RS Aero World Championship, Weymouth & Portland, UK, 4-10th August
Thanks to our daily fleet reporters and to Steve Greenwood for his photographs
A whopping 205 RS Aeros representing 16 nations are in Weymouth for the Class’ 2nd World Championship. Racing over 3 fleets RS Aero 5, 7 and 9 and sharing the week with the 170 boat RS Tera Worlds makes this week a huge start to the 3 week long RS anniversary Games.
A record number of Youths (under 19) are competing with 10 Juniors (under 16). The Ladies entry is up to 35 spread through all ago brackets. The Masters (55+) category remains as strong as ever with 48, 8 of which qualify as Grand Masters (65+).
Largest visiting international teams are USA (9), Czech Republic (7) Netherlands (6) with nearly 50 international RS Aero visitors to Weymouth and Portland in total.
Class socials director Greg Bartlett and his team have been hard at work. On Saturday the fleet warmed up (quite literally!) booking out the whole of Portland’s Balti restaurant before adjourning to The Cove Inn for a beautiful sunset. Tonight Class records were smashed when 100 RS Aero sailors sat down to dinner, packing out the whole of The Dorset Burger in Weymouth.
Below is the summary of tracing from the day’s talented daily scribes. Tomorrow has similar conditions with yet more unbroken sunshine before the wind is set to rise through the week. RS Aero 9 – by Marc Jacobi, USA
Conditions for the first day of the 2018 RS Aero World Championship were almost exactly as predicted, with sunny skies and a weak NW breeze quickly swinging around to the SW at around 1030 and building to about 8 knots. It was a perfect start to the Worlds for its 205 competitors, and beautifully suited to the 48 9-rig boats in attendance.
The 9s started last, which gave me about 25 minutes to watch the three other fleets going up their first windward leg. This identified a left side advantage and together with great speed saw me take two bullets for the day, so a good start to the event! "Lightning" Liam Willis, second to me last year at the Worlds in France, finished 2, 3 today, definitely scoring keepers. The wind forecast now shows increasing wind throughout the week, so it will be interesting to see how things go in planing conditions.RS Aero 7 – by Karl Thorne, GBR
In the 7 rig, a massive 103 boat entry meant that the fleet had to be split into two separate starts: yellow and blue.
Whilst from the comfort of the upper mid-fleet on the yellow start it was tricky to tell exactly who was winning, moving or shaking in my fleet let alone the blue fleet. What I can say after reviewing the score cards are that in the blue fleet Jack Hopkins took a 1-2 on the day, and Sam Whaley a 3-1. In the yellow fleet Steve Cockerill was 1-5, and Cameron Smith 6-1.
Whilst meeting Sam Whaley at the bar and buying him a glass of water, I managed to get the following out of him: “I did a 720 in the first race after being called by the jury for an infringement during my trigger pull – not sure what that was, and I fell out the boat at the top mark and lost my favourite hat”. Losing his hat seemed to cause the most angst and he has promised a minute’s silence in it’s memory, personally he was lucky not to get a 55 for a trash disposal infringement!RS Aero 5 – by Lucy Greenwood, GBR
Day 1 in the RS Aero 5 fleet saw some new faces at the front with the 60 strong RS Aero 5 fleet showing an ever increasing depth of talent. With winds light to medium with mostly smooth water, today was a great way to start the 5 day World Championship!
Current RS Feva World Champion, Ben Hutton-Penman, leads in his first event. Last year’s Worlds silver medallist, Sander Puppart of Estonia, and Will Caiger each took a win. I look forward to the rest of the competition and seeing how it develops.
Under blue skies and light winds the 205 RS Aeros launched for their Worlds for Day 2 with 3 races set on Weymouth Bay. However, as the fleet reached the race course a shifty 12-18 knots buffeted the race course for the rest of the day providing some challenging and rewarding racing for the three RS Aero Classes.
RS Aero 9 – by Andrew Giles, AUS
Fair dinkum, 8 hours on the water and 3 races, pommie beer and cold pasta never tasted so good, after a fare dose of anti inflammatories and magnesium supplements this little black duck is going to sleep well tonight.
Madhavan Thirumalai USA wanted me to mention that today was the first time he lead a worlds fleet around the first mark, well done Madhavan, pity about the 70 degree wind shift which abandoned the race.
Oh and some guy called Marc Obi Wan Jacobi USA, the Jedi master hit another 3 bullets, well done Marc!
RS Aero 7 – by Peter Barton, GBR
The massive 103 boat entry in the RS Aero 7s has required the fleet to be split into two separate qualifying flights before progressing to gold and silver flights later in the week.
