14 RS Aeros enjoyed a great breeze at Spinnaker Sailing Club in the heart of the New Forest on 15 October for the annual RS Aero Sustainability Challenge, supported by The Green Blue.
The Spinnaker Sailing Club hold the annual RS Aero Sustainability Challenge as an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of minimising the impact of sport on the environment. The Club aims to avoid single use plastic, to promote lift sharing and avoid the spread of invasive species on trolleys and kit. The Club promote following environmental best practice, such as rinsing trolleys, “it is important for visitors not to leave trolleys in the water whilst racing, often a temptation at a non tidal location with a large shorefront to launch.”
The Spinnaker Sailing Club itself was also an ideal club to showcase venue sustainability. The lake is leased under strict environmental and wildlife protection terms and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Ramsar Site. Spinnaker SC works with Natural England, the Wildlife Trust and Wessex Water and the Angling Club to manage the site to enable recreational water sports in a sensitive manner respecting the natural environment. They have fresh water available for re-usable drink bottle re-fills and their commitment to sustainability has included the recent installation of solar panels and the fitting of a battery storage capability.
Racing was held in one fleet with all rig sizes represented and based on PY corrected times. On the competitive start line Gareth Griffiths was hot out of the blocks each race in his RS Aero 9 and striving to gain his time ahead of the chasing bubble of RS Aero 7s. In turn, the RS Aero 6s were often doing a good job of hanging onto the coat tales of the RS Aero 7s. The RS Aero 5s were the envy of everyone as the large gusts buffeted the lake every so often!
Sailing on small sheltered lakes is always great practice and especially appropriate when it is overly testing on the coast. The skills of speedy reactions, acceleration, keeping speed, linking gusts and shifts, and fast intuitive decisions are all so valuable and can then be put to use on more open waters too.
The cherished RS Aero Sustainability Challenge trophies provided by The Green Blue were awarded at the prize giving, together with awards goodies kindly supplied by Rooster, Selden and RS Sailing.
Congratulations to everyone:
1st RS Aero 9 & 1st Grand Master – Gareth Griffiths, Island Barn RSC
1st RS Aero 7 & 1st Overall – Peter Barton, Lymington Town SC
1st RS Aero 6 & 1st Female – Iona Willows, Lymington Town SC
1st RS Aero 5 – Dave Hairs, Highcliffe SC
1st Youth – Ethan Sparkes, Chichester YC
1st Master – Chris Jones, Sutton Bingham SC