RS Feva Open hosted by Bough Beech was held on Saturday 21st May 2011 and saw over 30 boats compete.
Sun, sand, sailing, success. The odd one out is… Sand. Bough Beech served up the most gorgeous Open possible. If this great little club could guarantee the same we would be happy to held the next eight meetings and more there. The story of the day was undoubtedly the quality of the cream scones (Prescott dreaminess) and the seamless move of parents (OK well mothers Lorraine, Denise & Lindy) from visiting boats to assist in the galley over lunch. But that was the story for the chauffeurs. For the the passengers…
Anna Prescott & Jess Eales (Lymington) stamped their authority on the event with two horizon jobs in the first two races. Then it got hard when Hugo Tucker/Tim Collino (Emsworth) won the third with some comfort (despite it looking really close from shore – an angle thing!). Consequently race four was a shootout. If Hugo & Tim could win the fourth race then they would take the choccies. Race four start one was a massive general recall and the black flag came out for the second start. The girls weren’t clean on the start whilst the boys got a cracker at the favoured end with speed to punch clear before you could say boo to a goose. Another general though and the boys BFD’d - game over. Taken in good grace they won the race to pack up! Anna and Jess could close out in style with an ultimately comfortable win after the third start.
At this point I have to apologise profusely as I will only be able to mention helms from here on in as the results haven’t got crews names and my memory bears proud comparison to domestic sieves. Barnie Blackstone (Bewl) got third after yet again demonstrating his increasing maturity and steadiness on the water – there is nothing wrong with steady improvement! Chay Taylor (Burnham-on-Crouch) was without Stirling this w/e but is another who is impressively getting there and showing himself at the front fairly often nowadays and wrapped up fourth place by one point from the equally improved Seb Baucutt from Tonbridge School and the home club.
Bough Beech demonstrated perfectly the importance of the regional Open meetings. At the front end it allows sailors to get used to the different pressures and sailing required when in the lead. It allows for gentle introductions to racing away from ones home club and in this respect all credit to the likes of Mo (Maddie/Madeleine) Hopper from Thorpe Bay for whom this was the baptism away from home. It allows for local competition and rivalries to develop in the most friendly manner and at group level this was the Tonbridge School/Sevenoaks Schools rivalry. This year it was Tonbridge who got the bragging rights. Spot prizes went to: Izzy Gordon & James Heesom for being super-honest with the committee when advising them that if waited for them to complete the final lap in one race it might be some time. Maddie Hopper for having to sail with her dad Steve in the last race and Emma Clarke for having to put up with Niall (yup – only the National Junior Squad head coach!) as well.
As for the race officer – as mentioned by Jess in her victory speech, a superbly smooth four races in conditions with 25 degree shifts as average and 45 degrees on a number of occasions. A very enjoyable day. UK RS Feva Class Association website