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Kiwi sailors have picked up and run with the RS Sailing range

by NZ Sailcraft 2 Oct 2021 04:24 PDT 3 October 2021
RS Quest available from NZ Sailcraft - September © NZ Sailcraft

The first RS branded centreboard dinghy arrived in New Zealand in 2005 and now many yacht clubs in New Zealand sport at least one boat - and often many more - within their fleets.

Hayden Whitburn of NZ Sailcraft says that the timing of the arrival of RS boats on the scene was good, with New Zealanders primed and ready to explore sailing in modern designs made from stronger, lighter materials, and to take advantage of the thrills and spills of the classes that offer assymetric sails

The RS Sailing boats were designed decades after many of the popular dinghy classes sailed in New Zealand and the developments inherent to their DNA make them lighter and more comfortable, he says.

There is something for everyone: - the RS Aero is a strong single handed one design, the double-handed, gennaker equipped RS Feva ideal for two crew. The much larger RS Quest where a family or crew of three or four can pile on to cruise or race yet still pull it ashore on a beach trailer. The brand also offers a fun, fast beach cat.

Remarkably, 40 RS Quests alone have now been sold in New Zealand, 25 to clubs for sail training and racing, and 15 to recreational buyers. Because it is safe and stable, ideal for newbies, a number of these are grandparents keen to introduce grandchildren to sailing, or a boat for the family bach.

Each class, built by the one manufacturer in the UK, now one of the biggest dinghy manufactures in the world, is faithful to its one design principles too - and with significant fleets around the world will make for intense one-design racing once New Zealand's borders reopen.

Craig Fahey of Wanaka Yacht Club says, "The two new RS Quests that we purchased through NZ Sailcraft have proven to be a game changer for our instructional programs. The ability to comfortably fit a coach and three students have really helped us to deliver effective lessons while reducing coaching resources. Whats more the boats are FUN! Kids and adults alike are loving these boats!"

Aaron Hume-Merry, former General Manager/Head Coach of the Russell Coutts Foundation has appreciated the support provided by NZ Sailcraft for the RS range. "The demos and exceptional service you provide make it easy for us to select and add relevant classes to our fleet, and it's great to now fill the void in junior two-handed sailing with the fast and fun RS Feva. It's been the perfect progression class for our young sailors to learn the fundamentals of crew work, gennaker trim and even the basics of apparent wind sailing when the lively boat really gets moving!"

It's clear that the RS Sailing boats have found their place in the New Zealand sailing scene, alongside the classes that we know and love.

A new container load of boats arrives in New Zealand shortly. Shipping costs go up every month. Get your order in before they sell out. Visit nzsailcraft.co.nz to arrange a demo and be sailing for summer!

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