RS Feva World Championships 2019
In July, Eilish Graham and I competed in the RS Feva World Championships In Follonica, Tuscany, Italy. The event lasted 5 days with 6 qualifying races and 8 fleeted races. This world championship was the largest RS Feva World Championships with 200 boats entered and 400 competitors, 99% children. Due to the numbers, there was a qualifying series that lasted 2 days and consisted of 6 races.
At the beginning of the qualifying series, you were given a flight that you would compete in for that day. The aim of the qualifying series was to allow everyone to race against one another in order for the final series to be fleeted by ability.
Unfortunately, Eilish and I were put into two hard flights meaning that our results weren’t as good as other people due to not sailing together very much. This lead to us ending up in the silver which neither of us was pleased about. However, the following day we went into the Final series with the aim to win, but not everything went in our favour.
The conditions throughout the regatta were very consistent, there were light winds and minimal tides. This was good as you were able to grasp what was advantageous and disadvantages.
The first day of the final series was a good start to the regatta, we were able to pick out the bias side of the course and punch through the waves. In the first race, we ended up 13th which we knew we were able to improve on. Our 2nd race was by far the best race of the regatta. We followed an Italian boat around the windward mark and slowly began catching them up on the tight reach. We lost a bit of ground downwind as they were lighter than us but we didn’t let that stop us. On the upwind beat, we fought our hardest and managed to overtake the Italians and continue taking ground away from them for the rest of the upwind beat. By the end of the race, we were half a leg ahead of the Italians. At the end of the day, we were in 1st place in the silver fleet, with a 13th, 1st and 6th.
Day 2 of the final series didn’t go as we wanted. Our races got worse throughout the day and we both thought we had blown it. However, this wasn’t the case, we had only dropped down to 2nd place. Due to the wind being pretty consistent and not much tide it was hard to make advantages but quite easy to lose out. At the end of the day, we had a 6th, 16th and 21st. We both knew that this wasn’t our strongest day of the regatta and that we needed to sail our best in the last 2 races.
The final day finally came and we had a massive problem in the last race. Our rig tension came off! Due to having no rig tension, we had no pointing ability and we ended up rounding the mark 2nd to last. On the reach, we tried to gain as much room on other boats ahead but we weren’t that successful. On the downwind, we took a risk and broke away from the fleet to try to get clean air. While sailing downwind, Eilish added a purchase to the forestay to help pull it on downwind. To do this, I had to take the spinnaker as well as pumping the main sheet down the back of the waves. This was very difficult but Eilish was done quickly and we continued with the race. Even though we had a bad last race our first race wasn’t too bad but after the disaster, we were expected to drop a couple of positions. Thankfully, we only dropped one place and still ended ip in 3rd place. On the last day, we had an 11th and 31st
Well done to Raulf Berry and Olly Peeters who took home the Title of RS Feva World champions, while Olympian Simon Cooke and Osker Masfen won the competition, but weren’t allowed to take the title because Simon Cooke is over the age of 18.