By the RS Aero Class Assocation
It’s a wrap! The RS Aero Worlds finished today and what a way to end it! The westerly was already in when curtains were drawn and by start time it was piping hard at 20+kn, gusting 30kn, down the race course. That’s what we came for!
Two final races were scheduled to conclude the series and there were plenty of top spots up for grabs. After a short delay getting the committee boat anchor chain to hold in severe gusts we were away. The port bias of the start line-line could not be ignored and then the tide on the right appeared the dominant gain feature. Those willing and able to attempt daring port tack flyers were rewarded!
In the RS Aero 5s DieterCreitz (USA) sealed the win and also top Youth (U22) accolade with another two 1sts for a clear victory from Seattle club mate Ryan Zehnder (USA) who took 2nd overall. Yannick Gloster (USA) of Santa Barbara and Dublin took 3rd and the final spot on the podium. Caroline Young had been mounting an assertive assault on the podium in the later stages of regatta settled for 4th and top Female. Roy Van Maanen (IRL) finished 5thand top Master (O55). Jacques Kerrest took top Grand Master (O65) in 6th.
In the RS Aero 7s Dalton Bergan (USA) had already sealed the title and took another race win, but it was all to play for on the rest of the podium. Noah Rees (GBR) had a tough day in the big breeze and dropped to 4th. Jay Renehan (USA) and Peter Barton (GBR) traded places by a point in each race but victory ultimately went to Jay for both the Silver and top Master (O55) after three boats were flattened at the final gybe mark, spoiling Peter’s point differential hopes in the final race. In 5th overall and winning both the first and final races was Carl Buchan who was also 1st Grand Master (O65). Jack Miller gained on the final day with a 5,6 to take 6th overall and 1stYouth (U22).
Again in the RS Aero 9s it was all change on the podium as the big breeze whistled through. Dan Falk (USA) had already sealed the title but Keith Hammer (USA) stepped up to the bronze with a 2,1 from Michael Johnson (USA) in the Bronze who was also top Master (O65).
Never before in an RS Aero Championship have the endeavour prizes been so hard earned with often 30+kn winds and a long distance race too. They are awarded to the competitor who completes all the races and is highest placed after the results sheet is turned upside down. Applauded for finishing every race in some extreme wind and challenging waves were Jeff Dunmall (CAN) in the RS Aero 7s and Catherine Gloster (USA) in the RS Aero 5s.
At the awards ceremony the encased RS Aero Worlds trophies supplied by RS Sailing were awarded together with a fantastic spread of prizes provided by Rooster and Kingfisher Yacht Ropes. The Decal Gloster Memorial Trophy for the annual Columbia Gorge Regatta, this year the RS Aero Worlds, was awarded to the three fleet winners too.
Many thanks went the Race Committee team who had a challenging job this week to balance the start lines and course biases. The International Jury did a fantastic job keeping a watchful eye to help keep our racing fair and fun insightful debriefs on their observations and penalty summaries. Columbia Gorge Racing Association but on a fantastic regatta alongside their regatta committee from the Seattle RS Aero fleet.
Thanks to all the RS Aero Worlds supporters – West Coast Sailing, RS Sailing, Seattle Yacht Club Foundation, Prism Kite Technology, Rooster and Kingfisher Yacht Ropes.
The awards ceremony concluded an introduction to the Sardinian RS Aero World Championships in 2023 set in the island town of Calasetta near Cagliari. from 24-28th July. The fast growing Italian fleet look forward to welcoming the International RS Aero Class to one of their favourite dream venues with beautiful beaches, affordable accommodation and of course excellent cuisine. Check out the early info, links and pics here.