Boys in Top 100 at World Sailing Championships
Tom Proffitt (Year 10) and Alex Middleton (Year 8) competed at the RS Feva World Championships in Carnac, France at the end of July. Tom has produced the following report about their experience in the 5 day race.
The 2014 RS Feva World Championships started on 27th July 2014. 184 boats, 368 sailors and hundreds of supporters descended on Yacht Club de Carnac, Brittany, for the 7th World Championships.
The World Championships, now held annually since being awarded ISAF International Class status, demonstrate the sheer volume of sailors and nations involved in the RS Feva class. This year, competitors from 18 different nations around the world came together to compete in the small town in France, making for quite the on-the-water spectacle for the unsuspecting holidaymaker in Carnac.
After a day of registering, rigging and boat scrutinising, we were able to get a couple of hours practice on the water, experiencing the tides and conditions sailing on the ocean afforded. On Sunday, after the first day of the qualifying series, the event officially welcomed each team with the Opening Ceremony. 184 boats were divided into three different fleets in order to decide the final fleets, (Gold, Silver and Bronze). The GBR Team represented a third of the competitors. The 2 days of qualifying races brought brilliant sailing with significant challenges, as the wind speed fluctuated, almost doubling throughout the day. We managed to secure a place in the Silver Fleet albeit with room to improve. Prior preparation and planning helped to prevent the struggle many other boats faced as towards the end of the qualification period, due to the ever changing conditions.
The final series was delayed by a drop in the wind but, after a long postponement to allow the sea breeze to move in, the final series began. A day with slightly lighter winds, myself and Alex took advantage of the comfortable conditions, gaining 12 places and catching rival Oakham teams. More progress was made in adverse circumstances as one race saw a third of the fleet disqualified (black flagged) on the start line for being over, but fortunately we were not caught up in this. After successfully crossing the line, we were able to finish the eventful race in a comfortable eleventh place. Another 20 places gained, we were still climbing, aiming for the top half of silver fleet.
On the final day, an impressive ninth place was recorded as our best result of the championship. Overall this allowed us to hit the half way mark finishing in the top 100, (93rd out of 186) and midway in the Silver Fleet. A pleasing result after 5 days of competitive racing.
Five nations featured in the top ten, illustrating the sheer international scale the RS Feva has grown to. On the water British duo Harvey Martin and Bobby Hewitt sailed a successful championship clinching the title. The RS Feva Class has grown from strength to strength over the years, being fully integrated into the performance development programs of many of the European sailing federations including the UK, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
The World Championships in 2015 are set to be held in Travemunde, Germany from 18-25 July with over 20 nations expected to attend. It is hoped that Stamford Endowed Schools will continue to compete at this international level.