RS200 & RS400 The King of the Liffey

Saturday 13th of August saw Poolbeg Yacht Club host it’s first ever dinghy event as the RS200’s and RS400’s competed for “The King of the Liffey” title which was run as part of the club’s annual Regatta.

With a cruise ship occupying the course racing was postponed for one hour. Competitors gladly took the opportunity to enjoy the hospitality and breakfast rolls laid on by the members and staff at Poolbeg, which more than lived up to its welcoming reputation.

Once the large obstacle had departed, PRO Barry O’Neil and his team wasted no time in getting racing under way. The race officer’s briefing emphasized the aim of the event was to pack as many high quality but fun races into the allowable time and he duly delivered on all fronts. The ten knot Westerly breeze allowed for a perfect windward leeward course to be set. The start line located directly in front of the club house was the ideal spectator vantage point to view the action as boats had a beat towards the East Link toll bridge and barrelled their way back downwind to the leeward gate. There was also plenty of head turning from the passing traffic that paralleled the race course only meters from the water.

Given the tight nature of venue crews had to decide, which side of the river to play upwind. Some beats it appeared to favour going as close as helms dared to the North Wall while other times it paid to tack along the Poolbeg marina and take a chance by dodging into the forest of moorings and club boats on the South side of the river, all of which added to the excitement.

As the day went on the number of spectators grew as the Poolbeg Regatta cruiser racer fleet which include a newly adopted class of six Ruffians returned ashore.  The cruisers raced in two classes, with smaller boats competing in a round the cans race on Dublin Bay and the larger yachts enjoying a costal “Three island race”, which took in Dalkey Island, The Muglins and Ireland’s Eye.

After nine races for each of the RS classes and the small matter of another sizeable ship on its way up the river, the fun was over on the water at least. With multiple race winners in each class everyone was left guessing how the final scores would tally up. The competitors had lost count long before the finish.

In RS200’s Neil and Maeve Spain had a very impressive day taking six race wins. Aaron Jones and Rebecca Rock had a very solid event to take second. In third place, with a very consistent set of results, were Triona Hinkson and Helen O’Bernie who showed plenty of potential and will definitely be a team to watch in future RS200 events.

In the RS400’s Peter Bayly and Paddy Blakely grew stronger as the nine race series went on and finished with a three point win over Dave Sweeney and John Downey who took second place on count back from Emmet and James Ryan.

With boats de-rigged crews joined in with the Regatta festivities in the Poolbeg club house just in time to cheer on fellow RS400 sailors Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern as they did all proud in Rio. The evening’s entertainment followed a distinctly Rio theme, with an authentic Brazilian Samba Band complete with Dublin Ports first man-made beach installed at the club for the occasion.

A huge thank you to everyone at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club from all the RS teams and to Dublin Port Company who very generously sponsored the event and facilitated the racing to take place amongst the non-stop shipping operations of the port. The talk amongst the RS sailors was of making this an annual fixture.

Below are selection Youtube Clips of the day’s action.

13 minute long full King of the Liffey race

RS400 Start and first beat

RS400’s Downwind

Some great photos of the event can be viewed here



Helm                       Crew                        Club                         R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6   R7   R8   R9   Total       Overall

Neil Spain                Maeve Spain           Howth YC                2       1      1      1    1    (5)   1    1     2         10          1st

Aaron Jones            Rebecca Rock          Greystones SC          1       2      2     (4)   3     2    2     4    3          19          2nd

Triona Hinkson        Helen O’Bernie       Royal St George YC   4      3      4       2   (5)    1   4      3   4         25           3rd

Greg Arrowsmith    Toby Hudson Fowler Royal St George     3        5     5      (6)   2      4   5     2    1         27          4th

Jemima Owens       Peter Naessens       National YC               (5)      4     3       3    4       3   3    5     5      30           5th

Emer Raferthy         Herbie Fowler         Royal St George YC   6         6     6      5    6       6   6   DNF DNS  48          6th



Helm                       Crew                        Club                         R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6   R7   R8   R9   Total       Overall

Peter Bayly              Paddy Blakely   Greystones SC                 (4)    2     2      1      1      1    3      4      1      15              1st

Dave Sweeney        John Downey    Bray & Monkstown SC   (7)    3     4      3      2      2    1      1      2      18              2nd

Emmet Ryan           James Ryan       Royal St George YC           1      1     3    (5)    3      3     2      2      3      18             3rd

Sean Cleary             Luke Murphy     Oxford Sailing Club           3      6     1     7     4      4    (8)    5       5      35             4th

Conor Cleary           Luke O’Rourke   Greystones SC                   5     (8)   5     2     6      7      6     3       6     40              5th

Stephen Craig         Conor Foley       Royal St George YC            2     4   (8)    6     8      6      4     6       4    40               6th

Kevin Brazel            Henry Higgins   Dungarvan SC                      6    5     7      4     7      5      7    (8)      7   48               7th

John Malone           Patrick Whyte   Mullingar SC                        8    7     6      8     5      8      5     7   (OCS) 54              8th



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