Race wins went to Alistair Goodwin, Sam Whaley, and Steve Cockerill with scores still tight at the top of the score sheet before the last day of the qualifying series tomorrow.
RS Aero 5 – by Julie Archer, GBR
The sun dawned on day two and although winds were predicted to increase throughout the day, the morning sunshine and light winds belied what was to come. 60 RS Aero 5s left the slips in good humour with X Y Z hoping to maintain their standings. They were being actively chased by. A B C and in the wings one or two heavy weights were praying to the wind gods that it would increase before the end of the day.
Race 1 gave the opportunity for people to get into the rhythm with relatively light winds. After a general recall, with the warm sunshine, the wind was fairly stable and 1st was William Caiger, 2nd Liina Kolk, 3rd Kate Sergeant. For those that having been following the ongoing contest between Julie Archer and Jackie Craven; Julie lead for most of this race and then on the final beat and error of judgment cost the her the race from Jackie.... she tacked off to ensure she made the mark with room to bear away, seeing this Jackie took to the opportunity to keep her boat flat, pinch a little and she snuck in a the last windward mark and with her down wind speed always good Archer could not come back from that although they were bow to transom at the finish . That made the tally 2 races to Jackie, 1 to Julie and 1 point between them in the series.
Race 2 delivered an unexpected wind shift on the second beat, along with an increase in wind that saw some significant gains and losses through the fleet. As Kate Sargent said “It was good to see new and varied faces at the front- It gives people a real opportunity to see what it’s like without most of that traffic in front of you”. Julie & Jackie missed their usual battle as they went different ways and Julie gained the advantage beating Jackie to the finish by several boats and instead battled it out with Steve Stewart from the YDSC. Julie would like to thank him for the coaching on Sunday as only half a boat separated them at the finish....Cheers Steve. First William Caiger, second Ben Poe, third Ben Hutton-Penman
Race 3 was delayed as the 9 fleet second race was abandoned due to the wind shifting significantly early on their first beat. The PRO was challenged by the shift; local knowledge says if it gets warm it will shift back and true to form it did for the 9rigs to get off leaving the 5’s ready to start. The wind increased for most of the race which again resulted in different faces at the front. Sammy Issac Johnson said “ It was shifty.... so don’t follow me and James Dowrick as we got it wrong again..... Alice Lucy was in complete agreement with that last statement. Andrew Frost was unable to comment as he had gone to prepare for the evenings entertainment by donning his penguin costume.
On the girl fight front Julie got her best result of 17th which, importantly, should see her in front of Jackie on the overall stakes. Sylvia 1162 CZE summed the day up with “too much wind shifts in the end race... in Central Europe the water is much flatter” 1st Andrew Frost, 2nd Lina Kolk, 3rd Ben Hutton Penman.
Game on tomorrow when the bigger winds arrive... will the leaders hang on or will the heavyweights make their mark?
Tomorrow after racing we have RS Aero International Mixed Pairs Stadium Racing starting and finishing in the marina. Pairs of male and females sailors will race in a small fleet race and have their scores combined to progress to the finals and then the medals.
In the evening we have another sold out restaurant when 60 RS Aero sailors will convene at The Stable Pizza on Weymouth quay. Anyone who could not book can catch up with the fleet at the bar afterwards.
Wow, another big day out on the Bay! Yesterday was a long day and today was very physical with another 3 races out on Weymouth Bay. Strong winds kicked up some exciting waves to power through upwind and surf on back downwind rewarding the bold. 205 RS Aeros returned to shore exhausted and beaming from an exciting day on the water!
RS Aero 9 – by Gareth Griffiths, GBR
Another long day of strong winds and the RS Aero 9s had plenty excitement with a recalled U flag followed by a recalled black flag (three unlucky sailors scoring BFD). However, nothing fazed Marc Jacobi who is laying down an impressive number of first places. Sadly your correspondent was too far back to see what was happening at the front. Just keeping the pointy bit above the hull was a real challenge with some really strong gusts and a confused building sea. Downwind it was all to easy to capsize or to bury the bow whilst the bold were rewarded by making large gains weaving down the waves. The brown bits in the boat were chocolate crumbs but some of those runs were down right scary. On the reach the speed and fun was amazing, bouncing from wave to wave.
After race three tiredness was taking its toll and sailors returned ashore to claim the welcome beer (courtesy of Charlie’s 18th today!) and pasta for handing in their tally.
RS Aero 7 – by Nigel Rolfe, GBR
After 2 days of building breeze we were fully put to the test today with a little more wind than we bargained for. This created a real test to those new or unfamiliar with the RS Aero but also provided some fast and exhilarating sailing.
