Corinthian Otter Wins Feva National Championship

»«Saturday 27th May - Tuesday 30th May 2017

Feva Nationals 2017 - Day 1 and 2

We are six races in and at the half way stage of the RS Feva National Championship in Torbay. We have a number of teams taking part with varying degrees of experience and conditions have been really tough.  Day one was a stiff breeze with a constant 15 - 20 knots that tested everyone; the second day the complete opposite, very light with wind shifts all over the place and you could be in a great position at one point and down the pan the next.

At this point the fleet is split into Gold and Silver fleet, and there are six further races over the next two days.

So to our teams, we have varying degrees of experience but all teams are relatively new to the boat and pairings have evolved over the last year.

We will start with our all girls team of Martha Waples and Izzie Corbett who are in their first big Regatta and this is very daunting.  The girls were consistent in the strong stuff and were two thirds of the way down the fleet.  However the light stuff has been far more to their fancy with two out of the three races today in the early 20s has them lying in 70th overall.

Freddie Pitcher and Charlie Corbett struggled in the windy stuff which is not surprising given they are well under weight but the light stuff was far more to their fancy and finished 26 and then a fantastic 13th in the final race today to leave them lying 64th overall and they have all to play for in Silver fleet over the next two days.

Rory and Archie Kemp have survived and finished every race, including all three on the windy day.  Rory and Archie have never done anything like this before with 60 boats on a start line in a fleet of almost 120 boats.  It is not for the faint hearted and getting the boat successfully around the course is a challenge in itself so well done boys and keep smiling.

Final comment is for a half Corinthian Otters team as Ben Hutton-Penman is helming with his crew Lucy from Hayling Island (albeit they are sailing under the Corinthian Otters).  Ben and Lucy have sailed brilliantly, they are leading the Regatta after six races counting a total points tally of 9 and have discarded a 3rd which, given the varied conditions, is a huge achievement. The Corinthian Otters are at the top of the board!

Day 3 - Stop Press News Received at 21.41 on Day 3

Tough day, no wind, then fog and finished with the boats on the plane.

Silver fleet boats all had at least one good race but worried about the desire to go wake boarding rather than sailing at times.  Freddie was around the windward mark second in one race, girls had a great final race and the Kemp boys were huddled together flat out with some gentle encouragement from Coach H-P senior!

Ben also had a really tough day which ended in the protest room.  Long story short he is lying 2nd, one point off the lead with a 1st, 4th and 7th.  All to play for tomorrow so trying to get to bed having only just got back from the protest room.

Final Day - RS Feva National Championships

An early start as first warning signal for Silver fleet was 9.55 followed by Gold fleet and it is fair to say there were plenty of tired sailors.  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.

In Silver fleet, Freddie Pitcher and Charlie Corbett got off to a cracking start with a 19th as they enjoyed the lighter, shifter conditions and this was followed up with an even better 15th before the wind really built and the boy's went for a swim which unfortunately put them at the back of the fleet for the final race.  They finished the Regatta in 20th place in Silver fleet, which was a great result given their size.

Martha Waples and Izzie Corbett saved the best for last and revelled in the windier stuff of race three with a 21st and a couple of mid thirty results in the first two. Martha and Izzie get the trophy for the longest "almost capsize" when they lay the boat almost on its side, fully powered up, for what seemed like 10 minutes (probably 30 seconds) but managed to get it back up and carry on.  Well done girls, 27th overall in Silver fleet.

Our final Silver fleet pairing were "brothers Kemp", Rory and Archie. The boys got their best result in the lighter first race, an excellent 35th, followed by a couple of 40ths. The boys always had a smile on their faces (and definitely ate the best gourmet food freshly prepared by Gavin) and the improvement in their sailing over the four days has been incredible.  I am sure the Crouch will feel very manageable now and they finished Silver fleet in 50th place.

Well done to our three Corinthian Otter teams, first big event and all new teams.  I think they have learned a lot and am sure things will really start to come together now. Next stop the Worlds in Holland.

And finally to Ben and Lucy. They went into the final day in second place in Gold fleet and one point off the leaders, they led after the first six races which determined the gold and silver fleet split.  A very solid 3rd place in the race one took them back to the top of the leaderboard on count back, but that was reversed after race 2 when, leading up the beat, they found themselves on the wrong side of a cruel shift near the windward mark and sent them down the fleet. They finished 11th, by far their worse result of the whole Regatta, but the leaders only finished one place better and both crews had to discard the result. So the maths was simple(ish), Ben and Lucy had to beat the leaders by two places or more in the final race.

Tough first beat for Ben and Lucy saw them well in the top ten but worrying the leader was out in front. The wing mark saw the leader drop a place and Ben and Lucy rounded in about 9th. They then just put their foot down up the final beat in the strong shifty conditions and made the final windward mark in 5th but most importantly three places ahead of the leader.  They powered down the run and into the finish taking another place and finishing fourth and in the process turned a 2 point deficit into a 2 point cushion and won the 2017 RS Feva National Championships as well as the prize for the first mixed pair.

Putting a Regatta winning set of results together against some really tough competition is so difficult and you cannot afford any mistakes.  I am a little biased but in twelve races they scored three 1st, two seconds, three 3rds, two 4ths, a seventh and a discarded 11th which really is so consistent.  Well done to them both, first place out of 110 boats in some very challenging conditions.

Nick Hutton-Penman