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Singlehanded Sailing - RS Aero Class Excited to Get Afloat at Dun Laoghaire

4th May 2020
RS Aero - singlehanded sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour RS Aero - singlehanded sailing at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

“Today we should be reporting on a fantastic first event for the RS Aero in Ireland. The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School was due to host the inaugural RS Aero Open last Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd of May in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, with a strong fleet of over 20 boats from the UK, roughly 20 Irish boats and roughly 10 RS Aeros available for charter between RS Sailing and the Irish Supplier Irish National Marine Services”, laments Glyn Williams of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School.

The RS Aero calendar has, like everything, had to adapt to the coronavirus situation. The class has elected for a new date on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September, to fit into the currently remaining dates in the RS calendar, and the pressures on the RS Sailing Aero Charter Fleet, which is in hot demand across Europe later this year.

"sailing’s best bet for dealing with coronavirus is to get back to basics"

Irish RS Aero Class Chairman Brendan Foley is optimistic. “As we all look forward to emerging from our isolation from each other and the water, I am really excited by the number of questions I’ve been getting about the Aero. With a massive focus on single-handers, it looks like this year will be a real turning point for the Aero fleet in Ireland - if you are sitting on the fence and thinking about a new boat, go for it. It will be great for your mental health and well-being. I know I’m keen as mustard to get back out in my Aero. I would also ask prospective sailors to join the RS Aero Ireland Facebook group and the global Facebook group to see what a friendly and progressive fleet this is. I’m happy to answer any questions on the Aero - pop them on the comments below or PM me on Facebook. Stay calm, stay positive and get ready to sail!”

Back onshore, RS Sailing dealer, Kenneth Rumball has been preparing the three Aeros in the Irish National Marine Services stock. Kenneth reports a significant upturn in enquires about the boat since the lockdown began, something he attributes to the expected boom in single-handed dinghy sailing. “The Aero is perfect for those who are looking to get back into dinghies, the ergonomic hiking position, higher boom and centre mainsheet make sailing a breeze”. There are even a few lockdown discounts on the stock boats. The latest Aero ready to go 3187, is shown in the video below, and Kenneth points out the features making it an easy dinghy to get back afloat in.

Kenneth and Glyn feel that sailing’s best bet for dealing with coronavirus is to get back to basics. “Get out on the water and enjoy yourself, either in a single-handed dinghy, or with the family,” says Kenneth, while urging caution to do so responsibly. To this end, the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is going to make its COVID-19 single-handed dinghy operating procedure available for all to take ideas from. According to Glyn Williams “It's about ensuring that activity happens safely and that no one takes risks resulting in the need for Lifeboat or Coastguard intervention, exposing these volunteers to risk. We’re in the process of examining the risks, what control measures can be taken and how to manage any issues that arise in a manner that does not allow for disease spread”.

Both are hopeful that straightforward, sensible actions can facilitate a return to sailing and getting afloat to enjoy the water while we await a return to what could be considered a more normal set of activities.

Published in INSS, Solo Sailing
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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.

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