After a series of 10 races, Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw have won the mens and ladies Olympic RS:X divisions in the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta.
Dempsey was almost unbeatable taking 8 first places to take victory from France\’s Nicolas Huguet and Spain\’s Ivan Pastor. Wind conditions were varied and provided everything from full power to non-planing conditions, giving the RS:X a good testing!
“The board is less weight sensitive than the Mistral when the wind is light, which is the great equalizer. It has attracted a much broader range of sailors; you can be heavier now to sail it.” Mike Gebhardt (ex Olympic Silver Medalist)
Having said that, a few top formula sailors have had a go and whilst dominating strong wind races, none have really been successful in light winds. Ex Formula World Champion Wojtek Brzozowski competed in Cadiz last year. After 12 months of training and an intensive weight loss program that saw him drop from 95kg\’s to 82 kg\’s he dominated the strong wind races but decided that he was so uncompetitive in the light winds that he would never have a chance in the light wind Olympic venue of Bejing and promptly went back to Formula!!
The board seems more likely to suit the slightly heavier IMCO sailors rather than Formula and PWA racers who are not used to non-planing competition.
But how does the RS:X compare with the IMCO for performance? Over to Mike Gebhardt (ex Olympic Silver Medalist)…
“It\’s noticeably slower than a long board in really light air, by about 20 percent, but when it\’s planing, it\’s 20 percent faster and it only takes about 10 knots to get it planing.”
If you fancy your chances, you still have more than 2 years to get training for Bejing!!