Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Firefly National Championship 2023 at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club - Runners and Riders

by Fi Edwards 5 Aug 16:59 BST 12-18 August 2023
2011 Firefly Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry © Chris Guy

There's just under a week to go until the Firefly Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry (12-18th August 2023) the first semi accurate forecasts are in and the local breweries are putting in double shifts to stock up in time for the impending Firefly invasion. With a spectacular swarm of over sixty boats entered it's going to be a big one!

This year's Firefly Nationals is generously supported by Craftinsure, Hyde, Kingfisher, Dartmouth Gin and Billy Box Storage so there will be plenty of great prizes to dole out throughout the week! As ever you'll be able to follow along with all the sailing and shenanigans on the class's social media channels.

So, without further ado, here are our top ten title favourites for Felixstowe:

  1. Stuart "The Hud" Hudson and Amy Bowden in the Ovington
    The Firefly GOAT, The Hud has so many National Championship titles we're starting to lose count! Supercrew Amy has the pedigree and a recent run of success with Guy Davison. Sailing the Ovington prototype, this seemingly unstoppable pair will be hard to beat.

  2. Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson F3007 'TipTopToo'
    Winners at Felixstowe in 2017 and with multiple Nationals, Inlands and South Westerns titles under their belt Nigel and Emily might be considered hot favourites when the Champs kicks off on Saturday. Dubbed a silent assassin by the Merlin Rockets, Nigel is a master at creeping up the fleet - a useful skill in Felixstowe. They've historically been strongest in the mid-range but a dominant performance in the venomous conditions at Itchenor proved they've found another gear.

  3. Guy Davison and Sally Wakefield 3318 'Lynestra'
    The Notorious OAP and supercrew Sally return to the scene of their Gore Cup triumph in 2017 and where they were narrowly denied their first Nationals title in a thrilling final-day showdown. Out, as ever, to prove age and treachery can triumph over youth and enthusiasm the Champs' oldest helmsman is looking to right the wrongs of their last outing at Felixstowe and claim title number 2. A spectacular capsize for this pair at Itchenor has forced Guy to make some upgrades to Lynestra (Full credit to Craftinsure) - rumour has it the infamous lever outhaul is gone! If this will help or hurt their performance remains to be seen!

  4. Jenny Smallwood and Philip Aldhous F3625 'Squabbling Phoenix'
    Bandits in tricky conditions and thrived in the extremes in Felixstowe in 2017, Jenny and Phil are wildcard to win this year. Having won the Rickmansworth Open and the South Staffordshire Open they're on a run of form and if the threatened heatwave materialises it will play to their strengths.

  5. Chris "CK" Kameen and Mark Hinton in 2937 'Smutty'
    Making a bid to unseat Guy for the unenviable distinctions of most Championship podiums without a win, Chris remains the only one of his university team never to have won the Nationals. He'll be the first to admit that seeing his brother Paul pick up his third Champs last year smarted a bit but it's driven him to new heights. Second at the South Westerns sailing with Erin Pank. 2023 could finally be his year.

  6. Paul 'PK' Kameen and Ludo Kameen in F2018 'Biscuit Buffalo'
    Could Felixstowe be a fourth title for defending Champion Paul? After winning the Champs with Evie Snedker last year Paul started sailing with his son Ludo full time. This dad and lad pairing was third at the South Westerns in similar conditions to what we're expecting in Felixstowe so has what it takes.

  7. Jono Pank and Emily Batterton in 'WOSC2'
    Multiple time Nationals winner Jono is a last minute entry, teaming up with Emily in a borrowed boat as his daughter Erin sailing the famous Pogie. This light wind specialist was a very close runner up in 2019 and 2022 and is looking to go one better in Felixstowe. Don't count him out.

  8. Angus Cook and Lucie Hopkins F3695 'Officer Dibble'
    The most bimbled Rondar on the planet is back with a bang! Angus and Lucie were missed off the runners and riders last year - no chance of that this year with bombastic performances at all the major events since their big comeback in Tenby. This pair are strong contenders for this year's title.

  9. Alex Baxter and Alice Parker in F 2246 'Scruffy'
    Alex was third in Lyme Regis in 2019 (sailing with Ella Vincent) don't you know! Sailing this time with Cambridge compatriot Alice, the ginger ninja is looking for another podium and is hoping that his specialism in the ultra-light and big breeze will serve him well.
Those are the top contenders for the Championship but with such a breadth of talent across the fleet, who else should you be looking out for:
  • Jamie McEwen and Ben McEwen in F3615 'Skirmish'
    From the most bimbled Rondar to the least - Dad and Lad duo Jamie and Ben have raw speed in buckets (buckets which do not get near this boat, known for being the dirtiest in the fleet) and it would be surprising to not see them near the top particularly if the heatwave rolls in as forecast.

  • Steve Tylecoate and Alice Lucy in F564 'eBay Flyer'
    Team racing god Steve and regular crew Alice are back and making a fresh bid to be crowned National Champions. More of an outside shot for the title but expect to see this Rutland pair near the front and winning - if you can see past the Tylcoate armada that is!

  • Roger Morris and Anna Morris F3133 'Thermopylae'
    Father and daughter duo Roger and Anna make the list after a strong showing at Restronguet in May. Flying the flag for Ireland on his own this year, Roger has enlisted Gosling refitted MK3 Thermopylae as his secret weapon to fend off up and coming son Finn and his crew roster of painfully quick former Firefly kid friends. If performance at the South Westerns is anything to go by they could be rapid in the light to middle-y stuff.

