Otters at the RS Feva World Championships - Part 2

»«Monday 31st July 2017

RS Feva World Championship 2017 - Final Update

So to recall on the progress of our teams, with two days of qualifying over it looked as follows; Teams Ella/Molly and Freddie/Charlie qualified in Silver fleet and Teams Martha/Izzie, James/Sophie and Rory/Archie in Bronze fleet.  Half Otter team Ben/Lucy were in Gold Fleet.

Now onto the serious stuff and first day of fleet sailing was certainly serious.  The wind was constantly 20-25 knots and we were recording gusts well into the 30 knot range on the course. The second day was the complete opposite, very light winds where the sailors were on the water for more than nine hours to get three races in (four if you were in Gold Fleet but that is another story as only three counted!).  The final day was just nice in terms of wind, much to the relief of all.

Our Silver fleet sailors seem to think they were struggling in the big winds, even though they were not!  In fact Ella and Molly sailed the first race and then went in, a lesson to both as they got their best result of the fleet racing in that race.  Freddie and Charlie were always going to struggle with lack of weight but still toiled away.  Overall both pairs sailed consistently in the middle of Silver fleet but because both pairs had to count a "did not finish" in their scores they ended up 50th and 55th respectively in Silver fleet.

Bronze fleet were sent in after one race on the windy day but made up for it by sailing an extra ace on the final day.  Martha and Izzie went into Bronze fleet on top having been tantalisingly close to making Silver fleet.  This, however, is often an advantage as it means you can compete at the front of the fleet and that is what they did.  Fantastic sailing by the girls saw three finishes in the top ten and finished 5th in Bronze fleet.  James and Sophie excelled in the windy race and got a top ten finish and then sailed very consistently for the rest of the series until a boat breakage meant they could not race the final race; 25th overall in Bronze fleet for them.  And finally to Rory and Archie who decided JaKaBe was a better place to be on the windy day after a nasty capsize left them cold and tired.  However the boys stuck at it and came back every day with a big smile and more sea miles under their belts.

Archie's words to me after coming ashore at the end of the series were "the Crouch will be small and easy after this"!  And there lies the beauty of a World Championship, wherever you finished is irrelevant as long as you gave it your best shot, you will always have learned something and will always be a better sailor/team as a result.  Well done to our Otter teams, it certainly was not easy and you equipped yourselves very well and did the club proud (and the Otter flags were certainly flying).

And final mention of our half Otter team, Ben and Lucy.  A great Championship that saw them sailing in the top ten in almost every race.  A series of incidents, as they do in any Championship, defined for them this Regatta and their final position but they were always in contention and Ben has learn't the importance of putting things behind him and moving on.  Final position was 6th out of 177 boats, which is a really tremendous result given the small amount of time they have sailed together.  Sadly Lucy is moving on into RS200s now but the nine month partnership has been very fruitful and both have benefitted greatly from the experience.

A great World Championship enjoyed by children and parents alike.  Let's not forget the parents who ensured all the toys got to Holland and back.  Our thanks also go to Kathryn Hutton-Penman for her top coaching skills and support during the event.

Nick Hutton-Penman