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RS 30th Anniversary Regatta at Hayling Island Sailing Club Day 1

by Bex Foot, RS Sailing 18 May 16:59 BST 17-19 May 2024
RS 30th Anniversary Regatta Day 1 © Phil Jackson / Digital Sailing

Three decades of fun later and RS Sailing's passion for our sport has been unwavering. But what makes the RS Classes so special? The sailors! RS Sailing are honoured to be joined by hundreds of RS sailors for a festival of sailing at Hayling Island Sailing Club this weekend.

14 of the RS Racing Classes will be battling it out on the water and in true RS style, partying late into the night over the three days. From a sailor's first regatta in the RS Tera to true RS legends chasing for a spot on the podium in the RS21, the old strapline 'From first time to the finish line' still rings true.

With a real eclectic mix of weather forecast, Hayling Island sailing Club will play host to fierce competition in the iconic waters of Chichester Harbour and Hayling Bay.

Friday was the start of the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta for the RS21, RS500 and Masters Classes. After a thorough briefing on shore by Tim Hancock and his team, the sailors launched in light winds and wall-to-wall sunshine. The Masters sailors and RS500 Class headed out into the bay but stayed close to the shore to make the most of the sea breeze whilst the RS21's headed out to deeper water.

Racing proved to be a game of snakes and ladders, with the breeze fluctuating in both strength and direction throughout the races. Sailors seemed to pop out ahead when they got into a clean lane and settled into it, whereas one bad roll tack or a poorly executed gybe really made the sailors pay for their boat handling misgivings. The sailors that managed to stay the right side of the shifts also reaped the gains, balancing the fine art of taking a few extra degrees and maintaining boat speed was the winning formula for the day.

Back on shore, the RS21 fleet enjoyed a pontoon party hosted by Harken with the fantastic backdrop of Sparkes MDL Marina adding to the atmosphere. Sailors had banter filled debriefs of the racing that day with cool refreshments. The Masters sailors headed up to the bar to make the most of the stunning sunset after a quick daily prize-giving in the RS Sailors Hub, the spot prizes which are kindly provided by Kingfisher Yacht Ropes, Harken, Allen, RS Sailing Store and Selden. Special mention goes to Alistair Hodgson who finished the day on 30 points which felt incredibly fitting for the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta. The RS500 sailors enjoyed one extra race, then headed in to join the Masters sailors in the bar after a thirsty days sailing. Hayling Island Sailing Club laid on a tasty meal for all the fleets that evening and what had planned to be a quiet affair in the lead up to Saturday night appeared to run away with itself somewhat as old friends caught up from decades gone by.

Saturday sees the start of racing for all RS Classes, the RS Tera, RS Feva, RS Aero, RS21, RS Elite, RS Vareo, RS100, RS200, RS300, RS400, RS500, RS600, RS700 and RS800, RS Sailing can not wait to welcome the final cohort of RS Sailors to the RS 30th Anniversary Regatta.

View the results at sailevent.net/noticeboard/136

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