Strangford Lough Yacht Club

RS Elites: SLYC Website

SLYC Fleet Captain: Mark Fletcher

2016/7 RS Elite SLYC Fleet Annual Report

SLYC's young Elite fleet continued to expand to seven boats in 2016, spurred on by being host for the National Championship. Our first event of the season was the successful "May mini-series": two short races every Saturday in May. New members "Storm" scored lots of bullets, and safely won the series. Normal Saturday and Wednesday evening club racing at one point saw all seven boats make it to the start line. When Storm weren't wining, T'nT were fast in the light winds, with Tuppence going better than the rest in the heavier conditions.

The highlight of the season was - of course - the Cardinal Analytics National Championship. Twenty -seven Elites entered, making it the largest National Championship ever held in Northern Ireland. Foudafaffa won their first Elite National Championship, with Storm being the best placed local boat, in third place. The club and the class thoroughly enjoyed hosting a great bunch of sailors, and look forward to 2017's nationals at HISC.

Our traditional "Frostie series" provided the final bookend for the season, with two races held over six consecutive Saturdays in September/October. This is one of the best attended events in Strangford Lough, and we had eight Elites out in force. Tuppence took line honours, but only secured this in the final race of the series. Second to fifth were separated by a couple of points, and came down the last race (Illegal and T'nT separated by one second after a 60-minute race). One of the highlights of the season has been the Eames family sailing Bamboozled - and in particualr, Mark Eames on the helm. Mark took the prize for being the youngest helm (under 12 years old!), showing how fun and easy the Elite is to sail.

Elite numbers are growing year on year, and the SLYC Elite fleet has been proactive in getting prospective Elite owners out racing an Elite for club racing. Our long-term plan is to reach double figures and promote the Elite to all clubs in Strangford Lough. Already the SLYC Elite fleet is the most active in Ireland, and one of the largest active fleets in the UK. We have a great mix of people in the fleet, and a very friendly and collaborative spirit that seems to be present in the class more generally.