Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Calling all RS sailors!

by Jardine Media on 11 Sep 2008
The first ever Australian National RS Classes Championship will be held in January 2009 at Woollahra Sailing Club. The club has just posted the notice of race and already there is strong interest; it’s the first time Australian RS Feva, 200, 400 and 800 sailors will have the chance to strut their stuff at a premier national event. And the timing of the event is particularly good- it’s going to be held over the Australia Day long weekend, just after the Australian Olympic Youth Championships.

Woollahra is keen to see as many RS boats on the water as possible so racing will be open to all classes. Chris Caldecoat of Performance Sailcraft, the Australian manufacturers and importers of RS boats, said that the National Titles will be a great way to build interest in the RS Feva World Championships, due to be hosted by Woollahra in 2010.

‘We should have enough of the RS 200s and 400s in the country, because we are actually building the RS 400s and we’ve imported quite a few RS 200s, to have a substantial fleet and have a bit of fun.’

A fleet of about 40 RS Fevas are expected and as it’s the junior boat at the preceding Australian Olympic Youth Championships, many of these sailors are expected to stay on and compete in the Nationals. The Feva World Championships the following year are shaping up to be an ‘Ashes on the Water’ event with a large contingent of British sailors expected to travel to Australia to compete on Sydney Harbour. Originally intended to be just Fevas, additional RS 200, 400 and 800 events have been added after strong pressure from the UK.

‘I know the Brit’s have just gone crazy over it. The RS 200s Nationals are on in the U.K. at the moment and they’ve got one hundred and sixty odd boats. If we get 30 of them coming this way, which is sounding positive, it will be a fantastic event.’

Although Caldecoat is anything but xenophobic, he admits that the Pomme versus Aussie tension will be good for business. It’s also likely to inspire some blistering competition between the traditional cricket foes, with the Australians keen to show the British that the English designed RS boats are even faster down under. While the Fevas are battling out for World Domination, or at least bragging rights as the fastest crew on the planet in 2010, the RS 200s and 400s will be fighting equally hard for the coveted ‘Gold Cup’.

Caldecoat joked that he’s already thinking of renaming the Gold Cup, the ‘Wet Ashes’, or something similar, to reflect the strong Australian and Pom contingent. Although unlike the original Ashes, which as we all know contained the incinerated remains of the bails after a particularly thorough pasting by an Australian team touring the UK, there’s unlikely to be any torched part of an RS inside- they’re far too strongly built.

In the lead up to the National Titles, Performance Sailcraft are organising a number of events for RS sailors and those interested in becoming involved in the class. With years of high level Laser event organisation behind them, they’ve got the expertise to do this well. Upcoming RS events include Demo Weekends at a number of clubs with RS Feva, RS Tera, RS Vision and RS 200s and 400s on hand to sail and a BBQ thrown in- free food and a day sailing some seriously fun boats? If you can think of a better, cheaper day out- we'd like to hear about it.

A RS Association is in the process of being constituted and Performance Sailcraft will release more details shortly. If you’re interested in becoming involved in the association contact Chris Caldecoat on chris@lasersailing.com.au

They’re also selling 200s and 400s at some ‘pretty nice prices’.

Although it’s not strictly speaking a new class, the promotion of a less established class is always controversial, and there is fine line of not upsetting any of the established classes when there’s a new kid on the block. But whenever news of a new class appears there is inevitably the call that Australia needs another class ‘like a bull needs tits.’

In anticipation of this response, we asked Caldecoat why he thought that Australia needed the RS brand. It turns out that Caldecoat was quietly passionate about the subject and spoke emphatically:

‘The writings on the wall – there are a lot of classes out there that do not work – full stop…we’ve got failing participation in sport due to those classes…It’s a free market: anyone can go do what they want and sail what they want.’

‘There are a lot of people with time constraints these days that want ‘boats in boxes’. They don’t have to worry about changes in the class and where they can buy their parts. That’s where we work...’

He added that he thought that participation at junior levels had been depleted by boasts that are too complicated, too narrow in their weight range or too expensive with ‘people getting annoyed with the fact that they can’t keep up.’

Performance Sailcraft are putting their money where their mouth is by offering a special deal for clubs that introduce and support RS fleets. It’s similar to the well known Fly Buys scheme, but unlike this type of supermarket points system you don’t need a level of expenditure equivalent to Bolivia’s gross national debt to claim your free toaster.

‘We call them RS academies; we give them some plaques and we give them some flags and put them on our website. We help them with training days and sailing days…If they have club boats we will give them discounts.’

‘Privately owned boats that sail in the fleet can order their parts through the clubs…and they will just get reward points ticked off or added to their account. They can either cash that in on club boats or prizes for the end of season event….’

