It’s a record! 8 RS Aeros frostbiting at Bristol YC

On the last Saturday in February, we set a new record for the size of our new RS Aero frostbiting fleet at Bristol YC.

Eight boats! Who are all these people? Where are they all coming from?

The winds were from the NW and fairly light. We were all in 9 rigs.

Race 1: I was second at the windward mark not far behind Bill. I was passed by several boats to leeward on the run. Ugh! What’s that all about? I need to go on a  diet. I finished 5th.

Race 2: Second at the windward mark again, even closer to Bill. Going downwind the start/finish line is closed and this time I went around the left side (looking downwind) of this obstacle. I was gaining on Bill all the way but failed to catch him before the leeward mark. What’s that all about? Why was I slow on the run in the first race and fast in the second? Search me! Finished second behind Bill and just ahead of Eric. I’ll take it.

Race 3: I was first coming in to the windward mark and was so excited I totally fluffed the rounding. I thought I could lay the mark but I was wrong and had to do two quick tacks. Scraped around the mark. Lost speed. Didn’t let sail out well. Bill did a much better rounding. I went left again thinking there was more wind there, but most of fleet passed me on right. Ugh! Finished fifth again.

Race 4: I was first at the windward mark with a good lead on the pack. Yeah! There is a god! I did a good rounding and still had a solid lead half way down the run when it started to rain, the wind died and the RC abandoned the race. Moral victory.

Race 5: The pin was favored and I port-tacked the fleet. Was leading all the way up the beat but the wind died again and, once again, a race was abandoned with me in the lead. Another moral victory. So, all in all, a pretty good afternoon for me.

My starts were generally good. I tried to start near the favored end but was also looking for space on the line with room to accelerate and freedom to tack.

Upwind I wasn’t using any downhaul ever. I used the power in the puffs to accelerate and then used my extra speed to gain height. Was generally faster than all or most of the fleet upwind in every race.

Downwind I was sometimes slow, sometimes fast. Not sure why. Further research is needed.


And so to the bar for beer, chowder and results. Bill with 3 bullets won of course. I had 12 points from 3 races so I figured I would be around 4th. But I knew that the scores for Jim, Eric, David and me would be close. I was surprised to discover that I was actually 2nd overall, beating Jim on the tie-breaker.

Another coveted coaster for my collection!

Some times you’re the windshield. Some times you’re the bug.

This was a “windshield” week for me.


Wait. What’s that you say? That photo doesn’t have eight Aeros; there are five Aeros and a Laser.

Yes, you are right. And it’s not winter. And it wasn’t taken in Bristol anyway.

Get over it.



  • Image, we are the Tuesday sailors at Balmoral Sailing Club, Sydney Harbour, Australia. Great new blog Tillerman.



  • You got me Nick. Yes, the photo of several Aeros and a lonely Laser was from Balmoral Sailing Club in Australia. Hope you didn’t mind that I “stole” it. I kept meaning all winter to take a similar one of all the Aeros in our fleet on the land but somehow never got round to it.

    And thanks for the kind words about the blog. I must admit my writing skills are a bit rusty after over a year of not writing any blog posts. Hope to get into the groove a bit more in the coming months.

    And, as you probably noticed, for the time being all comments are being put through moderation. I need to figure out the best way in WordPress to stop spam comments and hope to let folk comment directly in real time in the future.

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