RS Elites are converging on Lymington ahead of the Lofoten sponsored National Championships to be hosted by the Royal Lymington YC from Thursday to Sunday this week.
Who’s going to win it? Too close to call. The Class has several top new names who’ll push the experienced RS Elite competitors so place your bets now for who’ll come out on top. Let’s look at the skipper’s to watch, starting with the new guard.
Anyone with an Olympic gold medal for keelboat sailing has to be in the hunt, so how quickly has McIntyre worked out where to find the RS Elite go pedal across the wind range? I can’t imagine it will have taken him long and close fought racing at Hayling this season will have helped.
OK, he’s only got an Olympic bronze, but it’s also for keelboat sailing and after multiple championship winning campaigns with Lawrie Smith in Solings and Dragons, and a crew that includes a talented bunch of multiple champions, Ossie is expected to perform.
Yet another multiple Championship winner, this time racing with a family crew, but Dave’s fleet racing experience and talent for making a boat go fast put him in the “one to watch” frame.
He’s been the boat to beat at Hayling this year and sits with a foot in both camps, being new to the fleet as an owner but with much Elite championship experience racing with team Wadhams. Runner up in 2014 helming their boat, Fisky is in the chase.
Potentially hottest of the Irish contingent, Polly won the Irish Nationals only a few weekends ago, so his tail is up and if the sea breeze kicks off, he could be the man.
At the other end of the spectrum, Jono has won the Elite Champs several times, including the last two years. When he shines he’s hard to beat, but the last Lymington Nationals was one of his worst, so it could go either way. I think he’s due for a fall!
Racing kicks off on Thursday in Christchurch Bay and there’s a fantastic social programme, all aided by sponsorship from Lofoten (Asset Management), Kipper Sailing (eLearning RYA qualification) and Kandoo (high volume branded bag manufacturer).
Following the Nationals, the RS Elite Class roll on to their biggest fleet to date at Cowes Week. Bring it on.