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Reports & Results

 



RS Aero European Championship - at the RS Games, WPNSA, Portland, Weymouth, UK
30/07/2022 - 05/08/2022
 

Write-Up

RS Aero European Championship - WPNSA, UK, 1-5th August

EVENT PREVIEW

DAY 1
Opening week two of the 2022 RS Aero Games, Day 1 of the 4th RS Aero European Championship kicked off alongside the RS Teras and RS500s on a sparkling afternoon on Weymouth Bay.

After a short postponement waiting for the wind it then arrived on cue with 3 afternoon races with 13kns increasing to a lively 19kns through the afternoon. The sun shone and the water sparkled under blue skies for some glorious racing for the four RS Aero Classes, RS Aero 5,6,7 & 9.

The much-anticipated clash of the titans in the RS Aero 5s produced many excellent battles. Roscoe Martin (GBR) took race one and the day after backing it up with two 2nds. Chloe George (GBR) took two race wins, sliding away from the boys down the runs. Last week’s Youth Worlds podiumers Tom Ahlheid (GBR) & Sam Blaker (GBR) are back at the front again with consistent scores giving them 2nd and 3rd so far respectively. Lijia Xu (CHN) scored two 4ths speeding though the fleet downwind.

The RS Aero 6 fleet had a fantastic start to its first international championship with 21 boats on the line. Dominant on Day 1 and taking the Gold bib into day two was Chris Hatton (GBR) with an impressive 1,1,1. Luca Mitchell (Devon, GBR) had an awesome day scoring 2,3,2 on his borrowed RS Aero 6 rig, so much so that he bought his own new RS Aero 6 on coming ashore! Ants Haavel (EST) rounds out the podium with a 3,2,3 whilst Abigail Larr is top lady in 6th.

The RS Aero 7s are the largest fleet with 53 entries and Lithuania picked up were they left off at the RS Aero Youth Worlds last week, this time with two sailors Vejas Strelciunas (LTU)and Martis Pajarskas (LTU) taking the race wins.

The RS Aero 9s revelled in the medium breeze with demanding up-winds and exciting down-winds weaving through the waves Chris Larr (GBR) took the first race and Peter Barton the next two. Rounding out the podium was Ben Charnley (GBR) with a solid 3,3,2.

Big winds are likely on Day 2 with racing starting early for a 3 race thrash around Portland Harbour. The RS Aeros love the waves of the Bay, but they also enjoy the speeds attainable in flat water too when the breeze is up. Lets go!

DAY 2
Day 2 of the 4th RS Aero European Championship provided an air of anticipation on arrival to the dinghy park with 22kns of breeze across Portland Harbour promising a lively 3 races for the four RS Aero fleets 5,6,7&9.

The challenges of the day were the physicality of the up-winds, which there then rewarded with the fun of weaving around waves on the down-winds. The bounce-back of the waves from the harbour breakwater to leeward provided a cauldron of excitement at the leeward gate and bottom reach as sailors focused on keeping their bow up as they bounced over the waves crests whilst planning at mach 10. The fog came in after the first race which provided an added variable - finding the marks! You could see the marks from about halfway up the leg - so it all came good if you kept faith and avoided going too hard into the corners!

Chloe George (GBR) took two more wins in the RS Aero 5s to take the lead. The chasing pack of Tom Ahlheid (GBR), Roscoe Martin (GBR), Andrew Frost (GBR) and Sam Blaker (GBR) are all tightly packed behind.

In the cool new RS Aero 6 fleet yellow jersey holder Chris Hatton (GBR) took two more wins to continue his streak. Ants Haavel (EST) made a move upwards with a 3,2,1 to draw equal 2nd overall with Luca Mitchell (GBR). Top Females are Abigail Larr (GBR), Beth Milledge (GBR) and Cathy Lunn (GBR).

The RS Aero 7s are all about Lithuania with their top RS Aero sailors Vejas Strelciunas (LTU)and Martis Pajarskas (LTU) topping the leader board. Just a few points back is Tim Hire (GBR).

