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RS:X - the Olympic class

The RS:X came about as a result of a successful bid by NeilPryde WIndsurfing to supply one design windsurfing equipment for the 2008 Olympic Games in China. The RS:X was designed in 2004 and went into production in 2005.

The RS:X design features a high technology rig, with carbon mast and boom, a ‘wide-style’ board that merges modern windsurf board design with a centreboard, thus enabling competitions to he held in virtually any condition from 3 to 30 knots. This means that the RS:X is always a dynamic, versatile class to observe, and racing is always close, exciting and visually appealing.

Two sizes of sail are available for competitors. Men use a 9.5m sail while women and youth use an 8.5m sail. The sail, rig and board have been designed in conjunction with each other in order to to ensure a high level of design synergy.

The RS:X Class Association was established in November 2006, and is critical to the establishment and ongoing development of the RS:X as an international Olympic Class.

The RS:X is the most affordable yachting class that is eligible for competition in the Olympic Games. It is also very easy to transport, as it can be carried on commercial aircraft as excess baggage, thus allowing sailors to compete internationally at minimal expense. This allows the scheduling of many regattas which can be attended by a large number of sailors from all over the world.

The inaugural RS:X World Championships were held at Lake Garda, Italy, and featured some 244 competitors. Subsequent World Championship Regattas in 2007 Cascais, Portugal and in 2008 Auckland, New Zealand attracted 186 and 193 sailors respectively.

More than 3000 sets of equipment have been sold since production started in 2005 to competitors in more than 50 nations in 6 continents.

The RS:X Class is actively involved in developing racing fleets in the U21, U19 and U17 Age Divisions who compete in separate World and Continental Championships. It should be noted that only the U19 Division is awarded World Championship titles for Youth Men and Youth Women recognised by ISAF due to the strict limitations that they impose on their number.

The RS:X Class has recently launched the RS:X Reach-4-The-Top Training Programmes to assist National Sailing Federations, Athletes, Coaches and National Technical officials gain more knowledge and experience. The class is actively organising clinics and training camps worldwide.

Watch some videos on the RS:X class.

RSX Windsurfer Class Association (details may be out of date) as registered at
Boat Type Boardsailing
Mailing Address
PO Box 803

Next National Championship16 Feb 2012

Robyn Headifen
Publicity Officer
Janine Williams
(09) 551 3213
Paul Mackenzie
027 492 3865
Dave MacKay
021 470 611
Admin Secretary
Jo Mackenzie
027 480 2618
Andrea Bowater - Christchurch Region
Stuart Pedersen - Tauranga Region

RS:X News


The 2009 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships is just round the corner. Starting on August 31st and running through to September 11th. 60 entries from 25 countries have been made in the RS:X Women's windsurfing Worlds and 86 from 30 countries in the RS:X Men's windsurfing Worlds.

In the Women's fleet Yin Jian [CHN] and Alessandra Sensini [ITA] are not registered but Bryony Shaw [GBR] the bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympic Regatta will be taking on all-comers on her home waters.


YNZ is seeking expressions of interest from sailors who are interested in competing at this event.The first Youth Olympic Games will be hosted by Singapore from 14-24 August, 2010 and will feature all the sports on the programme for the 2012 Olympic Games, but with a more limited number of disciplines and events.

The Youth Olympic Games will gather approximately 3,200 athletes and 800 officials. The sailing competition will feature 100 young sailors aged between 15-16 years in four sailing events: one person dinghy men; one person dinghy women; windsurfing men; and windsurfing women.


The Atakoy Marina in Istanbul, Turkey was presented as the host venue for the 2010 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship last week during the 2009 championship recently concluded in Buzios, Brazil.

Istanbul 2010 will mark the 40th edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the world’s top youth sailing event, with over 300 young sailors from 60-plus nations expected to attend. Competition will take place from 8-17 July across eight events, open to competitors younger than 19 years on 31 December 2010.


RS:X Coach, Dave Robertson, recently organised a training camp which brought together six top female RS:X sailors from New Zealand and Australia. Dave reports on the camp staged at Manaia, Whangarei Heads….


In the windsurfing classes Lucy Driver was eighth and Ben Mackay was 10th. “Lucy was a real surprise package for us, lifted to eighth overall exceeding our expectations,” says Marty Watson.


Over on the windsurfing course New Zealanders Ben Mackay and Lucy
Driver were both challenged by the light shifty winds of Brazil.
Mackay was 15th then 12th in today’s races and is in 11th place
overall. Driver in the Girl’s fleet was 10th and then 9th and sits in
10th overall.
12th Ben Mackay – RS:X (Boy’s Windsurfer – 24 boards)
10th Lucy Driver – RS:X (Girl’s Windsurfer – 15 boards)


RSX Boys - Ben Mackay currently 8th with two top 10 finishes, and Lucy Driver is 9th in the girls also with two top 10s.


The first of three National Youth Squad Clinics was conducted recently at the Takapuna Boating Club. Attendees travelled from Northland, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay to receive top level coaching from Yachting New Zealand Youth Coaches.

Coaches included Olympians Bruce Kendall, Dan Slater and Jamie Hunt as well as top performers in a number of other Olympic and Youth Classes.


The feature in this edition is a photo-essay-interview with Tom Ashley on after he won the Gold medal in the Mens RS:X event in Qingdao last August. With the passing of time, many lapse into the view that the Gold medla was as good as being in the bag before the start of the Medal Race, however in this interview, along with our on the water perspective it was far from a done deal. Read interview


Travel assistance to compete in Sail Melbourne in 2009 is available to be won by each of six class winners st the 2009 Youthsail Regatta to be staged at Naval Point YC in Christchurch.

The move is designed to strengthen international competition, for young sailors and offers them a great opportunity to take part in the Sail Melbourne Regatta which is the first round of the six event ISAF World Cup, second leg is the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta and the remaining four events are held in Europe.

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