Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Harken 18mm Double Fly Block - 2158
Harken 18mm Double Fly Block - 2158

RS Aero Australian Championship fleet hail Port Stephens 'best sailing venue'

by Lisa Ratcliff 10 Dec 2018 11:05 GMT 6-9 December 2018
RS Aero National Championship 2018 © Sailing Raceboats

Port Stephens hosted the RS Aero Australian Championship December 6 - 9, 2018, drawing a majority New South Wales and Victorian contingent keen to sample the waters before the strong European and USA fleets arrive for the class' world championship in December 2019.

Across the three different sized rigs, 5m, 7m, and 9m, the verdict among competitors was that sailing at Port Stephens in summer is an experience second-to-none - light morning winds building to solid north-easterlies each afternoon ideal conditions for the national title.

Behind the seasoned Chris Brain in the 5m category was Victoria Land from Mount Martha Yacht Club south of Melbourne. Buoyed by her result and first competitive experience in the growing dinghy class, Land is now on her way to the 2019 worlds at Port Stephens, December 17 – 22, with confidence, even considering engaging a sailing coach.

The class newcomer competed in Ironman events way back, then equestrian, and now she's come to sailing to the delight of her Godparents who have sailed around the world and instilled the fascination. "I'm going to sort out a training program for the worlds," Land said on arrival back in Melbourne, feeling good considering the non-stop schedule and interstate travel and showing less bruising than she anticipated for her first heavy-air regatta. "The first few days were quite windy - I'd never sailed in more than 15 knots of wind so I jumped in the deep end!"

Winner of the Aero 7m division Rhett Gowans, also from Victoria, beat his training partner Michael O'Brien by three points over 10 races. "We had really amazing conditions, 15-20 knots each day," Gowans said, adding "Now I want to do well at the worlds. Australia is quite new at the Aero class having adopted the boats only two years ago whereas in Europe the class is five-years-old. We expect the northern hemisphere Aero sailors to be strong in 2019."

Organiser and competitor Simon Reffold from Sydney, who won the 9m division, said "At the beginning of the series the fleet was spread out and by the final day it had compressed. A lot of people who hadn't raced the Aero before gained a lot of racing experience. Port Stephens Sailing and Aquatic Club put in a huge effort to make it happen and now we have a template for the RS Aero World Championship 2019 I'm confident we will turn on a quality event, especially with many competitors at this event adding their name to the organising committee.

"Port Stephens is just brilliant - the sailing is exceptional on a massive open waterway and every single person I spoke to agreed 'this is the best venue!'"

Staged out of the PSSAC at Soldiers Point and administered by professional race officer Denis Thompson, 20 competitors enjoyed four days of quality on-water management, ideal conditions and plenty of social time après racing, considered equally important to results within the Aero community.

Further information including final results can be found here.

Related Articles

RS Aero New South Wales State Championship
Held for the first time at Georges River Sailing Club The RS Aero NSW State Championships 2020 were held for the first time at Georges River Sailing Club over the weekend of 14/15th November, on the beautiful waters of Botany Bay. Posted on 20 Nov
RS Aeros at the Turkey Bowl Regatta
First taste of winter at Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle's annual event The annual Turkey Bowl Regatta of November 14-15 gave the first taste of winter. However conditions were great for racing and everyone was excited to be on the water in this well attended regatta with 73 competitors in total including 23 RS Aeros. Posted on 19 Nov
RS Japan Open at Hayama, Tokyo
A total of 29 mixed RS Class boats take part A total of 29 mixed RS Class boats including visitors from Shimizu and an RS100 who sailed over from Enoshima! This year saw a good increase in the number of youths and females in both pairs and single-handers. Posted on 13 Nov
RS Aero UK Youth Championship at Burghfield
Epic racing for 39 young sailors who took part The forecast was very windy and many events across the country were cancelled. With a suggested peak in the wind around midday we looked to get racing in early on Saturday and review at lunchtime. Posted on 2 Nov
Dinghy Racing Channel: How to rig an RS Aero
Peter Barton from the RS Aero Class Association shows us some basic tips Peter Barton from the RS Aero Class Association shows us some basic tips for setting up your RS Aero before getting out on the water. Posted on 22 Oct
Puget Sound Sailing Championship
21 RS Aeros take part at the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle event An enthusiastic group of 21 RS Aero sailors showed up for the annual Puget Sound Sailing Championships hosted by Corinthian Yacht Club in Seattle. Posted on 15 Oct
RS Aero Italian Open National Circuit 3 in Rome
Twenty-one boats in winds between 6 and 30 knots Really difficult conditions that did not stop the sailors engaged in the Roman leg of the Italian Open RS Aero Circuit, held on Saturday and Sunday at the Tognazzi Marine Village, on the beach of Capocotta. Posted on 13 Oct
RS Aero UK Inland Championship at Draycote Water
87 RS Aero entries over three fleets saw a range of conditions The RS Aero Inland Championships at Draycote Water, also incorporating the Ladies, Masters and RS Aero 9 National Championships on 10/11th October 2020, provided a pleasant escape from the disruption caused by COVID-19. Posted on 12 Oct
RS Aero State Championship Nordrhein-Westfalen
Storm Brigitte gave us a windy but also a rather rainy event Storm Brigitte gave us a windy but also a rather rainy event. With medium winds on Saturday of 8-10kn and in gusts 16kn, four races could be sailed. Posted on 7 Oct
RS Aero Atlantic Coast Championships
Local fleet at Cedar Point Yacht Club growing fast The local RS Aero fleet at Cedar Point YC has been growing quickly this past year culminating in a great fleet of twenty RS Aero 9s for the Atlantic Coast Championships at Cedar Point YC, which formed part of their Fontelieu Fall OD Regatta. Posted on 6 Oct