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PA Consulting UK RS Feva Nationals at Royal Torbay Yacht Club

by Lucy Jameson on 1 Jun 27-29 May 2017

222 sailors from around the country descend on Sunny Torbay aka Torbados for what was set to be a superb 4 days of racing. The event set to have 2 days, 6 races of qualifying and then the all-important Championship series with a further 6 races scheduled. Each series would allow the teams to discard their worst score, but qualification rank would be carried to Championship series and cannot be discarded.

There are many titles to fight it out for at a Feva National Championship and this year a new category was introduced, the idea of current Class Chairman Jonathan Webster the category named the Pro-Am would see Ex-RS Feva sailors, or "Pros" return to the fleet accompanied by a young inexperienced sailor who has never competed in an RS Feva before. Current 29er and RS200 sailors as well as some keen Dads a couple of sibling teams and a Mum made their guest appearances back in the fleet, giving their young crews a real life experience of racing in this highly competitive event.

PRO Bill Butcher and his teams slick race management allowed little waiting around and racing kicked off. Sailors enjoyed really superb racing if a little windy for some. Flights 1 saw Henry Chandler and 2016 National Champion crew Louis Johnson, both of Hayling Island Sailing Club come in 1st, Pierce Harris and Alfie Cogger (Windermere School) in 2nd and Sophie Dennis and Delphine Ala from Hayling Island Sailing Club 3rd. Meanwhile, Ben Hutton-Penman of Corinthian Otters and Lucy Hewitson of Hayling Island Sailing Club started their event with a race win, Tom Storey and Ollie Kent (Yorkshire Dales SC) came in 2nd with brothers Harrison and Fergus Pye (Draycote SC) in 3rd.

Race 2 and a mix up of flights, meaning sailors race against a new batch of competition and its Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson, who take a 2nd win of the day followed by Ben Hutton-Penman and Lucy Hewitson and Ewan Wilson from Wormit Boating Club and Teddy Ferguson of Windermere School in 3rd. The Pye brothers took race win in the other flight race with Matt Taylor and Will Carron (Brightlingsea SC) and Burnham Squiddies in second and Jamie Rastrick (Yorkshire Dales SC) and Madeline Bristow from Leigh and Lowton SC in 3rd.

Wind still up and sailors beginning to tire for race 3 and a second race win for the day for Ben Hutton-Penman and Lucy Hewitson, Dylan McPherson and Dylan Collingbourne from Burnham SC in 2nd place and Father and daughter team Richie Bailey and 7-year-old KT Bailey in 3rd. Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson finished their day with a clean sweep and banked another 1st. William Caiger (Sevenoaks School) and Caitlin Morley (Burnham SC) took 2nd and Pierce Harris and Alfie Cogger came in 3rd.

Day 2 can only be described as frustrating! Race team and sailors faced light shifting winds making laying a course a challenge, to say the least! Conditions gradually improved only to go light again for the final flights finish, quite a contrast to Saturday's windy conditions so this makes qualifying a true test of the sailor's abilities across all conditions. We did see some seriously impressive racing for the final day of qualifying with a standout performance in race 4 by Freddy Woods and Phoebe Peters (Hayling Island Sailing Club) winning the race by a whopping 3 minutes!

Bank Holiday Monday and the fleet now divided into Gold and Silver the pressure building for all. The day started with a postponement due to lack of wind and thick sea mist, sailors spent the time chilling out, chatting and playing cricket. Visibility improved enough to launch the fleet only to roll very quickly back, forcing the fleet to turn back to the safety of the boat park for a little while longer. When finally the mist lifted and the wind started to come in the fleet launched and made their way to the race course. With the building breeze throughout the afternoon sailors were treated to some more fantastic racing. Race 1 of the Championship series and it's Ben Hutton-Penman and Lucy Hewitson 1st, Pierce Harris and Alfie Cogger in 2nd followed by Pro-Am team Henry Jameson (Hayling Island SC) and 10 year old Jake Harris from Windermere School (and Pierce Harris little brother!) in 3rd.

Silver fleet and it was Tonbridge School Max Beverly and Sam Rawlins takes the win, Pro-Am team Harry Jones and Robert Byne from Draycote followed by father-son team Jon and Frankie Ellis (Keyhaven) in 3rd.

Matt Taylor and Will Carron win race 2 of the day with Ewan Wilson and Teddy Ferguson in 2nd and Katherine Byne and Phoebe Jones (Draycote SC and Burnham Squiddies) taking 3rd.

The Silver fleet saw a change at the top with Joe Slipper and Tea Sirolla of Queen Mary SC and local sailors Julia Barnes and Emily Jansen (RTYC) 2nd followed by Issy Leach and Libby Petit (Rutland SC) in 3rd.

Conditions by this time are really hotting up for the final race of the day. Pye brothers come over the line in 1st with Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson in 2nd and Pierce Harris and Alfie Cogger in 3rd.

