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Festival of Sails 2024 LEADERBOARD

2023 Bretzel Bakery Irish RS Aero National Championships at National Yacht Club

by Noel Butler 19 Jun 06:32 PDT 17-18 June 2023
Fleet sailing upwind, Irish RS Aero Nationals 2023 © Thomas Chaix

Paul McMahon (Howth YC) is the 2023 Irish RS Aero National Champion after a masterful display of sailing, winning the event with a race to spare - counting four firsts and a third.

He was pushed hard by UK visitors, runner up RS Sailing's Noah Rees (Lymington Town SC) and Jack Miller (Felpham/Paignton SC) in third overall. Noel Butler (National YC) and Daragh Sheridan (Howth YC) completed the Irish Nationals podium and were presented with Irish Sailing medals.

First Junior: Alexander Trickett (National YC), First Lady: Sarah Dwyer (RStGYC), First Master: Robert Howe (Monkstown Bay SC), First Novice: William Despard (National YC). Among the competitors was Irish ILCA Masters champion Marco Sorgassi (RStGYC) who was rewarded with a Bretzel Bakery "Mug of the Day" award for a truly spectacular "missed the toestrap" capsize!

24 entries, the largest Irish RS Aero fleet to date competed in six races over two days in medium SE winds on Dublin Bay. PRO Ed Totterdell and his expert race management team with mark layers Mal Nowlan and John McNeely ran three Olympic courses on the Saturday and 3 windward/leeward courses on Sunday, deftly dealing with a stubborn fog bank on the Sunday morning.

On the water jury Ailbe Millerick and Eunice Kennedy kept the fleet on their toes with regard to Rule 42 as they enjoyed full hiking conditions upwind and surfing conditions downwind with the wind against the building ebb tide.

National YC Head Coach Thomas Chaix, in conjunction with Irish Sailing, ran a class coaching session on the Friday. This was open to all sailors in the class and designed to prepare sailors at all levels for the National Championship on the Saturday and Sunday. 14 sailors participated and mark roundings, starts, boat trim, sail shape and use of controls were the learning points of the day with excellent video analysis and notes circulated on the event group chat. Thomas was also on coach duty during the racing and facilitated a de-brief on the Saturday evening where hints and tips were shared by the race winners and interesting discussions were had over delicious catering provided by the National YC.

Thanks to title sponsor Bretzel Bakery whose MD Dymphna O'Brien presented the prizes. Owner William Despard competed in the event and provided delicious bread and pastries for the fleet each day.

Thanks also to RS Sailing Ireland and Kenneth Rumball for providing complimentary charter boats for the visitors. The RS Fest next weekend in Blessington SC will have racing for all RS classes with boats available to try/charter, more information here.

The RS Aero fleet plans to continue the very popular format of coaching/racing as the fleet develops. The National YC also runs weekly coaching sessions which are open to all. Anyone who would like to participate is very welcome and should get in touch with the class by emailing

Seven of the Irish sailors who competed at the Nationals will represent Ireland at the upcoming RS Aero World Championships in Sardinia at the end of July.

Overall Results:

PosHelmRigCategorySail NoClubRatingR!R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stPaul McMahon7 2524Howth Yacht Club106311113‑47
2ndNoah Rees7 4295Lymington Town SC1063224‑61110
3rdJack Miller7 3926Felpham/Paigton SC10633324‑5214
4thNoel Butler6 3289National Yacht Club11057‑9322519
5thDaragh Sheridan7 4179Howth Yacht Club10634‑6554321
6thRobert Howe7Masters3844Monkstown Bay SC106355636.5‑825.5
7thRoy Van Maanen6Masters3822RStGYC11056877‑121240
8thKevin Stallard7 3409Blessington SC1063104‑13119943
9thMarco Sorgassi7 3187RStGYC1063‑127121010645
10thSarah Dwyer6Masters3433RStGYC11059108136.5‑1446.5
11thEmmett O Sullivan7Masters3365Monkstown Bay SC10638121012(RET)749
12thJohn Phelan6 3291Howth Yacht Club110511119‑14111153
13thStephen Oram7Masters3288National Yacht Club1063‑1913168141566
14thPaul Phelan7Masters4230Greystones SC1063151611‑17131368
15thChristina Cunningham6 3823Ballyholme YC110514‑201415151674
16thDamien Dion6 3431National Yacht Club1105(DNC)DNCDNC981077
17thWilliam Despard7Masters2523National Yacht Club1063(RET)181916161887
18thJohn D Woods7Masters3181Ballyholme YC106318‑191818171788
19thNigel Harris7Masters3845Swords S & BC106317141719(RET)DNC92
20thJemina Owens5 3824National Yacht Club1136131515(DNC)DNCDNC93
21stKarl Leavy6Masters3186Swords S & BC110520172021(RET)DNC103
22ndAlexander Trickett7Junior3290National Yacht Club106316(DNC)DNC20DNCDNC111
23rdConor O Leary7Masters3644RStGYC1063(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC125
23rdPeter Townend7Masters1428N/A1063(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC125

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