by Steve Wilson – UK Sales Guru & RS Family Fan
If you look back through the history of RS Sailing, there is a common theme. Founded on the basis of inclusivity are a range of boats which all tick a very important box, boats that everyone can sail. Our range now covers a lifetime of sailing, from your first time on the water in an RS Zest, to a family cruising boat such as the RS Venture but that’s not how we started out.
In the early years of RS, we saw a range of classes which rose to the forefront of the UK Dinghy Racing scene. These boats have come to be known by us at RS Sailing as “The Noughty Classes”, however you are more likely to know them as our adult racing classes whose names in end 00. The iconic RS600 came first, alongside the evergreen RS400 and the RS family was born. More triumphs followed, with the versatile RS200 and thrilling RS800 proving to stand the test of time over the last 20+ years in a competitive market. These boats had something in common, they were all the same. Each boat in its class was built the same way, by the same people and in the same factory giving all those who raced them a level platform and proved to be very popular.
The RS Class Association were tasked with organising events, and what a great job they did (and continue to do). Season after season, a packed racing schedule visited the best venues across the UK and Europe. Summer trips to Lake Garda in alternate seasons proved extremely popular with entries overfilling the dinghy parks and us begging for more space. Alongside the serious racing, there was a packed social calendar. There isn’t much to compete with a hard days racing followed by a great evening chatting away to a bunch of people with whom you have a shared passion.
I often get asked why we refer to the RS Community as a family, and I keep coming to the same conclusion. There are countless people who have met whilst sailing one of our boats and are now a family. Some of these couples would likely not exist if those individuals hadn’t travelled to that event where they met their now husband or wife. The majority of these couples now have kids, who are also now sailing an RS…….perhaps in the future the cycle will repeat itself.
Whilst the RS Sailing range has developed, these adult racing classes are still loved by us all. The RS Class Association continues to do a fantastic job of organising events that bring us all together in our love of a common interest. The racing is still as tough and the socials just as much fun, so maybe now is the time to come and see what all the fuss is about as the RS family is one you can choose.