Silver fleet had a change in the top 2 again with Sam Edwards an Amelia Greene (Hayling Island Sailing Club) 1st, Julia Staite and Raulf Berry (Hayling Island Sailing Club) in 2nd and Harry Jones and Robert Byne in 3rd.

Final day and it's all to play for in both fleets. It was an early start for all, the conditions great and no waiting around, launching as slick as ever thanks to the superb team on beach and we saw the fleets head out to finish the championship and secure their titles. After nine races in very tough conditions, the final three races were played out in ever strengthening and shifty conditions which definitely challenged all the sailors across both fleets. With the maths done, teams knew exactly what they had to do.

First race of the day was silver fleet, race 4 of the series it was Julia Staite and Raulf Berry who kicked off with a 1st, Harry Jones and Robert Byne in 2nd and Max Beverly and Sam Rawlins in 3rd.

Gold fleet and it was tight at the top, Pierce Harris and Alfie Cogger start the day as the leaders with a 1 point lead to Ben Hutton-Penman and Lucy Hewitson. Ewan Wilson and Teddy Ferguson finish the race in 1st, Pierce and Alfie in 2nd and Ben and Lucy came in 3rd, this would equalize the top 2 putting Ben and Lucy at the top of the board on count back.

Silver fleet and Julia Staite and Raulf berry banked another 2nd and another new name in the top 3 it was Sandy Bailey and Jack Francis from Exe SC in 3rd

Golds, a tough race for the leaders of the championship with both top boats on the wrong side of a shift, both Ben and Lucy and Pierce and Alfie found themselves down in 11th and 10th place, this was to be both teams discard for the championship. It was Tom Storey and Ollie Kent taking race 5 win followed by Pro-Am team Henry Jameson and Jack Harris and Sophie Dennis and Delphine Ala in 3rd.

Golds Race 6 and it was all to play for. Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson finished their event with a 1st, Dylan and Dylan came over in 2nd and Tom and Ollie in 3rd. It was Ben and Lucy who followed in 4th with Pierce and Alfie in 8th, this would be enough of a gap between race leaders to give Ben and Lucy the RS Feva National Championship 2017 title.

To say the racing at the top was tight would be an understatement, indeed the standard across the fleet was incredibly high and extremely competitive. This is a class to be truly proud of and on behalf of the UK RS Feva Class Association Committee and the team at RS Sailing we would like to thank all the competitors, their families and supporters for making the class such a wonderful place, we would also like to thank the team at Royal Torbay YC for a tremendous few days, superb hospitality and faultless race management.

We would also like to thank our fantastic Sponsors PA Consulting who have been a huge support to the class over the past 3 years, again this year the class has been able to give every competitor a PA Consulting and RS Feva branded top quality dry bag which proved a to be very popular with all our competitors, it has been super to be able to award all our competitors something so special.

Overall Results:

1st Ben Hutton Penman and Lucy Hewitson – Corinthian Otters/ Hayling Island Sailing Club
2nd Pierce Harris and Alfie Cogger – Windermere School
3rd Ewan Wilson and Teddy Ferguson – Wormit Boating Club and Windermere School
4th Tom Storey and Ollie Kent – Yorkshire Dales SC
5th Henry Chandler and Louis Johnson – Hayling Island Sailing Club
6th Matt Taylor and Will Carron – Brightlinsea SC/ Burnham Squiddies

1st Club – Hayling Island Sailing Club
1st School – Norwich School

Pro-Am Championship
1st Henry Jameson and Jake Harris – Hayling Island Sailing Club/ Windermere School
2nd Richie Bailey and KT Bailey – Hayling Island Sailing Club
3rd Fin Armstrong and Albert Gilmore – Royal Torbay YC

Mixed Teams
1st Ben Hutton-Penman and Lucy Hewitson – Corinthian Otters/ Hayling Island Sailing Club
2nd Richie and KT Bailey – Hayling Island Sailing Club
3rd Jamie Rastrick and Madeline Bristow – Yorkshire Dales SC/ Leigh and Lowton SC

Ladies National Champion
1st Sophie Johnson and Becky Caiger – Blackwater SC/ Sevenoaks School
2nd Katheryn Byne and Pheobe Jones – Draycote SC/ Burnham Squaddies
3rd Sophie Dennis and Delphine Ala – Hayling Island Sailing Club

Family
1st Richie and KT Bailey – Hayling Island Sailing Club
2nd Harrison and Fergus Pye – Draycote Sailing Club
3rd Eddie and Kevin Farrell – Llandudno SC

Juniors
1st Robbie McDonald and Fin Coleman – Hayling Island Sailing Club
2nd Quinn Edmonds and Fin Oliver – Chew Valley Lake SC
3rd Alice Davis and Olivia Bracey Davis – Great Moor Sailing Club/ Hayling Island Sailing Club

Silver Fleet
1st Max Beverly and Sam Rawlins – Tonbridge School
2nd Harry Jones and Robert Byne – Draycote SC
3rd Julia Staite and Raulf Berry – Hayling Island Sailing Club

Full results can be found here.

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