The RS Aero 9’s supreme athletes loved the fresh breeze, stretching their legs upwind and enjoying the exciting rides back down wind. Peter Barton (GBR) took the three wins, pushed hard all the way by Chris Larr (GBR) and Ben Charnley (GBR).

The day ended with the daily awards, the UK Class AGM and then a chilled dinner and beers at The Cove Inn overlooking Chesil Beach in the sunset. Day 3 looks set to be another glamour day on Weymouth Bay with 12-14kns from the southwest and sunshine.

DAY 3
Day 3 of the 4th RS Aero European Championship dawned windier than expected and PRO Mark Woods made the call to race inside the harbour alongside the RS Teras with the RS Aero 5 & 6s out first followed by the RS Aero 7 & 9s.

The RS Aero 5 & 6s launched into 23kn of breeze, which steadily softened to 18kn. The RS Aero 7 & 9s raced their three races in a breeze dropping from 18kn to 10kn providing opportunities throughout the fleet. A couple of substantial and prolonged right and left shifts kept sailors and the Race Team on their toes.

The large RS Aero 5 fleet made consistency key over 3 races with Chloe George (GBR) again one of the most consistent with a 4,3,5. Over two races Roscoe Martin (GBR) stepped up to 2nd with a 1,1 and Mark Ripley (GBR) and Lijia Xu (CHN) scored a 2,4 each. Winner of Race 7 was David Peaty (GBR) who backed it up with a 6th.

In the RS Aero 6s Chris Hatton’s (GBR) run of 1sts was finally brought to a halt when Luca Mitchell (GBR) took the win in Race 9. That still leaves Chris out in front, now with Ants Haavel (EST) 2nd and Luca a point back in 3rd

It was Craig Williamson (GBR) who won the day in the RS Aero 7s with a 4,3,1 to jump up to 3rd overall. Martis Pajarskas (LTU) held his lead at the top with Tim Hire (GBR) in 2nd. Jon Emmett (GBR) took the win in Race 8 to step up to 5th.

The RS Aero 9s were ready for the lighter breeze later in the afternoon after two days of hard hiking! Peter Barton (GBR) won the day but his string of 1sts was brought to an end by Simon Geyman (GBR) won Race 9 and was 2nd best scorer on Day 3.

After a late finish the daily awards were postponed to be rolled over until tomorrow night. Lijia Xu will also then field a Q&A session with a few key Top Tips for speedy sailing. Later DJ Covell will pump out the tunes for a final party night before Friday’s grand finale on the water.

Day 4 on Thursday is set to be out in Weymouth Bay with a start time of 12:00.

DAY 4
Day 4, the penultimate day of the RS Aero European Championship, provided new racing challenges. Racing was out in Weymouth Bay with a 8-12kn north westerly off the shore making the race course thick with opportunities as regular shifts and gusts came down the race course. That made positioning and decision making a bigger focus now than boat speed. With the north westerly sailors enjoyed a nice fast reach in and out of the harbour to the race area.

Winning races in the RS Aero 5s was Andrew Frost (GBR), Tom Ahlheid (GBR) and Ed Day (GBR). Chloe George (GBR) retained her lead overall with a 2,14,4 and the chasing pack is made up of Roscoe Martin (GBR) Andrew Frost (GBR) and Tom Ahlheid (GBR).

In the RS Aero 6s Chris Hatton’s (GBR) did not have it all his own way this time with Ants Haavel (EST) and Graham Tribbeck (GBR) gaining race wins. Chris takes a good lead into the final day with Ants, Luca Mitchell (GBR) and Chris Rust (GBR) all challenging for podium places. 

Ben Whaley (GBR) took two wins in the RS Aero 7s, revelling in the lighter sniggly race course. Craig Williamson (GBR) continued his good form from the day before with another win. Martis Pajarskas (LTU) holds his lead into the final day with a 4,9,2 with Vejas Strelciunas (LTU), Tim Hire (GBR)and Craig in the hunt for the podium places.

