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Cadet 2017 Season in Review Part 2

by Ian Harris 27 Sep 2017 15:30 BST 27 September 2017

Held at the end of August in glorious sunshine but in light fickle breezes the UK Cadet fleet were joined by 3 teams from Belgium for a fabulous week's sailing in the 2017 National Championship hosted by South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, a favourite and historic venue for the UK Cadets.

With the exception of just one breezy day the wind remained light and unstable throughout the week, making consistent results hard to come by. The frustrations on the water were countered though by fun and games on the beach in the evenings as sailors and parents enjoyed the full social programme.

Day one saw GBR worlds team Ryan and Toni Wilkinson win the first race overtaking Conner Line and Toby Bush just before the finish. Conner and Toby finished 2nd having led by 200m for most of the race. Also chasing Conner and Toby were the GBR world teams of Bettine Harris and Sam Goult and Emily Spiers and Rosie Voyantzis finishing 3rd and 4th after a chaotic leeward mark rounding. In the 2nd race Bettine and Sam led GBRs leading world team Megan Ferguson and Ollie Mears and Belgium's Jeroen Vangeneugden and Erazem Perko in 3rd.

Silver fleet was led by James and George Colquitt with Cally Terkelsen and Will Mears chasing them hard.

Day 2 saw the only wind of the week, with Megan and Ollie battling hard with Bettine and Sam and the GBR team dominating results with the Thibaud Dirix and Helena Schoonhooghe in the mix for the Belgians.

The 3rd, 4th and 5th days saw the return of the fickle winds and yoyo results for all but one boat. Of special mention here is the amazing kindness of Tom Bridge and Monty Slump. Spotting that Jess Everson's crew Thomas Walker had missed the toe straps and had fallen out of the boat, Tom and Monty diverted off course to sail over and pick Thomas out of the water and deliver him safely to the nearest rib. The positive karma of the rescue came through immediately with Tom and Monty leading the next right up until the last beat before being overhauled by series leaders. Tom and Monty received the biggest cheer at the prize giving as they were awarded the Endeavour trophy for their sportsmanship.

Also having a week to remember was Cally Terkelsen and Will Mears who led race 5 and 6 only being caught in the final stages of the final beat by the more experienced sailors.

One more special mention goes to Harvey Hill who stepped into crew for Emily Spiers on the final day as Emily's crew Rosie had been taken ill. Harvey had never been in a boat before, borrowing kit from everyone Harvey jumped into the boat with Emily and they in turn stormed off into a huge lead. Half way round he turned to Emily to ask how they were doing; they were leading by a country mile! Again they were caught by a few others who would then turn out to be top of the leader board.

And those series leaders were...

Bettine Harris and Sam Goult. Sailing the most consistent series by far, Bettine and Sam won the title with a race to spare. With only 2 results out of the top 5 they really did sail remarkably well given the fickle conditions and fully deserved to take the title. In 2nd, Jeroen Vangeneugden and Erazem Perko and in 3rd Thibaud Dirix and Helena Schoonhooghe. GBR's Hattie and Hamish Collingridge finished 4th. Megan Ferguson and Ollie Mears, GBR's top team at the worlds finished in 5th.

Silver fleet was won by Charlotte Videlo and Tom Shepperd who sailed really well to finish in 12th overall with Cally Terkelson and Will Mears in 2nd finishing 14th with James and George Colquitt 3rd.

Bronze fleet, expertly coached by Alex Colquitt, was won by Thomas Hayley and Anna Ledingham who finished with a 7 point lead from Alana Corbett and Molly Verner who just beat Franscesca Neal and Emilia Hampton on count back.

After a long and joyous prize giving hosted by Doug Targett the Cadet class chairman, and made possible by the hard work of Mary and Mike Lloyd and Jacquie McKellar, the Cadet class waved goodbye to most of the 2017 GBR Worlds team including Ryan Wilkinson, Hattie Collingridge, Megan Ferguson, Bettine Harris, as well as Finbar Wormwell and James Colquitt who are all moving on. We wish them all well in their future sailing. It's always a sad part of the year as the sailors and their families move on to bigger, but never better boats. As a family we are really sad to leave the Cadet class, it's been a fantastic journey with the wonderful welcoming Cadet family, we will miss you all. Just remember; you never ever forget your first Cadet.