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RS Feva Nationals at Thorpe Bay SC

by Debbie Darling on 31 May 2013
2013 SEKONDA RS FEVA Nationals Linzi Swindon
Hosted by Thorpe Bay Sailing Club, the 2013 Sekonda UK RS Feva National Championships took place over the Whitsun Bank Holiday. The 93 entries were split into four flights so everyone raced each other in qualifying rounds on day one.

The weather forecast was cloudy with 10 knots dropping to five knots later. However the sun came out as the fleet launched.

The fleet were excitable and eager, resulting in a general recall and a black flag flag with 11 boats eventually caught out. This first race was won by Elliott Wells and Jake Todd with Arthur Brown and Niamh Davies in second, whilst third was former Feva sailor Anna Prescott and zone squad crew Emma Tardrew. The second flight got away and the win went to Jamie Smith and Piers Nicholls; second Tom Darling and Will Dolin with Emma Baker and Izzy Black in third.

The second start sequence got under way in five to twelve knots of shifty breeze coming off the land. Anna and Emma got a great pin end start and tacked onto port . But it was Hannah Bristow and Bobby Hewitt leading at the windward mark from Jamie and Piers with Harvey Martin and Will Ward in third. The shifty wind lead to lots of place changing. But by the finish Jamie and Piers had regained the lead whilst Hannah and Bobby took second with Elliott and Jake climbing to third.

The second flight was lead from start to finish by Arthur and Niamh with Anna and Emma dropping from second to third allowing James and Henry to post a second on the water but found themselves black flagged.

By race three the spring tide was on the ebb and causing havoc. The race was abandoned as the combination of wind shift and tide resulted in boats laying the windward mark in flight one whilst boats in flight two struggled to cross the start line. Eventually the decision was made to send the flights on a windward/leeward course as the wind was dropping. The second flight waited for the first flight to finish.

Thankfully the first flight made it to windward mark and shot downwind with the tide. Jamie and Piers posted their third bullet; second Arthur and Niamh; third Nick Edmonds and Rafe Watson.

As the first flight finished the second flight were started and thankfully the wind picked up helping the fleet against the tide. The race was won by Tom and Will after a pin end port tack start allowing them to lead from start to finish; second Elliott and Jake; third Katie Davies and Gemma Keers.

The fleet was split into Gold and Silver for day two, with the sun out and with 12 knots, the conditions were perfect. Silver fleet got away with two boats caught black flag, they were sent around the outer loop of the trapezoid course. Gold fleet got away all clear five minutes later.

Lots of capsizes in silver fleet as the wind increased to 15 knots. In the lead was Sam Barson and James Foster ; second James Driver and Alex Ellis-Thomas ; third Alice Kidd and Remi Pfister. However, gear failure and capsizes took their toll. At the finish silver was won by Alice and Remi; second Ed Whattoff and James Rigby; third Samuel and Jemima Leedham.

The gold fleet saw a ‘master class’ on heavy wind sailing by Elliott and Jake who lead from start to finish, and nearly overtook the whole silver fleet too ! Flynn Davies and Henry Jameson rounded second with Tom and Will third, positions they held to the finish as the wind increased to 18 knots.

The wind dropped a little for the second start of the day, the silver fleet were sent off to a shorter outer loop so hopefully gold would be less likely to catch them up. At the windward mark Freya Black and Georgia Baker lead from Charlie Blazeby and Alex Sando-Reynolds, in third Cameron and Euan Harris, who then went into turbo charge to take the win; second Alice and Remi; third Charlie and Alex.

The gold flight saw James Hutton-Penman and Thomas Jayasekara in the lead at mark one; second Jamie Jobson and Daniel Armstrong; third James and Henry. However, Elliot and Jake were ready to pounce downwind and stormed ahead to take another gold win for race two; second James and Thomas; third James and Henry.

Silver fleet away all clear for the third race of the day, but after a general recall for gold fleet, there was a postponement as the line was reset, as the tide had now changed. It took five attempts to get gold fleet away. The fallout was nine boats caught black flag, the pin end boat was finally replaced with a rib more able to hold it’s anchor.

The silver race was won by Cameron and Euan; second Bradley and Bella; third Sam and James. The final race for silver fleet saw firstSam and James; second Bradley and Bella; third Samuel and Jemima; gold fleet, however, were still racing - race three!

First again – Elliott and Jake; second James and Thomas; third Courtney Bilbrough and Orla Mitchell. In the final race of the day Elliott and Jake made it a clean sweep with four race wins; second James and Thomas; third Tom and Will.

Light easterly winds and torrential rain arrived for the final day of the championship so a very different game. After a short postponement silver fleet got away, all clear, in rain and 10 knots of breeze, which built under the rain clouds, before disappearing again.

The gold fleet had two general recalls with two boats called black flag, the start was postponed while the course was reset. Meanwhile silver race eight was won by Sam and James; second Bradley and Bella. When gold eventually started it was lead by Harvey and Will at the windward mark from Elliott and Jake; third Tom and and Will. The shifty conditions resulted in lots of place changing but by the finish First was Harvey and Will; second Jamie and Piers; third Tom and Will.

A rain squall and wind shift resulted in another delay whilst the course was reset. Two boats caught black flag whilst trying to port tack fleet on pin end. Tom and Will lead from start to finish only to discover they were black flagged even though they heard the pin end boat call ‘all clear’. At the leeward gate it was Samuel Grade and Katie Prescott in pole position; followed by Emma Baker and Izzy Black. By the finish the wind had dropped to 6 knots with light rain. Emma and Izzy took top spot; V Sam and Katie; third Courtney and Orla.

So 2013 UK RS Feva National Champions are Elliott Wells ( age 12 ) and Jake Todd (age 15); Jamie Smith (age 13) and Piers Nicholls ( age 12 ) are Junior Champions for 2013.

Winners of the under 13 ‘405 Bursary’, and winning a kite in the Hobie 405 colours were Freya Black and Georgia Baker.

Top Club – Hayling Island SC
Anemoi Challenge Trophy – SW Class Squad
Top All Girls – Emma Baker and Izzy Black
Top Family – Will and Matt Taylor

TBYC did a great job and although the final day proved a little wet, the sailing conditions were the best ever, with a variety of wind strengths, wind directions and tidal conditions, plus three days of sunshine, was better than anyone could have expected for a British Bank Holiday.

First – Elliott Wells and Jake Todd, HISC
Second – Jamie Smith and Piers Nicholls, HISC
Third – Tom Darling and Will Dolin, HISC
Fourth – James Hutton-Penman and Thomas Jayasekara, Burnham SC
Fifth – Arthur Brown and Niamh Davies, Burnham SC/RBYC
Sixth – Harvey Martin and Will Ward, Ogston SC

Full results: Gold and Silver

X-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 2InSunSport - NZHall Spars - Boom

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