RS Aero 2016 US Nationals

gorge

This year we return to the Gorge in Oregon for the RS Aero 2016 National Championships.

This will be a fantastic 5 days of Aero sailing comprised of a pre-regatta clinic, long distance race, Dynamic Dollies speed challenge, then two day championship regatta ... it promises to be an awesome event.

Sailing an Aero in Seattle

downwind

The Seattle Aero fleet is growing rapidly, drawing sailors young and old into this dynamic new class. We have regular races, and boats are sailing on Lake Washington, Lake Union and Puget Sound all year round, so you'll have plenty of company on the water.

You don’t have to be an expert racer to join the fun and excitement — the local fleet already has a healthy range of sailors from experienced racers to brand-new to dinghy sailors, and several local owners sail the boat just for fast, easy fun.

This post is a one-stop guide for most of the things you need to know to get started sailing Aero's in Seattle.

Gorge Blowout in an Aero

start

The Gorge Blowout — a white knuckle, 18 mile downwinder from Cascade Locks to Hood River, Oregon.

This was the first year an Aero has competed in the famed Gorge Blowout. The ultimate torture test for single handed dinghies. We were all interested to see how an Aero would compete with the Lasers. Andy Mack and Sean Grealish took up the challenge in their Aeros.

Read what Andy has to say ....

Aero Demo Day

demo-day

Come Sail an RS Aero

Demo Day in Seattle on Sept 12, 11-3 PM

Here is your chance to sail the new RS Aero. Our first demo day was so successful we’re setting up another chance for you to sail this awesome boat.

There are already 15 Aeros in Seattle (in just 8 months!) including 11 boats racing. Another 10 boats are sailing in Portland, and the U.S. will soon hit 100 boats. Just ask the 20+ boats at the inaugural North American Championships this past July (won by Seattle’s own Dan Falk) how fun and fast this boat is — upwards of 16 knots through the water and close racing at all levels.

Vang Setup

vang

It is important to configure the Aero Vang so you have correct line length to provide sufficient range. It is easy for the vang line and blocks to run out of range when the breeze picks up and you need to crank on the vang.

Conversely, it is easy to trim too much off the lines so that attaching the vang is difficult or impossible. Not an easy fix.

This post documents some measurements that seem to work well for vang setup for 5, 7 and 9 rigs.

SpeedPuck Mount

speedpuck

Here is my mount for the Velocitek SpeedPuck. I'm using the standard central Aero mount for a TackTick compass, so I needed an alternative for the SpeedPuck.

Ashore, I wanted to be able to quickly mount and dismount the SpeedPuck. Afloat, I needed to be able to see the SpeedPuck out of the corner of my eye when sailing upwind.

This post shows a low cost and effective mount you can make yourself using a strip of aluminum.

Aero North American Championship

na

The first Aero North Americans Championship lived up to its billing and delivered great racing, a range of conditions with good camaraderie. Wind conditions ranged from 10 to 22+ knots with most races sailed in 15-18 knots.

Twenty-one (21) Sailors came from all over the country including: Rhode Island, California, Florida, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Hawaii and the even the UK. All boats raced with all rig sizes (5, 7 and 9) competing in a unified scratch race.

New Speed Record - 16.2 Knots

velocitek

Finally someone has broken 16 knots. Sean Grealish sailing at the Gorge has posted a time of 16.2 Knots.

Previously, Erwan Kerebel clocked 13.5 Knots, Rich Watsham achieved 14.5 Knots, Michiel Geerling did 14.6 Knots and Paul now holds the record with 15.0 Knots. Can anyone crack 16 Knots?

Send Your Entries

Please email me your best results with conditions, description and picture. Mail to mob@emobrien.com, or post to the Aero Forum and I'll copy here.

Here are the current best efforts (ordered).

Downwind in Light Air

downwind-light

The questions are many:
  • Should I sail by-the-lee like a Laser?
  • Should I broad reach?
  • What angle should I sail off the rhumb line?
  • Should I S-Turn?
  • How much should I heel the boat to weather?
  • How can I get comfortable and remain mobile?
  • How can I stop the lurch to windward?

New Speed Records

velocitek

Since announcing the Aero Speed Challenge we've had a bunch of new entries besting the initial entry I set. Here are the current best efforts (ordered).

Send Your Entries

Please email me your best results with conditions, description and picture. Mail to mob@emobrien.com.

Telltales, Tell Tales

telltales2

I've been working hard to find the best mainsheet tension upwind. Trim the mainsheet tight, and you point higher, but go slower. Ease the mainsheet, point lower and you go faster, but you travel further distance. The Aero has a high boom, so it is hard to know exactly where to trim the main. What we need is a rule of thumb to guide us.

The standard answer is to look at the telltales, especially the leach telltales. They are meant to stream when all is good, and to stall behind the sail when the main is overtrimmed. Unfortunately, the telltales are often lying.

Upwind or Bust

upwind-or-bust

We all want to get to the top mark as fast as possible. But whether to go high or low, what is fastest course?

If we sail high, we go a bit slower, but we are closer to the mark. If we sail low, we go faster, but our course is longer. What is fastest in an Aero and in which conditions?