The RS Aero Southern Championships were run last weekend out of Greystones Sailing Club. This late-season event attracted 11 Aero entries, who sailed with the RS 200 and RS 400 fleet on a windward / leeward course under the watchful eye of Race Officer Michael Conway of Wexford.
With an ever ominous forecast, event organisers moved the start time an hour earlier on the Saturday to get a weather window. Of the 10 Aeros that launched, only six made it to the start line, 4 finishing the race, with the winner, Daragh Sheridan, the only boat not to capsize. It was a remarkable feat given that it was gusting over 30 knots and with a strong south going tide, the waves were huge and slab faced. At one stage, most of the competitors on the course were capsized. Not surprisingly, racing was abandoned for the rest of the day.
The Sunday was a much better day with winds only gusting in the high twenties instead of thirties! The wind swung more to the West for the Sunday, giving competitors an easier seaway but much trickier wind shifts. Again Sheridan (7 rig) of Howth Yacht Club showed the way, winning the event with ease over the four races held on day two. Second place was close fought with Andrew ‘Hammy’ Baker in his 7 rig taking 3rd place, pipped by Roy Van Maanen who took two race wins in his 5 rig to take 2nd place overall. Sarah ‘Skinny’ Dwyer of GSC and RStGYC was first lady (5 rig) and Rob Howe (7 rig) a new boat owner from Monkstown Bay Sailing Club was first Senior. The results are below.
Commenting, class President Brendan Foley said “Congratulations to all our winners and all who sailed. The event while challenging was an excellent chance for those not in the top medal positions to work on their technique in big breeze and waves, while also having the tactical challenge of such a strong tides across the course. This year was the first full circuit year for the Aeros, with an Easterns, Northerns, Southerns and Nationals completed, with over 30 people sailing the boat this year. The top sailors in this friendly class all shared what they found worked and didn’t across all the events and the standard now in the fleet is very strong, while offering newcomers a well behaved boat to learn in.”
The RS Aero Class will run a number of demonstration days across Ireland to give people a chance to try out this brilliant boat. More details will be published on Afloat.ie.
Will keep you posted @JustLocal.