Owen Bowerman & Charlie Darling take the title in a brilliant final day performance. Yet again the forecast was far exceeded in terms of hours of sunshine as well as strength of breeze. Sunshine from dawn till dusk and between 8 & 15kts of breeze – eat your heart out!
The performance started in style as the race team awaiting the allotted hour of battle by doing a full volume performance of YMCA in black tie on the cabin roof. Competitors were left amused and bemused in equal part. Chris Hoppens performance on the bow was particularly noteworthy.
At the gun for the days first race it was looking good for the long time leaders Matt Whitfield & Gareth Viney as their closest competitors , Owen & Charlie were buried. But then we saw the stuff that wins championships – a stunning recovery to 2nd. The final day shaped up for an almighty tussle with Matt & Gareth dropping a point. Next race proved ultimately to be fairly decisive. Owen & Charlie were away whilst Matt & Gareth got black flagged (seriously ironic after last years event when the boys picked up 4 BFD’s on the trot). Advantage O&C. The final race was the re-sailed R5 and the boys had unknown to them a Z-flag penalty still hanging over them. All that was needed was steadiness by the mighty O&C – but they weren’t certain of that. So Owen & Charlie signed of in style with another win that we calculate would have given them the title by a solitary point even with Matt & Gareth’s Z penalty. Fantastic racing.
Debbie & Tommy Darling were very consistent and comfortable for their third place. 4th & 5th also finished with drama and nobody being quite sure until the dust had settled. Robert Baddeley & James Taylor just had it from Morgan Peach & Herbie Harford. Jovian Short & James Barlow finished an excellent event with the last of the overall choccies in 6th.
The Ladies title was also decided by a very tight margin. Whilst the OCS in the penultimate race was costly to Anna Prescott & Jess Eales they had to yield in the title race to the most excellent Emily Peters & Augusta Redding. A deserved 3rd place went to Gemma Bird & Morgan Dibb.
The Junior title went to last year’s runner up Jemima Lawson & Jenny Cropley with Joshua Belben & Jonathan Baddeley with Jamie Smith & David Brand a fine 3rd.
The silver fleet was won by a huge margin by Tom Joesbury & Ollie Sellers. A master class indeed and perhaps the first day mishap during qualification had them effectively in the wrong fleet. Still brilliantly sailed though. 2nd were Alex Cole & Will Creaven with 3rd taken by Max Matthews and Guy Rivington.
Top Club were HISC with the 3 out of the top 4 boats. Top Zone for the Anemoi Regional Challenge went to the North Zone (ie no National Squad sailors or Adults) with the winning team members being: Will Robinson & George Hunter, Misha Radionovsky & Toni Duffy, Angus Inman & Joe Hills.
Best Dock Sailor: Oliver Scott & Tom Mitchell
Top Scots: Rory Hunter & Sophie Thomson
Top single handed rudder replacement/spinnaker take down & Crew retrieval: Asher Robinson & Grace Bradley-Shanker
Most ever RS Feva National Championships contested: Hugo Tucker
Best Birthday on the day: Tim Collino
Top youngster: Jamie Allen
Top Local not in a national Squad: Rebecca Morris & Islay Grant
As ever Sekonda Watches have been fantastic sponsors and events such as this need ones of this calibre. Many thanks indeed. Finally, given that there are far too many stories for this article I just need to repeat the brilliance of the club, the selfless duty by Penny Clark as class judge and the personal effort by all the Morris & Shelley families and Rob Shelley in particular.