  • Finian Morris and Robbie "SonOfHud" Hudson F3119 'Horror'
    A dark horse in the race to be crowned Firefly National Champion. After winning the 29ers at the Youth Nationals (with Angus McEwen, another Firefly youth) Finn Morris has earned his place on this list. Crew Robbie, the son of Firefly GOAT Hud, makes it double trouble having won the ILCA 4 at NSSA with a day to spare. This pair showed an impressive turn of speed at the South Westerns. If conditions are favourable (and they don't get too carried away at the socials) their dads better watch their backs.

  • Dom Johnson and Sophia Johnson F3154 'Gemini Too'
    Look out for this dad and daughter duo on the downwind where Dom is the master. Sophia's new to crewing but mum Jenny and sister Izzy (sailing together this week) are some of the best of the best so we weren't surprised to see some fancy stick work at the South Westerns in May.

  • Angus McEwen and Eriskay McLellan in F3874 'Tarantella'
    Another pair of fast Firefly youths looking to make their mark on this nearly 80 year old Championship - and most importantly it's Crews Union! Winner of the 29ers at the Youth Nationals with clubmate Finn Morris, Angus takes the helm of Tarantella with top Topperist Eriskay providing the jibstick skills.

The students

Student prizes are too close to call this year with a large university entry from all over the country. The class are thrilled to see student numbers back to pre-pandemic levels, heaps of talent and four teams - Nottingham, Plymouth, Warwick and Lancaster - all eligible for the prestigious student team prize.

That's the racing covered but it wouldn't be a Firefly Nationals without the class's often-imitated, never equalled social programme. Long-suffering Nationals organiser Chief has arranged a packed week featuring local bands, lots of free food, Craftinsure Buddies and the infamous Firefly fancy dress party (theme this year Tube Stations). Expect Firefly brand chaos aplenty in daily Duckhams (live on the Firefly Sailing Instagram every evening).

If you're experiencing Firefly FOMO you can keep up with the Champs in our daily reports or on the Firefly Sailing Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Related Articles

Tylecoate and Lucy win entry to Firefly Nationals
Loughborough pair win at BUSA Fleet Championships, earning this reward The National Firefly Class have awarded Ben Tylecoate and Alice Lucy representing Loughborough University Sailing and Windsurfing Club free entry to the 2024 Firefly Nationals due to take place at Restronguet SC. Posted on 15 Nov
Stuart Jardine passes away
One of the best known and most highly respected sailors in the UK One of the best known and most highly respected sailors in the UK has passed away at the age of 90. Lt Col. Stuart Jardine OBE won championships over a remarkable eight decades, representing Great Britain at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games. Posted on 12 Nov
First six Ovington Fireflies delivered
Dundee University SC have taken delivery of the first flight from new class builder The six boats, F4403-F4408, which have been delivered in time for the BUSA Fleet Championships this weekend (11-12 November), were welcomed by the delighted student sailing club who have fundraised for them alongside their studies for several years. Posted on 11 Nov
Firefly Inlands 2023 at Rutland
Treacherous driving conditions thanks to Storm Babet Twenty-five Fireflys made the trip to Rutland for the 2023 Firefly Inland Championship, held 21st and 22nd October 2023. Posted on 3 Nov
Eric Twiname Junior & Youth Team Racing Champs
Renowned regatta saw a huge 348 sailors turning up to participate The RYA Eric Twiname Junior & Youth Team Racing Championships took place 7-8 October 2023 at Oxford Sailing Club. Possibly the world's biggest event for youth team racing, this renowned regatta saw a huge 348 sailors turning up to participate. Posted on 23 Oct
Firefly Travellers at West Oxfordshire
15 boats were treated to a classic 'old school' open meeting run by a fantastic club The Firefly Class travelled to West Oxfordshire Sailing Club over the weekend. With ten races scheduled and a full social (and food!) programme, the weekend promised a lot and James Ball and his merry band of club volunteers delivered in spades. Posted on 17 Oct
Fireflys at Papercourt
13 boats for the final leg of the M25 series A light and shifty forecast didn't deter thirteen Fireflys - Seven 'grown-ups' and five school boats from RGS - who made the journey to Papercourt SC for the final leg of the M25 series. Posted on 5 Oct
Dell Quay Firefly Open overall
The morning after the night before.. The morning after the night before... The party had kicked off early on Saturday, this meant by the time the delicious chilli and ice cream had been eaten, the slightly unhinged DJ had got back to the Ibiza bit of his playlist. Posted on 21 Sep
Dell Quay Firefly Open Day 1
A healthy mix of the young and the young at heart 25 Fireflys swarmed at Dell Quay for the first open meeting since our sold out Nationals in Felixstowe (can we call it Glastonferry?). The fleet was a healthy mix of the young and the young at heart. Posted on 16 Sep
Firefly Nationals 2023 at Felixstowe overall
Steve Greaves & Amy Morris win final race 2023 is sure to go down as one of THE classic Ferry Firefly Nationals... Big winds, huge waves, great racing throughout the fleet, massive fun for all involved both on and off the water! Posted on 29 Aug