"We honestly didn’t foresee what would happen"
RS ORIGINS AND FAMILY
The idea behind RS was born when a small group of sailors sat on a Cornish sea-wall and discussed the opportunity to move the game forward. It was driven forward by our passion use the latest in design and technology to make higher performance more viable for most of us – to inspire more sailors.
We just hoped that if we developed boats that we’d love to sail, then people like us would love them too. And that if we built exciting events and made a load of RS sailing friends then the other RS sailors would make new friends too.
We honestly didn’t foresee what would happen.
Looking around it brought it home how lucky we are to have you guys. You have created something unique and very special, well done and I hope long may it continue!
Things grew fast and an amazing RS community was born. It was as much fun off the water as it was on it. Single-handed sailors met boyfriends and girlfriends – moved between RS single and double handers – got married – had children – bought an RS for their children – and now their parents are having a great time with old RS mates at RS youth events.
We love the story of a euphorically emotional RS400 sailor literally phoning from the maternity suite to say “Guess what, guess what – we’ve just had a baby!! I want to order a 700 because we won’t be able to sail the 400 together for a while!” I have a feeling we got the news before the grandparents.
That’s it really. RS is still run by sailors, for sailors. The family is more widespread and we don’t remember every customer’s sail number. But we still have that obsession to make sailing more exciting and more popular and to give great service to everyone who trusted us enough to buy one of our boats.
"We won’t be able to sail the 400 together for a while!”
THE RS TEAM
Our core team has been together since the early days. We may spend a lot of time talking about boats, events, gossip and ideas – but it reflects who we are and what made RS special.
The RS Sailing family has grown significantly over the last decade through our dealer network around the world. Most RS dealers share our similar commitment to the sport – that’s probably how they became involved.
We’d love to be able to talk boats with you all, but you may speak another language or be on the other side of the planet – you’ll be in good hands with our dealers.
THE RS DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
When we launched RS we had little money and knew our boats had to be good enough to speak for themselves. Our fundamental development process hasn’t changed since the first RS boats. The detail behind it, however, is almost unrecognisable.
It all begins with our close involvement in sailing, seeing an opportunity for evolution and creating the design brief to fulfil that opportunity. We assemble a development team that includes a designer, hull manufacturer, sail and spar manufacturers – all selected for their world-class experience within the relevant sector – always led by our own expert RS team.
Gone are the days of cottage industry. Significant investment has enabled RS to stay at the top of our game. State of the art Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology allows rapid protoyping, extensive 3D printed components and the ability to manage complex projects in-house. Our widespread experience leads to innovative solutions that challenge the norms, improve function and manufacturing efficiency – in areas as diverse as entry-level user friendliness and ultra-light high performance structures.
By out-sourcing production we are not limited by our own resources. We can select the best materials, manufacturing systems and leading suppliers relevant to each different model and market sector.
Design development is followed by prototyping, testing, input from key customers and refinement. Once the specification has been signed-off, the manufacture of production tooling begins. First built boats are tested, checked and quality control procedures are implemented before production manufacture finally begins.
RS sailboats have won multiple design awards internationally. Our own RS team has unmatched expertise and devotion. Their success wouldn’t have been possible without irreplaceable input from some the sailing industry’s most enthusiastic brains. Feedback from great sailors has contributed significantly. We really do appreciate it all.
RS CLASS ASSOCIATIONS & EVENTS
Underpinning the RS range are the infamous RS events. They’re organized by independent Class Associations and have characterized RS from the outset. The ethos is for fantastic racing on the water matched by a seriously good time ashore. We still talk about some huge events and legendary parties and, only slightly worryingly, every year there will be more.
Champions and inexperienced sailors rub shoulders socially, share tips and encouragement. The same atmosphere is there in youth and adult RS fleets. Stars of the future have grown up in RS classes – hardened Olympic level competitors enter for an injection of racing enjoyment.
We can’t say exactly how the RS atmosphere was created, but it holds a strong place in RS history and continues to be one of the reasons RS sailing is loved by so many.
Each race-boat has a Class Association organising racing and training, maintaining the Rules and a website with info, news and forums