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29 races in 12 days in all 9 classes at the RS Gam

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James Tanner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote James Tanner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 29 races in 12 days in all 9 classes at the RS Gam
    Posted: 04 Nov 11 at 6:48pm
right to reply....
The RS500 is not a kids boat, it has an ideal sailing weight of approximately 120 to 140kgs, a very similar sailing weight to the RS200, but a lot more exciting down wind.

the RS500 is for couples and sailing teams who are not 100kg lumps like your self, there are plenty of boats in 100kg + weight range, but that doesn't make the ones for people who are 75Kgs kids boats. For example, I am sure Paul Goodison would be less than impressed if you referred to the Laser as a kids boat.

The fact that you couldn't get the boat going up wind despite you extra ballast just shows your lack of knowledge on how to sail a fast boat up wind, pinching up in a light high performance boat will just not work as was aptly demonstrated to you by the other boats sailing past you.

I note you picked two boats as examples in you article, one of which is RS staff and sailing with their son and the other a dealer sailing with a young crew. but you failed to spot the teams who were over 40 and the majority of the fleet which sail as husband and wife couples aged between 20 and 40. To suggest that it is a kids boat is very derogatory to those people and to then publish such a poorly researched remark with a very rude sub title very unprofessional.
James Tanner
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Better a bad day on the water than a good day in the office.
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themeaningoflife View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote themeaningoflife Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 11 at 7:02pm
Any further explanation?
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Pierre View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pierre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 11 at 8:30pm
I hear voices.....or at least someone does.
WTF did this come from?
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Neptune View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neptune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 11 at 9:23pm
The story from the RD games in the mag. James obviously feels offended.
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Peaky View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 11 at 9:39pm
To be fair, when it was first launched the 500 was marketed as a 'transition' boat bridging the gap from youth to adult - a sort of student demographic I suppose. The releases at the time made much of that being the point where many people drop out of sailing, and the 500 was going to be the boat that stopped that happening. I've no idea what the actual demographic is, but it was certainly pushed at a youthful market.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mister Nick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 11 at 9:46pm
The guy who wrote the article is completely right, it was originally designed to be sailed by people moving up from the RS Feva.  I would have been heavy enough to sail the RS500 with a mate of a similar weight to me (60kg) over a year ago when I was 14. If all of that that doesn't make it a youth boat then I'm not sure what does?

The Laser isn't a good comparism, the optimum weight is 75-85kg which is far heavier than most kids I know. I'm nearly 16 and I'm only about 68kg, I wouldn't be able to sail a Laser as competitively as a 500 for a fair while. If you take two guys of optimum Laser sailing weight, you could throw them in a 49er and they'd have the weight to compete and do well. It's really not designed as a youth boat. 



Edited by Mister Nick - 04 Nov 11 at 9:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender443 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 11 at 10:34am
Well I think RS are mising a trick here as the youth market is not the only market for this boat.
 
We have 2 RS500s at our club and both of these went ot Weymouth for the Worlds this year. The helms and crews won't mind me saying that they cannot be considered to be under 40 any more.
 
Why did they choose the 500? Quite simply they wanted something similar in concept to the Laser 2 that they could sail together as husband and wife.


Edited by Contender443 - 06 Nov 11 at 9:01am
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mike10626 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mike10626 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 11 at 1:49pm

If you haven’t worked it out yet, there is an article with this title in the November issue of the magazine.  James is a little clearer about what he is talking about, on the RS 500 Facebook group.

It sounds like I need to compare notes with the author about how to sail the RS 500.  I know I am near the top end of the weight range in the fleet and tend to find it easier to keep up with the fleet going upwind – especially when it is windy.   What I struggle with is keeping up going downwind when the light weights can power up at a lower angle and get to the leeward mark by travelling less distance.  Shame I missed the Worlds this year because I have a feeling people are beginning to learn how to adjust their sailing style dependent on weight.

Claiming you can sail the RS 500 with less than 120 Kg (19 stone) in the boat is not very useful.  You can also sail a 505 with that all up weight.  In neither are you likely to win a 5 day world championships, though, as on some of the days you are going to find it difficult to keep up with teams with more weight.   In my opinion the optimum weight range for the 500 is still undecided.  Looking at the Worlds and Nationals over the last couple of years it looks as though it may settle at a similar level as the Laser II of 20 to 24 stone (127-152 kg).  Hopefully the range is as broad as possible otherwise someone will come up with yet more new designs to fill even more non-existent gaps in the market.

