Should I buy a Laser or an RS Aero?
That's the question I have heard a lot this year. And I see someone just posed it on Sailing Anarchy.
Typically it is asked by someone who did some dinghy racing in the past - or maybe some surfing or windsurfing or kite surfing - and now they want a singlehanded dinghy.
They are attracted by all the buzz about the RS Aero and can see that it is an exciting boat to sail.
They know that the Laser is a much older design - not to mention that all the stuff they read about the Laser designer suing the Laser class and the Laser manufacturer doesn't exactly boost their confidence in the long term future of the class - but they do see that there are local Laser fleets and local Laser regattas and so they are confident that if they buy a Laser they will have some other people to race with.
Basically they are trying to choose between this...
These folk are trying to reconcile the obvious attractions of the RS Aero as a boat, with a wish to have some other people to race with.
What they are really looking for is this...
Of course the picture above is real. It does exist. It was taken at the 2015 RS Aero North Americans at the Columbia River Gorge in July.
But it is also true that, unless you live in Seattle, the fleets of RS Aeros racing at various venues around North America this year haven't been as big as this... yet.
So to you people in North America asking yourselves the RS Aero vs Laser question, basically you have 4 choices...
1. Buy a Laser and race it with your local fleet.
2. Buy an RS Aero and just enjoy blasting around on your own in it, preferably somewhere with high winds and surf. I know a number of sailors who are very happy doing this.
3. Buy an RS Aero and be part of a rapidly growing racing scene. Help create the solution you really crave. If there isn't a fleet of RS Aeros near you, persuade a few friends to buy some RS Aeros and start your own fleet. Host a regatta at your sailing club and persuade other RS Aero sailors to come to it. Travel to other RS Aero regattas including the major ones. Race your Aero in handicap races and pursuit races and in any event which will have you.
4. Do all of the above. Buy a Laser and an RS Aero.
Michael O'Brien of the AeroNautic blog
collecting his new Laser and new RS Aero
from West Coast Sailing
All in all, I think option 4 is the best choice.
You can never have too many boats.
He who dies with the most toys,