Sam Whaley won races 6, 7 and 8 in the yellow fleet and described the day as a “great one for cruising around the course”. Most other sailors commented on the downwind being more cheek clenching with the increasing wind and the challenge of large waves coming from the south west.
In the blue fleet the love was shared with 3 separate winners in each of the races; Jack Hopkins, Steve Cockerill & Alastair Goodwin. One of the amusing places on the course was at the final gybe mark before the finish where there was a collection of upturned hulls representing the various nations, along with collection of Selden sponsored floating water bottles. Fortunately the safety teams were all environmentalists and were able to pick these up and bring them back to shore for sailors to collect.
It was great see smiling faces back on shore after 3 gruelling races. However it seems apres sailing may well be a more muted affair this evening. Hopefully the aching bodies will be recovered for tomorrow’s races.
RS Aero 5 – by Sammy Isaacs-Johnson, GBR
And relax…..what a day for the 60 odd RS Aero 5 sailors! We knew it was going to be a big day when the trip out to the course that took 1hr 20 yesterday, took 20 minutes today! Big wind and big waves were to be the story of the day.
The first race was dominated by Will Caiger who took another bullet to add to his collection. Second was held by Kate Sargent. Jack Hardie pushed a long way left on the second beat which helped him gain a solid third place.
Race two and the breeze kicked in and the bigger sailors began to dominate. Steve Stewart was heard saying “I was suddenly in front and realised I needed to get my bum over the edge for any lurking photographers!” Andrew Frost started at the pin end of the start and held the race from there taking a low and fast approach with Liina Kolk of Estonia taking second and Toby scoring his best result of the day in 3rd.
The third race was even breezier. Will Caiger was very unlucky with an exploded kicker so had to retire and take his discard race. Liina Kolk dominated the last race in the big wind bashing out a first.
After the long grind home the combination of hot pasta and doughnuts re energised the sailors! Looking forward to pizza and cider social this evening to carb stack before another breezy day tomorrow!
Tomorrow we are set for another 3 races out on Weymouth Bay and it is the first day of Gold & Silver fleet racing for the RS Aero 7s.
In the evening the Australian RS Aero Class will present the 3rd RS Aero World Championship to be held at stunning Port Stephens, NSW in December 2019. A Karaoke sing-off between the RS Aero and RS Tera fleets will follow!
Yet another big day out on Weymouth and Portland Bay! We launched into a light northerly and after one aborted race as the wind switched we had 3 more races for the four flights, totalling 205 RS Aeros, in an increasing south westerly peaking at over 20 knots.
RS Aero 9 – by Richard Watsham, GBR
After seeking advice on sailing report writing from double yachting journalism award winner Karl Thorne I have been told to try and avoid any clichés, so you will not find me writing phrases such as champagne sailing and that it was a tough day on the water, however I shall paraphrase;
A mixed day on the water with changeable conditions making for a great day of tactical sailing. Peter Barton stamped his mark on the RS Aero 9 event and did GBR proud by gaining 3 bullets and breaking Mark Jacobi’s (USA) clean sheet of firsts to that point.
The day started with a light to moderate NNE wind that built up to very fresh W by close of play. Keeping an eye on the clouds and taking the wind shifts was the only way to win on the beat, making for close quarters taking duels of the line in the first race. As the wind increased into the second and third race tired legs started to show and those that had the fitness required to sustain the effort made big gains on the beat. The final race saw a few wobbly moments on the downwind leg as the gusts and waves made for adrenalin fuelled action.
Ready for some more fast and furious Aero racing tomorrow!
RS Aero 7 – by John Wilcox, GBR
Today was the first day of the final series for the RS Aero 7 fleet. All competitors were in their final Gold and Silver fleets.
The wind started from a Northerly direction, which made for a very shifty first beat, with left appearing to pay off early, however after a 90 degree wind shift, the race was soon abandoned.
The now westerly wind was freshening quickly. The Silver fleet got away cleanly, and a handful of people in the Gold fleet black flagged with two general recalls.
Sailors able to deal with the chop were performing well upwind. There was some great surfing downwind, with some spectacular capsizes. The challenging conditions were starting to spread the fleet out significantly.
More general recalls and black flags for both fleets in race two. The Gold fleet were pushing the line hard on the third race of the day and more competitors were black flagged. With the gusts now hitting Force 7, the fleet was enjoying some great planing conditions downwind, but some legs were starting to get tired upwind. The beers and pasta party for return of tallies was a welcome respite when everyone arrived back on shore.
