by Matt Carter
At the RS Feva World Championships in Marina di Grosseto, Italy, Great Britain's sailors dominated the proceedings by claiming all three steps of the podium on the final day of the regatta (Friday 26 July).
Hannah Bristow and Bobby Hewitt - RS Feva World Championships 2013
The new World Champions after 14 races are young Hannah Bristow and Bobby Hewitt of Leigh and Lowton YC who clinched the world title with a race to spare by a staggering 21 points in front of Elliot Wells/ Jake Todd (Hayling Island SC). Arthur Brown/ Niamh Davis (Royal Burnham YC/Burnham SC) took the third step on the podium in front of the former 2012 world champions Leonardo Stocchero/ Gianluca Virgenti from Italy.
The regatta was hosted by Compagnia della vela Grosseto (22-26 July) and started with 12 to 13 knots of 250-270 degree winds. Racing was delayed to allow the usual thermals to establish on the course before the 171 boats were split into three flights for the qualifying series taking place over the first two days.
Leading after day one was Elliott Wells/Jake Todd who finished the day with one win and two seconds. In second position were Margherita Porro and Francesca Andrea Dall’Ora (ITA), who delivered a 2,1,4; whilst Harvey Martin and Will Ward (Ogston Sailing Club) held third.
Day two saw a steady 260° wind that started off at 12 knots slowly building to 16 knots in the course of the afternoon. The Italians started their fight back with two seconds and a race win whilst Bristow/ Hewitt started their steady rise up the leader board with a 1,1,8.
Light gradient winds dominated the race course for day three, the huge course and recalls/postponements meant the Gold fleet managed two races whilst Silver and Bronze only managed one. The lighter winds suited Brown/Davies who flew upwind whilst Wells/Todd caught up downwind. Two second-place finishes gave Wells/Todd the lead but Bristow/Hewitt were close behind with a 3,1. Inconsistent results from many allowed the reigning world champions Leonardo Stocchero and Gianluca Virgenti to climb to third overall.
The Brits dominated again on day four with four races held for each fleet, in a light thermal breeze. Samuel Grade/Katie Prescott (Lymington Town SC/Hayling Island SC) showed up on the radar, winning the first race of the day. Lots of OCS’s took their toll on the standings but Bristow/Hewitt stayed clean with 6,1,1,14, whilst Wells/Todd held on with a 3,5,7 and discarded their 23rd. Brown/Davies continued to climb with 10,6,6,1, bringing them up to third..
GBR were also dominating the other two fleets with Billy Vennis-Ozanne/Jack Lewis (Hayling Island Sailing Club) leading in the Silver fleet and Josh Strauss/Jack Mitchell (Hayling Island Sailing Club) the Bronze fleet.
It was all to play for on the final day as any mistake would be costly with only one discard available over the eight race finals.
GBR podium success - RS Feva World Championships 2013
Bristow and Hewitt held their nerve to round the first mark in eighth after a poor start in the light fickle sea breeze. Wells and Todd were not so lucky with their fight back and rounded in the 20’s after being forced right looking for clear air. They ended up 20th but Bristow/Hewitt’s seventh was enough to give them the title with a race to spare. Wells/Todd managed to stay ahead of Brown/Davies by enough places to gain second by one point.
The All Girls Trophy went to Margherita and Francesca (ITA); second Courtney Bilbrough and Orla Mitchell; third Sophie Hempsell and Emily Covell.
The Family Trophy was won by Will and Matt Taylor; second Jess and James Hammett; third Willemijn and Manus Offerman (NED).
Silver fleet was won by Billy Vennis-Ozanne and Jack Lewis whilst Fiona Mulcahy and Chessie Lindsay-Brown won the Bronze fleet.
RS Feva Worlds website