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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


Great looking set-up, check out their web site RS:X Techno NZ. They are giving away free lessons so get your friends, especially the ones with kids to call by the stand.
When the going gets tough ... these guys are rising to the challenge and deserve our support - if anyone can think of a way to help them, get in touch.


Rather than squabbling over the spoils of 2016 Olympics decision to switch from windsurfing to kiteboarding, the value of which is still unknown, Windsurfing New Zealand (WNZ) believes we should be focussing on supporting our current 2012 Olympic competitor J P Tobin. They also think the victims of the recent decisions deserve more support than they have received so far.

In about 70 days the 2012 Summer Olympics will begin, and windsurfing will be there. Jon-Paul Tobin sailing in the RS:X windsurfing class is one of our best prospects of a medal. We should not lose sight of that fact.


At the conclusion of their mid-year meetings, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has announced that kiteboarding will replace windsurfing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and that the New Zealand designed MacKay FX (now 49er FX) will be the new Olympic womens’ skiff discipline.

Yachting New Zealand is disappointed with the decision to replace windsurfing, however the announcement has also brought some welcome news for the NZ Sailing Community and Marine Industry through the confirmation of the 49er FX.


It would take a two thirds majority at ISAF’s annual general meeting in November to overturn the decision taken on a 19-17 vote by the ISAF council, but the windsurfing community appears to shaping up to fight the decision. Sailing is already doing everything it can to avoid being dropped from the Olympics, aware that it is the second most expensive sport to stage – equestrian is even more expensive – and that the entertainment, even cabaret, aspirations of the International Olympic Committee continue. On the one hand it (kiteboarding) should allow new nations to play catch-up in a game where the racing side is still rather underdeveloped worldwide. On the other, it trashes a lot of “pathway” programmes to bring windsurfer youth squads through, still has questions over exactly what equipment and race formats will be used, and leaves the RSX class of windsurfer, which was developed at ISAF’s request specifically for the Olympics, rather in the wilderness.


From the President RS:X and Techno Association NZ:
We have all woken up this morning to the news that once again ISAF has shown that their decision-making process is seriously flawed.

To remove Windsurfing from the 2016 Olympics is just bizarre. You only need to watch coverage of the Perth Worlds to see that the most exciting sailing going on was the RS:X.


In a shock announcement ISAF has decided to drop windsurfing from Olympics in 2016 in a vote of 19 to 17. This was in contradiction to the recommendations of the earlier meeting which recommended that both sports were worth keeping, that the ISAF should ask for an extra set of medals for kiteboarding, but if that was not possible then windsurfing be retained as the Olympic class and kiteboarding including as a demonstration sport.


Vote 1 - The Events Committee vote to include Kite in the ISAF family of events
Vote 2 - The Events Committee vote to recommend to the Council that the ISAF ask the IOC to get another set of medals for kite as a new discipline and therefore defer the final decision on the boards until November
Vote 3 - The Events Committee vote, that if the Council want to make a decision on the 2016 boards now, that the Events Committee recommendation is RS:X men and RS:X women be selected.


The debate has begun ahead of the Mid Year meeting of the International Sailing Federation over the choice of classes for the , plus the future place of Kiteboarding.

An area which has not received a lot of publicity, is the report from the Evaluation Committee on the Kiteboarding Trials. It doesn't need a lot of amplification from us and can be read by clicking here. It is highly laudatory of the sport and formats. The dilemma for the ISAF will be how to work Kiteboarding into the Olympic program.


Day four of the ISAF World Cup Regatta in Hyeres brought light winds and inconsistent results for the first time in this event. It was the first of two days racing in the final series, based on rankings from the first three days of competition.
Natalia Kosinska had sixth and fourteenth place finishes in the Women’s RS:X Gold Fleet so she remains in Tenth spot overall. She will want to stay in this position or better at the end of tomorrow’s racing in order to make the final Medal race on Friday for the top ten competitors only.


It was just over 5 years and 6 months ago that the RS:X Class came into existence. In that time the number of countries involved has grown to more than 60 and the equipment tolerances have become second to none

It is with this in mind that the Class held its seventh Annual General Meeting in Cadiz, Spain during the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships. We would specifically like to draw your attention to the following decisions. The class voted...

#1. To retain the existing equipment without change

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