Twenty RS Aeros from eight countries visited beautiful Lago Maggiore to contest the first International RS Aero regatta there. Situated on the Italian and Swiss border the regatta at Maccagno was a joint venture between the Italian host club UV Maccagno and the Swiss club to the north, Ascona SC, and had a true international flavour with no fewer than six countries taking places on the podium ultimately.
After a warm up and relaxation day on the Thursday the fleet assembled for a training day on Friday with class manager Peter Barton able to offer a useful introduction to RS Aero tips and techniques around the course. These sessions worldwide are invaluable to many sailors who are new to RS Aeros or isolated geographically, when they can benefit from the lessons already learned from extensive racing.
The ‘Tramontana’ breeze on Maggiore descends from the north in the morning before reversing to a southerly 'Inverna' thermal in the afternoon. Near Maccagno, at the ‘Canalone’ section at Cannobio, the lake is at its most narrow with the breeze from both directions increasing due to the funnelling effect there.
To maximise racing over the two day regatta stats were planned for 08:00hrs in the morning northerly and 13:30hrs in the afternoon southerly. The mountain winds obliged perfectly two races in each session giving eight medium wind races between 7-13kn in total. A perfect strength for everyone in the mixed fleet to enjoy, providing some marginal planning but not too much to be overly strenuous! The beauty of the two sessions and two directions each day made for excellent variety and after two days of racing it felt like we had had a four day regatta – we certainly maximised our time at Maccagno! The early starts were compensated by an extended relaxation period for coffee and lunch in the late morning!
The format was for class racing in the three RS Aero fleets. Jon Harvey GBR and Tiziano Arioli ITA enjoyed close racing in the RS Aero 5s with Jon prevailing with an extra race win in the end. Julie Willis GBR took 3rd overall and 1st Lady.
The RS Aero 7s were the largest fleet and a very close international battle emerged with early wins going to Vladislav Ivanovskiy RUS, Marcus Walther GER and the home talent, 14 year old Timo Van Roomen of SUI. Ultimately four wins gave the title to Marcus. Timo came a close 2nd with 2 victories in the lighter races and Vlad slipped a little to 3rd with just one big result too many.
A battle reigned at the front of the RS Aero 9 fleet with Madhavan Thirumalai USA and Peter Barton GBR picking up from where they left off just 3 months earlier in Florida when they finished just a point apart at Sarasota. The battle came right back to jostling for control and position in the pre start. Ultimately it was Peter who prevailed, eking out a fraction ahead in each race.pasting An equally close Swiss battle for 3rd saw Rolf Habegger SUI of Thunersee narrowly beat Gallino Gianfranco SUI of Locarno.
Steady medium breezes, clear blue skies, wonderful mountain backdrop, a shady boat park and easy launching make Maccagno a fantastic venue and the RS Aeros look forward to returning soon! Many thanks to UV Maccagno and Ascona SC for being excellent hosts, Ulli Scheu for coordinating a great vevent and the sposors providing a wonderful array of prizes – RS Sailing Italia, Duvoisin and Nautica Luino.Next up
on the International RS Aero scene is the German Open Champs at Travemunde Woche late July. After that it is straight into the big one - the 2nd RS Aero World Championships
at Weymouth, UK from 4-10th Aug. The Worlds forms part of the RS Anniversary Games through August and with 175 already entered from 15 countries it is set to be a huge week!