The RS Elite fleet got off to a low-key but highly competitive start to the 2021 season after having all open events in 2020 cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Hayling Island SC Spring Regatta held on 1 and 2 May should have been the first open event of the season but the host club was forced to restrict the entry to members only, due to ongoing government restrictions.
Despite this and despite the fact that lack of wind on Saturday forced postponement of all races, Race Officer Greg Lamb coped well with the conditions, setting courses in response to the shifting winds and giving competitors an excellent day’s sailing on the Sunday.
Overall results had Andy Partington and crew in RS Elite 66 Lazy Daisy taking the series, one point ahead of second placed Ossie Stewart and crew in Elite 67 More T Vicar, with Tom Hewitson and crew in Elite 007 Shaken not Stirred in third place.
Anticipating that the COVID-19 restriction will be eased, the class has planned a full events programme for the rest of 2021.
- The Southern Area Championship at HISC on 10-11 July,
- the UK National Championship, again at HISC on 22-25 July,
- Cowes Week 31 July – 7 August with the embedded Chairman’s Flute competition on the first four days,
- the Eastern Area Championship held during Burnham Week 28/29/30 August.
Due to the ongoing uncertainties, plans for some of these events are currently flexible and may change.
Despite restrictions Elites have been sailing at club level in Northern Ireland, at Hayling Island and at Burnham.
The Burnham fleet is holding a training weekend on 22-23 May and will host an Elite event in the Royal Burnham YC Whitsun Regatta which may be open to visitors as restrictions are lifted.
Other planned events include three races for RS Elites in Chichester Harbour Race Week on August 11-13 and autumn/winter series at Strangford Lough (September – November) and Hayling Island (November – December).
2020 was a quiet year for the RS Elites. 2021 is seeing a huge resurgence in interest in getting on the water. The best news of all is that new sailors are buying boats and joining the fleet.
Travel restrictions may still pose a problem this year but the postponed International Grand Prix at Cowes is in the calendar for 2022.