The RS Aero is undoubtedly the hottest single handed boat in recent memory, with 21 sailors lining up this past weekend for the first ever RS Aero North Americas. Nine short months after the first boats arrived in the U.S., sailors from both coasts and as far away as England took part in this exciting and memorable regatta, hosted by the Columbia Gorge Racing Association in Cascade Locks, Oregon. Congratulations to Seattle sailor Dan Falk for his commanding performance to take top spot, followed closely by Peter Barton (RS Aero Class President, England) and Michael O'Brien (Seattle).
On Friday, sailors were treated to a clinic hosted by Peter Barton, the RS Aero Class President, based in England. Peter made the trip out to the Pacific Northwest to participate in this great event and share his wealth of knowledge with our local sailors. Following some great drills and practice racing, each sailor had the opportunity to participate in the RS Aero Speed Freak Challenge. In this event, sailors competed for the highest speed as measured by a Velocitek Speedpuck, The breeze was 15-18 knots with a bit of chop. Sean Grealish from Portland won the challenge at 14.4 knots. Second place was Jim Muir from Santa Barbara with 13.8 knots and third place was Dan Falk from Seattle with 12.8 knots. Everyone had a blast!
Speed Challenge Winners
Over the two days of racing, sailors were treated to 8 races in a range of wind conditions. Saturday started light with clouds and drizzle, increasing to to 10-18 knots in the afternoon. This lead to some exciting action on the course! Sunday also saw up and down wind speeds, but overall allowed a few races to be completed. For a new boat and a new class, everyone had a blast and learned a ton. Our thanks to the race committee and volunteers at the Columbia Gorge Racing Association and to our fellow season sponsors Helly Hansen and Skamania Lodge. Full results from the event and the rest of the Gorge Dinghy Invitational can be found here.
Top 5 Aero Results
1. Dan Falk - CYC Seattle
2. Peter Barton - Lymington Town Sailing Club
3. Michael O'Brien - CYC Seattle
4. Bill Symes - Willamette Sailing Club
5. Derek Bottles - Seattle Yacht Club