Nine Blackwater SC cadets competed at the RS Feva UK Nationals, held at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, from 26 to 29 May.
The cadets were: Theo Aers and Rhiannon Webber, Marnie Aers and Abbie Wallace, Ruby Andrews and Gemma Raymond and Sophie Johnson helming for Burnham SC sailor, Dylan Collingbourne, Joey Taylor helming for Hunts SC and Aldeburgh YC sailor Terry Hacker and Nick Evans - crewing for Hayling Island SC sailor, Kuba Staite. The Burnham Squiddies Team members were supported by renowned Feva gurus Jonathan Lewis and Flynn Davies who coach the Squiddies Team through the winter.
The event saw a wide range of wind conditions - with strong but steady conditions on the first day, followed by light conditions on the second day. This allowed for the Principal Race Officer, Ian Bullock, to complete all six qualifying races, after which the Championship divided into two fleets for the final two days. Unfortunately, the wind didn't really get going on the third day, and only one race was completed. However, on the final day, the wind gods woke up and delivered white caps in the harbour, with the maximum recorded speed of 27 knots, although it did calm down a bit as the day wore on. It meant that four races could be fitted in and this led to some tired sailors at the prize giving.
Sophie had a great event, finishing fourth overall and first female helm for the second year running, in the process securing no less than four second place finishes and a bullet - fantastic achievement. Sophie and Dylan had the same points tally before the discard as the winning boat and, after it was included, had the same points tally as the boats in the second and third places but lost out to them on count-back! The closeness of these results reflected the competitiveness at the top of the fleet.
Joey's performances got better and better throughout the event. He achieved no less than four top ten finishes, securing 13th place overall! A brilliant result for a helm competing in his first national event in the class.
Nick had something of a yo-yo: a difficult first day followed by an amazing second day with three top ten finishes; a UFD on the third day and a tough final day in the breeze, finishing 30th overall. Nonetheless both he and his helm were chuffed - and surprised - to be confirmed as National Junior Champions, for the 13 and under category.
In their fleet, Marnie and Abbie secured an excellent third place on the light third day and finished in 15th spot. Theo and Rhiannon secured a fantastic second place on the tough final day, and finished in 20th and Ruby and Gemma showed some real resilience and potential and finished in a very commendable 35th.
A full write up of the event can be found on the Yachts and Yachting website; see:
Or watch the whole event here! :
Congratulations to all sailors and thanks to your parents and the BSC Cadet Team for supporting you. It seems only a short time since the Feva was introduced at BSC with the aim of developing the class at the club and encouraging our cadets to travel to regional and national events as part of our champion club aspiration. This really has happened which is great to see. WELL DONE to you all from the flags team. You make us all very proud to be part of such a successful club.