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.