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RS Aero UK Open and National Championship at Eastbourne Sovereign SC - Preview

by RS Aero UK Class Association 27 Aug 18:16 BST 28-31 August 2020
RS Aero UK Open and National Championship © RS Sailing

We are on! After months of work, with Eastbourne Sovereign SC and the RS Aero Class formulating a robust plan of how a 100+ boat single hand class championship could be successfully executed within current UK Government regulations and RYA guidance we are finally here.

The Club have worked tirelessly to secure the venue to provide a safe socially distanced and hygienic environment for the RS Aero fleet to hold their main event. Eastbourne is reportedly the sunniest town in the UK and with the benefit of large outdoor spaces available this is set to be a very 'outdoorsy' champs on the East Sussex Riviera!

Entry for the event sold out for the first 100 boats in a record-breaking 4 hours, before later being further extended as the event plan and regulations evolved. This cemented the class' predictions that there was an overwhelming interest for the event to go ahead if it was safe to do so.

This year sees a large boost in the number of Youths on the start line with the RS Aero 5 fleet now up to 45. There is over 30% Youth participation overall, all keen for 4 days championship racing following a season of more local sailing. Will the young guns take on the old guard of RS Aero 5 Worlds Silver Medallist David Ellis and past Fireball World Champ Tim Rush?

The RS Aero 7s has a depth of talent with over 50 entries and the top ten remains too hard to call. Past National Champions Peter Barton and Sam Whaley will be challenged by the ever faster youngsters Noah Rees (World Bronze Medallist) and Tjm Hire (UK Youth Champ) with past RS Aero 5 World Champ Ben Hutton-Penman stepping up to the RS Aero 7 fleet.

A smaller but competitive RS Aero 9 fleet is assembled. RS Aero 9 European Champions Greg Bartlett and Richard Watsham are set to lock horns, but watch out for young Ben Charnley of the East Coast eager to upset their party! Neil Peters (AKA 'Stick Daring') the intrepid round Britain Laser sailor looks forward to joining his local championship in the 9 fleet.

Once again the Top Family and Top Club champs will be keenly contested. The Family contest has 12 family teams in the mix so far. Combined overall results of two family members are added to produce the family order and this year the formbook is too tight to call! Parent/offspring seasoned campaigners Team Rolfe will have a battle on their hands from new teams Rush and the sibling teams of Hall, Leeson and Blaker, whilst also never ruling out the young Hire speedsters. Two family teams, Bailey and Pye are hedging their bets with teams of three, allowing the luxury of a discard!

The Top Club Champs requires combined results of the best three members from the same club, added to produce Top Club scoreboard. Going into the champs 11 Clubs have teams of 3+ which strong showings for Burghfield SC, Draycote WSC and Hayling ISC, plus a whopping team of 13 sailors from Lymington Town SC. Other Clubs to watch out for are Broadwater SC, Felpham SC, Grafham Water SC, Great Moor SC, Island Barn RSC, Royal Lymington YC and Warsash SC.

PRO Gary Smith has over 30 years experience as a Race Officer and has overseen most of the key events held at ESSC. Gary will be joined by his experienced race crew and backed up even further by an extensive network of safety boats and beach team ensuring that the event runs as smoothly as possible.

THANK YOU to our sponsors and event supporters! Rooster, RS Sailing, Noble Marine, Seldén Mast, Harken and Eastbourne Borough Council will all be represented on site and have all helped contribute to a successful 2020 Nationals at Eastbourne.

Stay tuned throughout the week on the RS Aero Facebook Group and here for updates and results as the championship unfolds.

One thing is for sure, everyone is stoked to get out for a few days champs racing! Check out the entry list here

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