Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

RS' marine group of companies expands with (Pico making) Ocean Play

by RS Sailing 17 Nov 2022 01:00 PST 16 November 2022
Boat manufacturing facility Roto in Slovenia © RS Sailing

RS' marine group of companies is expanding with the newly formed Ocean Play. The new company, which is collaboration between RS and Jo Richards, is now manufacturing Picos, Bugs, Bahias and Vagos, with delivery expected in late January 2023.

The move, which is set to delight sailing schools and recreational boaters the world over, comes after successful litigation against Laser Performance. This enabled Jo Richards (designer of the four boats) to approach RS to take up the production challenge in August 2022.

As well as manufacturing to Jo Richards' original design, Ocean Play will be offering worldwide customer services for all four boats.

Neil Coxon will head up Ocean Play. Coxon is the ex-Director of Sailing, Oman Sail and he previously ran the SailLaser operation. Familiar with the original Laser's ethos, Coxon intimately knows the products and dealer networks.

"I am delighted to be part of Ocean Play," says Coxon. "These boats have enabled so many people around the world to discover their love of sailing and their demand is still very much alive. I am looking forward to the future of Ocean Play and working with our appointed dealer network."

Alex Newton-Southern, Technical CEO for RS' marine group of businesses, says that elements of the Pico, Bug, Bahia and Vagos have been updated where appropriate, ready for the customers in the UK and overseas who have been seeking to replace their favourite classics.

"All of the sail designs have been refreshed, and the Picos' and Bugs' mainsails now come with vertical battens. This gives a more stable sail shape and makes them much easier to furl."

Ocean Play will initially continue to develop the brands' well established markets across Europe and look to other territories as 2023 progresses.

"There is also a vast opportunity in the spares business," says Jon Partridge, Commercial CEO for RS' marine group of businesses. "We're not underestimating the 50,000-ish boats already in use that all need replacement parts.

"Sailing schools are very attached to these boats. I grew up in a sailing school environment. In fact, that was my entry point to the trade. We used six Picos like every other school around the world. At the time they set a new benchmark in sailing school equipment."

Partridge says the appeal to sailing schools is multi-faceted. Schools are often wedded to the boats they've evolved with and have a raft of spares available. Some schools have 20-30 identical boats in a fleet, and when they need to replace just a few, they understandably don't want to go to a new craft. Bringing the old classics back to the production line, coupled with RS Sailing's experience in delivering high-quality, high-volume dinghies worldwide, is a recipe for success.

The four boats will continue to be made at Roto in Slovenia. Hyde Sails and Selden will both be involved in supplying Ocean Play (as they are for RS Sailing).

"Hundreds of thousands of young people have learnt to sail in Picos. We're excited that hundreds of thousands more will as well," says Partridge. "As these boats were designed by Jo (also the designer of many RS boats), they are incredibly simple and create a safe and comfortable environment for learning to sail. That's why they are so popular with clubs and, more importantly, with children and novice sailors."

Ocean Play's Picos, Bugs, Bahias and Vagos are set to complement RS Sailing's current fleet, which are renowned as durable, award-winning, and fun sailing dinghies. That the classic models are all being manufactured within the RS' marine group of businesses is a testament to the overall drive to offer the best quality, with the best designs and customer service, at the best price points for consumers.

Ocean Play's creation is typical of RS Sailing's ethos, looking to expand its group of marine companies as it seeks exciting opportunities to deliver against its environmental objectives. Earlier this year, RS's marine group of companies launched its first collaboration project with Cheetah Marine, the Cheetah Adventure 720 (a rugged EV-ready family catamaran launched at SIBS).

Additionally, RS Electric's Pulses were used by SailGP to support the European legs of its 2022 tour, and now RS Sailing is getting ready for the 2022 RS Venture Connect World Championship, to be held in Oman later this month (23 - 27 November 2022), in which almost 40 teams are expected to take part.

Related Articles

RS21 Italian Class to present Masterclass
As part of the World Sailing Sustainability Sessions The RS21 Italian Class will present a sustainability masterclass on 29th November 2023 as part of the World Sailing Sustainability Sessions. Posted on 18 Nov
RS Sailing announces RS Fest Miami 2024
The first multi-class RS event in North America! Get ready for the RS Fest Miami, the first EVER major multi-class RS Sailing event in North America. The three-day regatta, Saturday March 30th to Monday April 1st 2024, is a celebration of RS Sailing fleets - hosted in tropical Miami, Florida! Posted on 28 Oct
RS Sailing partner with Crystal Lagoons
Bringing idyllic beach life via sustainable technology RS Sailing is proud to announce the entrance into a preferred vendor partner agreement with Crystal Lagoons. Posted on 27 Oct
WE Foundation SailGP One Sport Race
Presented by the Swiss SailGP Team & Stiftelsen VI The final event of the European leg of SailGP takes place in vibrant Cádiz, an ancient port city in the Andalucía region of Spain. In the run-up to the Spain Sail Grand Prix, Swiss SailGP Team is proud to host the WE Foundation SailGP One Sport Race Posted on 12 Oct
RS Sailing set for the Southampton Boat Show
Get 38% off general admission 'Any One Day' tickets with code: RSSAILING Get 38% off general admission 'Any One Day' tickets with code: RSSAILING. Posted on 2 Sep
RS Sailing - Exclusive Summer Offers
Sunshine, refreshing sea breezes and a booming events calendar! Summer 2023 is finally here! It's clear that the sunshine, refreshing sea breezes and a booming events calendar have made the RS Team giddy with excitement for the busy months ahead. All that excitement has results in some exclusive summer offers. Posted on 1 Jul
RS Sailing - Summer is here
Let the adventures begin! First championship tips... We'd be lying if we said that turning up to your first sailing event isn't a little daunting, but there's so many other sailors (and families) in the same position. Posted on 3 Jun
RS Sailing - It's Boat Show Season!
The RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show signifies the start of the sailing season One of the highlights of the RS Team's year. The RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show signifies the start of the sailing season for many of us in the UK, and we cannot wait! Posted on 13 Feb
Rooster partners with RS Venture Connect class
A range of customised clothing and apparel available to all those involved The International RS Venture Connect class is pleased to announce that UK-based Watersports clothing and apparel specialists Rooster have agreed to a new and exciting partnership. Posted on 16 Dec 2022
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER