A few brave souls headed to the pretty town of Wexford for three days of fun, called The Last of the RS200 Fat Face Eurocup tour in Ireland. Heavy gusts of 30+ knots did not deter anyone from the racing and despite many capsizes by nearly everyone on the water, the racing was close and good fun.
Paul Lewis and Fliss Pearson (Fat Face) demonstrated a strong lead and stayed ahead for most of the race but with a careless capsize near the last leeward mark, several chasers including Ireland’s defending champions Frank O'Rourke and Sarah Byrne were allowed to pass through, but it was Graeme Noonan and Austin Smyth who clinched first place in the end. Following this eventful battle though, the Race Officer sent everyone home as the winds took even more of a stronghold!
Saturday morning, however, was a completely different story with absolutely no wind at all! The harbour was like a mirror and not a breath of wind could be felt – what a change from the previous day! So, the waiting began with everyone hopeful that something would happen eventually. Some suggestions of a Tennis Tournament on the club’s Tennis courts were made, but alas, we all sat it out in anticipation before it was decided that the Wind Gods were not going to play today.
So, the championship all fell down to what would happen on Sunday…we all woke up in hope, but again, no wind!!
Everyone was planning early planes home and playing darts in the bar, when suddenly, ripples appeared on the mirrored water to produce a very gentle breeze. Thrilled at the prospect of getting in some racing, sailors quickly got ready and out onto the water.
The first race saw close racing between Lewis/Pearson, O’Rourke/Byrne and Maanen/Reid. The last downwind leg saw every boat trying to make the most of every puff of breeze with a very tense and tight last few yards, but Fat Face clinched it in the end followed quickly by O’Rourke/Byrne.
After a wind shift the course was quickly adjusted to make the most of the little wind that we had and a second race began. This time the wind was a little more shifty which gave Maanen/Reid a strong lead with Lewis/Pearson (Fat Face) close behind and Brian Flahive/ Bryan Byrne scoring their best result of the weekend with a well deserved third.
Unfortunately though, with the dying breeze, strong tides and the prospect of missing planes home, everyone headed back to the clubhouse after getting in three races for the championship overall. It was a tense sail back in though as the top three boats were all on equal points so we weren’t sure who had won the regatta!
Back in the boat park, everyone was making guesses as to how the count back would be made but eventually it was revealed that Lewis/Pearson (Fat Face) had won it overall. However, as they were unable to claim the Irish National title, close runners up Roy van Maanen and Glen Reid proudly collected the Irish RS 200 Championship trophy. Final Event - RS200 Fat Face Eurocup tour in Ireland
1 858 Paul Lewis Felicity Pearson Emsworth 7pts 4 1 2
2 1351 Roy van Maanen Glen Reid Greystones SC 7pts 3 3 1
3 632 Frank O'Rourke Sarah Byrne Greystones SC 8pts 2 2 4
4 1352 Graeme Noonan Austin Smyth Greystones SC 12pts 1 4 7
5 706 Brian Flahive Bryan Byrne Wicklow SC 16pts 5 8 3
6 673 Thomas Moran Craig Burgess Greystones SC 16pts 6 5 5
7 417 Gabriell Igoe Patrick Cleary Greystones SC 20pts 8 6 6