RS Aero - lift-off03/03/2014
After several years of development testing four different hull variations and
numerous rig, foil and layout options, RS Sailing unveiled what could become
one of the most important new sailboats of this era at the Suzuki RYA Dinghy
Show in London - the RS Aero.
In many ways you can think of the RS Aero as a 21st century Laser - with the
most fundamental difference being ultra-light weight. A full size single hander
that, amazingly, weighs 30kg - the same as an Optimist.
Every dinghy sailor can imagine how that changes the game. Sail the boat and you
quickly realise you underestimated it. From the exhilaration on the water, to
the sheer user-friendliness ashore, the RS Aero re-sets preconceptions: The
rush as the boat accelerates - the
ability to carry it up the beach single-handed - the convenience of youths or
small women lifting it onto a roof-rack with ease.
Ultra-light weight means the hull form and rigs need not be extreme, so the RS Aero is
utterly exciting without being hard to handle. Wide structural gunwales give a
dry ride and make the boat quick and safe to right from capsize.
A three rig system, as per the Laser, has been envisaged from the start to cover the
desired sailor range - RS Aero 5 (youths) - RS Aero 7 (women & light men) -
RS Aero 9 (men). All spars are carbon fibre, with a common top mast and boom
for all sails and radically different stiffness lower mast sections. The hull
is so light that even the Aero 5 has a higher sail area to weight ratio than
most existing single-handers and retains the Aero's incredibly dynamic feel.
Two v4 pre-production prototypes were on the RS Sailing stand at Alexandra Palace and
caused a storm, with crowds around them all weekend and people lifting the boat
and laughing out loud at the surprise. Final stages of the development process
are underway, with every aspect of this simple boat having been examined,
developed and tested for functionality over fashion, minimal weight, maximum strength
and manufacturing efficiency. Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of the RS
Aero is that despite being half the weight, built using epoxy resin and
significant amounts of carbon fibre in the hull and all-carbon spars, the price
will be close to that of a Laser.
UK roll-out of the RS Aero will take place first and a demo tour begins next weekend. Orders
are now being taken with a special launch price available on the first 100
boats - well over half of which have already been reserved.
All through development, the reaction has been similar. From weekend warriors to discerning professionals, the RS
Aero re-ignites passion for sailing in its purest, least complicated form. With
RS Sailing's global distribution network, worldwide success seems assured.
Further information about the complex thinking behind the RS Aero's beautiful
simplicity is available from RS Sailing, with RS Aero web pages now live and
the team truly excited to talk to you about the boat.
t. +44 (0)1794 526760 e. [email protected]