The new RS Aero fleet now comprises the biggest one-design class, racing in the DBSC PY fleet. From zero boats last year in DBSC, there are now six Aeros racing competitively and there are rumours of more boats on the way. Not only are the boats great in one design but also have demonstrated great handicap ability under the PY system with five of the Aeros holding the top 5 places overall in the Tuesday Series with Noel Butler in the lead and Brendan Foley’s Aero leading overall in the Saturday Series.
Last night saw Noel Butler win both windward/leeward races showing excellent upwind speed and good race management to avoid the bunching on the short harbour based course. The rest of the boats traded places in the shifty winds with lightweight flyer ‘Skinny’ Sarah Dwyer and athletic Stephen Oram showing excellent speed, almost match racing each other around the track.
What is amazing is the variety of sailing styles witnessed as the fleet learn to sail the boats quicker. The high/low modes upwind can have huge gains or losses and being only 30 kilos heavy the boats really respond well to the small gusts with excellent acceleration. Downwind the boats run more by-the-lee than the Finns and the Lasers with some sailors choosing the big windward heel and others going flat to keep the chines out of the water.
The training clinics of Maurice ‘Prof’ O’Connell over the last few months have helped the fleet to come on with his knowledge and drills supporting the rise in the standard.
One of the features of the Aero class is sharing knowledge and the Dun Laoghaire Harbour fleet is no different with race winners sharing what worked and didn’t - the net effect has been a great rise in overall standard with any of the 6 boats capable of a top 3 placing.
If you would like to sail an Aero and try it out ask any of the sailors with boats in the NYC or RStGYC. The class plan to have some open days for a try-out within COVID guidelines in the next few months.