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No wetsuits required: sociable keelboat racing with a competitive edge!

‘No wetsuits required’ – that’s one of the reasons cited for the rapid growth of the RS Elite fleet over the last 18 months at Hayling Island Sailing Club. The sociable nature of the fleet, which encourages partners, families and newcomers to sail together in this three-man keelboat, as well as the regular, high quality competitive sailing have led to a resurgence of interest and rapid growth in the number of RS Elites being owned and regularly sailed at HISC.

RS Elites racing at HISC - Image Peter HicksonThe RS Elite offers a new type of sailing for members; it’s perfect for dinghy racers looking for something new, something that appeals to partners, family members and non-sailors, something that is easy to launch, sail and maintain and which keeps you dry and upright without hiking! The fleet at HISC is attracting strong participation from couples, and women returning to competitive sailing after moving on from dinghies. The RS Elite is a modern, lightweight, low-maintenance yacht that offers hassle-free sailing in a unique ‘inclusive’ format that enables families and friends to race and socialize alongside ex-Olympians.

The design of the RS Elite makes them ideal to race both inside and outside of Chichester Harbour; some of the best racing conditions on the South Coast. A regular Thursday night racing programme as well as monthly Saturday Sprint racing offer fast and furious fun racing throughout the season. Longer course racing is available each month at the Pennant weekends where the RS Elite fleet enjoys its own starts and championship style courses. A Sunday morning autumn series runs from early November through until Christmas. Monthly fleet parties coupled with the Club’s active social programme ensures an inclusive and vibrant social scene – an essential aspect of the growing popularity of the class.

Paul Fisk, RS Elite Class Captain noted, “The HISC RS Elite fleet includes novice sailors through to Olympic medallists as well as a good number in between. We welcome newcomers, can support less experienced sailors by offering training and advice and encourage family members to sail together and get involved. We have a high quality racing programme offering excellent racing as well as a super-friendly social scene. We look forward to welcoming new sailors and new members to this vibrant and growing fleet.”

HISC has attracted nearly 20 RS Elites committed to racing at the club with regular turnouts in double figures and now boasts the largest fleet in the UK. There will be an RS Elite startline at Cowes Week 2016 with 20 entrants to date and plans are afoot for some specific afternoon RS Elite showcase racing during Chichester Harbour Race Week. HISC will host the Southern Area Championships in September of this year as well as the National Championships in 2017.

For more information on the sailing and social programmes for the RS Elite Class at HISC please visit: http://www.hisc.co.uk/sailing-racing/hisc-classes/rs-elite/

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Image by Peter Hickson
Posted on Wed, August 24 2016