The RS Games is set to be the one of the biggest dinghy racing events ever held, with 800 competitors and over 300 spectators expected to take part in the 12-day event. Entries to the event will open at the official launch party on 5th March, at the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Volvo Dinghy Show, at Alexandra Palace, London.
The RS Games will see sailors from nine RS fleets will compete for a number of National, European and World Championship titles from 15-26th August 2011. The competition will be hosted by the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), the venue for the 2012 Olympic Games Sailing events, providing a real showcase of international sporting talent at the UK’s premier dinghy racing venue. The opportunity to compete at the Olympic venue exactly one year ahead of the Games will be a huge incentive for many entrants, and will be an unrivalled opportunity for WPNSA to demonstrate their organisational skills ahead of the big event.
The RS Classes first appeared 17 years ago with the launch of the RS400 and RS600 by Southampton-based manufacturer, RS Sailing. Since then, the RS classes have become a real phenomenon in the dinghy racing world, attracting huge numbers of sailors into its fleets. Although the RS classes have held joint events before, this is the first time that the classes will join together to race on such a vast scale.
Pete Vincent, RS Class Association Chairman, says; 'The idea of running concurrent championships for so many RS fleets is unprecedented, and it will be a great testament to the capabilities of the Class Association and the many volunteers who commit their time to making our events happen. The RS Games will be a real celebration of what the RS classes have to offer sailors of all ages, both on the water and off. We will be ‘raising the bar’ in more than one sense!'
With racing spread throughout the two week period and up to three races per class per day scheduled, there will be daily on the water action complimented by a lively evening social schedule for competitors and supporters, promising a memorable experience for all. But despite the festival atmosphere onshore, there will be no taking away from the seriousness of the competition on the water.
Each fleet is one-design, meaning that success comes down to tactics and boat handling skill. The battle for the top positions will be especially fierce in the highly popular RS200 fleet, with a record turnout of 270 competitors expected. Another one to watch will be the RS100, the latest fleet to be added to the RS Classes, which has already sold over 200 boats since its launch last year and achieved the Sailing World US Boat of the Year 2010 award. Fast and furious action is guaranteed from the double-handed RS800 skiff and the RS700 single-handed skiffs. Other fleets attending will be the RS300, RS400, RS500, RS600 and RS Vareo.
The event will receive support from RS Sailing, who will be on-site offering a full spares and repair service throughout the event. Entrants to the RS Games will receive a special 10% discount on chandlery and clothing items bought at RS Sailing.
Press are invited to attend the official RS Games launch event on Saturday 5th March at 16.30 at stand B52 at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show, Alexandra Palace, London. There will be the opportunity to see each of the RS classes up close, and to meet sailors as well the UK RS Class Association committee members and RS Sailing representatives.