RS Aero, The Sydney Big Boat Challenge

by Chris Kameen on January 3, 2015

RS Aero and Wild Oats 11It was with a lot of excitement that I took delivery of the first RS Aero in NSW, and what better day to launch than on the day of the Big Boat challenge on Sydney Harbour. I miscalculated the time that the race would start and so was already on the back foot, but the speed with which I rigged the boat pulled back a bit of time, and then a favourable easterly and I took off in hot pursuit of some cool snaps!

I’ve never really been one for solitary sailing, favouring more sailing with my wife or friends, however going for a burn in a boat like this, is certainly a lot of fun. When I first arrived in Australia, I bought myself a second hand laser and sailed that for a year or two, just messing a round when not racing skiffs. The first thing that I noticed when I got the boat out of the packaging was how well thought out the rigging guide is and how easy and well everything went together with one exception being the way the main halyard attaches – a clunky sheetbend needs to be replaced with a decent splice I think. The second thing I noticed was how light the boat is when moving it around on its beach trolley. Everything about this boat oozes modern.

I launched off the beach easily though needed a friend to stop the boat washing onto the beach whilst I put the trolley away, I wasn’t game to try the carry in Moth method!

RS Aero and ComancheAs I was setting off across the heads I could see the big Boats heading towards me, so I was easily able to sit on the quarter wave of my camera boat and surf all the way down the harbour until the big boats caught up with me..! ūüėČ

Once I rounded Bradley’s head I set off on a square run, the boat felt pretty lively and I think if I had not had my wits about me could have capsized in the washing machine like waters, but I had good response from the rudder and it felt good, I was quite enjoying it.. however there was a certain dread as I neared the opera house, it was going to be a 7 mile upwind sail back, with nobody on the wire playing the main and keeping the boat flat!

Hiking out for 7 miles was not something I was looking forward to but I managed it really quite easily and quickly, I was astounded at how quickly we went up wind and how comfortable it was. Ok so the boat wasn’t completely¬†flat¬†but I managed to hike out the whole way with out getting pins and needles.. If you are going to have to hike out in a boat then this was definitely one of the most ‘comfy’ I have sailed.

It was a great 4 hours on the water, and whilst the sun only poked out for a moment, I had a great time and think this boat has a wonderful future.

We will be hosting a trial day on Saturday 10th January 2015 at Little Manly from 11:30

RS Aero and Manly Ferry on Sydney Harbour



My apologies for the delay in getting this report out. Sadly a personal drama was unfolding ashore whilst this was going on which has hopefully now played itself out,  and allowed me to get back to work. A truly mixed emotion day.

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