Visit to RS Sailing and Ovington Boats

West Coast Sailing Takes Over The United Kingdom

George and Phil recently packed their bags and headed to the United Kingdom for some sailing and vendor visits. The boys flew into Edinburgh and spent a week driving south through Scotland, Wales, and England. Yes, they did manage to drive almost 1,300 miles on the “wrong” side of the road and not cause too much chaos. In addition to the castles, rolling fields, back roads, and pubs, they stopped at Ovington Boats in Newcastle and RS Sailing in Southampton. Both Ovington and RS are industry leaders in dinghy manufacturing and produce some of the best small boats in the world.

Ovington Boats – Newcastle, England

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north part of England, Ovington is a known around the world for building high quality dinghies and performance sailboats. Their collection of more than twelve production boats includes the 29er, 49er, Musto Skiff, and VX One. George and Phil met with Chis, Nathan, and Nigel to talk about the company, walk through the building process, and discuss plans for the future. Their facility is impressive and the attention to detail really comes through in the finished product. We’re proud to work with Ovington and offer the best 29ers here in North America.

Ovington Visit Photos_1

RS Sailing – Southampton, England

From youth trainers to performance skiffs, RS Sailing offers a small sailboat for every need. We’ve worked with RS for a number of years to help grow the brand in North America and get more people on the water. Headquartered outside Southampton, the RS Sailing facility is awe inspiring. From design and marketing down to warehouse and order fulfillment, the RS team works hard to service sailors around the world. Innovation and big plans for the future are apparent at RS, as is a history of more than 20 years of producing awesome small sailboats. Check out some photos from their headquarters:

RS visit banner_4

Sailing the RS Aero – Hayling Island Sailing Club

Hayling Island is located just east of Portsmouth and home to the Hayling Island Sailing Club. There are literally hundreds of RS boats at this club! The RS team rolled out the red carpet, providing boats, gear, and a chase boat. George and Phil suited up in drysuits and headed out to bomb around in the new RS Aero, trying out each of the three rig sizes. The boat has been demoed all over the UK, but our boys were the first North Americans to give it a spin. Initial reaction with nothing short of pure exhilaration! They also had the opportunity to sail the new RS Venture keel with sailability package.

RS visit banner_3

The sailing industry is a global one and we have the privilege of working with great people around the world. It can be hard work and not without it’s share of problems, but at the end of the day we love what we do and wouldn’t have it any other way. We are blessed with unique experiences, great business partners and friends, and the opportunity to support the sport and way of life we love each and every day. A word of thanks to everyone at Ovington and RS for letting us visit, showing us around, and keeping us motivated to keep working hard. The future is bright for dinghy sailing!

RS visit banner_5

Sailing Team Update: Max Brill 29er Report

West Coast Sailing Youth Development Team member Max Brill checks in from the 2014 Skiff Fest at Santa Barbara Yacht Club. This is an annual event for performance boats like the 29er, 49er, I-14, and 505, as well as the fourth regatta in the SCYYRA Howard Hamlin 29er Series. Max and crew Zach Malcolm finished 3rd in the competitive 29er fleet.

The Skiff Fest/Hamlin #4 was held at Santa Barbara Yacht club with sunny skies and light breeze ranging from 3- 9 knots. Eighteen 29ers competed including one team from Canada and five teams from San Francisco. The team finishing in 1st was Romain Screve (SFYC)/Dane Wilson (SBYC), 2nd place Quinn Wilson (SBYC)/ Riley Gibbs (ABYC), 3rd place Max Brill (MBYC)/Zach Malcolm (SDYC), 4th place Lucas Pierce (SBYC)/Evan Heffernan (SBYC), and 5th place Jacob Rosenberg (ABYC)/Rhodes Garner (NHYC).  

