Sunday, 26 May 2013

Some thoughts on the RS100

The majority of my time at Minorca Sailing was spent either sailing the RS100 or windsurfing (we had strong winds nearly all week, the windsurfing was excellent).  I'd been thinking about the RS100 as an additional boat to the 300, and thought I might post up a bit of a review.

- Really nice boat to hike.  The profile of the sidedecks make straight leg hiking relatively easy and comfortable (compared to the 300 anyway).
- Accessible as a first time single handed asymmetric dinghy.  My baptism was a couple of days of f5, and the boat isn't too much of a handful.  The exception is gybing, it takes a little time to get the process and timing sorted out.  Have to be really careful not to come out too high, the gybing strop helps gybe the main early.
- Beautiful to sail downwind, the boat feels light, balanced and fast.  Easily keeps up with faster boats, and seemed to sail deeper.  Great fun.
- Well thought out and easily adjusted controls.
- Seems to perform well to handicap, but that was on a windward/leeward course.  RTC sailing might well be different, you really need dead downwind legs.

- Not a great boat to sail upwind, felt slow and lethargic (even when permanently footing).  Given that 60% of racing is upwind, this is the one point that I think would stop me buying a 100 - its just not fun beating, as compared to the 300 anyway.
- The boat is underpowered on reaches, until you can fly the kite.  No surprises there.

Not a boat for me for club racing, I'd get too frustrated with the upwind performance.  But if I wanted to do a circuit, then maybe - I imagine the class racing is good. 

I sailed the 300 yesterday for a race around Chichester harbour, finished sailing with a huge smile, I'll be sticking with the 3 for the moment. 


  1. Interesting. The only asymmetric spinnaker dinghies I have sailed are the RS Vareo and the RS100 (both at Minorca Sailing) so I was interested to hear what you thought of the RS100. It did win Boat of the Year in Sailing World magazine a year or two back, but I don't see any fleets developing around here.

    I enjoyed the RS100 very much offwind. Definitely more interesting than a Laser of course. Upwind it was a bit "blah". Interesting that you say the RS300 is less comfortable but more fun upwind. Why is it more fun? Just because it's faster?

    If RS100 fleets and a regatta circuit developed around here, I would seriously consider getting one. But I don't think it's going to happen in my lifetime!

  2. Certainly the 300 is faster upwind, and responds well to sailor input. I just found the 100 to be a bit slow and lethargic. I'm sure its not a problem for class racing, but its not a boat that I enjoyed sailing upwind in solo training sessions.

    Offwind was a different matter, very balanced and a lovely sail.