The Rs21 Cup, the circuit reserved for the new Rs21 class that will culminate in October with the European Championship in Malcesine, starts in Rimini this weekend.
Was there a need for a new class in the immense scenario of sailing competitions? If the answer is measured by the interest that the new Rs21 has aroused, it would seem so. The difference can be seen in the details and the new monotype from the Rs Sailing boatyard, which has a certain amount of experience with successful dinghies, has plenty of interesting details.
Designed by Richard and Withouse, the RS 21 is 6.34 meters long and 2.20 meters wide, with a draft of 1.38 meters, a weight of 650 kg and a sail plain (mainsail and jib) of almost 25 square meters. A boat specially designed to combine stability, easy handling and exciting performance.
New class also means new races. From 4th to 6th June the Yacht Club Rimini will host the first round of the RS21 Cup. The first act of a series of four that will culminate with the European Championship in Malcesine, organised by Fraglia Vela Malcesine, from 20th to 23rd October.
The calendar itself will provide a measure of the growth of the class, which is already present in most of Europe: from Italy to Scandinavia, from Spain to Switzerland, from Estonia to Bulgaria and Poland. But it is already capable of reaching faraway countries: Australia, Canada and, of course, the United States where there are already four fleets in Florida, the East Coast and the West Coast. At the St Francis Yacht Club alone there are already six boats.
The races of the Rs 21 Cup will have two classifications: a purely Corinthian one with Group 1 sailors only and an Open one where the helmsman must be Group 1 (amateurs who receive no remuneration) but the rest of the crew can be made up of professional sailors from Group 3 (elite).
Unlike many other classes there is no limit on crew weight, which must be a minimum of three people. The Rs 21 Cup is a perpetual trophy designed by Code Zero and Negri Nautica that represents the bow of the boat and will reward the winner of the Open class. It will be made by Persico Group (the company that built Luna Rossa) in aluminium and carbon. The holder will keep it for one year and then hand it over to his successor. A different trophy is planned for the Corinthian class.
June 4-6 Rimini
July 2-4 Cala dei Medici
September 24-26 Torbole (Italian Championship)
October 20-23 Malcesine (European Championship)
In order to attract new owners and improve the experience of those who have already chosen an Rs21, the class is organizing an Academy that will follow the races calendar and beyond. The best known is Gabriele (Ganga) Bruni, the head coach of the Nacra 17, the class of flying catamarans that in Tokyo will see two world champions Ruggero Tita paired with Caterina Banti. Bruni will alternate with Niccolò Bianchi, a professional sailor and coach specialising in high performance boats, and Enrico (Chicco) Fonda, a professional sailor with two Olympic campaigns and several international titles.
The RS boatyard is well-known for its attention to the environment and the RS21 takes this tradition a step further. Recycled plastics are used extensively in the construction, and the deck is shaped so that one hull can be placed on top of the other to optimise both transport and winter storage. The idea of equipping the Rs21 with a retractable electric motor is revolutionary. Indispensable for returning to port, especially when the wind drops definitively, the integrated motor has a range of six miles and recharges quickly. Last but not least, the Rs21 class supports One Ocean Foundation, a foundation set up in 2017 with the aim of working at world level to safeguard the marine ecosystem, whose ambassadors include Max Sirena, Vasco Vascotto, Paul Cayard, Mauro Pelaschier, Ganga Bruni, the Young Azzurra team and even the skier Federica Brignone.
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