During the following 3-day Memorial Day weekend, 5 teams from SoCal and 2 teams from Florida participated in a U.S. Sailing high- level training clinic in Long Beach, CA. The coaching staff included Grant “Fuzz” Spanhake, US Sailing Team Sperry Top Sider Technical Coordinator, Jon Rogers, Sailing World Champion and Youth development coach, and Leandro Spina, U.S. Sailing Olympic Youth Development Director. It was a great weekend of sailing with wind varying from 7-18 knots. Practice tuning with other boats and extensive and informing briefs made for a very productive weekend.

Max Brill

Keep up the great work Max!

How to Choose a New Life Jacket

Looking for a new life jacket this season? Here are a few helpful notes and answers to common questions about selecting a new PFD. We have great options from brands like Stohlquist, Gill, Zhik, NeilPryde, Astral, and more.

Front zip vs side zipFront Zip vs Side Zip

Front zip vs side zip refers to the location of the zipper on your PFD. A front zip is most common and familiar for the average sailor – on and off just like any other jacket. A side zip can be a bit trickier at first, but the advantage is often a less bulky feeling in the front of the PFD. A front zip tends to have pockets on either side while a side zip will have one large center pocket.

USCG buoyWhat is a Buoyancy Aid?

Life jackets sold in the U.S. are often divided in two categories – USCG Approved PFD’s and Buoyancy Aids. USCG refers to the U.S. Coast Guard, which regulates floatation devices for U.S. sailors. Most youth and U.S. Sailing events require use of a USCG Approved life jacket during competition. Buoyancy Aids are rated under the European Standard, which has a different flotation requirement. Both ratings agree with how much floatation is required to keep someone afloat, but USCG approved life jackets are required to carry additional floatation beyond that minimum. In simple terms, a life jacket tends to be a bit bulkier due to the extra foam floatation. However, keep in mind that these are not the life jackets of years past – a modern PFD is designed to fit comfortably while providing the security you need in the event you take a quick swim!

BlackSelecting Your Perfect Life Jacket

In addition to entry and rating, other factors to consider in a life jacket are storage pockets, amount of adjustablity, and the durability of the fabric. We’ve hand picked our selection to offer a variety of styles and options that work well for the active sailor or anyone spending time on the water. Does all that sound a bit overwhelming? Fear not, all of our life jackets will do the job just fine. The important part is that you wear one! Check out our full range of life jackets below or give us a call anytime. We’re here to help!

Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids

Come Visit us at Strictly Sail Pacific

SSPBannerCome visit us at the 2014 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show! This year we’ll be featuring a number of boats from RS Sailing as well as the Weta, 2010 Boat of the Year. Check out the boats below.


RS Tera – Youth Trainer

RS Quba

RS Quba – Youth and Adult Daysailor


RS Feva – Youth Performance Racer


RS Vision – Adult Performance Daysailor


RS Venture – Trainer and Daysailor for All Ages

Action at the bottom gate - Archie Kerr

Weta – Performance Trimaran

U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum


US Sailing Leadership Forum 2014_5

Perfect breeze for a sail on the RS Venture.

Hanging out with the RS Sailing crew

Chris, Phil and George with Pip and Riki from RS Sailing.

Phil rigging up a Feva

Phil rigging up a Feva for demo day.

Looks like trouble!

George, Pip and Scott – Looks like trouble!

The inaugural U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum took place Feb 6th-8th in sunny San Diego. This groundbreaking event was the first of it’s kind and pulled together sailors from all aspects of the sport for several days of speakers, presentations, and seminars.It’s not very often you find 600 sailors and industry leaders from around the country in once place. The event was a unique opportunity for us to meet sailors, coaches and program directors, discuss issues and find new ways to innovate. The energy and enthusiasm was a great source of inspiration for us as we continue to work hard in support of small boat sailing. Huge word of thanks to the team at RS Sailing for contributing as a sponsor for this event and helping put on a successful demo day off the beach. We had a great time meeting sailors from around the country and look forward to the next Leadership Forum!