RS21 Sailing Kicks off at Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego

First 6 RS21’s unpacked from the container and ready to be rigged.

First 6 RS21’s unpacked from the container and ready to be rigged.

What a whirlwind trip to San Diego to start off One Design Racing with the new RS21’s from RS Sailing. The stress of wondering what will go wrong was all for nothing as hard work and huge help from a list of people made the whole Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego run perfect. Sail22 has been put in charge of the 6 RS21’s which we are now calling #6PackSailing. As the RS21 North American Sales Manager we are extremely excited about this new One Design Sailboat from RS Sailing and the enthusiasm from RS is contagious. Jon Partridge, RS Sailing Managing Director flew over to help make this event special. Not only was we videoing and shooting pics but he was helping rig, picking up trash, handing out beers and much much more.

Our regatta location was chosen by the NOOD staff and we couldn’t have been happier. From first communication with Sailing Director, Jill Powell letting her know we needed to unload a container with our 6 Pack to club manager Lou giving the green light we started off with a great vibe. Once on property we worked with Maintenance Manager extraordinare Fabian. He made our lives very easy giving us plenty of space, use of their forklift and a great attitude. Sailing Coach Jon Rogers was always checking in and offered up use of tools and their shop. I can’t say enough about the staff at Coronado YC. I will come back as often as I can. Having lived in San Diego twice in my life I felt like I was coming home. With lots of time in the Sailing Industry helped to call on friends to make us look good. A big thanks to Patrick O’Connor for help unloading the container. Patrick Powell and Jessie from the USCG Academy who was home for Spring Break and his coach Doug Clarke for reaching out not once but twice to offer Jessie’s help.

The fleet ready to go racing.

The fleet ready to go racing.

Once the boats were rigged and it was time to go racing. When I run boats like this I usually try not to sail because we need to be on call to prepare everything so teams can focus on just sailing. Or if I am lucky I bring one of our guys to do all of this. Well thanks to George from West Coast Sailing he wanted me to sail as well. And Sean Wilson who we did bring out to help was racing with me. We would have a pick up crew but we’re lucky to also have Jen Garvey Sailing with us thanks to Jake from West Coast Sailing. Sean worked very hard to make sure the boats were sorted. Jon might call him “Stellar”. I would agree. And Jen helped rig every day. Stress was limited as the boats were rigged well and there were no break downs to worry about and no collisions either. We rotated our final crew spot each day with Dave Reed from Sailing World on day one. Dave also drove the last race of the day and was a great crew working the boat and keeping our bow sorted. Day 2 was Berkeley Green from Newport Sailing. I can’t wait to see some video from his day on the water. Final day we have a local that Jill Powell lined up for us. Carsten Jordon was a pleasure the sail with and hear how he enjoyed his time racing after spending the last 10 years taking his kids around the country for their sailing. Carsten stuck around to help in the de-rig process.

RS21 fleet sailing downwind.

RS21 fleet sailing downwind.

So enough about our sailing, the other 5 boats were great to sail against as each team had a blast sailing the boats, working with each other to figure out the rig, trimming and boat handling. The fleet was much closer than the results as the group sailed around the courses in close range of each other. Alan Field and his team TC dominated the score line but didn’t always lead during every race. His team of talented sailors gave great compliments to the RS21 and the goals of the new class. The compliments to the RS21 were amazing showing the efforts RS has put into making everything right. Easy to sail, fun to tweak and just a good time.

We had lots of questions and lookers from other fleets. We know we made a big hit and we are excited to fine tune the process which we know will be great and smoother at each event we go to. And we had no issues. The SDYC Juniors were very impressive as they not only went out of their way to thank us but they also asked questions and wanted to learn every day their third place finish was impressive as they were in the run for 2nd overall with Scot Tempesta who defended well on the last day. Look for reports from Scot on Sailing Anarchy. Brian Janney from North Sails was on board with Scot and great to have around to learn the boat and make sail improvements as the class goes to Open Sailmaker. With help from Pike Harris our few minor repairs were completed perfectly.

The sponsors/partners have been great with a Racegeek d10 on each boat we had the boys in Ireland taking our data and giving us reports each day. More will come as we will show off the capabilities of the Racegeek d10 which on the water was used for boat speed, heading, pinging the line and more. The large easy to read display was a hit on both RS21’s and fleets around us. Spinlock donated 24 PFD’s for all competitors and went overboard, not literally, with the RS21 logo on each.

loading up the 6 Pack.

loading up the 6 Pack.

The pack up ended our stay in San Diego which we started immediately but then a break to hit the awards over at San Diego YC and return the whaler that they loaned us for the event. Another great gesture welcoming us in San Diego.

We developed a great system when launching the RS21’s so we used that in reverse to haul the boats, dropping keels and Torqeedo’s, stacking boats then racks. Masts were actually dropped on Sunday night and ready to de-rig last once the heavy work was completed.

The process.

The process.

The final day was loading the semi with the 6 Pack and assorted tools and spares. All going so smoothly something was bound to bite us. We had everything ready but then we had to track down the truck. Scheduled for 8am sharp we got everything ready including the first rack on the flatbed to back into the trailer. And we wait, and wait and finally just before noon the truck arrived. The load went smooth and less than 2 hours. Jon was then off the LAX and Sean and I had a late lunch before heading back to our hosts for the week. A very big thanks to my godmother and her husband Mary and Terry Lehr for hosting Sean and I. We were known as their Stealth guests as we left before light and arrived after dark most days. Another big thanks to Joanne O’Day and Ian Trotter for helping to find housing for Jon at Scott Harris’ on Coronado. This side of the sailing world goes a long way in making events like this happen and on budget or close.

Locked and loaded. Next stop Charleston.

Locked and loaded. Next stop Charleston.

So now it is time to regroup, refresh and reload so we can do this again for Charleston Race Week and then the rest of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regattas in Annapolis, Chicago and Marblehead. If you want to get involved in any of these events as a charterer, host, want to help us out, please shoot an email to ed@rssailing.com. Stay in touch on Facebook and Instagram by searching for RS21, Sail22 or RS Sailing. Thank you again to Racegeek, Spinlock, North Sails, Selden and all of our partners.