 Sprint Championships. Staged on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th May 2014 there will be 16 races over two days with new "M type" or "box type" courses.  The Notice of Race is posted below for download as a pdf file.


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