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Ireland

18/09/2015
Irish Nationals

    Photos: Jen Brittain

     

    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. 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!!

    Dave Cheyne

     

     

    Sailwave results for RS400 EUROCUP(IRISH NATIONALS) at BALLYHOLME YACHT CLUB 2015

    event burgee venue burgee

    RS400 EUROCUP(IRISH NATIONALS)

    BALLYHOLME YACHT CLUB

     

    RS400 Fleet

    Sailed: 7, Discards: 2, To count: 5, Entries: 49, Scoring system: Appendix A
    Rank Fleet SailNo HelmName CrewName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett
    1st RS400 1435 Michael Sims Richard Brown Carsington Sailing Club 1.0 1.0 1.0 (5.0) (12.0) 3.0 1.0 24.0 7.0
    2nd RS400 1126 Alex Barry Richard Leonard Monkstown Bay Sailing Club / Royal Cork 2.0 (7.0) (4.0) 2.0 2.0 1.0 4.0 22.0 11.0
    3rd RS400 1259 Gareth Flannigan David Fletcher Ballyholme Yacht Club 3.0 4.0 2.0 3.0 1.0 (50.0 DNF) (14.0) 77.0 13.0
    4th RS400 435 Josh Metcalfe Jack Hoden   (5.0) (11.0) 3.0 1.0 3.0 5.0 3.0 31.0 15.0
    5th RS400 1321 Robert Espey Michael Gunning Ballyholme Yacht Club 9.0 5.0 (50.0 DNF) (10.0) 4.0 2.0 2.0 82.0 22.0
    6th RS400 1264 Barry McCartin Finbarr Bradley Carlingford Sailing Club 11.0 3.0 8.0 4.0 (26.0) (34.0) 11.0 97.0 37.0
    7th RS400 941 Paul McLoughlin Michael Mc Kinley Cushendall Sialing Club (14.0) 10.0 9.0 7.0 (27.0) 7.0 5.0 79.0 38.0
    8th RS400 1004 Chris Penney Simon Martin Carrickfergus Sailing Club 6.0 6.0 10.0 11.0 (29.0) (16.0) 7.0 85.0 40.0
    9th RS400 1044 George Kenfick Johnny Durcan Royal Cork Yacht Club 8.0 8.0 12.0 (15.0) 6.0 (43.0) 6.0 98.0 40.0
    10th RS400 1339 Emmet Ryan James Ryan Greystones Sailing Club 4.0 2.0 (50.0 BFD) (50.0 DNF) 9.0 14.0 15.0 144.0 44.0
    11th RS400 1144 George Kingston Ian McNamee   10.0 (50.0 DSQ) 6.0 13.0 7.0 (15.0) 10.0 111.0 46.0
    12th RS400 1362 James Sinclair Ben Wilcox East Lothian Yacht Club 16.0 12.0 7.0 (21.0) (17.0) 12.0 8.0 93.0 55.0
    13th RS400 1143 Alexander Rumball Kevin Brazel Irish National Sailing Club / Royal Cork 13.0 13.0 16.0 6.0 10.0 (17.0) (23.0) 98.0 58.0
    14th RS400 748 Andrew Woodward Ritchie Harrington Monkstown Bay Sailing Club 7.0 19.0 14.0 (22.0) 8.0 (24.0) 13.0 107.0 61.0
    15th RS400 840 Ryan Seaton Mark Seaton Carrickfergus Sailing Club 31.0 14.0 (50.0 BFD) 9.0 11.0 4.0 (50.0 DNC) 169.0 69.0
    16th RS400 1131 Ben Williamson Charlie Ticehurst Welton Sailing Club 12.0 (23.0) 13.0 18.0 (23.0) 20.0 9.0 118.0 72.0
    17th RS400 1179 David Rose Ian Hef MBSC 18.0 20.0 (50.0 BFD) 8.0 (21.0) 9.0 18.0 144.0 73.0
    18th RS400 1406 David Cheyne Stevie Kane RYNIC 15.0 (25.0) 21.0 (33.0) 16.0 6.0 17.0 133.0 75.0
    19th RS400 1230 Paul McMahon Laura Houlihan Howth Yacht Club (30.0) 9.0 (50.0 BFD) 26.0 5.0 23.0 16.0 159.0 79.0
    20th RS400 512 Robbie Gilmore Charlie Horder Strangford Lough Yacht Club 21.0 21.0 (23.0) 14.0 15.0 8.0 (22.0) 124.0 79.0
    21st RS400 825 Trevor D'Arcy Alan McClernon Dalgety Bay Sailing Club 20.0 (28.0) 17.0 16.0 (31.0) 10.0 21.0 143.0 84.0
    22nd RS400 1294 John MacKenzie Andy Box Dalgety Bay Sailing Club 22.0 (30.0) (28.0) 12.0 19.0 11.0 28.0 150.0 92.0
    23rd RS400 1140 Robert O'Sullivan Philip McGlade Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (37.0) 15.0 18.0 (38.0) 13.0 21.0 25.0 167.0 92.0
