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Magic Marine RS Tera World Championship at Yacht Club de Carnac

by Emma Hawley & Flynn Davies 10 Aug 2017 14:01 BST 30 July - 4 August 2017

Seven nations and 104 children converged on Yacht Club Carnac in Southern Brittany, France, for 5 days of racing in the 2017 RS Tera World Championships. This was the second time the RS Tera Worlds have been held at YCC in Quiberon Bay, a popular sailing destination for many of the RS classes. This year's Worlds saw 45 newcomers ageing from 9 to 17 years.

A first for the World championships, the practice day races were followed by a highly visual opening ceremony parade on the water. Competitors decorated their boats to represent their country, with some inventive results!

Accompanied by a traditional Breton band in a celebration of each country's national flags, the 2017 RS Tera World Championships was officially opened.

Day one of the championships saw an oscillating 6-10 knots of breeze. In the Pro fleet British sailor and defending World Champion, Jack Lewis, claimed the win in the first race, with Ralph Neville second. Jonathan Bailey came third in the first race of his first Tera Worlds.

In race two, Lewis took another win, with Bailey second and Blake Tudor third. In the final race of the day, previous national champion Freddy Wood took the win in the Pro fleet, Lewis in second and Bailey with another top three finish.

In the Sport Fleet Jake Thompson finished first, Tom Ahlheid second and William James third. In the second Sports race, Phoebe Peters won, followed closely by Thompson in second and James took another third. Alice Davis won race 3, Thompson finished second and Peters came third. 
 On the second day of the championship, sailors launched with little more than 4 or 5 knots of wind, though the breeze gradually filled in to 7-10 knots. The wind shifted as much as fifteen degrees left and right of the average direction as the pressure lulled and gusted.

Jack Lewis dominated the Pro fleet with three bullets in as many races. Robbie McDonald improved on his performance in the previous day to claim a score line of 2, 2, 3. Alistair Brown broke into the top of the fleet earning second place in the final race of the day following a high risk strategy, stepping away from the fleet towards the favoured corner of the course.

In the sport fleet, Alice Davis added to her win in the previous day's race 3 with two more in race 4 and 5. She fought off stiff competition from fellow team mates William James (2nd in race 4) and Tom Ahlheid (second in race 5). Phoebe Peters managed to pip Alice to the post in race 6 taking the win.

Despite day three being forecast to be the windiest day of racing with predicted wind speeds of 20-29 knots, sailors were greeted by brilliant sunshine and 12-14 knots. Waves on the course ranged between heights of 1 and 1.7 metres. Wave technique and trim were key to ensuring the boat kept driving forwards through the tall chop.

Jack Lewis showed his experience in the class to negotiate tough and technical conditions to win races 7 and 9. In race 8 Robbie McDonald won, Dylan McPherson second and Freddy Wood third. Despite a fourth place in race 8, Lewis rounded off day three having won seven of the nine races sailed.

Jake Thompson had a tough start to the day, posting a fifteenth in race 7, Tom Ahlheid took line honours with Ben Tuttle second. After a quick chat with his coach about wave technique and changing gears upwind, Thompson went on to earn himself two bullets in races 8 and 9. Tuttle finished second in race 8 too, Ahlheid pushed Thompson right up to the line in a close second.

Credit should be given to Phoebe Peters who, after posting a third in race 7 suffered a broken mast, using one of the two discards available, and managed to regain composure to post another third place in race 9. 



Day four brought the breeziest day of racing with an average speed of over 18 knots and gusts in excess of 25 knots the pro sailors completed all three races in testing conditions. The Race Committee made the decision to finish the sports for the day one race early.

Peters, spurred on by the need for better results following her breakage the previous day, adopted a 'win or swim' attitude. She sailed hard and came away with two race wins in the two races sailed by the sports. Thompson posted a second in race 10 and third to Freddie Fisher (second) in race 11.

Lewis won race 11, however as the saying goes, 'win or swim', capsized while working hard on the downwind legs of races 10 and 12, finishing third and 21st respectively, Freddy Wood hiked hard to take victory in these races. Blake Tudor placed third in race 12 to put together a series that placed him second overall going into the last day of racing. He proved that consistency was key, with no race wins, but nine top five results of the 12 races sailed.

By day five, in the sport fleet just one point separated Jake Thompson and Phoebe Peters, first and second, going in to the last scheduled day of racing. In the Pro fleet, Jack Lewis needed to finish seventh or better in the first race of day five, if all three races for the day were to go ahead, to retain his world title.

After waiting out on the race course for any sign of breeze, all optimism expired and racing was abandoned for the day. Jake Thompson dove from his coach boat in celebration and applause and cheers could be heard across the water. Jack Lewis won the Pro fleet by an impressive 27 point margin.

Thanks must go to the terrific staff of Yacht Club Carnac, the Jury, Race Officer John Coveney, RS Sailing and event sponsors Magic Marine, Bollé and Optimum Time.

The 2018 RS Tera World Championship will be held at the world class Olympic venue of WPNSA, Weymouth, UK from 4-10th August 2018. This will be part of the mass 2018 RS Games 25th anniversary bonanza event with championships for all RS Classes throughout the month of August.

2018 will also see the introduction of a four-event RS Tera Eurocup, including venues in the UK and Denmark.

See the overall results and more photos on the YCC website.

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