Otters at the RS Feva World Championships 2017 - Part 1

»«Monday 24th July 2017

Members from the Corinthian Otters Feva Fleet are currently taking part in the RS Feva World Championships in Medemblik in Holland - here Nick Hutton-Penman gives us the latest update on the events so far:

We have five and a half crews at the RS Feva World Championships at Medemblik in Holland.  There are 177 boats competing from all over the World and to get the Otter Flotilla to Medemblik in itself was an organisational feat.  We have all the Fevas, trailers, two ribs, windsurfers, the cruiser Jakabe all in place.  And let's not forget the BBQs, the Pizza oven and the Paella saucepan.

The Feva must now be the largest junior class two handed dinghy and attracts competitors from many junior classes including Optimist, Toppers and others. The competition is extremely high and wherever you find yourself in the fleet is nothing to be ashamed of given the level and ability of almost all of the sailors here, there are absolutely no bad sailors and this is a World Class fleet.

We have completed the second day and final qualifying for the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet and there has been much action on and off the water.

On the water saw a first day where nine races were completed for the three flights in record time and all boats were off the water by 15.00. Good for the sailors but not so good for some of the parents who found no excuse but to go to the bar...

Second day a different story.  4 hours of postponements and then two race abandonments, especially bad if you were on the first start like Ben Hutton-Penman as they completed nearly two races before the abandonment was called.  The fleet finally got off the water at 19.30, all fleets finished one race and so qualifying finished and one discard could be counted.

Otter performance of the championship so far goes to Ella Phelps and Molly Entwistle, lying 78th and qualifying top Otter crew counting a 19th, 26th, 34th and 22nd.  But the results would have been even better had a ripped spinnaker not put pay to races 2 and 3 (Dad has finally purchased a replacement). Great job girls! We are looking for a top three in Silver fleet from here on in and they are very capable of doing it.

Our next Otters, lying in 96th place and also in Silver fleet with a great chance of moving up, are Freddie Pitcher and Charlie Corbett.  Solid mid fleet results and a fantastic 22nd in race 4 ensures a good position in Silver fleet - they should move forward from here if they keep calm and play the shifts

Next to our second all girl crew of Martha Waples and Izzie Corbett who finished qualifying in 119th position with a great 23rd in the final race. Not quite good enough for Silver fleet but I wonder whether they can win Bronze Fleet?  The Girls clearly have the ability, now a bit of self belief and good old fashion "grunt" is needed and they should be fine.

And to our final two crews; James Pitcher and Sophie Dawson lying 140th and Rory and Archie Kemp 161st, both boats competing and finishing all four races that many could not even handle.  These races are long, complex in the conditions and very competitive and all our teams have done the club proud.

All boats take their positions, not points, into the final series and so this is a real "leveller" and gives everyone a chance over the next three days. Really well done to all the crews, great job.

Final mention goes to the half Otter crew, Ben Hutton-Penman (Corinthian Otters) and Lucy Hewitson (HISC).  Sailing together for the first time since the Feva Nationals and counting a 2nd, 3rd and a 5th, discarding a 7th, they go into the main series in Gold Fleet and lying in 6th place overall. Well done to both of them as this really is true evidence that the Nationals win was not just a one off.

Otter parents are all on the water in ribs and Jakabe.  The Otter flags supported by Ross's rib "The Frigate" and Jakabe are the largest in the fleet.  The major international incident of today was the flying of the Essex Flag, being flown by Jakabe.  Apparently this looked slightly orange and may be confused for a finishing flag so there was an order to take it down. Pete Entwistle is currently negotiating with No 10 to divert a major international incident!

I would like to report that evenings have all been early nights with a cup of cocoa, but had I said that no one would have believed me! However there have been paddle Board races, kids cycling and general merriment that has made the event so far absolutely great.

Nick Hutton-Penman