Last week I wrote a post about all the things you can do in the winter to improve your sailing – I’m Dreaming of a White Easter.
But, of course, what I mainly do at this time of year – apart from shoveling snow and obsessively counting the number of times that the wind gusts over 60mph – is to daydream about sailing in the summer.
When three crazy Laser sailors – my two friends Gary, Eric and myself – put down deposits on RS Aeros in March of 2014, we only had a hazy idea of how the local RS Aero scene might develop (if it developed at all.) Luckily we do now have a thriving local RS Aero regatta circuit in southern New England, thanks to the enthusiasm and support of the RS Sailing rep in North America, Todd Riccardi, the RS Aero North American Class Manager, Marc Jacobi, and our regional RS Aero class representative, Jim Myers – not to mention some open-minded regatta hosts who were prepared to welcome a totally new class to their events.
It seems like every year we are seeing more and more RS Aero owners in the region, more regattas added to the series, and attendance at regattas generally increasing. The growth has been steady rather than spectacular – but who knows when we will reach that legendary “tipping point” at which sailors in other classes will suddenly see the light and stampede to their local dealers to buy RS Aeros and there will be regattas every weekend with 40, 50, 60 RS Aeros. Hey – it’s OK to dream!
I was going to put a photo of a stampede here but, on second thought, I think I will save it until the stampede actually happens. In the meantime here is a photo of an RS Aero transom so I can dream about what it will be like to be looking at 59 of them crossing the finish line ahead of me.
So far we have five RS Aero regattas confirmed for the summer of 2019 – although I expect we will end up having at least two or three more events added later.
This is where it all started – the first RS Aero regatta in North America east of the Continental Divide. (We only missed out on being the first RS Aero regatta in North America by a couple of weeks.) The MYC Small Boat Regatta started off in 2008 as an event for Lasers and Sunfish, until we added the RS Aeros in May of 2015. (Modesty prevents me from revealing who was first in the Laser fleet at the First Annual MYC Small Boat Regatta in 2008, but he did write a blog post about it – Just One of Those Days.)
Massapoag YC is a small, sociable, volunteer-run lake club about 30 miles south of Boston. The atmosphere of the event is laid-back and friendly but the race management and race committee work are top notch. As the race course is only a short sail away from the club house we are able to take a short break on-shore for lunch – a very civilized tradition.
In 2015, Eric, Gary and I were the only RS Aero sailors, having taken delivery of our shiny new Aeros only a couple of weeks before the regatta. We were so few in number that they made us start with the Laser fleet. Oh, the humiliation! But we’ve come a long way since 2015, with Aeros being the largest class at the regatta in the last couple of years with 19 RS Aeros in 2018. (And all three fleets have their own starts now!)
It’s the perfect event to kick off the summer season of RS Aero racing in New England. A chance to catch up with old friends, and make some new friends. Come join us in 2019 and help us make history by being the first RS Aero event in the north-east with over 20 sailors. Hey (as we are dreaming right now) why not 25? Register here.
2. Wickford Regatta – June 8/9
OK, I am just going to quote what it says on the regatta website to give you an idea of what the Wickford Regatta is all about.
The Wickford Regatta is a celebration of One-Design Fun. First held in 1972, the Wickford Regatta was one of the first Laser events in the world. In subsequent years 470s, 505s and Flying Dutchmen made the Wickford Regatta the premier springtime event on the East Coast for the balance of the 70’s.
The Wickford Regatta came out of hibernation in 2009 in spectacular fashion and this year will be better yet. Great sailing, a great party, lots of cool boats and the warmest hospitality you will ever experience. Come and have a blast! The racing is on the West Passage of Narragansett Bay with launching from the soft sands of Cold Spring Beach.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. This year the UFO and Waszp classes will be at Wickford so, if nothing else, we can have fun watching some spectacular foiling wipepouts. Sign up on the regatta website .
It has surely not escaped your attention that these first two regattas on the New England Circuit are on back-to-back weekends. So for any long distance travelers thinking of bringing your RS Aeros to race in New England this summer, it might make sense to take in these two events. As well as the two regattas, you could join in with the Sunday racing at Massapoag YC as my guest on the first weekend, and in the week between the two regattas we could do some training at some of my favorite spots on Narragansett Bay. Just a thought.
3. Newport Regatta July 6/7
If you have never sailed in Newport before you owe it to yourself to sail there at least once in your lifetime, so come and sail an RS Aero at the Newport Regatta this year. The Vanderbilts, the Astors, and J.P. Morgan sailed in Newport. The America’s Cup was sailed here for 50 years. There still are former America’s Cup 12 Meters sailing in Newport. More recently Newport is famous as the venue for the RS Aero North Americans in 2017. Newport is the sailing capital of the world. Everybody sails in Newport sooner or later. Sail in Newport. Just do it.
Last year the RS Aero circle was between Goat and Rose Islands in the Eastern Passage of Narragansett Bay, just south of the Newport Bridge. The energetic race committee banged off nine races on Saturday and six on Sunday for us. How about that for value for money? Come to Newport in 2019.
4. Barrington YC RS Aero Regatta – Barrington RI – August 3
This regatta is a new one on the RS Aero New England circuit this summer – and it’s just for RS Aeros. We will launch from Bristol Town Beach and race on Upper Narragansett Bay. The club will host a cookout and awards following the racing and the bar will be open!
Having sailed in several Sunfish and Laser regattas hosted by Barrington YC before, I have high expectations for this event. Much as I enjoy the multi-classs regattas that make up the rest of our local schedule, it will be a rare pleasure to sail an RS Aero only event for a change.
I hear that, if all goes well this year, the class and the club might make this an annual event and possibly extend it to two days. If we end up doing that, this regatta could be the ideal place to host a New England RS Aero championship in future years. (Oh there I go – dreaming again. So shoot me.)
5. Massapoag YC 70th Annual Regatta – Sharon MA -Sep 6/7
In September we will be going back to Massapoag for a two day regatta. Hard to believe but this will be the tenth time that MYC has hosted a regatta for RS Aeros.
This event has all the good stuff we talked about for the June regatta at MYC, plus a welcome party on the Friday evening and the famous MYC lobster dinner on Saturday evening. There will also be a few two person dinghy classes as well as the Lasers, Sunfish and RS Aeros.
And for you long distance Aero travelers, if you feel you are too far from Massachusetts to come for the one day regatta here in June, then come to this one instead. You won’t regret it.
Check out the RS Aero Class North America Events page on the class website for the latest news on RS Aero regattas planned in New England.
Thanks for staying to the end of the post.
I think I’ll take a nap now and dream about lobster.