By Steve Wilson – RS200 Guru and UK Sales Team Legend
Launched in 1995 the RS200 has stood the test of time in a competitive dinghy racing scene. A Single Manufacture One Design Class (SMOD) appeals to many people who want to test their skills against other sailors in equal kit to find out who is top dog and a look back over the last 20+ years of RS200 National Champions will read like a who’s who of the UK Dinghy racing scene. The RS200 if often towards the top of the Nationals Attendance table with over 100 entries, amongst which are often members of Great Britain’s Olympic Team along with the top sailors from other classes coming to test their skills in this renowned fleet.
The RS200 offers a perfect platform for sailors in the 120-140kg weight range to sail and race competitively together, covering a wide range of partnerships from parent/child, to couples and friends. Although all the kit is the same, the rake and spreaders are fully adjustable so for those who do like to tweak with rig set up there is ample opportunity. Providing the boat is well set up and being sailed well the boats are very similar in speed, so if you want to achieve some top results you are going to have to make some good decisions on the racecourse too.
The benefit of an SMOD class is that you can join the fleet with an older boat knowing that you have the same kit as everyone else, no updated designs of hull shape, or mast materials to give that extra bit of speed. For the first 20 years of its life, the RS200 didn’t go through any changes…..a true testament to its popularity. However, in 2015 a decision was made to give the boat a few small updates. RS Sailing, working with the RS200 class association made a small number of changes to the deck layout along with a change in mainsail material to give the boat a refresh.
25 years after the initial launch, the RS200 is still pricing to be an extremely popular boat for keen racers to test their skills against each other. With used boats starting at around the £3000 mark and new boats available from £11,250 there is a boat available for everybody to come and join in the fantastic fleet.