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rb_stretch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rb_stretch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 20 at 8:54pm
In our club the 7 and 9 success seem reasonably balanced, although somone like JimC may have done the analysis on whether the data supports that. Curiously all the 9 sailors seem better sailors and when joining in with the 7 sailors sailing a 7, completely dominate the results and rarely get split (with me being at the back of the 9 sailors)

From experience, I would say that the advantage of the 9 upwind is small, but the advantage reaching or off-wind significant, so the relative competitiveness is probably down to the nature of the course. I'm about 88kg these days, down from 97kg when I owned a Phantom.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 20 at 10:03am
From a design perspective in displacement mode one might design a boat to float to its lines at the design displacement with the transom just kissing the water ... though something so conventional might not have limited Jo Richards ... so with such a light boat it is probably fair to say that a heavy person is going to sink the transom or will have to sit further forward, and so the boat wonít be sailing at its optimum.

I suspect that the Aero 9s strength is its ability to perform better in light winds, rather than to carry more weight.

As an observer the Aero 9 can appears to be suboptimal upwind in a blow where the windage and light weight seem to work against it.

Aeros seem to fly off wind regardless of rig size, I guess that the key is being able to get to the windward mark in one piece for the fun downwind!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote patj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 7:42am
I've seen the 8.1 popular at ditch locations where the wind comes over banks and reeds and height is really useful. These locations would possibly suit the Aero 9 too.
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Cirrus View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cirrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 9:33am
With limited experience of sailing the Aero (both '7' and '9') I think the '7' is much the better all-round rig. It will not suit everyone for all of the time, sure, but the general impression is/was that it could be the optimal one for 'most of the people / most of the time'.  You can scale things on suitable platforms both 'up' and on some 'down' .. but not without limitations.  The '9' is possibly right on the upper boundary beyond which you would really need to scale the hull up a tad as well.   If you spend a few years racing boards  you know this already... 'big' rigs do not necessarily translate into 'faster' or 'better' all other things being equal.  The '9' is great in very light conditions ... but many will be as quick or quicker with the more practical '7' in any 'proper' breeze...  and things will be very much more in the boats (and most helms) comfort zone.   Just an 'external' view of course !!


Edited by Cirrus - 07 Sep 20 at 9:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote andymck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 9:34am
I sail at 78kg and have a 7 and a 9 rig. I use the 9ífor midweek evening races where there is likely going to be a drop off in wind strength. I find the 9 is significantly faster upwind and downwind in those conditions. But once the seven or even 5 are up to hull speed there is minimal difference upwind and then like the laser the smaller rig actually can be quicker.
So you have to rely on downwind speed.
The next issue is then the bigger guys changing down once the wind is up. Itís much more accepted than in the laser. The talk from the nationals is that the 5 fleet was made up of a lot of sailors who originally entered as a 7.
Holding the boat down upwind requires a good set up. I have had to get a lot of our less experienced sailors to adjust their set up to be able to get enough kicker and Cunningham range to be able to de power enough.
Having said all that. Itís just so much more fun to sail due planing at lower wind speeds, I would just recommend them for the joy of sailing as much of trying to win on handicap.

Andy

Edited by andymck - 07 Sep 20 at 9:36am
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Peter Barton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peter Barton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 12:20pm
Thanks for the thread, it certainly got me thinking of all the experience gained over 6 years since the RS Aero's launch.
There are several points of discussion going on here which are related but need separate consideration;

1) PY of the RS Aero 9 - particularly relative to the RS Aero 7
2) Size of the RS Aero 9 sail
3) Size of the RS Aero 9 sail relative to the hull size
4) Size of RS Aero hull for heavy weights
5) RS Aero 9 racing fleet




