Please select your home edition
Edition
Mackay Boats

RS900 Women’s Olympic skiff contender testing underway

by Martin Wadhams on 2 Feb 2012
RS900 - Women’s Skiff Contender RS Sailing http://www.rssailing.com
Testing of the production specification RS900, RS Sailing’s women's Olympic skiff contender for Rio 2016, is underway.

'We believe that a new generation of elite skiff sailors deserve a purpose designed boat that will excel in the role and stand the test of time' says RS managing director, Martin Wadhams. 'After several changes to the women’s classes over recent Olympic cycles, the last thing anyone wants is another short term measure.

We began the process several years ago believing that the RS800 could be modified to become the women’s skiff, but quickly realised that although it was arguably the most suited of the then current bunch, it would never be perfect for Olympic women. So our own RS team of Alex Southon and Nick Peters has worked with Phil Morrison to start from scratch and design the RS900 without compromise.'

The RS900 hull is shorter, narrower and has lower freeboard – smaller all round to suit light female teams. The reduced surface area allows a corresponding weight reduction whilst using a similar long lasting, epoxy foam sandwich construction system to the 800.


Fully integrated wide, solid wings and a smooth run-through deck on the RS900 facilitate athletic sailing. RS900 sailors will use techniques matched to those of the 49er men, allowing shared training in many regions, especially helpful for smaller sailing nations. As you can see from the photos, the wings fit smoothly into the hull providing arguably the most flowing platform of any skiff, plus structural integrity and seriously good looks.

Structural engineering has played a major part in the design development of the RS900. RS technical director Alex Southon has significant, hard-won, volume production experience and he has enlisted input from world class composite engineering experts in the USA on this project to help him create a boat that is not only strong and long lasting, but also efficient to build. This will keep costs low for a skiff of this type and the RS900’s price will in line with a competitive 470 rather than the similarly high performance 49er!


The rig is matched to wide leverage to produce spectacular performance whilst suiting the 110 -130kg crew weight range specified by ISAF. The jib is tacked onto the bow, with the forestay attachment point pushed as far forward of the forefoot as possible to give maximum low-down jib area, without excessive hull length and correspondingly reduced responsiveness. The relatively straight mast and square head mainsail follow the latest skiff design trends and, of course, a masthead spinnaker maximises downwind performance.

RS Sailing has the proven ability to produce a large number of epoxy racing dinghies quickly - last year around two hundred RS100s were built and delivered to destinations across the globe within 12 months of launch. Their international dealer network provides back-up support with parts and sails.

Final testing of RS900 will continue over the coming months in the run up to ISAF’s evaluation trials which are expected to be held in March 2012, although as Alex Southon says 'We’re talking about details now from a development perspective. The 900 works and all the sailors who’ve been in it so far are really excited – so we’ll just keep tweaking the rig and getting miles under the hull until we have to stop!' RS Sailing website

Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Oracle Team USA loses crew overboard - Video
OTUSA video of crew member Graeme Spence when he fell off the front cross beam of the team's new AC50 Oracle Team USA came close to having a serious injury to crew member Graeme Spence when he fell off the front cross beam of the team's new AC50 - a situation that has been feared as he passed between the foils, while the new America's Cup Defender was sailing at speed.
Posted on 23 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race - The 10 young sailors who impacted RTW race history
Age is just a number, right? Well, yes – according to some of the sailors who've tackled the world's toughest ocean test Age is just a number, right? Well, yes – according to some of the sailors who've tackled the world's toughest ocean test. They say 'if you're good enough, you're old enough', and this lot certainly proved that. Here, we look back at some of the most iconic young sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race and its predecessor, the Whitbread Round the World Race's four-and-a-half decade history.
Posted on 23 Feb
America's Cup - Artemis Racing launches their AC50 in Bermuda
Artemis Racing's new race yacht, “Magic Blue”, was christened today by Torbjörn Törnqvist's wife, Natalia, at a special Artemis Racing's new race yacht, “Magic Blue”, was christened today by Torbjörn Törnqvist's wife, Natalia, at a special celebration in Bermuda. The launch sees the culmination of more than three years of intense design and development work, which began almost immediately after the finish of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.
Posted on 22 Feb
Volvo Ocean Race – Pablo Arrarte joins MAPFRE as watch captain
With just 242 days to go until the start of the 2017-18 edition on October 22, preparations are already well underway. Arrarte, who raced onboard Brunel in 2014-15, will also assume the role of deputy to Olympic gold medallist Xabi Fernández, who was named as skipper on Friday.
Posted on 22 Feb
Gladwell's Line - AC50 Roll Call shows several late or absent
The AC50 unveiling/launch/sailing call-sheet has had a few additions since Land Rover BAR were the first to launch The AC50 unveiling/launch/sailing call-sheet has had a few additions since Land Rover BAR were the first to launch on February 6 - the earliest day permitted under the 28-day voluntary Blackout amendment to the Protocol governing the current event.
Posted on 21 Feb
Emirates Team NZ and Southern Spars launching into the America’s Cup
Built by Southern Spars, Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest America’s Cup yacht has been launched. Built by Southern Spars, Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest America’s Cup yacht has been launched. The Auckland-based mast builder demonstrated its standing as one of the world’s top carbon fibre manufacturers. Southern delivered Emirates Team NZ’s most technically advanced yacht ever, meeting the extremely strict budget, construction, weight and timing requirements.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ's bike team in training - Video
Emirates Team New Zealand have released a short video of four of their grinding team in training Emirates Team New Zealand have released a short video of four of their grinding team in training - including two Olympic class sailors and an Olympic Gold medalist rower.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA sails AC50 for first time in Bermuda
Oracle Team USA took to the Great Sound on Monday, sailing its newly launched America's Cup Class boat, '17' Oracle Team USA took to the Great Sound on Monday, sailing its newly launched America's Cup Class boat, '17', for the first time. 'We had a successful day,' said skipper Jimmy Spithill dockside after the training session. 'First impressions were great. The boat went really well, so everyone is happy.'
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on why Emirates Team NZ went cycling
How did the potentially game-breaking development to go to cycling grinders remain a secret for so long? After the revelation that Emirates Team NZ had switched from grinders to cyclists, how did the potentially game-breaking development remain a secret for so long? 'The team started work on the project three years ago, but the actual testing started 18-24 months ago,' explained skipper and Sailing Director, Glenn Ashby. 'The team has done well to keep it under wraps for all this time.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ elaborates on the pedal-powered AC50
ETNZ's COO on the 35th America's Cup, the growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions Kevin Shoebridge is now COO of Emirates Team New Zealand, working alongside his long-time friend and nemesis CEO Grant Dalton. At last Thursday's AC50 christening and launch ceremony, Shoebridge spoke to top international sailing commentator, Peter Montgomery about the 35th America's Cup campaign, the change, and growth of the team, and compared the current boat and Cup to previous editions.
Posted on 20 Feb