Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How You Can Learn 13 Essential RS Aero Go Faster Tips - And Much More

So here I am - an RS Aero owner for a couple of months - and later this week I am flying out to Oregon to compete in the first RS Aero North Americans in the Columbia River Gorge.

Am I crazy?


Although the good news is that most of the other sailors there won't have been Aero owners much longer than I have.

But the bad news is that some of them are very accomplished Laser sailors from the Pacific North-West who are also very familiar with the conditions in the Gorge. I fully expect to be seeing the transoms of those guys disappearing into the distance in every race.

So I may be crazy to be competing in this regatta, but the other reason I am flying 2,500 miles to race a boat that I don't yet know how to sail properly, is that on Friday there is a one day Aero clinic being run by Peter Barton, the RS Aero International Class Manager. Peter is the guy who has been running most of the lift-off days at Aero events in the UK (and then usually sailing in those events himself and winning them.) So the trip is a great opportunity to accelerate my Aero learning curve and learn all about Aero rigging and tuning and boat-handling and go-faster tips from a real expert.

Peter Barton
RS Aero Class Manager
Balls of steel

But what about Aero sailors who have not yet had the opportunity to attend one of Peter's clinics?

Well there is a way you can learn at least some of what Peter teaches at his clinics.

First of all you need to go and join the RS Aero Class Facebook group. You should do this anyway. It is an excellent source for RS Aero news and tips.

Then scroll down the Facebook page for the group and find the Aero Primer video that somebody recorded of Peter in Lymington and posted on June 29. It has almost 90 minutes of great advice on all those questions you have about Aero rigging and tuning and technique. (The quality of the video is not professional standard but it's perfectly OK for the purpose.)

You will learn (among many other things)...

How tight the battens should be.

How tight your toe strap should be.

Where to sit in the boat in very light winds.

What the maximum vang setting should be.

The correct way to take out your daggerboard.

How to set up the boat for upwind sailing in various conditions.

How Peter sails with only 3 different settings for his cunningham.

4 ways to depower in heavy winds (one of which won't occur to most Laser sailors.)

How technique for sailing an Aero downwind differs from what you would do in a Laser.

Where your feet should be in the toe-strap when reaching in very windy conditions

Where to position that splice in the continuous outhaul and downhaul lines.

What to do with the daggerboard to promote planing.

Sheeting technique for gybes.



Update - 23 July. Thanks to the wizardry of the technical team at Karlos Productions the video is now also available on YouTube.

I expect I will have some adventures to post about next week.

Although I hope it won't be quite as exciting as when the Lasers experienced the Blowout of the Blowout.

I know that at least one of the sailors in this video has ordered an Aero and will be racing in the Aero NAs this weekend.

He's going back for more!

And you thought I was crazy?


Michael O'Brien said...

The good news is: it doesn't matter how fast you are if you cannot keep the pointy thing upwards. The bad news is: you need to keep the pointy thing upwards. The good news is: it is warm.

Tillerman said...

Yes! I read somewhere that the water temperature on the river is about 10 degrees above normal for this time of year. And the forecast is for temps in the 80s this weekend. It's going to be fun.

Karl Thorne said...

Here is a link to the video that is referred to in Tillerman's blog https://youtu.be/c9mnIpuK-YM

Tillerman said...

Thanks Karl. Have also embedded the video on the blog. You have done a great service to Aero sailors by letting everyone have a view of Peter's Aero Primer.

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