1)  It is fair to say the RS Aero 9 PY has evolved as a PY most accurate for light wind, as that is where the large portion of the data will come from. Additionally the RS Aero 9's two keen participants in the 2019/20 Sailjuice series were both front of the fleet sailors, which does no favours to their data.
As any boat gets overpowered in stronger breezes it is obvious that smaller sailed boats generally will get an advantage when PY racing. That is true across the board, no surprises there. However the RS Aero 9 is an awesome option in light/medium winds, accelerating very easily on the front of gusts and zephyrs and quick to plane whilst others can't.
However sailor skill is by far the largest determining factor in Class and PY racing and the difference would only be felt between two similar ability sailors. A good front of the fleet sailor will still invariably beat an average mid fleet sailor. 
RS Aero 9s have won the 100 boat Starcross Steamer, 2nd & 3rd at the Exmoor Beastie, 3rd in the Roadford Rocket and often win in 15 boat RS Aero Lymington club races, especially where faster boats may have an advantage over the tide. 

2)
We have had some awesome RS Aero 9 heavy air sailing off Lymington in recent years when Greg Bartlett visits and a few of us go out. The RS Aero 9 is simply a little larger than an RS Aero 7. Much can be done to de-power with controls, daggerboard, technique and the flexi carbon mast. We have learnt to sail it downwind in breeze through treacherous wind vs tide Solent waves, still veering though the waves for the best line whilst avoiding digging the bow. 
In light winds the extra horsepower make it quick to accelerate and nimble. In medium breeze it will be one of the first boats in a mixed fleet to get planning. In the flat water of smaller lakes the larger sail can can hold down larger breezes more easily, providing more participation of it in those locations. 
Both the two RS Aero 9s were amongst the small 20% proportion of boats to complete both races on the Big Saturday of this year's Tiger Trophy when gust over 40kn hit Rutland. 

3)
The suggestion of high helm weight to boat weight ratio not working does not hold. The high proportion of the overall weight being in the sailor makes for a wonderfully exhilarating and involved experience. You are now much less just a passenger with a damped down experience!
Windsurfs work well and are fast and exciting with a larger proportion sailor weight. Speed sailing windsurfers tend to be heavy on very small boards! The RS Aero's hull weight interestingly falls about midway between a windsurf and a Laser which goes some way to explain the RS Aero sailor's benefit to be more versatile in exercising the option of a choice of sail sizes to boost participation, fun and safety.



4)  The design of the vertical chined RS Aero hull is such that there is little change in wetted area between a light sailor and a heavy sailor which is a major speed factor in displacement sailing. 
As per any boat you need to avoid draging the transom in lighter breezes which involves a small move forward by the sailor. As soon as the wind is up the dynamics change again with sailors moving back in the boat both upwind and down and the breeze and the power of the weight of the heavier sailors generating speed that lifts the hull. As an example, Matt Thursfield at 105kg pulled off a 5th out of 200 starters at the very windy Ullswater Lord Birkett race an RS Aero 7 having a lot of fun in the process.

The difference between a lightweight RS Aero sailor and a heavyweight RS Aero sailor (in same rig) in light winds is similar to an RS Aero 7 racing against a Laser in light winds (similar sail size). If the heavier (all up weight) boat can do good transitions (roll tacks, roll gybes, efficient acceleration, good gliding) then he is in with a chance as he maintains his speed. However, when both boats stop then all other things being equal the lighter boat will be the quickest to accelerate again. So, as is usually the case, sailing skill takes precedence.

There are plenty of heavier RS Aero sailors (say 85-105kg) racing near the front of the fleet and at the nationals they held their own in the light breezes as well as the stronger breezes, and that was in RS Aero 7s this year which should have hurt them more than in RS Aero 9s. 

