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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


Gladwell's Line: Protests and revelations continue to roll on the back of the controversial decision by a 19-17 vote by the ISAF Council at the Mid-Year Meeting in early May, to select Kiteboarding as a 2016 Olympic event. The players, the sequence of events, the consequences ... (these are excerpts from a full analysis by Richard Gladwell on - the full article is worth reading.


NZ Herald (17/6/2012): On August 7 boardsailor Jon-Paul Tobin will carry a proud New Zealand legacy for what appears to be the final time. Windsurfing will cease as an Olympic sport on that date with the men's medal race off Weymouth on Britain's Dorset coast. It has been one of New Zealand's most successful Games disciplines since its introduction in 1984 (for men) and 1992 (for women).


Jo Aleh and Olivia (Polly) Powrie have won Gold at their Olympic 470 dress rehearsal event, and Paul Snow Hansen with Jason Saunders have achieved bronze. J P Tobin finishes 9th in the RS:X windsurfing.

After a week of tumultuous weather at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth, the sun finally came out and the wind moderated to a perfect 15 knots for the Lasers medal race. It started to build for the following 470 races, and then a fresh 20-22 knots for the RS:X windsurfer in the early afternoon.


All racing was cancelled on day four of the ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta Skandia sail for Gold, as Thursday afternoon’s storm continued overnight and all day Friday at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth.

The Paralympic classes were the first to be cancelled in the morning, but other classes had longer to wait until racing was called off for everybody at 2:30pm local time. For most sailors, this signalled an early end to their regatta. The Paralympic classes were always scheduled to end one day before the rest.


JP Tobin in the men’s RS:X fleet saw wind speeds of up to 35kn in the afternoon before all other racing was called off. JP thrived in the big breeze, finishing both races in 4th place and improved his overall ranking to 7th. His training partner Dorian Van Rijsselberge has improved to second. Natalia Kosinska has slipped back to 17th in the womens RS:X.


A slightly better day including a 3rd saw JP Tobin move back into the top 10 (9th) while Natalia had her two worst results and slipped back to 15th.


The NZL Sailing Team and several other New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic class sailors are preparing for the biggest ISAF World Cup regatta of the season; the 2012 Skandia Sail for Gold regatta is due to commence on Monday June 4th. RS:X (men’s) JP Tobin, RS:X (women’s) Natalia Kosinska and Steffanie Williams are competing.


After yesterday’s light winds, racing is now back on schedule at the Weymouth Olympic sailing venue and the kiwi presence is starting to shape up. J P Tobin and Natalia Kosinksa both slipped slightly to 11th in the RS:X classes on day 2. This is the last chance for NZ to get an entry in the womens RS:X event at the Olympics.


Natalia Kosinska in the Women’s RS:X finished inside the top ten for both of her races, and goes into day two in 9th overall. JP Tobin got down to business in the RS:X men’s second race of the day, after a slow first race where he finished 19th. Only a few seconds separated the top eight finishers in this second windsurfing race; JP finished 6th right amongst the lead pack, in which anybody could have won. Overall after the first two races, JP sits in tenth.

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