RS Contact Info :See http://www.rssailing.com/ca for dealer details and many other information regarding the RS range.
Fleet contact -
6477 741 311
RS Dealer Info :Morten Fogh
901 Oxford Street
This time last year marked the start of something new in Canada. The RS400 came to town. It started with a visit to Lake Garda by a group of Toronto sailors. This was followed with an RS400 available for demo in Toronto. This quickly resulted in a lot of interest and soon with little persuasion a group of 8 passionate sailors had signed up to import RS400s. They all had little experience of the boat but a desire to try something new and a feeling that the boat was something special. In my opinion, that group has not looked back and we soldier on trying to encourage more Canadian sailors to adopt the RS400 as their main sailboat.
From putting plans into motion and delivery just 6 months passed. This was mainly due to the hard work of Pete Vincent who found and purchased 6 RS400s from the UK for us. The boats were then loaded into a container by Sailboat Deliveries and shipped 2,548 miles to their new home in Toronto. The excitement was dampened a few times by delays in shipping. However, on a cold May morning I received a picture message on my phone of the arriving container on the back of the truck. The much anticipated 400s had arrived in Toronto!
Very little time was wasted. After the boats were unloaded they were quickly moved to a local club. Another cold May morning was host to a rigging and launching party. A water temperature just above 10 degrees didn’t stop the new owners getting out onto the water and putting the new boat through its paces. The water was frigid but we were out and sailing in the new boats.
I personally had sailed an RS200 in the UK and had some but not huge amounts of experience sailing the 400. I was incredibly surprised about how well behaved the boat is. The 200 is quite skittish and tippy. The 400 is quite stable in comparison and feels very balanced on the helm. However, the boat is enormous fun downwind and upwind as well.
I have had a lot of positive comments from both observers and people I have taken for a ride. I know the same is true of the other sailors in the group as well. One of the sailors who brought a 400 in the group was relatively inexperienced. However, he has taken to the boat and sailing to an increasingly high standard. To me this goes further in proving how friendly the boat is to novice sailors yet also challenging for those of us who are more experienced.
This year has also seen a race series organized by a local club with 3-5 boats on the start line each week. We also had one regatta with an RS400 specific start. I hope in 2014 that other clubs in Toronto will to organize a regatta or racing start each week specifically for the RS class. I hope with an additional 3 boats joining the fleet in 2014 that clubs will see the benefit of encouraging the class. Momentum is gaining and more boats will certainly give more exposure and allow more opportunity for people to get out and try the RS400. I know that we will all be lobbying for more support for the class here in Toronto.
I am organizing the container this year and am keen to bring another container next season. From here, I think we can only build on what we've achieved so far. Perhaps in a few years time we can bring boats for an international competition and leave them here. We don't yet have an official class association yet either, so, I see this as an important next step in order to lobby for the class and encourage people to buy a boat and join the ranks. Perhaps in the future we’ll see some UK and Irish sailors competing in Toronto harbour, who knows!?