5)
Of the 102 RS Aeros entered for the 2020 Eastbourne Nationals there were initially about 12 RS Aero 9s which reduced to 7 after some necessary cancelations (we had over 130 entry enquiries and about 30 cancellations in total due to various 2020 related issues). With a windy forecast a couple of the RS Aero 9s made it known they were contemplating changing down, party due to less sailing and less sea sailing this year and not feeling race fit. With only about 5 left the remainder made a group decision to swap down and enjoy racing in the large 57 boat RS Aero 7 fleet. 
Had this been a normal year then the Eastbourne Championship, initially billed as a Europeans, would have likely had 200 RS Aeros in total, similar to our Weymouth Worlds in 2018. The RS Aero 9s would have likely retained critical mass at 20+ sailors even at the potentially exposed coastal venue. Sailing an RS Aero 9 through the Eastbourne waves would have been awesome and we have done a whole load of training for that on big wind-against-tide days at Lymington.

The 2020 RS Aero 9 UK National Championships are re-scheduled as part of our Inland Championship at Draycote on 10/11th October. It is after all an extraordinary year and we remain versatile. With a nice trophy and title up for grabs I hope we might achieve a good RS Aero 9 fleet. Charter RS Aeros may be available - although new RS Aeros are under such demand at RS Sailing now they might be quite limited! Our 2019 Inlands had 79 RS Aeros in total, so fingers crossed.

There would appear to be some evidence that the RS Aero 9 sailors are overall across the fleet of a higher average ability than the RS Aero 7s and this really boosted the level in the top third of the RS Aero 7 fleet at Eastbourne producing some great racing. As ever, over a 4 day series with a good variety of conditions and the mix of upwind and down, waves and flat, both heavier and lighter sailors are mixed through the results. 

When conditions are good and appropriate the RS Aero Class will achieve good RS Aero 9 fleets. Our flexible attitude the choice enables a more optimal experience boosting participation, safety and enjoyment.
At our 2016/2017/2018 Nationals we achieved near 20 boat fleets, especially when the forecast was light. 

At the 2018 Worlds at Weymouth we had 42 RS Aero 9s out on the sea at Weymouth Bay and it was fantastic racing. Sailor weights ranged from about 80kg-105kg. The lighter sailors held their own when it was windy often gaining back downwind and similarly the heavier sailors had the opportunity to gain a lead at the first windward mark. The wind increased all week and as we crossed the final finish line to be sent home gusts were reaching 37kn on the Harbour with the fleet still racing hard and without any spar breakage! 

For shorter duration events, like 1 day or weekend, larger turnouts are more likely when it is obvious there will not be too much wind. Similarly at inland non exposed locations with flat water were the power can be controlled more easily without waves.


Edited by Peter Barton - 07 Sep 20 at 12:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 12:25pm
Thanks Peter!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peter Barton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 12:48pm
Originally posted by Do Different

....suggested that the benefit of an "oversize" rig is marginal in terms of speed across the wind range.... 

   

Yes thats true enough, but it only becomes a race disadvantage when mixed fleet PY racing. 
You can still enjoy good Class racing in all breezes, with the extra excitement and physical challenge of the larger rig.
The RS Aero 9 is not so much 'oversize' as Large.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peter Barton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

....To me the Aero looks like a lightweights boat so the big sail can't sufficiently compensate for the extra 40kg of displacement... 

I would be very wary of forming an opinion on 'looks', rather than the evidence of testing.
RS Aero 5 sailors regularly beaten by RS Aero 9 sailors on PY in light winds would disagree with you.
The RS Aero 9 gets going just fine, heavy sailors included, in light winds. Technique and sailor skill takes precedence.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peter Barton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 1:05pm
Originally posted by Paramedic

The Aero hull is too light for it to carry a large person. The weight of the sailor is too big a proportion of the whole package. Overpowering it isnt going to help.

Surely the ability of a hull to carry weight is more a function of the hull design shape and size rather than its weight. Ultimately it is the all up total weight (boat + sailor) that needs to be considered in terms off 'carrying' ability.
'Overpowering' is not an issue until the breeze is up and a heavier sailor is then more able to deal with that. Before then the extra power does help with initiating speed and acceleration.

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