Monday, July 25, 2016

RS Aeros and Sunfish and Lasers - Can't We All Just Get Along?

I think I may have blogged myself into a logical cul-de-sac, a dead end, a place with no way forward.

Back in 2007 I wrote a post entitled Ten Reasons Why Sunfish Are Better Than Lasers.

I highlighted important benefits of the Sunfish such as how laid-back Sunfish sailors are (see picture) and that handy little cubby-hole behind the cockpit in a Sunfish where you can store your lunch, a few beers, your pipe and tobacco, and a cushion (see picture.) I am not kidding about the pipe. I used to race against a Sunfish sailor who smoked a pipe while racing. You could always smell the delightful aroma of his tobacco wafting on the breeze as he closed in on you from astern.

Then earlier this year I wrote a post listing 7 Reasons why the Laser is Better than the RS Aero.

This time I focused on the fitness advantages you get from lifting the heavy Laser hull on to the car roof rack, the clever way Bruce Kirby designed the shape of the Laser transom to maximize the chances of catching the mainsheet during a gybe (what fun!) and the many benefits that Laser sailors enjoy from being knocked on the head by that low boom occasionally. (And other advantages illustrated by the photos above.)

So... if Sunfish are better than Lasers... and Lasers are better than RS Aeros... then it follows that Sunfish are better than RS Aeros.


Did I really mean to say that?

But then one of my Sunfish sailing friends came to the rescue and posted this video on YouTube that demonstrated conclusively, once and for all that RS Aeros are absolutely better than Sunfish.

Links to this video got posted all over the Interwebs - although every time someone posted a link to the Sunfish Listserve (sic) Facebook group it kept getting deleted.  I can't imagine who would do such a thing. Woodman Spare That Tree!

Anyway, all was well with the world, until this weekend the same Sunfish sailing "friend" (who was doing race committee duty) posted this video from Saturday's racing at my home club, Massapoag YC.


A Sunfish beating an RS Aero?

How is that even possible?

But the camera does not lie.

And who is that pathetic RS Aero sailor?


Jay Eveleth said...

It is not a question of getting along. It is a question of evolution and technological advance. The Model T started a new trend in automobiles as did the Sunfish in dinghy sailing. The Model A was even better, as is the Laser. I remember with great pleasure going for trips with my high school buddy in his puddle-jumper. Now we are entering the Aero era (say that if you can). I will love my Sunfish no less, but will rarely sail it. In addition to being a vastly better racing machine the Aero is more suited for adventure sailing and for what I call discovery sailing (activities which are highly competitive, but with less pressure than ordinary racing). Thus it will usher in a resurgence in the sport of sailing throughout the world.

Tillerman said...

Boats evolve but people have to get along. Thankfully at Massapoag YC the sailors in the Sunfish and Laser and RS Aero fleets do seem to enjoy sharing the same race course and having fun together and laughing at each other and themselves - which is really what those two videos of a Sunfish and an RS Aero are about.

But I do know of people outside the club who seem determined to see RS Aeros as a threat to their way of life. So sad.

my2fish said...

I've been having nightmares about the RS Aero... maybe it is a threat to my life?

Tillerman said...

What have you been smoking?

George A said...

Growing up with a development class, there's always a fast boat coming off someone's drawing board. That doesn't automatically follow that it's a better boat. It may be faster but not as pleasant to sail, etc. This is why older Moths still are raced--each design tends to have a following and contemporary designs have about the same speed and performance. And of course it's great fun to pick off a faster Moth with an older design. My problem is that I tend to like them all and as a result my boat house and garage are overflowing!

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