By Will Stocke
The first of three regattas was held December 21st & 22nd. With six RS21 charter boats racing from four different sailing clubs, this was the first time most of the participates have ever sailed the RS21. All competitors were all excited to sail against one another in a modern designed keelboat with exciting sailplan.
The idea of the RS21 Winter Series is to have the racecourse shorter than normal style racecourses to get a lot of races in and also to make it exciting for any spectators. With this in mind the Race Committee put the course close to downtown Sarasota. The races were set up for anywhere from 15 to 22 minutes a race.
The RS21 features an electric sail-drive engine which allowed competitors to motor to the course where with the pull of one line the engine retracts into the hull and is sealed off by a flap under the hull.
The sailing conditions were very challenging due to the course being so close to downtown Sarasota making it extremely shifty. The breeze was out of the Southeast at 10 to 28 kts with very flat water. The Race Committee was able to get 8 races completed in under 4 hours.
After Racing all of the sailors met at the SYC Sailing Center to enjoy pizza and beer during the daily racing debrief. While reminiscing on the day’s racing, the surprising reoccurring theme was that the racing had been so tight that every boat won at least one race. Competitor Dalton Tebo summarized his team’s handling of the challenging conditions on the RS21 with “I found the boat easy to manage in the strong challenging conditions, with new sailors onboard it took our team a few races to figure out the boat handling with little or no time sailing together prior to the event”. Will Stocke, SYC Waterfront director said “I think the RS21 is the most practical club fleet boat around, the exciting yet user friendly platform allows a supplied fleet format, where sailors can just show up and go sailing. This type of racing is the next direction that sailing needs to go in to promote participation and inclusion.”.
On the second day competitors arrived to a breeze over 40 knots and incoming storms, leading to cancellation of the racing for the day. With eight races scored from day one, the top three teams were only separated by three points. The team representing the Sarasota Yacht Club helmed by Mark Brunsvold won the first regatta with 15 points. Travis Yates’s team representing the Sarasota Sailing Squadron finished with 17 points just two points out of first. In third place also representing the Sarasota Sailing Squadron was Nick Amendola’s team with 18 points.
3 RS21s remain available RS21 Sarasota Yacht Club Winter Series #2 and #3.
Registration and Charter links can be found below.
Please contact Ed Furry at Ed@rssailing.com or Will Stocke Will.Stocke@sarasotayachtclub.org for any information.
Charter a boat for event 2 & 3, St. Pete Nood, or Charleston:
Register for Event 2 & 3: