RS900 - contender for the new Women’s Olympic Skiff discipline Purpose designed for the role - offering spectacular performance worthy of a new generation of sailors and using epoxy composite engineering for a long competitive life

“We believe that a new generation of elite skiff sailors deserve a purpose designed boat that will excel in the role and stand the test of time” says RS managing director, Martin Wadhams. ”After several changes to women’s classes over recent Olympic cycles, the last thing anyone wants is another short term measure. We began the process several years ago believing that the RS800 could be modified to become the women’s skiff, but quickly realised that although it was arguably the most suited of the then current bunch, it would never be perfect for Olympic women. So our own RS team of Alex Southon and Nick Peters has worked with Phil Morrison to start from scratch and design the RS900 without compromise.”

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Hull & Wings

  • Fully integrated wide, solid wings and a smooth run-through deck facilitate athletic sailing.
  • RS900 sailors will use techniques matched to those of the 49er men - allowing shared training in many regions - especially helpful for smaller sailing nations.
  • The wings fit smoothly into the hull.
  • Arguably the most flowing platform of any skiff, plus structural integrity and seriously good looks.
  • The RS900 hull is shorter, narrower and has lower freeboard – smaller all round than the RS800 - to suit light female teams.
  • Reduced surface area allows a corresponding weight reduction.


  • The rig matched to wide leverage to produce spectacular performance whilst suiting the110 -130kg crew weight range specified by ISAF.
  • Jib tacked onto the bow - with the forestay attachment point pushed as far forward of the forefoot as possible to give maximum low-down jib area - without excessive hull length and correspondingly reduced responsiveness.
  • Relatively straight mast and square head mainsail follow the latest skiff design trends.
  • Masthead spinnaker maximises downwind performance.
  • Large moulded chute & triple patch downhaul.
  • Carbon mast – 2-part for transportation on roof rack or in 20’ container

Structural engineering

  • Structural engineering has played a major part in the design development of the RS900, especially the solid wings and their hull integration.
  • Hard-won, RS volume production experience plus input from world class composite engineering experts in the USA on this project have created a boat that is not only strong and long lasting, but also efficient to build.
  • Proven long lasting, epoxy foam sandwich system.
  • Carbon fibre reinforcement in specific high load areas.


  • Efficient production design results in relatively low cost for a skiff of this type.
  • The RS900’s price will be comparable with a competitive 470 – acknowledged by MNAs worldwide as a proven successful Olympic class.
  • Epoxy construction has virtually zero water absorption, is stronger and longer lasting than polyester – providing a significantly longer competitive life.
  • All Olympic competitors know the initial cost of the equipment is only one factor in overall campaign costs.
  • The RS900’s well engineered epoxy sandwich construction will provide a long competitive life with less frequent need for replacement.
  • Long life will soon allow new teams to enter the class by purchasing a competitive second hand boat at a lower cost - which will also lower the long term costs for existing teams through better resale values.
  • RS900 - a strong, long lasting boat that will offer true good value in the short and long term.

Production and distribution

  • RS Sailing has significant experience in the introduction and high volume manufacture of racing classes.
  • For example - RS100 launched in 2010 (built in exactly the same way as the RS900) with the highest number of pre-orders in the history of racing sailboat launches – 200 boats supplied globally within the first year.
  • International RS dealer network – for efficient supply plus parts back-up.

Olympic selection process

  • An evaluation team, overseen by ISAF’s Equipment Committee, will hold evaluation trials - expected to be in late March 2012.
  • A report from the Evaluation team will be submitted to ISAF.
  • Final selection of the Women’s Olympic Skiff will take place at the ISAF mid-year meeting in May 2012.