Helena Lucas demonstrating the RS Venture Connect single seat configuration. Credit: RS Sailing/ YouTube
RS Sailing will supply eight new RS Venture Connect class boats for use in the 2018 Para World Championships in September.
The boat’s plug and play para options mean it can be quickly configured to suit sailors with a wide range of disabilities, making round-robin racing in supplied boats possible. Configuration for the competition is currently the two-seat set up, but there are discussions to have the option for one seat with the crew being able to move around the boat and hike as required.
“I’ve had some really positive feedback from sailors, excited by the opportunity to be more physical in the front of the boat, whilst still catering for the more disabled athletes who can take up the seated helming position,” explained Helena Lucas, bronze and gold paralympic medallist, who is helping to establish and steer the RS Venture.
The boat supply means sailors can compete at the competition by just travelling themselves – massively reducing their own and federation’s competition costs and largely removing the logistical difficulties and footprint associated with shipping boats.
The plan is to trial a stadium style format close to the shore, with heats leading to a final – launching a dramatic new era for para racing.
World Sailing selected the RS Venture Connect for the competition in Sheboygan, US and chose to include it in the Para Development Program.