madforsailing test: RS600

...or should it be RS666 the sign of the beast?
The RS600 is a highly refined single-hander, a property that owes much to the development team. International Moth designer Clive Everest generated the hull lines, while Nick Peters of LDC provided the conceptual input. The multiple World Contender Champion, Graham Scott, tested the prototype, and top yacht and dinghy builder Dave Ovington helped with the structure. The madforsailing test pilot was Chris Burrough, another ace Contender sailor, on a day that started sunny and moderate - 15 knots with flat seas. Unexpectedly, the wind built through the morning until it was fresh to frightening - a steady 30 knots, gusting 35 with a steep chop. This boat was getting a serious test, and so was Chris. A 'big one' was inevitable, but it turned out to be the big one - a monumental nose dive at speed that resulted in serious air time for both boat and helm. When he'd got her back upright and rearranged his underwear, Chris headed in to take advantage of a feature central to the concept of the RS600 and many other modern dinghies. The boat has a simple performance equalisation system that adjusts sailing weight and righting moment in two ways. There are wide but heavy wings for lightweights under 70 kg and lighter, narrower wings for the helms above 76 kg - if you're in the middle you can choose. The boat also has a removable lower mast section, creating a smaller rig on which the sail foot can be rolled and the excess zipped up. It was this facility that Chris used after his spectacular capsize, and the boat became substantially more manageable. Praise and high scores go to a number of features. The weight equalisation system seems to work, with no preferred crew weight dominating race results. And as we found, the