    24th RS400 1260 David Kenfick Grattan Roberts   29.0 22.0 (50.0 BFD) 20.0 (33.0) 13.0 12.0 179.0 96.0
    25th RS400 741 Mikey Ferguson Phil Adams Royal Ulster / Royal Ocean Sailing Club 19.0 18.0 5.0 30.0 (48.0) 26.0 (35.0) 181.0 98.0
    26th RS400 1292 Chris Eames Rachael Tilley Ballyholme Yacht Club 23.0 29.0 11.0 17.0 18.0 (50.0 BFD) (50.0 DNC) 198.0 98.0
    27th RS400 589 Peter Bayly Paddy Blackley Dublin Bay SC (26.0) 16.0 22.0 (24.0) 24.0 19.0 19.0 150.0 100.0
    28th RS400 1405 Liam Donnelly Rick McCaig Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club 17.0 (35.0) 26.0 (40.0) 25.0 18.0 27.0 188.0 113.0
    29th RS400 1018 Richard Bolton Stephen Penney Dalgety Bay Sailing Club 24.0 (32.0) 29.0 25.0 14.0 (33.0) 30.0 187.0 122.0
    30th RS400 1124 Robert Yeamans Nadia McMinn Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club 28.0 24.0 (40.0) 31.0 (32.0) 25.0 20.0 200.0 128.0
    31st RS400 903 Robin O'Mahony Michael Walsh RCYC 32.0 17.0 15.0 36.0 (37.0) (50.0 BFD) 33.0 220.0 133.0
    32nd RS400 1245 Peter O'leary Blake Walsh Royal Cork Yacht Club (39.0) 31.0 31.0 19.0 22.0 32.0 (37.0) 211.0 135.0
    33rd RS400 1445 Phil Britton Jules Thorne   25.0 26.0 30.0 (41.0) (41.0) 29.0 26.0 218.0 136.0
    34th RS400 1353 Rob Hastings Johnny Cully Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club 27.0 27.0 20.0 (37.0) (36.0) 28.0 36.0 211.0 138.0
    35th RS400 1138 Owen Laverty Gina Laverty Royal St Geprge Yacht Club 35.0 (50.0 DNF) 24.0 29.0 34.0 22.0 (43.0) 237.0 144.0
    36th RS400 1352 Simon Hutchinson Jamie Hanna Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club 38.0 33.0 27.0 27.0 (39.0) (44.0) 24.0 232.0 149.0
    37th RS400 1251 John Lewis Sheela Lewis County Antrim Yacht Club 33.0 34.0 32.0 (44.0) (42.0) 27.0 31.0 243.0 157.0
    38th RS400 1440 David McFarland Alistair McBroom County Antrim Yacht Club (44.0) (39.0) 35.0 35.0 20.0 36.0 32.0 241.0 158.0
    39th RS400 1025 Andrew Vaughan Adam McCullough Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club (50.0 DNC) (50.0 DNC) 50.0 DNC 23.0 30.0 30.0 29.0 262.0 162.0
    40th RS400 578 Garth Maxwell Wendy Smyth Ballyholme Yacht Club 34.0 37.0 25.0 39.0 35.0 (40.0) (50.0 DNC) 260.0 170.0
    41st RS400 484 Sean Ritson Owen McKinley   36.0 (42.0) 36.0 34.0 28.0 (50.0 BFD) 42.0 268.0 176.0
    42nd RS400 352 Gavin Polland Ian Patterson County Antrim Yacht Club 41.0 (44.0) 39.0 28.0 (44.0) 31.0 38.0 265.0 177.0
    43rd RS400 1001 Charles Kearney Martin Weatherstone RNIYC (50.0 DNF) 36.0 19.0 46.0 40.0 38.0 (50.0 DNC) 279.0 179.0
    44th RS400 1265 Colin Davies Martin Booth Royal Cork Yacht Club (42.0) 41.0 38.0 32.0 (45.0) 41.0 34.0 273.0 186.0
    45th RS400 1349 Michael Donnelly Garrett Donnelly Malahide Yacht Club (43.0) 40.0 34.0 (43.0) 38.0 35.0 40.0 273.0 187.0
    46th RS400 1210 Suzanne Flannigan Mark McDonough Ballyholme Yacht Club 45.0 38.0 33.0 (47.0) 43.0 37.0 (50.0 DNF) 293.0 196.0
    47th RS400 1188 Neill Strain John Ferguson Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club (46.0) 43.0 37.0 42.0 (46.0) 42.0 39.0 295.0 203.0
    48th RS400 786 Bruce Murdoch Iain Leighton Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club 40.0 (45.0) 41.0 45.0 (47.0) 39.0 41.0 298.0 206.0
    49th RS400 1178 Brian Holmes Robin Taggart Coleraine Yacht Club (50.0 DNC) (50.0 DNC) 50.0 DNC 48.0 49.0 45.0 50.0 DNC 342.0 242.0

     

     

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