RS Aero 5 – by Karlijn van den Boogaard, NED
Today started out with a race that got abandond. So, we might have the smallest sails, but we also sailed the highest number of races. Also, that first race was my best race so far, so it will be a nice one to remember even if it does not count. That must really apply to Lucy Greenwood, who actually won it!
We realised today, that the RS Aero 5s got spoiled getting the first start every time. Although we had to wait a bit more, it was really nice to see the other rigs starting and watch the RS Aero 9s finishing on the planing reach!
The last race was shortened, so we got to finish on the topmark meaning we could sail straight home to the harbour. It was still quite a long way, legs are tired, but we all survived!
This evening the Australian RS Aero Class ran a presentation for the 3rd RS Aero World Championship to be held at stunning Port Stephens, NSW, in December 2019 and it looked absolutely stunning. RS sailing will be supplying a sizable fleet of charter RS Aeros and this Worlds will certainly provide a wonderful Christmas break from the northern hemisphere winter!
Tomorrow we are set for 2 races in Portland Harbour with a 10:00am start. All is still to play for to decide the medals and a fresh breeze forecast for a fitting end to the 2nd RS Aero World Championship.
The final day of the 206 boat RS Aero Worlds dawned with the likelihood of 30kn gusts. Fortunately the final two races were scheduled within the relative shelter of Portland Harbour. The stage was set for a grande finale with the whole podium up for grabs in the RS Aero 5 fleet and the silver and bronze medals still wide open in the RS Aero 7 & 9s.
RS Aero 9 - by David Partridge GBR
It was a big day for the RS Aero 9 fleet not least because of the apprehension around the conditions. Jim Hood (aka Junior of RS) summed it up well. "it's like the last day of your ski holiday and there is that huge Black run left to do - do you do it or not?".
Those of us foolhardy enough were given great advice from Madhavan Thirumalia (USA) "stay safe, kids". The reach down to the starting line caught out a few with Greg Bartlett, Flinlo and the Swedes all late. The pink flag was up first and the 9s given the chance to test the challenging chop at the leeward end of the harbour.
As a back marker I plugged along trying to make up for a lacklustre start. The fleet remained quite close until the first mark when bravery and skill in the downwind provided big gains for the winners.
Approaching the leward gate there was a lot of courtesy around which way to go, at those speeds avoiding a collision was paramount. I was forced to contemplate a quick Gybe as the boat under me headed for the left gate, I guess having no time to think about it made it easier!
The reach from the top mark will be remembered by all, a blitzing career through the upturned boats, RS Aero 7s battling upwind and froth and foam scudding off the waves. I, as many others, took a swim on the final bear away. The spray and roar from the flapping sails disorienting to the point of losing the final mark, but a reach or two revealed the final black mark, a round up and final wave bouncing reach to the finish - what a way to end a World Champs! We discussed afterward how everyone has memories of the bow slicing through feet of water and the focus needed to keep it up.
I am very much a club sailor, and would not normally venture out in winds like this in the big 9 rig but the event has been totally supportive. The camaraderie and support exemplified the Class, RS Sailing and visiting champ Marc Jacobi (who had sat the race out) helping all the RS Aero sailors back up the ramp at the end of a fantastic last day, which no one on the water will ever forget.
It was a big Black, a double diamond++. In fact it was better in every sense and choppy waves are softer than moguls and trees after all! The experience created a fantastic end point to a great week where I have learnt so much, met so many inspirational people and enjoyed the sheer exhilaration of RS Aero sailing. For the record, the instruments on the harbour wall recorded an average of 27 knots and gusts of 37 during our race slot. Thank goodness we didn't have to beat back from the bay!
Marc Jacobi had already sealed the deal leaving the battle for the silver with both Peter Barton and George Cousins assured a medal. Spotting the start line flick port biased proved key and Barton took a 40m jump on the fleet from the gun. He defended and extended through the race for Silver with George and Liam Willis chasing home. The big rig was manageable whilst treated with respect and #TeamLymo were very pleased to have had the benefit of some big wind and waves training in the western Solent the weekend before
RS Aero 7 - Peter Barton, GBR
The wind continued to increase through the start procedure. Sam Whaley had the Gold already sown up but was not about to miss out on the fun as he let rip around the course. Steve Cockerill took 2nd which was enough to clinch Bronze on a tiebreak from Craig Williamson. Jack Hopkins of Delph SC came in 4th, enough to hold his Silver.
Noah Rees took 12th to retain his Youth World Title in the RS Aero 7s after a close battle all week with Pierce Seward. Juliane Barthel of Germany went one better than her silver from last year to convincingly clinch the Ladies RS Aero 7 title.
