RS Aero Western Ireland Champs - Galway City SC, Ireland, 1/2 April 2023
The nascent lightweight RS Aero made up the bigger fleet at the RS Westerns in Galway City Sailing Club at the weekend alongside doublehander RS200 and 400s.
On Saturday, the wind gods delivered flat water and gusts of 28/29 knots. We launched, some apprehensively, from Deadman’s Beach near the docks at LW. After a briefing centred on an enthusiastic use of the controls, GCSC and NUIG SC’s Rob Talbot hopped into the demo boat brought down for him. Four short but lively races ensued in ‘exactly as forecast’ airs.
Daragh Sheridan (HYC) in the RS Aero 6 rig, took his first of four bullets with a lead right off the start line, with Noel Butler (NYC, 6 rig) second and John Phelan (HYC, 6 rig) third. John took second in race 2 with Stephen Oram (NYC, 7 rig) in third. Rig failure had Noel discard the second race but he followed with two more seconds to Daraghs firsts. Places thereafter chopped and changed and much depended on the ability to keep the hull flat on the water with the mast pointing towards the sky rather than stuck in the sea bed of the shallow waters.
Cold, wet, bruised and exhausted bodies dragged later gathered in the Harbour Bar for a drink and well earned bites with a certain rugby match occasionally catching our attention. The Aeros sat at one largely Leinster/Galway table with most of the RS400/200 younger Ulster Nordies beside us! After discards, Daragh held a solid lead overnight on 3 points, Noel Butler with 6 and Stephen Oram in third, closely followed by John Phelan (HYC) and Sarah Dwyer (RSGYC).
Tired bones rested in the morning as a limp AP permitted social boat bimbling and burgee replacements. Finally at 11:30 a few keen Aeros launched into an unassertive breeze, to check out the river current that would impact the course. The wind ebbed and flowed, one race sequence was abandoned, and at about 1pm, just before Dave Mullally could say N/A, a tentative breeze filled in and two light races were run. Race 5 finally gave Daragh a chance to check out Noel’s transom and Sarah, the lightest of the pack, came in third. Daragh was back on form for the last race of the event to win on just 5 points, Noel on 10 and Sarah (also 6 rig) sneaked a 3rd from the lads on 17. Rob, in the demo boat was suitably impressed with the boat’s performance although tiller breakage following a fairly spectacular DW capsize, stymied his efforts over the weekend.
It was an event of two testing distinct days and having dominated, Daragh’s will be the first name on a stunning DataEdge RS Aero Western Championship bog oak trophy. Intimate local experience informed excellent race management by Martin Roe, ably assisted by all at Galway City Sailing Club. Early season events can be very tricky on many levels. That such a small club can do so much so well is amazing…. even a ‘wee pod’ of dolphins were mustered to amuse us while waiting for the breeze to fill in on Sunday.
A great spot soon to be embellished with a well deserved clubhouse. Congrats to Galway City Sailing Club on a great event.
Anyone wishing to have a go in an RS Aero can contact Rob Hastings in Bosun Bobs in Bangor or Heather Wright in Irish National Marine Services in Dun Laoghaire.
Irish RS Aero Class Website