by the RS Aero International Class Association
The 4th RS Aero RS Aero World Championship is to be hosted by the Columbia Gorge Racing Association at ‘The Gorge’, Cascade Locks, Oregon, USA.
The Gorge is a popular favourite with the North American RS Aero Class returning annually to enjoy its challenges, recognised worldwide as a World Class sailboat racing and wind sports venue.
The Gorge creates a unique sailing venue with a wind-tunnel between the beautiful mountains that rise from the waters edge to nearly one mile vertically high in places. The afternoon thermal breeze pipes up against the Columbia River’s current to provide some fantastic long downwind rides through awesome scenery. The upwind current then provides a conveyor belt back to the windward mark – ready to enjoy the long down-winds again!
So far in training the Gorge has ‘done its thing’ with strong westerlies pumping up the river gorge against the current from dawn to dusk. Sailors have remarked on the very strong early season’s river current with the late spring snow melt from the surrounding great mountain peaks of the Oregon and Washington states. This has been kicking up severe chop against the pulsating breeze
Five days racing is split by a lay day for sailors to experience the delights of the area. Racing kicks off on Sunday following Saturday’s practice race. The spectacular setting provided inspiration for a long distance race mid series to fully appreciate the unique venue. The forecast for the weekend predicts strong easterlies (“it’s not normally like this here!”) which will provide an interesting variation to the challenges of the Gorge!
Sixty RS Aero sailors from eight nations are entered over three RS Aero fleets. The large RS Aero fleet just up the Pacific coast at Seattle bolsters the strong host USA fleet. International visitors include teams from Great Britain, Australia and Ireland with Switzerland, China, Uruguay and Canada also represented.
Regatta Chair, John Renehan, enthuses; ‘Seattle sailors love going down to the Gorge in the summer for the most fun and gentle big-breeze-sailing around and the relaxed fun times on the beach. It’s a special occasion when we get to welcome sailors from around the world to this stretch of river as well as share some of our favourite shore side diversions. Thanks to CGRA, RS Sailing and the Seattle Yacht Club Foundation for their huge contributions to making the event possible, as well as our other sponsors including Prism Kites, West Coast Sailing, Rooster and Kingfisher Ropes ‘
Keep up to date with results as they happen here.