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RS Feva Sunsail World Championships - Final

by Bill Tucker - Photos Paul Wyeth on 2 Aug 2006
RS Feva Worlds 2006 - Lake Garda Paul Wyeth / http://www.pwpictures.com">www.pwpictures.com http://http://www.pwpictures.com">www.pwpictures.com
The hugely successful inaugural RS Feva Sunsail World Championships concluded over weekend at Brenzone, Lake Garda. James Peters and Ben Gratton of Briton were the very worthy winners and paid due tribute to the event sponsors Sunsail, Craftinsure.com and LDC Racing Sailboats without whom the event would have missed the sparkle it certainly had.

The venue was stunning as anybody who has ever heard of the Italian Lakes will guarantee. We were some 15-20 km down the lake on the Eastern Side from Torbole and consequently enjoyed different weather to those up north. The local told us that temperature was some 5 degrees C hotter than usual and we can confirm that sleeping at night before midnight was virtually impossible.

Bad news for the sailors then as they were scheduled to launch daily at 8.15ish, but alright for parents who had the odd spare bottle of wine and a list of the worlds ills to put right before turning in. Sailing accordingly followed a general pattern of as many races as could be fitted in in the morning before the Peler wind vacated the lake and then 2 or 3 in the afternoon after the Ora set in.

This left a gap of some 2-3 hours in between races which was great for a leisurely lunch but insufficient to go and do something completely different.

The kids seemed not to mind as they hunted in packs during that time to see how many water-bomb victims they could find, people to throw into the lake from the jetty (purely for cooling off purposes we were told), and generally arrange themselves in groups lying on the jetty like a pack of seals basking in the sun!

This burning of candles at both ends and the middle did take it’s toll and it’s doubtful that wakeful hours were counted in double figures for most on the day of their arrival back home.

Anyway, the opening ceremony was conducted with typical Italian pomp, parades, speeches and kneesup in the town square. Competitors were introduced, some like Holly Tucker and Chessie Eyres involuntarily spoke on behalf of the GBR team and the Italian boys didn’t know what hit them when the GBR girls tore into them to swap team shirts right there and then. International co-operation was successfully set on its way.

In the end each days racing was markedly different from each other despite similarities. Day 1 had perfect and typical Garda champagne sailing with 2 races both morning and afternoon. Day 2 was very breezy in the morning but that subsided quicker than usual giving 1 race in the morning and then 2 great races in the afternoon finishing at 6.30ish. Day 3 started by blowing old boots and then the wind shut off quickly not to return that day leaving only 1 race sailed which started close to the edge and finished in an almost drifter. The last day started perfectly and early so that 3 races were got in in the morning allowing for the prize-giving mid afternoon.

James Peters and Ben Gratton (GBR) were worthy winners in the end.

They discarded an OCS and a 6th place leaving them counting 7 firsts and 2 seconds for a convincing win.

They had to survive a protest for allegedly hitting a mark after 1 race win but that protest was dismissed after lengthy evidence was heard but in the final analysis would still have won the worlds even if they had been disqualified.

Many congratulations on becoming World Champions!

In second overall were Rob and Georgina Cage who pushed the winners as hard as feasible by counting 4 firsts and 2 seconds whilst having no position lower than 5th all week. A very mature performance if you see what I mean!

Third overall was Italian Oppie legend Tita Ruggero sailing with Dalla Rosa Simone. Tita is the current Italian Oppie national champion (600 boats!). These lads showed consistent improvement during the week and will clearly continue to be a force in whatever they sail.

In the unluckiest position of all were Nathan and Anna Ackroyd. Just off the podium in 4th place and only 3 points adrift of Tita. If only… They did however beat quite comfortably the boat in 5th place which were the Swedish son and father team of Jonathan and Rasmus Bergstrom. Rasmus helmed when it was ‘well windy’ and usually at the start but 11 year old Jonathan seems sure to make quite a noise at next years Europeans with his usual crew!

The old man of the National Squad, Ozz Scully sailing with Bethany Robson were just (3 points) behind the Bergstroms in 6th but a comfortable 17 points ahead of Italians Vitali Oliviero and Maccari Frederico Maria who just beat their compatriots Dubbini Leonardo and Tamburin Antonio.

First female helm and first all girls crew were Alex Poyner and Holly Tucker (GBR) in 9th place only 6 behind the Italians.

The top ten were rounded off by the indomitable duo of Rupert and Hugo Jones-Warner who also collected 2nd prize in the Junior category (combined age of under 25).

Given that Rupert is 15 and that Hugo gives best to no one Jon Partidge couldn’t have put it better when he said in an unguarded moment that Hugo is going to be a sailing monster by the time he’s 18!

So there were 3 nations in the top 10, with 2 adults, 1 all girl crew, 2 juniors and 5 boats from the GBR Feva National Squad. In all there were 10 nations represented and grandly hosted by the Circolo Nautico di Brenzone.

Continuing the story then Charlie Esse and Mark Lees came 12th in only their second Feva regatta having been beaten to 11th by the Polish duo Ramian and Capurro Matteo.

Charlie and mark are clearly getting up to speed and will threaten the podium in the near future. In 13th came James ‘Bolly’ Bolingbroke with Matt Heathcote.

They are a major success for the squad program and an immense credit to themselves.

12 months ago they wouldn’t have said boo to a goose. Now the goose scarpers before they get close! You couldn’t meet two nicer sailors – always willing to help and what improvement during the year.

Sandwiched between Bolly and Tally Eyres/Robert Palmer in 15th was another Italian Giudiceandrea Francesco with Vincenzi Leonardo. Tally was 2nd female helm and scored a remarkably consistent series on the whole. She beat fellow Thorpe Bay member Laura Sanders with Matt Purdon into 16th making Laura 3rd Female helm. She narrowly beat the 2nd all female crew, Italians Caputo Roberta and Zilioli Sofia.

Tim Gratton and Chris (not Charlie) Taylor were a superb 18th for such a young combo and just beat off the charge from Jon Holmes and Hamish Ellis who came 19th. Rounding of the top 20 were the Italians Anna and Francesca Frazza as 3rd all female crew.

There were many other excellent performances but unfortunately you’ll have to refer to the full results when they become available from Italy. In the meantime thank you very sponsors Sunsail, Craftinsure.com and LDC Racing sailboats for all your help. Once we get the photos up you’ll see the fantastic event in all it’s technicolour glory. Well done all and see you in Ireland same time next year.

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