Firstly, a huge thanks to Luke and Emma McEwen for providing us with the content for this blog. Their contribution to the class association is outstanding!
It was wonderful to begin celebrations for the 20th birthday of our RS800 at the RYA Dinghy Show. We hosted a party at the RS Sailing stand and there was a brilliant presentation by Luke at the Class Association stage on the Sunday afternoon. Fuelled by his passion and enjoyment of the class, Luke detailed what makes the RS800 a fantastic boat to sail and why he enjoys being a part of such an exciting class. Luke also carefully recognised the development of the boat from its birth and design by Phil Morrison to the latest rule changes in 2017 inspired by past class chair Chris Feibusch.
The RS800 was RS Sailing’s first project to develop a high-performance skiff that could be accessed by a wider participant range than others skiffs on the market. This resulted in a successful boom into the market, with 70 boats crowding the start line for the UK nationals in 2004, just 5 years into production!
RS Sailing, in partnership with the class association, kept the RS800 up to date with the needs of a modernising sailing climate. This includes; changes to the deck, altering main sail shape and permitting crews to take control of the main sail, amongst other updates. These changes have allowed the RS800 to maintain its popularity with a changing demographic of sailors. With that said, the RS800 has an exciting schedule of events for 2019 including:
• French Open Skiff Regatta in April
• An introduction of the RS800 Northern tour
• The RS800 Europeans on Lake Garda – July 2019
• The RS800 Nationals, Eastbourne – September
• A 1999 themed party during the UK Nationals weekend
• A Special 1-day reunion regatta – With RS800 sailors past and present invited
• The official 20th Anniversary Dinner
With such a strong class, fun events for the best socials and an awesome boat, why would you sail any other double handed skiff!