RS Aero Training Weekend
Published 11:05 on 30 Apr 2023
With the event taking some months to plan and fully booked with 20 intrepid RS Aero sailors from around Scotland and the North of England, the event went ahead very successfully.
Peter Barton, RS Aero Class Manager, RS Aero 9 European Champion (2022), and holder of many other prestigious titles in the Aero, travelled from Lymington Town Sailing Club to provide 2 days of RS Aero specific coaching.
The weekend was planned with both shore-based and sailing sessions, but with winds in excess of 25 knots on Saturday, all shore sessions were completed leaving the water-based sessions for Sunday. This format worked well with in-depth coaching on rigging and setting up and 'pimping' our RS Aero's within the rules (that means no more splicing for some, and no more 'Gucci' boats either those who were there will know what that means!).
We had some interesting discussions on how to de-power the very flexible RS Aero carbon rig and how to keep the lightweight hull moving forwards in light winds. How to select the right side and place it on the start line was also covered in detail with lots of practice on Sunday.
Sunday morning saw lighter winds and an earlier start to make the most of the day afloat. A number of short races were completed on a 'triangle/sausage' course heading southwest. Light wind skills were practised (keep that transom out of the water!) with coaching from both Peter and assistant coach Ian Baillie. There was a general recall in race 1, with the tide taking most of the fleet over the line a tad early. Some mark rounding and the rules involved were discussed in detail with one Aero 6 coming into the windward mark on port and just making it on a line of starboard tackers! The racing was very close, and lots was learnt about boat handling, rig settings, boat trim and balance, but also about the rules around marks. With all 4 rigs represented, it was great to see that they could all still sail very close together.
A break was had for lunch, and we returned to the water around for another session, but this time in a much stronger breeze that had flipped around 180 degrees to the east.
More triangle/sausage racing went ahead, and there was a considerable amount of capsize practice too! We all learned how to put the de-powering lessons from Saturday into practice. Again, lots of meetings at marks and some rather spectacular 'falling out of boats'. New member and RS Aero owner Robert Brice definitely got that prize when he flipped over out of the boat, and the boat flipped too!
The weekend was supported by the RS Aero Class Association, RS Sailing, Sailing Fast and Dalgety Bay Sailing Club. Thanks to all those who volunteered to assist; there are too many to mention individually! The catering supplied by Diane Greenhough was fantastic.
Let's hope we have all gained the skills needed to head off to the inaugural RS Aero Scottish Series this summer with events at ELYC (3/4 June), Loch Lomond (2/3 September) and finally, the Scottish Nationals at DBSC (7/8 October).