As per forecast, 20kn gusting 30kn bombarded a breezy Burghfield for an exciting opening event of the UK's RS Aero season.
29 single handers in total joined for the combined RS Aero and Blaze open meeting. Greeted by a strong wind whistling through the rigging, a few tactical rig entry changes were made from those who had entered with the larger sails leaving a fleet of RS Aero 5 and 7s and Blaze and Blaze Fires. The format led by our race officer Mark Cooper was for four races with a discard, back to back with a (very welcome) lunch break in between where lovely hot food was served by the club caterers. The wind did not let down, the sun came out to match and we had some full on sailing with high speed thrills and spills.
Mark Cooper made the very most of the peachy day with a mammoth beat the length of the lake followed by a downwind slalom. Five reaches and runs with two gybes was what the RS Aero sailors had been dreaming of all winter. Now it was coming true at Burghfield. We rely on our race officers for good race management, humour is a bonus. The line of the day was ‘The worst shallows are marked with grass’ (referring to Burghfield’s islands).
The RS Aeros started together as one fleet and were clean off the line on every start. Tristan Ahlheid (Frensham) demonstrated the potency of the RS Aero 5 in a breeze, when well sailed. He led the fleet, both 5s and 7s, at the first mark with flat power hiking and tacks on the right shifts to take 3 counting PY wins in the first 3 races. Peter Barton (Lymington Town) found form late in the day to eek out enough distance for the PY win in Race 4. Completing the podium was Joe Jones (Burghfield). Staying upright as well as fast was the name of the game!
Once most had gladly made it back to the shore, the three youths with the 5 rigs stayed out for a bit more fun, chasing each other around the lake! With this attitude we can expect to see these names featuring in the upcoming summer championships.
If there were winter cobwebs in our boats before racing there were certainly not after! Those brown mud stains on the heads of sails are not ‘Stains of Shame’, they are ‘Badges of Bravery’ for the heroes who turned out - well done to everyone!
to Burghfield SC for hosting another great event and to Rooster
and Recycled Sail Bags
for their excellent prizes.
for the UK RS Aeros is the Spring Championship at Island Barn on Saturday 22nd April.
April also sees regional Class coaching (to help adults keep up with the Youth Team!) in the Midlands (Notts County SC, 8th April), the South (Sutton Bingham SC, 15th April) and Scotland (Dalgety Bay SC, 22/23nd April).
Full details on the RS Aero UK Events Calendar
Spring 2023 Gallery
for larger photos thanks to Mark Cooper
Photo 1 above - RS Aeros blast their way through the upturned Blaze fleet!