1. The Batty British
It seems like in England in February it was "a bit windy," as the British would say with their typical love of understatement. But this did not deter the hardy British RS Aero sailors from taking to the water, and as a result we saw some spectacular videos and photos.
It was blowing racoons off rocks in Rutland (as they say there) enabling Martin Hewitt to do this perfect demonstration of how to stand an RS Aero on its bow. (The good bit starts at 1:20)
And it was blowing llamas off logs in Lymington (another local expression) when Peter Barton was captured in this shot showing us all...
- how to hike on a reach
- why the RS Aero tiller is as long as it is
- Peter's total disregard for the local speed limit.
Talking of breaking speed limits, it was nuking nyalas off nut trees in Northampton when Anthony
York aka "Chunky" broke the 20 knot barrier, setting a new RS Aero world speed record.
What will those Batty British do next?
2. The Antipodean Australians
Meanwhile, on the other side of he world, the RS Aero roll-out has been so successful in Australia that it was possible to hold the first RS Aero Australian Nationals at Royal Brighton Yacht Club on Port Phillip Bay on 6/7 Feb. David Rickard, a visiting Aussie from Gurnard Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight UK, won the championship ahead of Brian Case (Royal Geelong YC) and Ron Fergusson (Albert SC) with some great sailing in the 12 boat fleet combining Aero 5 and Aero 7 on a handicap basis.
Hmmm. Must keep an eye on the Australian RS Aero regatta schedule for this time next year. I love Australia and Australians. (I am married to one.)
3. The Amazing Americans
It may be winter in the Northern hemisphere (and I have to confess my RS Aero has not left its cozy winter quarters in my garage this year yet) but there has been plenty of stuff happening on the North American RS Aero scene.
On the Feb 19-21 weekend, those energetic chappies at West Coast Sailing organized three days of RS Aero demos at two different yacht clubs in the San Francisco Bay area.
Check out Peter Weigt's superb photos on Flickr of the demos at Sequoia YC. Judging by their smiles these two sailors seem to have liked the RS Aero! (Photos by Peter Weigt.)
Meanwhile, a little further south in California, RS Aero sailors from the Santa Barbara fleet were training for the RS Aero US Nationals at the Gorge later this year, with a practice session on Lopez Lake, CA.
I see that RS Aeros have also been spotted at various other locations in North America....
Muscle Shoals Sailing Club
Tennessee River, Alabama
and at Carolina Sailing Club
on Jordan Lake North Carolina.
sailing his RS Aero
in the Portsmouth Handicap fleet
I realized that things were getting seriously competitive in RS Aero World when two of my fellow members of the Boston RS Aero Fleet headed off to Nonsuch Bay Resort in Antigua in February for some heavy duty off-season race training.
Doesn't it look awful?
One of my friends reported that the all-inclusive option at NonSuch Bay included drinks, gourmet meals and unlimited sailing. Sounds terrible.
Both my friends agreed that Nonsuch Bay would be a superb place to host a Midwinters RS Aero Regatta, but I can't see why anyone would want to go to a place with warm water and free drinks when they could be at home in New England enjoying the character building experience of shoveling snow for days after massive snow falls and relishing that tingling feeling when you wake up to find the temperature is 40 degrees below freezing.
Be that as it may, we in the Boston fleet are busy planning for the 2016 season. Our intrepid east coast RS Aero class leader Eric Aker has sent us a long list of all the things we should be doing to build the class around here and has called a meeting for later this week in order to draw up something rather ominous sounding called an ACTION PLAN.
Actually I have to admit there are some pretty good ideas on his list.
More on that in future posts perhaps.
Watch this space.