What the Olympic Evaluation Panel really said about the RS Aero

The truth about the Aero revealed at last…

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the process which World Sailing used to evaluate the RS Aero, the Laser, the Devoti D-Zero and the Melges 14 as equipment for the men’s and women’s one person dinghy events in the 2024 Olympics. See How the RS Aero (almost) got selected for the Olympics.

In that post I reported how the RS Aero scored higher than all the other boats at the trials, but I didn’t go into any detail about what the expert Evaluation Panel actually said about the RS Aero in their report.

Everthing in blue and italics below is taking directly from the panel’s report. I have selected these items from various parts of the 36 page report and grouped them together under three general headings, but I have not changed any of the individual sentences. The reference to “MNA sailors” is to the elite singlehanded sailors from several nations (Member National Authorities) who actually sailed the boats in the sea trials in Valencia.


The boat was described as fun, fast and appealing on land and in the water.

The simplicity of the design and of the systems promotes success more related to athletic superiority and tactical understanding than technical knowledge of the specific equipment.

Described as quick and aggressive in its maneuvers and easy to trim appropriately with all controls comfortably routed and efficient with simple and well thought out concepts which were appreciated by the sailors. The mainsheet system lead to the center of the boom was considered a positive feature by MNA sailors allowing for direct transmission of power to the sail.


RS Aero’s finished product exceeded all others in terms of quality and durability. The hardware and systems are well designed to function easily for the sailor and are proven in international competition. The spars are built to a specification and quality control standard that is producing consistent equipment for this international class. The lightweight hull is engineered with modern materials and modern composite building expertise bringing consistency of manufacture that is performing in the current marketplace. 

These have yet to experience Olympic competition however their World Championships were held in 2018 in high winds and waves at the London 2012 Olympic Venue with no breakage reported. 

Quality was recognized by the MNA sailors and considered among the highest in terms of value for money.


The light hull requiring sensitivity in boat handling, was considered by MNA sailors as rewarding higher sailing skills.

The boat is light and easy to move around on land for launch and for transport. Easily righted after capsizing.

 Its light weight and its size make it attractive and suitable for the youth pathway.

I think they “got it.” 

If you want to read more, here is the full Evaluation Panel Report.



  • Would it be possible to include highlights of the reports for the other contenders by the selection panel, so a balanced view can be taken?

  • Hi Tom, thanks for the suggestion.

    In this post I chose to summarize the positive reasons the panel gave for scoring the RS Aero highest of all 4 boats in the trials.

    That was partly so the post wasn’t way too long.

    It was also because the team had some fairly serious criticisms of the other three boats and I did not want to come across as focusing on the negative reasons why the other boats received lower scores than the Aero.

    Anyone interested in reading all the conclusions of the panel, positive and negative, for all four boats, can read the full report, to which I gave a link at the end of the post,

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.