When the International RS Feva Class took the leap to host the World Championships across the pond, the search was on for a venue that would deliver fantastic sailing conditions, amazing atmosphere, fantastic weather and a whole pile of RS Feva fun.
Clearwater, Florida was chosen and Clearwater delivered on all counts. The sailors have had a fabulous time and judging by some of the stories in the dinghy park, so did the partners and coaches.
On the last day of racing there were four points separating the top two boats and clearly both teams were nervous as the fleet headed out under the bridge into the gulf. The breeze was very light but the PRO was determined to try and get the final races in. The course was laid and the sailors were soon in sequence. As the fleet crossed the line, what breeze there was faded away and within a few minutes of the start the PRO had no choice but to abandon.
The fleet rehydrated and additional sun cream was applied as they drifted about waiting for the forecasted breeze to appear. The PRO ordered the media boat, affectionately known as the 'Mediocre Boat' into the fleet to entertain the frustrated teams. The loaned Mediocre boat was fitted with a huge sound system and the fleet was encouraged to dance, swim, dive and simply have some fun
At 1pm after a lengthy discussion between the PRO and the RS Feva Class the decision was made to abandon for the day as there was no sign of the forecasted breeze. As the flags were hoisted the cheers rung out around the gulf from all the relieved sailors and the celebrations could begin. The RS Feva class had new World Champions, overall and mixed team Ben Hunton-Penman and Abi Jayasekara, Ladies Annie Hammett and Emma Wells, Boys Tom Storey and Rupert Jameson, Junior Femme Rijk and Silke Zuidema and the family title going to William Caiger and Becky Caiger.
Overall Results: (top ten)
1st - GBR7063 Ben Hutton-Penman and Abi Jayasekara 2nd - GBR7064 Tom Storey and Rupert Jameson 3rd - USA6851 Dieter Creitz and Conrad Miller 4th - CZE6965 Jakub Dobry and Veronika Cibulkova 5th - GBR6985 William Caiger and Becky Caiger 6th - NED7026 Robbert Huisman and Gijs Zuidema 7th - GBR7038 Joshua Davies and Freddie Ellis 8th - GBR7030 Annie Hammett and Emma Wells 9th - AUT7031 Johanna Böckl and Benjamin Kogard 10th - CZE6968 Petr Tupý and Dan Višcor
It is amazing to see the strength of the RS Feva Fleet worldwide with five nations represented in the top ten. Ben and Abbey absolutely deserved their title. The USA Team Dieter and Conrad also sailed an outstanding week – tough competition and only two points between first and second.
Annie and Emma will be known as the comeback girls. Down and out after day 1 fought it right back to Ladies World Champions.
Ladies Results: (top three)
1st - GBR7030 Annie Hammett and Emma Wells 2nd - CZE6962 Anna Justová and Nela Višcorová 3rd - NED7033 Hanna Rijk and Bente Zuidema
The boys sailed extremely well. Tom and Rupert only just missed out on overall title so extremely worthy winners of the Boys title. The Dutch team Hanna and Bente were absolutely the stars of the show on 'Super Saturday' posting top 5 results all day.
Boys Results: (top three)
1st - GBR7064 Tom Storey and Rupert Jameson 2nd - USA6851 Dieter Creitz and Conrad Miller 3rd - NED7026 Robbert Huisman and Gijs Zuidema
The Vanhang Sailing Team from China have certainly come a long way since the Worlds In Medemblik last year and all of these sailors will be ones to watch in future years.
Junior Results: (top three)
1st - NED7028 Femme Rijk and Silke Zuidema 2nd - CHN6967 Feng Ziteng and Ding Zhaohui 3rd - CHN6983 Ma Yuk and Niu Shiyin
It's always lovely to see family teams enter the Worlds and we think it's quite unique. The Chinese girls are actually twin sisters, which make them the second set of twins the RS Feva Worlds has seen enter.
Family Results: (top three)
1st - GBR6985 William Caiger and Becky Caiger 2nd - CHN6970 Ouynag Huiyun and Ouyang Huixin 3rd - SUI7068 Verhoest Brent and Verhoest Robbe
The class has so many to thank, from Clearwater Community Sailing Centre for being the perfect hosts, to event organisers Red Gear Racing who worked so hard to deliver an amazing Championships, the PRO – Paul Uliberry and his team for setting great courses to enable world class racing. RS Sailing for providing 51 charter boats to get the 102 sailors from 11 nations on the water and the class sponsors PA Consulting Group and Allen Performance Hardware.
The sailors, parents and coaches will all go home with a load of fantastic memories from the event. The stories will get shared and retold many times in the coming months, the beaches, dolphins, the sun down restaurants and the racing will all get mentioned and of course that fact the 102 sailors can say...
'I was there'... 'We sailed with dolphins'... 'I was there on Super Saturday'