NeilPryde have taken the world of windsurf racing to a whole new level, racing the RS:One as part of the Extreme Sailing Series. The next stop is in Cardiff on the 1st and 2nd of September so Boardseeker caught up with Manu Messiaen from NeilPryde to find out more about the series.
What is the RS:One?
RS:One is an exciting, ISAF-approved one-design racing class by NeilPryde. One sail, one board everyone competing on the same equipment meaning it's the rider that makes the difference
It was initially designed as a feeder class to the RS:X, but it is in fact great for many others to use, who would like using the equipment?
RS:One comes from the same racing pedigree as the Olympic RS:X and the NeilPryde RS:Racing. This universal one-design class allows male and female racers of all ages to compete on the same equipment. RS:One is a fantastic opportunity for sailing and yachting clubs and federations to organise races and attract newcomers - bringing back the regatta fans to the sport.
How did the NeilPryde racing series come about?
In December 2010, I went to Singapore to meet the NeilPryde distributor about the RS:One launch. We wanted one event in Singapore spectacular with a new concept: racing in town close to the public with unusual urban background. It was clear that the marina's bay with its magical and amazing sky scrapers would be the urban back ground of our first NeilPryde Racing Series stop over. In 2011 we had 8 stopovers in 3 continents showcasing the RS:One and windsurfing within a unique race concept.
Why is it different to many other racing series out there?
The Jaguar NeilPryde Racing Series is unique as it has free entries, free charter equipment, allowing local heroes to challenge champions on the same equipment and possibly share the 3000 US dollars prize money. It also a once time life experience getting the chance to race in front the crowd and TV in a real nautical stadium. In Porto, 38 000 spectators watched the series on the last day of the event.
You have just announced Jaguar are supporting the series, what is their involvement?
We are really proud to be selected by a such exclusive and luxury brand. They are supporting all the remaining 2012 racing Series events.
The night time racing looks spectacular, how have you made the sails light up?
We have made special sails in our factory with LED wires. On the paper it's seems to be quite simple but in fact sewing 10 meters of wires per sails powered by simple batteries and making sure the whole set up is resistant to pumping, water and shock is another story. The first time we raced in Singapore with the LED sails, it didn't work! We had to recheck all sails in the factory and now it's works!!!
Do you need to be an experienced racer to take part?
Not at all and this is the great thing. The Jaguar Racing Series events are raced with the RS:One, a very easy dagger board pack with a light 7.8. All windsurfers are welcomed as long as they know how to start, gybe and tack.
What other classes will be racing at the events?
The series are the official windsurfing warm up for the Extreme Sailing Series but the optimists will also race in the morning.
Where are the next events planned for and how do people get involved?
Right after Cardiff, the Jaguar Racing Series will go to Trapani, then Nice and will end in Rio. In the mean time the RS:One will hold the first world championships in December at Boracay. And we might have a surprise event in Lake Garda very soon with Jaguar.
There are still places available to be part of the fantastic Cardiff racing event, so get involved today! For more information on the Cardiff event and to enter head to NeilPryde racing Cardiff Details