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RS200 & RS400 Eastern Sprint Championships at Greystones Sailing Club

by Barry McCartin 10 Jun 17:23 BST 8 June 2024
RS400 Eastern Sprint Championship at Greystones © Brendan Ryan

On Saturday 8th June, the RS200/400 Eastern Sprint Championships took place at Greystones Sailing Club in Co. Wicklow. In total 19 boats arrived between 200s and 400s in eager anticipation with a great forecast 12-18 knots North Westerly for the day and sunshine.

PRO Michael Conway greeted everyone explaining the Sprint format to get in as many races that are fair courses, with fast turnarounds so everyone gets the most out of it.

Once briefing was done, boats hit the water and by 11.30 racing was under way in two starts for the 12 x RS400s and 7xRS200s. They shared a Windward/Leeward course with 2 weather marks over 2 laps with a sprinting Kite-up reach to the finish back to committee boat with ideal conditions although slightly more NE than forecast to go with a strong south running tide.

RS200s

This writer wasn't in this fleet but watched on to see a good level of racing, some downwind fun and also capsizes near the leeward mark with everyone with big smiles as the boats planed their way towards the finish line. In the racing side Alex Costello/Charles Heather dominated with a clean sweep of 1st places showing terrific speed and adaptability in the shifty conditions. Emma O:Rourkesailign with Sophie Harden also sailed consistently very well to come in 2nd overall. The rest of the fleet all had a few good results but also mixed with a few capsize affected/other type races to affect their overall placing. All good learning for next time.

RS400s

Race 1 got away cleanly in both fleets. After a jostle for position near committee boat Bob Espeney/Mike Ferguson showed a clean pair of heels in their new boat getting to top mark first, gybing clear on the run and controlling from the front from there to hold to finish. Paul Phelan/Alan leddy gave chase along with Marty O'Leary/Rory O'Sullivan and Barry McCartin/Conor Kinsella with the latter getting 2nd and O'Leary/O'Sullivan 3rd.

Race 2 as the wind flicked around a bit, it got away with a pin bias leading Peter Bayley/Paddy Blackley and others on the left looking pretty to begin with but towards the top of the course, the right came good and once again Espey/Ferguson were well in the lead chased by O'Leary/OSullivan and John Callanan also beneffeting up there.In the end top 2 stayed the same with McCartin/Kinsella recovering to 3rd.

Race 3 once again Espey/Ferguson did another horizon job with O'Leary/O'Sullivan coming 2nd once more and Govan Berridge/Dom this time coming to the fore to sail a good race and come in 3rd this time.

Race 4 and finally a few boats started to challenge Espey/Ferguson. McCartin/Kinsella got to the weather mark first but getting stuck on the mark in very strong tide proved not very fast. Espey/Ferguson were in the lead again, however as both misjudged lay line to the leeward mark O'Leary/O'Sullivan came roaring in and sailed a strong next beat picking a nice left shift at the top to then win comfortably. McCartin/Kinsella held on to second after a close last run with Espey/Ferguson in 3rd.

Now the wind really started playing havoc, up and down and lots of wind direction changes but Race 5 got away, turning very light against strong tide, Bayley/Blackley came from the right to lead this time but as the race got turned inside out with kites up second beat, it was rightly abandoned. However not to be beaten, PRO Michael pulled off another course change to a more northerly direction and the fifth race was resailed. This time, McCartin/Kinsella finally got it right and led from the front comfortably. The boats behind had a great race with any one of the entire fleet able to fill remaining positions in the lighter conditions. In the end Paul Phelan/Alan Leddy got a well deserved 2nd place and Espey/Ferguson came through to take 3rd on the line. This gave them the well deserved championship and as it was 4pm everyone headed ashore.

As all RS200s/RS400s sailed in, boats washed down and sails packed away everyone was in great spirits after a brilliant day on the water in glorious sunshine with great top level racing in a fun action packed format. The Club very generously gave competitors a complimentary BBQ as people went for refreshments in the bar to enjoy on the balcony and take in the amazing view.

Shortly after there was a prize-giving with some fun prizes as well as winners in the RS200 Alex Costello/Charles Heather and RS400 Bob Espey/Mikey Ferguson crowned. Bob concluded by thanking all the race organisation & volunteers, applauding the 1-day Sprint racing format and also happy that Ulster got a win over Leinster on Saturday since rugby went the other way. Also looking forward to the next event: RS FEST on 6/7th July in Lough Derg YC. Info and Entry open here: https://www.rsireland.com/rs-fest/ ENTRY: https://www.ldyc.ie/event/rsfest

Overall a great success. All those that travelled went home fed and content after a great day's racing while that evening many RSers stayed on as the Enterprise class had a reunion which provided more entertainment and stories at the bar long into the evening.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
RS400
11533Rob EspeyMike Ferguson111‑336
21406Barry McCartinConor Kinsella23‑4218
31144Marty O'LearyRory O'Sullivan3221‑68
41251Peter BaylyPaddy Blackley4‑554417
51514Paul PhelanAlan Leddy566‑6219
61549Govan BerridgeDom6437‑1320
71276Frank O'RourkeTom Kearney77‑75524
81141Tom MoranSam Savage8‑988731
91308Gerry CannonZach Harden10‑1199836
101143Chris McConnellGlenn Thomson1181010‑1339
111436  9101113‑1343
121176Lee StrathanAndy Paul‑131313131352
RS200
1895Alex CostelloCharles Heather‑111114
21393Emma O'RourkeSophie Harden222‑328
3492Andy FlanniganAstrid Klaas44‑88319
41479Elliot WrightLewis McConell7‑832820
5421Sophia BolgerEllen Murray53‑88824
61059Timothy O'NeillBeatrix O'Neill65‑88827
71336O'Brien 38‑88827

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