Pigeon holing boats that cater for this weight range as “Youth Boats” is probably one of the worst aspects of the current dinghy scene.  Surely there must be a massive overlap in weights between a couple of teenage boys and a mixed team of averagely fit adults.  Why does everyone seem to want to put off this second group off by telling them they are sailing a “Youth Boat”?  With the Laser II the main group of people at events were always adult sailors despite the fact it became the IYRU “Youth Boat” for a few years.  Is the current shortage of second hand 29er’s something to do with the way it has never had an adult following in this country and not had enough teams with there own money to spend?

For many people who have bought the RS 500 the obvious position for it is as the adult equivalent of the 29er.  Being part of the RS Circuit had the potential of a ready-made social aspect to the events.  In general this has what has happened with the fleet.  The number of Youth Sailors may have been relatively high in the first few years but the average profile at events is now getting older.  Now the class has lost its newness most youth teams seem to go straight to the 29er if they are planning to sail beyond club level.

Personally I think RS may have wasted some marketing effort by trying to persuade Feva sailors that the next boat to step up to is the RS 500 (surely this was a marketing ploy not part of the original design spec).  Was this ever going to be the case with so many other boats already catering for this market?  If it’s sold some boats though what’s the problem?  The sooner there is a decent second hand market for RS 500’s the sooner it will be able to start attracting people away from some of the older classes in this crowded area of the market.

RS500'S@Datchet - The Country's largest Trapeze Asymmetric Fleet ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tamsin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Nov 11 at 8:11pm
well said Mike! it would be interesting to see the crew statistics from the worlds this year. I would say an educated guess would be that boats being sailed by couples/friends over 18 would be about 70% of the fleet. all youth boats 10% and family(eg father and son) 20%. I just hope such a silly article dosn't put any people off the fleet.
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James Tanner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote James Tanner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 11 at 9:58pm
Some interesting responses, perhaps I should clarify my position:

I was some what miffed when I read the article in the magazine and had a bit of a rant, the version of the rant you see here had to go through so heavy editing (by me) to make it publishable.

My interpretation of the whole article was that Jubby has a very low opinion on the RS500 and the people sailing it. I took exception to this as I have been sailing the boat since it was launched and I have many friends in the class and the international contingent make it all the more fun, with special mention tot he international class rep, Michiel Geerling, who organised some fantastic RS500 socials at the RS games.

It is true that when first launched the boat was targeted at the youth market as at the time the Fevers had 100+ boats turning out at every event and RS wanted to sell lots of boats. It didn't work, very few Fever sailors went on to buy RS500s and those that did didn't stick to it. unsurprising really as most of them had dreams of Olympic glory and wend into 420s or 29ers (the established route to 470s or 49ers). This move gave the RS500 a shakey start, as we sailed several events with the Fevers as oposed to sailing with more exciting classes which would better compliment the sailors such as the RS800s.

So on to the weight issue. I am lead to believe Jubby weighs in at around 105kg this puts him in the top end of weight bracket for most of the of the classes he sailed that week. depending how big heavy crew was. none the less he sailed all the calsses and to his credit he did very well in most of them. But to then turn around and slate the RS500 because he couldn't get it going up wind was unreasonable.

You can't sit there and pigeon-hole the RS500 into the "kids" bracket just because it requires two sailors around the 70Kg mark. This boat has a very wide demographic at the moment with sailors ages ranging from two 15 year olds to two 50+ year olds with the majority sitting in the 20 to 40 year old age bracket.

Why the wide appeal?
One answer is you get a lot of boat for your money, for about £6k for a brand new boat you get a proper fibreglass boat which is light, points well and will plane upwind and down wind (exactly when you get on the plane depends on your weight, for my wife and I it is 12 knots of breeze on flat water and we sail at an all up weight of 140kgs).
Another answer would be the great social scene (and this applies to the whole RS family, but especially the RS500) I am sure even teh most hardened Euro sceptic would agree the Dutch know how to party! as does Hongkong, the Germans, the French, the Swedish need I go on?

In my limetted sailing experience I have sailed the closest competition, the Laser Vago and the 29er. I found the Laser vago heavy, under powered and didn't point well. I found the 29er expensive, a bit twitchy and not very forgiving, but very fast and great fun. I brought an RS500 because it was great fun but forgiving when you run out of talent, it powers up progressively and it has a very clean uncluttered feal so it doesn't take all the skin off your legs (unlike the 29er which ripped me to shreds when I sailed it in shorts).

so in summary: If you want to enjoy you sailing, like a bit of excitement down wind and don't weigh in at 100+kg (although if you did you would still be welcome to join us, even you Jubby as long as you stop moaning about your weight) then buy an RS500. if you don't like any of the above then that is fine too, but lets have no more condescending articles in the press about things you clearly don't understand.
James Tanner
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Better a bad day on the water than a good day in the office.
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