RS Aero Arctic Champs - Akureyri, Iceland, 21-24 Aug
The first international sailing regatta in Iceland in 25 years!
Arrived in Iceland and setting up at Akureyri
for the RS Aero Arctic Champs. Fun travel day with 90 minutes to check out Reykjavik between flights on scooters.
Arrived at Akureyri to see a great breeze funnelling down the inlet which was up to 24kn on the prep day.Day 0 - Pre-Event Training
Awesome pre-event training day! Whales, seals ands waterfalls - all on the racecourse!
Well that is the first time my breakfast and training brief has been interrupted by a pod of whales next to the club - all set to go sailing with them under blue skies, mild temps and a nice medium breeze!
The whales had gone when we were afloat but 8 short races under blue skies with an incredible back drop. The medium 8-12kn breeze allowed everyone a chance, large or small, in the fleet of RS Aero 7s on flat and nearly fresh water at the top of the inlet.
They say you are only as good as your last race and the podium of the final training race was;
Then some trepid explorers went to sail under the hot waterfall opposite Akureyri
Sailors collected their event T-shirts and RS Aero goodies bags at Registartion and then we rounded the day off with a wonderful champaign reception at a local bar overlooking the harbour and the late sun lit mountainous backdrop.
Racing starts on Monday for 3 days. Our International Race Officer, Marina Psichogiou of Greece, has devised a cunning schedule with charter RS Aero rotations were one of the competitors will rest out each race in turn with up to 8 'short 'n sharp' races each day!DAY 1
Thanks to the race team for smashing out 7 good races today. By the end of the day they had fine tuned to be within a couple of seconds of their 20mins target time!
The racing was awesome with the flat water and light/medium breeze a great leveller across the fleet of RS Aero 7s.
The clouds had receded further with blue skies and beautiful views of the mountainous terrain. This created a real challenge to not forget the racing whilst admiring the incredible vistas!
Another 7 great races! The day started moderate cloud cover and blue skies in the distance. Initially a right orientation in the wind favoured the right and then it switched left, with gusts and lifts off that side - catching out the unwary!
Again the breeze started light around 7kn but increased to a full hiking and planing breeze of 14kn by the last race. So over the two days so far the conditions have enabled everyone to be competitive with a mix of sailor sizes all racing in RS Aero 7s.
Winner of the day was Philip Whitehead (Yorkshire Dales, GBR) with a solidly consistent 6,5,1,1,3,2,2 - and those last two 2nds were so nearly 1sts! Roy Van Maanen (IRL) won the final race, pipping Phil right at the finish.
Going into the final day just 2.4 points split the top three with Phil, Ellie Craig (GBR) and Peter Barton (GBR) contending the podium positions for the first RS Aero Arctic Champs with 6 more races to be sailed.
DAY 3 & OVERALL
It’s all over! No racing on the final day with just 3.6kn average on the racecourse. We have already had 3 great days training and racing together with sun and medium/light breezes. The results therefore remain as at the end of day two after 14 races;
1st Peter Barton
2nd Ellie Craig
3rd Philip Whitehead
Ellie Craig, GBR
2nd Juliane Barthel
Lesley Reichenfeld, CAN
Dadi Jon Hilmarsson, ISL
Bjorn Runarsson, ISL
Adalsteinn Loftsson, ISL
Notable occurrences were;
- Whales, seals & waterfalls in the race area
- Incredible vistas with some nice sunshine
- The 7-12kn breezes over flat water provided close racing with a mix of sailors in the RS Aero 7s.
- The women’s clean sweep of the podium in race 4 with a 1,2,3.
- The new Icelandic RS Aero sailors coming to form at the start of Day 2, with a 3,5,7 in Race 8.
Many of the fleet now have a few days to enjoy exploring Iceland with its stunning scenery, coastline, waterfalls, canyons, thermal activity, glaciers and hot spa pools.
Thanks to Nökkvi sailing club for being excellent hosts and their efforts in preparing the charter fleet. Marina Psychogyiou and Markus Schwendtner came to Iceland and their assistance and expertise in race management made excellent racing enjoyed by everyone. This helped provide a legacy of increased race skills to the local community which can only help this event and others in Iceland benefit in years to come. RS Sailing provided the charter RS Aeros and the Icelandic RS Dealer Ulfur Hrobjartsson of Batti for his early vision of bringing the RS Aero Class to Iceland. The RS Aero fleet in Iceland has already quadrupled following this event, the first international sailing regatta in Iceland for 25 years!
- lots on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/groups/rsaeroclass