14 September 2021
Paul Fisk and crew sailing RS Elite 110 Legs Eleven, the only visitors from mainland Britain, have won a closely-contested 2021 RS Elite Irish National Championship.
Held at Strangford Lough Yacht Club over the weekend of 11th - 12th September, the competitors enjoyed mainly northerly and north-easterly breezes which varied in strength from 10-15 knots on Saturday 11th to very light on Sunday 12th. In Sunday's falling wind race officer Angela Gilmore did a sterling job to complete the first race of the day (fourth race overall) but was forced to abandon the second race after the first beat - a wise decision as it turned out. The championship was therefore decided on four races out of a planned six.
The event saw strong competition throughout the fleet. Legs Eleven won all four races but had to work hard to hold off the opposition. Second overall were Stephen Polly and crew in RS Elite 37 Storm, who took three second places after a disappointing first race. Third overall were Jane Buchanan and crew in RS Elite 53 The Love Bug. Newcomers to the RS Elite fleet they recovered well from an average start in the first race to sail consistently on Saturday to take one second and two third places. Fourth overall was RS Elite 111 Kin sailed by newly-married Tiffany Rea and crewed by her father and brother. They took two third places and a fourth, after being first to the windward mark on race one on Saturday and showing impressive downwind speed in Sunday's very light conditions. Competition was equally fierce throughout the rest of the fleet. RS Elite 82 Usain Boat sailed by Richard Moore and crew, and RS Elite 36 Illegal sailed by Messrs Anderson, Corry and Fletcher both showed strong performances early in the third race before the overall leaders asserted their authority.
The RS Elite fleet (and particularly the Northern Irish RS Elite fleet) has always enjoyed a good party and this event was no exception. Strangford Lough Yacht Club provided a memorable barbeque on Saturday night with much conviviality and table-top dancing. This was the last championship event of 2021 and has shown that the RS Elite fleet is back in business after 2020's enforced break from sailing. For the Irish sailors in particular, who were unable to travel to mainland events this year, it has provided a boost and whetted appetites for 2022 when many people are looking forward to the eagerly awaited RS Elite National Championship and International Grand Prix in Cowes, postponed from 2020.
|Pos||Sail No||Boat Name||Owner(s)||R1||R2||R3||R4||Pts|
|1||110||Legs 11||Paul Fisk||(1)||1||1||1||3|
|3||53||The Love Bug||Jane Buchanan||2||3||3||(6)||8|
|5||56||Up Front||Jeff Ralston||(7)||5||4||5||14|
|6||36||Illegal||Anderson, Corry, Fletcher||(6)||6||6||4||16|
|10||82||Usain Boat||Richard Moore||10||10||8||(11)||28|