First North American RG65 Event Held

It’s not ever day that one gets to make model yachting history, even in a small way, but today the RG65 skippers of the Duke City Model Yacht Club (Albuquerque NM – when people ask what “RG65” stands for we answer "Rio Grande 65 :-)) did it by holding the very first RG65 race in North America. Three of the four RG65s in the club participated; the fourth, USA 1, was torn down for upgrade and not finished in time.

In the first heat the Race Director issued a General Recall owing to the trash blown onto the pond by the high winds we have been having. Eight heats were run in variable and shifty winds; at the end, Jim Scheibner, sailing USA 99, won the event.

All three boats used the ABQ 65 hulls, modified versions of hulls made by Nigel Heron for a student building project. Each builder made his own arrangement of sails, foils, and radio gear. All the boats came out at around 1 kg and used the 450 gr “torpedo” fishing sinker for a bulb.


1: USA 7, “Lobo del Mar,” by John Bannerman
2. USA 67 by Steve Bailey
3: USA 99 by Jim Scheibner
4: Start of the first completed heat; USA 7 is over early
5: To the windward mark
6: The skippers, L to R: Steve Bailey, John Bannerman, Jim Scheibner.

Lessons learned: These vest-pocket torpedoes are a blast to sail. Their light weight and high power give such rapid acceleration and deceleration that you’re never really out of it in a race – the leader can stall in a hole and you can get a puff and be right back in the pack. But they don’t like running into trash. All in all a great class and the first of what should be many very enjoyable events.



Earl & Fellow Rio Grande sailors -

Congrats and a well done. I am very pleased to see that you guys made it on the water and that the competition was there.

More than that, those of us still building and not having seen or experienced these except via YouTube, are interested in your personal feelings - and comparing them to other r/c boats you have sailed. It sounds like they are on a rheostat - with only fast or stop ? :lol:

How was your observations of how they handled the stronger winds? A few posted videos from elsewhere they really looked to be tender, and while we have summer “doldrums” up here, our spring and fall winds often are a challenge.

Well done - and thanks for spearheading the effort out your way, Earl !

Hi Earl:


You don´t know how I feel when a new Country make his first race of RG65.
I had being working for this moments for 12 years.

Well done

Maximo Lange

Well, we’re still learning how to tune these puppies. It’s a 1kg boat after all, so it starts (and stops) real quick. Our other class is the Soling 1M and compared to the RG65 the Soling is downright sluggish (although faster, of course, once it gets going). The A rig is really for light airs and can get overpowered pretty easily; however, RG65s are so slippery that dropping down to B rig doesn’t seem to incur much of a penalty. We have a lot to learn, which is the fun of it :slight_smile:



Earl…can you share with me (us) information on the ABQ 65 hulls, and are plans available.
Thank you

Well, it’s a long story — a couple of years ago I got the idea of holding a model yacht building class at the local aquarium, who owns our pond. In aid of that I designed a 30 inch boat in the spirit of the America’s Cup boats, with short overhangs. My plan was to piggyback on the promotion of the 33rd Cup, which went to pot when that event turned into a lawsuit exercise.

The hull is balanced according to the Turner method, which is described in the looong thread at

Anyhow, in the course of this Nigel Heron made a batch of hulls for me. When the RG65 came to my attention I realized that a quick way to build one was to cut down one of the 30 inch hulls. This worked well, and the ABQ65 was born. There really are no plans, various builders have taken the cut down shell and exploited its flexibility to get various planforms. It does seem to sail well, and maintains its balanced handling characteristics.