Woollahra and Mornington Clubs have both come on board and already have strong Feva fleets, with more NSW and Victorian clubs expected to follow suit. And it’s not hard to see why the Feva is an appealing choice- apart from being strongly built, simple and a good performer, it’s many things to many people. It comes with a number of rig options making it perfect for solo sailors, family crews or mates.

The Feva has the distinction of being the world’s best selling two-person sailboat in recent years, an ISAF International Class, winner of Dinghy of the Year in the USA, Coup de Coeurs in France and is an RYA Recognised Junior class.

For more information about either Lasers or RS Feva see the following sites:

http://www.lasersailing.com.au

http://rssailing.com.au

Email Jason at Jason@lasersailing.com.au for more information about the RS Demo Weekends and to book your spot. Click here to download a great RS screen saver

Performance Sailcraft contact details:
Performance Sailcraft Pty Ltd
Lot 7 Catamaran Road, Ourimbah NSW 2258
Australia

Email : chris@lasersailing.com.au

Tel : (61) (02) 4389 1088

Fax : (61) (02) 4389 1085

Mobile : (61) 0404 822 171

Zhik Yachting 660x82Pantaenius - Fixed ValueBarz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

RS200 – for when it’s all too much
Enter the two-person RS200, bigger sister to the acclaimed single-hander, the recently ISAF endorsed RS100. The thought of sailing a quick dinghy is certainly appealing and enthralling. For some, the idea of wings and traps, combined with a twitchiness and nervousness at low speed resembling that of a cornered mouse, ends up being more than enough to quickly extinguish such exuberant ideas as just a rush of blood to the head.
Posted on 19 Dec 2012
What's on the horizon for the International RS Feva Association?
2012 is nearing its end and what a year it has been! Memories of Hayling are still etched in my mind. 2012 is nearing its end and what a year it has been! Memories of Hayling are still etched in my mind. I thought it would be great to give you an update on the International RS Feva Association to get you all enthused about 2013!
Posted on 15 Dec 2012
RS100 awarded ISAF Class status
Since the RS100’s launch in 2010 it has been the world’s fastest growing performance single handed class. Since the RS100’s launch in 2010 it has been the world’s fastest growing performance single handed class. Numbers have built quickly across the globe and in November at the ISAF Annual Conference the RS100 was awarded ISAF Class status.
Posted on 5 Dec 2012
RS Sailing announce changes to management structure
RS Sailing have announced changes to their management structure due to expansion into new international markets. RS Sailing have announced changes to their management structure due to expansion into new international markets. Jon Partridge, previously Operations Director, has been appointed as the new UK and European Sales Director for RS Sailing.
Posted on 1 Dec 2012
2016 Women's Olympic Skiff Evaluation response from RS Sailing
RS Sailing has provided the following response following the release of the women’s Olympic skiff Evaluation Report Martin Wadhams from RS Sailing has provided the following response following the release of the women’s Olympic skiff Evaluation Report which was published by ISAF on Friday: The RS900 and 49er FX have been recommended as the only two boats that ISAF Council should consider when making their final decision. So, this race will go on right until the finish line!
Posted on 24 Apr 2012
2016 Equipment Evaluations - RS900s 3 days in and looking good
Three days into the trials and we are very happy with the feedback on the RS900 so far. Three days into the trials and we are very happy with the feedback on the RS900 so far. Teams from nine nations have now sailed the boat, and another four teams should sail today.
Posted on 21 Mar 2012
New structure for RS International Class Associations launched
RS International Class Associations new structure has just been launched to support the fast growth of RS boats RS International Class Associations new structure has just been launched to support the fast growth of RS boats around the world and enable RS sailors everywhere to join their International Association. The RS Tera and RS Feva have enjoyed international Class structures for some time, so this relates to the other racing dinghy classes.
Posted on 7 Mar 2012
RS100's sailing down under - Photos
The RS 100 is proving immensely popular world-wide. Here are some images from Port Stephens and Lake Burley Griffin. The RS 100 is proving immensely popular world-wide. Here are some images from Port Stephens and Lake Burley Griffin.
Posted on 27 Sep 2011
RS100 case study - reprinted from SeaHorse magazine
It’s a process that began with the Laser in the 1970s, small boat racing is increasingly devolving It’s a process that began with the Laser in the 1970s, small boat racing is increasingly devolving to manufacturer-led classes. Some have been more successful than others but RS Sailing have rarely faltered in continuing to produce fast, modern and attractive designs that quickly acquire a strong following.
Posted on 27 Sep 2011
RS100 Boat of the Year - reprinted from Sailing-World
If you're the kind of sailor that loves the simplicity of a singlehanded dinghy, the Boat of the Year is just for you! If you're the kind of sailor that loves the simplicity of a singlehanded dinghy, but covets the downwind excitement of an asymmetric spin­naker, then our 2011 Boat of the Year is just for you! Produced by RS Sailboats, of England, the RS100 is the result of two years of intensive product development.
Posted on 27 Sep 2011