RS Aero - Magic Marine UK River Championship at
Avon Sailing Club  October 2016

With many thanks to Yachts and Yachting for the excelent write up

With many RS Aeros based on rivers throughout the UK there was keen interest in a dedicated UK River Championships. Avon SC on the Severn near Gloucester and their emerging fleet of 7 RS Aeros volunteered as the hosts of the first annual Champs. The challenges and enjoyment of river sailing are a plenty and can prove more interesting and rewarding than open water, especially in a pretty spot like at Avon SC. Befittingly, this is where the RS Aero designer, Jo Richards, sailed through his youth with the testing river environment in which to develop his talents towards his Olympic medal. Jo's top tip for this event was; "Sail intuitively, you don't have time to consider a decision! Embrace and enjoy the challenges." The fleet did exactly that with a fleet of 23 turning up from all directions. Other river clubs represented were York RI, Bradford on Avon, Severn and Lymington. The Severn here has a good 60m of width providing space for a good fleet whilst also compacting the racing nicely. With the light/medium breeze on the sheltered river sailors opted to make the most of the Aero’s flexibility to power up with the spread being eighteen ‘9’ rigs and five ‘7’ rigs. The ample north easterly provided a windward-leeward straight up the river.

Aero Class Association


Racing was intense; jam packed starts and calls for ‘room’ off the shore. Tacking technique was at a premium, as was acceleration skill and the ability to keep the boat moving though the shifts and lulls. The 18 RS Aero 9s filled the start line 2 deep jostling for position ready to accelerate hard on the gun. On each windward leg we did over 25 tacks each totting up towards 300 each over the day! Now we know how Antony Lynall tacks to gracefully! Peter Barton took the wins in the 9s, but only after some epic battles with Ben Rolfe, Gareth Griffiths, Antony Lynall and Harry Joyce. Those battles proved so engulfing that on more than one occasion the leaders were so focused they sailed straight past the marks! Just one point separated 2nd-5th with Antony taking 2nd and Gareth 3rd overall and 1st Master. In the RS Aero 7s once again this year the Ladies showed the way with Fiona Lucas pipping John Harvey to 1st overall. Third was local river sailor David Harris from Severn SC (situated on the River Avon - long story!).


Thanks to Magic Marine for supporting the Class with an awesome spread of prizes and many thanks to the members from Avon SC for welcoming the RS Aero fleet to their pretty stretch of the river Severn. We had a fantastic lunch, race management and excellent photos. It was a pleasure for many to experience a different form of racing to what they might be used to. These River Champs will certainly be right up there as one of our most pleasantly memorable day’s racing of this year, and we have had some great ones.

Magic Marine

Magic Marine was founded in 1989, and made its first appearance on the beaches of Scheveningen, Noordwijk and Katwijk in the Netherlands. Today, the brand is distributed on four continents and we are working hard to be represented in most countries around the World. The first target group for Magic Marine’s technical products was catamaran sailors and shortly thereafter the brand and collections grew to the Optimist and Cadet youth market. The logical next step was Olympic sailing. Today, Magic Marine is being used, developed and supported by an extended network of sailors around the globe working together with our team at the brand’s headquarters. New materials, comfort, and endurance are key concepts in the development of the range and the comments of sailors worldwide is the #1 concern when building our products. With a change of ownership in 2007, Magic Marine has continued to invest in development to ensure that top level products are created for all conditions and types of sailing around the Globe. This led the brand to launch a Coastal Collection in 2009 to include all sport boats, keel boats, and maxis. The brand is growing, but ensures quality and care to all of the types of sailing. The next step is Ocean sailing. With our teamriders who share our passion we are developing gear for the most extreme conditions!

© Avon Sailing Club 2019