The RS Aero 9s enjoyed a slightly lighter breeze to rest their legs a little whilst still loving the extra power for exciting down winds through the baby waves. Peter Barton (GBR) sealed the title with a 1,1,1 clinching a couple of them in the final stages. Ben Charnley (GBR) made a comeback for the silver with a 2,2,3 and goes into the final day tied for 2nd with Chris Larr (GBR).

The day ended with a daily awards through the fleet and customary sharing of top tips by the day’s leaders. Gold medallist and newcomer to the RS Aero 5 fleet, Lijia Xu (CHN), then give a talk and fielded questions to a captivated audience on both her downwind technique and her general thoughts so far on how to best make an RS Aero sail fast.

It looks like a similar day out in Weymouth Bay for Day 5, enabling sailors to put the lessons learnt on Day 4 into practice. 

DAY 5 & OVERALL
A few dusty heads turned up on Friday morning after revelling the night away to the tunes of DJ Mark Covell playing on the RS Sailing hub main stage! Day 5, provided a Grande Finale to the Championship with titles hotly contested over the last two races. Similar to the previous day, racing was out in Weymouth Bay with a 8-12kn north westerly off the shore but this time it was hotter and the shifts and wind variance were more pronounced. The race course was thick with opportunities and sailors had to make careful judgements on their positioning and decision making.

In the RS Aero 5s race wins went to David Peaty (GBR) and then to Lijia Xu (CHN) in the final race of the series. At the top of the scoreboard Chloe George (GBR) did enough to bring home the title. The chasing pack narrowed the gap with Roscoe Martin (GBR) in 2nd and Tom Ahlheid (GBR) in 3rd and 1st Youth (U19). 1st Youth Female was Abby Hire (GBR), 1st Junior (U16) was Philip Sahl-Andersen (DEN) and 1st Junior Female Aimee Bulkes (URU).

In the RS Aero 6s a 1,3 was enough for Chris Hatton’s (GBR) to secure his title. Ants Haavel (EST) took the silver and Chris Rust (GBR) bronze. Luca Mitchell (GBR) took 4th and top Youth, Abigail Larr (GBR), 1st Lady, Andy Hill (GBR) 1st Master (O55), Catherine Hemsley (GBR) 1st Lady Master and Nick Scully (GBR) 1st Grand Master (O65)

Martis Pajarskas (LTU) took the title in the RS Aero 7s with a win in the first race. It was even in the race for silver going into the last race and a 2nd place gave it to Tim Hire (GBR) with recently crowned Youth World champion Vejas Strelciunas (LTU) in 3rd. 1st Lady was Anya Haji-Michael (GBR) in 12th, 1st Youth was Blake Tudor (GBR), 1st Master Steve Norbury (GBR) and 1st Grand Master Michael Baldwin (GBR).

The RS Aero 9s’ enthusiasm got the better of them on the first start of the day with 5 boats over and only a few returning. The title was already secured by Peter Barton (GBR). Chris Larr (GBR) came back from his OCS to take the silver with a final race win with Ben Charnley (GBR) taking bronze. 1st Master was Robbie Lawson (GBR) and 1st Grand Master Andy Warren (GBR).

Many thanks to all the volunteers and staff who made the RS Games and the two RS Aero Championships all possible. Over 200 RS Aero entries over the two weeks representing 15 nations all had a fantastic time with great racing in a nice mix of conditions and a fun time both ashore and afloat.


Check out the photos of the day by Digital Sailing with 50% Discount code 'RSGAMES’ until 20th August - 
www.digitalsailing.co.uk

Thanks to all the supporters of the RS Games; RS SailingRoosterSeldén MastHarkenNoble MarineKingfisher Yacht RopesLifeJacket Skin ProtectionSpinlock, Fernhurst Books, HYDE SAILSMarkSetBotDigital Sailing and Allen Sailing.


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