Peter Craggs of Yorkshire blitzed the RS Aero 7 Silver fleet race, propelling himself to the front of their Series from Ben Lyons and Dan Bird, both from Lymington in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
RS Aero 5 - by Peter Barton, GBR
By the time the RS Aero 5s got away the wind was properly cranking and with the podium wide open it was all to play for. Across the top reach the RS Aero fleet looked amazing, bouncing over the wave crests at an incredible speed. The pecking order looked moderately intact however once onto the run the fleet took a shuffle with several sailors taking a tumble in the tricky waves at the leeward end of the harbour. Ultimately Ben Hutton-Penman held off his closest competitors with a 3rd to add the RS Aero 5 World Championship (and the Youth and Junior titles!) to the RS Feva World Title he secured in Florida in April. Liina Kolk of Estonia was top lady in Silver overall and last year’s Champ in Carnac, Andrew Frost, took the Bonze.
With the breeze now gusting up to 37kn and the harbour strewn with white horses race officer Arky wisely called it a day with competitors returning to shore beaming having had an ample dose of conditions rarely raced in, let alone to conclude a World Championship!
With a whopping 206 RS Aeros (on only the RS Aero’s 4th birthday!) alongside 170 RS Teras the WPNSA coped admirably. Having 50 international visitors was fantastic and the championship was blessed with having a steadily increasing wind through the week, providing some variety and ultimately a final climax! Having over 200 RS Aeros on one race area required a detailed course to minimise traffic and retaine flexibility whilst our PRO Bob ‘Arky’ Wainwright stayed true to World Championship ideals without compromise, allowing any unsteady breeze to settle to ensure well orientated courses.
RS Sailing’s support was fantastic from charters, equipment and servicing, to the wonderful atmosphere created by the RS Chillout Zone and main stage. As ever Rooster provided their huge support of the RS Aero Class with competitors also benefitting from their shop on site with mega sales of sun hats early on in the event and then warm kit towards the end!
Many thanks to all the sponsors whose contribution helped make the event so enjoyable and for their assistance throughout the year; RS Sailing, Rooster, Harken, Noble Marine, Volvo Cars, Selden, Zest boat works, Techniblock and Yachts & Yachting.
The 3rd RS Aero World Championship ventures down-under, taking place in December 2019 in Australia. A large charter fleet will be available. Put it in your diary now and plan a nice Christmas break in AUS afterwards!
RS Aero 9
1st Youth RS Aero 9 - Liam Willis GBR
1st Master RS Aero 9 - Jeff Davison GBR
1st Grand Master RS Aero 9 - Christer Bath SWE
Bronze - 3rd RS Aero 9 - George Cousins GBR
Silver - 2nd RS Aero 9 - Peter Barton GBR
Gold - 1st RS Aero 9 - Marc Jacobi USA
RS Aero 7
1st Lady RS Aero 7 - Juliane Barthel GER
1st Junior RS Aero 7 - Patrick Fulton GBR
1st Youth RS Aero 7 - Noah Rees GBR
1st Youth Lady RS Aero 7 - Caitlin Atkin GBR
1st Master RS Aero 7 - Stephen Cockerill GBR
1st Grand Master RS Aero 7 - Peter Stephinson AUS
1st in Silver Fleet - Peter Craggs GBR
Bronze - 3rd RS Aero 7 - Stephen Cockerill GBR
Silver - 2nd RS Aero 7 - Jack Hopkins GBR
Gold - 1st RS Aero 7 - Sam Whaley GBR
RS Aero 5
1st Lady RS Aero 5 - Liina Kolk EST
1st Junior RS Aero 5 - Ben Hutton-Penman GBR
1st Junior Lady RS Aero 5 - Caitlin Morley GBR
1st Youth RS Aero 5 - Ben Hutton-Penman GBR
1st Youth Lady RS Aero 5 - Caitlin Morley GBR
1st Master RS Aero 5 - Phillip McDonald GBR
1st Master Lady RS Aero 5 - Catherine Hemsley GBR
1st Grand Master RS Aero 5 - Maggie Dunn GBR
Bronze - 3rd RS Aero 5 - Andrew Frost GBR
Silver - 2nd RS Aero 5 - Liina Kolk EST
Gold - 1st RS Aero 5 - Ben Hutton-Penman GBR
RS Aero Family Champs
3rd - Richard & Tom Kennedy GBR
2nd - Stephen & Sarah Cockerill GBR
1st - Ben & James Hutton-Penman GBR
[Best two family combined scores at the end of Wednesday]
Best RS Aero Buddy - Ben Hutton-Penman GBR
[Swapping his RS Aero 5 with a tired RS Aero 7 sailor on a long windy beat home!]
ResultsView Full Results File