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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.

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

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

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.


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


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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RS Aero sailor Noel Butler was last night's winner of both DBSC PY races and sits on three net points to lead the overall Dublin Bay series after four races sailed by six points. 

The DBSC Race officer for the inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour racing was Declan Traynor. Winds were 10 to 12 knots from the southwest.

Second overall, counting a two and a three last night, is Greystones Harbour sailor Roy Van Maanen.

Third overall is Richard Tate in his Finn dinghy.

Butler has had a busy start to the racing season with – in the last fortnight alone – a podium finish on Lake Garda at the Italian Nationals RS Aero Series while last weekend he was back in his Fireball dinghy for some pre-World championship training on Lough Derg.

Published in DBSC
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Noel Butler put his recent top form in Italy to good use on Dublin Bay last night when the RS Aero sailor won the PY division of the AIB DBSC Tuesday race.

Winds were light southerlies light and racing took place in Scotsman's Bay under Race Officer Jim Dolan.

RS Aeros took the top three places with Michael McCambridge's RanchAero second and Sarah Dwyer's Tikka in third.

Overall, after just two races sailed in a ten boat Tuesday Series, Butler leads by three points from Richard Tate on six. Greystones sailor Roy Van Maanen is third on eight.

Published in DBSC
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A few RS Aero sailors travelled to Lake Garda at the weekend for some Aero racing for the second Italian National Series RS Aero Regatta concluded alongside the Open Skiffs in Garda Trentino at Circolo Vela Arco over the long weekend from 23rd to 25th April.

Fresh from his recent Irish Southerns win at Monkstown Bay, Daragh Sheridan of Howth Yacht Club finished second by a point. Noel Butler of the National Yacht Club won the first race and also made the podium in third place.

The Garda Trentino produced reliable winds for an eight race series for the 25 entries in the RS Aero fleet, split between the RS Aero 5 and RS Aero 7 Classes.

Noel Butler (National YC, IRL)Noel Butler (National YC, IRL) Photo: Elena Giolai

In the RS Aero 5s victory went of Matteo Lubrano Lavadera (LNI Procida), in front of local sailor Filippo Michelotti (LNI Riva del Garda). On the third step on the podium was Francesco Esposito Di Marcantonio (LNI Procida).

Filippo Vincis (LNI Sulcis) won in RS Aero 7 Class from Daragh Sheridan (Howth, IRL) and Noel Butler (National YC, IRL).

Juliane Barthel (Dummer YC, GER) finished first female in 4th whilst the president of the Italian Class Guido Sirolli (Tognazzi Marine Village), won the over 55s Masters category in 5th. First Under 21 was Davide Mulas (LNI Sulcis) in 7th overall.

The regatta was well supported with a large contingent travelling from Sardinia and international visitors including four German and four Irish competitors (in charter RS Aeros).

Results downloadable below

Published in RS Aero
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