2019 has been a good year, I’ve done a ton of sailing throughout the whole year, passed my RYA Dinghy Instructor and have started winning the first races, also finishing in the top three for the series I entered.
Boat handling has improved considerably this year, I’m quite comfortable in much stronger and gusty weather conditions, I got the hang of the kite and have improved boatspeed quite a bit. I go sailing regularly on own super early before work or before breakfast on the weekends and enjoy being alone in the bay with the elements and seabirds. It’s always different.
The Vareo isn’t well suited to the trapezoid courses we tend to run at Swanage Sailing Club but nevertheless sailing with the kite up as much as possible has proven the key to moving up the places. The times I did capsize this year were all gybing with kite up in a blow, a bit of work is needed here.
It’s cool to be moving up the placements and also see the practice paying off, and also figure why things worked and why the hadn’t. Whilst I’ve had races where everything worked with large gaps between me and the next boat, apart from obvious impacts such as a poor start or not hiking hard enough, losing boatlengths seems to be the aggregation of small errors; a poor tack, missing a shift, a poor mark rounding, a slow spinnaker hoist, being caught in dirty wind, misjudged angles.
There have been some races this year over 5o minutes where I beat the next boat by only a couple of seconds or was beaten by a couple of seconds. It’s motivating to be closing the gap and know where improvements can be made. Those I practice 🙂
I see plenty of areas to improve; starts, tactics, working wind shifts and tides better, and 2020 will be the year I start open events. I had entered the POSH event at Paignton in 2019 but couldn’t make it in the end with vehicle failure, I won’t miss it next year. I’m looking forward to racing with more Vareos in 2020.
I made some learnings about series races too, simple stuff such as when to take or not take risks which could affect overall placement.
The Vareo is an absolute blast and I’m enjoying it a lot and I honestly wouldn’t want a boat without a kite now. Acquiring an Aero aluminium style launch trolley recently has made a huge difference to boat recovery and pulling it around the boat park, this was the only niggle before.
Bring on 2020 and more sailing fun.
4 thoughts on “Sailing in 2019, a Year in Review”
Hi Klaus, I just bought an RS Vareo (I live in Belgium), and I’m desperately looking for an aluminium launch trolley, but it’s very difficult to get them from Mersea here. In this post you said you bought an Aero aluminium style trolley for your Vareo. Do you mean that the Aero aluminium trolley would also fit the RS Vareo?
Thanks a lot,
Hi Carlo, congrats on getting a Vareo, they’re a great fun boat. I tracked down who made the original Vareo trolleys which was Mersea, and asked if they could make an Aero style one for the Vareo. Mersea said ‘Yes’, that they had the original measurements and could make one. So it is a proper Vareo trolley, the Aero trolley won’t fit.
It was difficult for delivery for me as well and I arranged with Mersea that they deliver it to RS Sailing near Southampton (a doable journey for me) along with their presumably regular delivery of trolleys, and that I would pick it up from RS.
Maybe you can see if Mersea could do something for Belgium, e.g. if do any deliveries there, or perhaps could you piggyback off an RS Sailing delivery of boats to Belgium? I have the Mersea contact email addresses if that helps.
Many thanks for your reply, Klaus. I did contact Mersea directly but the delivery to Belgium is extremely complicated. I asked the local importer of RS boats, in the Netherlands, but they said they had problems with deliveries from Mersea. There’s another importer of Mersea trolleys in Germany, so I will see with them.
One more question: does the aluminium trolley really make a huge difference? I plan to use the boat in a club with a concrete slipway. I used to sail my Laser on a beach in the North Sea and I was fed up of dragging the trolley for 500m or more on the sand, it was becoming too heavy. I wonder if the Vareo with standard trolley on a concrete slipway will be easier. What do you think?
>One more question: does the aluminium trolley really make a huge difference?
It does make a huge difference, it honestly feels like half the weight pulling it up the slip and considering risks to back, shoulder and knees, I think it’s excellent. It’s also increased the opportunities to go out alone as I know I can recover the boat without problems.