Stellar RS Elite entry for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta includes Olympic medallists, World and National champions competing for the 2019 UK National Championship – held for the first time as part of a larger event.
This year, for the first time, the RS Elite class will hold its UK National Championship outside the UK and, also for the first time, as part of a larger event. Entrants include former Olympic medallists Mike McIntyre (Gold 1988 -Star class, and current RS Elite National Champion) and Ossie Stewart (Bronze 1992 – Soling class), current International 14 World Champion Andy Partington, former Dragon Edinburgh Cup winner Simon Brien and many other sailors with a record of success at national and international level. The fleet is especially pleased to welcome back Steve Powell, former RS Elite Association chairman, whose tireless work over the years has underpinned the success of the fleet today.
The RS Elite had its origin in the early 2000s when a group of sailors at Haying Island Sailing Club on the English south coast were looking for a new keelboat class. The result was the RS Elite, whose designer Phil Morrison described as a modern version of the classic racing sailboat such as the XOD or Swallow. The Elite quickly spread to Burnham on Crouch, to Northern Ireland and to Cowes, with international fleets in Norway, Antigua and Italy. The RS Elite has become a highly competitive class that has attracted top sailors.
The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta has been well known to Irish RS Elite sailors for the quality of both its race management and its social scene. This year there are entrants from all the mainland UK RS Elite fleets as well as a substantial contingent from Northern Ireland. Approximately half of the entries are from outside of Ireland. Coming to Dun Laoghaire adds a new dimension to the 2019 Nationals.
The RS Elite is a highly sociable class and the sailors are looking forward to enjoying the best of Irish hospitality and some serious partying. The class will enjoy social events in each of the four Dun Laoghaire clubs with a grand Class Championship dinner in the Royal St George Yacht club.
Class chairman Paul Fisk has said:
I have no doubt that the four Clubs will go out of their way to look after us and ensure that we enjoy one of our best Championships to date. To make the event extra special, we will have our own dedicated course area. Dun Laoghaire is a town rich in history and culture with a host of different things to do. It is undoubtedly a spectacular venue. We can make the 2019 National Championship an extra special one to remember!