Dramatic final day at RS Feva Worlds 2008
Almost perfect conditions with fresh Southerly Winds to decreasing during the day to provide the backdrop to what has been a superbly competitive Worlds series at Gottskar, Sweden
The all round ability of those in the hunt for the top places had already been tested yet the single discard in the championship meant anything could happen. Having beaten the European champions 3 in a row the previous day, confidence must have been high on the RCYC Harrington / Lyden feva. However, it seemed all those in contention were to have had a bad day in the championship.
In an ironic twist the Harrington / Lyden pair were struck in the first Race with a genniker halyard fraying both above and below deck. This resulted in a poor finish by their standards in the first race at 24th and despite their desperate efforts with the assistance of coach Gillian Guinness and Jim Deegan,they failed to run a new halyard before the start of the next race.
The strong current and prevailing wind prevented them getting to the starting area on time. A 34th in the final race meant an 11th place overall in what had looked to be a podium possibility earlier in the day.
In the meantime some new faces were at the front of the fleet with Swedes Ortegren and Akesson helped by a consequetive 1st and 2nd to move up to 25th overall. Tim Grattan and Chris taylor were yellow flagged in the first race of the day and thereafter played safe only managing a 3rd and 7th!. Discarding the yellow flag they finished with 30 points, well ahead of the Swedish girls Engstrom and Langenius who finished with a firstplace in the final race and 65 points, just ahead of Italians Semenzato and Bonsi. Though they lost the overal World title, they can add the Girld World chapionship to their European championship from last year.
Meanwhile Isabella and Tom Morehead managed a 19th, 13th and another 12th to bring them up to a creditable 14th overall despite their black flag during qualifying and capsize on the penultimate day. Julie Tingle / Alexandra Morehead seemed to finally get to grips with the big fleets and finished 18th and 28th and 35th to secure 43rd overall and 3rd all girl juniors in the Gold fleet. Our other RCYC sailors Richard Roberts and Robbie English and in the Gold Fleet slipped to 45th overall not finding the lighter airs to their liking. Other Irish sailors in the gold fleet, Ryan and Kerrie O’Leary from Lough Ree sailed consistently well with some great starts and finished 34th overall while Clair Drury and Alison Kelly also from Lough Ree were 52nd
The last 3 races for the Silver fleet were exciting to watch with Irish boats up in the front five on a regular basis.
The Swedish pair Perrson and Lindh seemed to relax on the final day, despite this they finished with just 27 points after 9 races, and clearly should have raced in Gold! Next was Danish pair Hvalso and Steenstrup Zeeberg at 86, closely followed by Mark and Miles Kelly from Lough Ree YC at 88 points and 3rd place in Silver to the delight of all the Irish competitors and spectators alike. Other Irish sailors were placed as follows: Jack Fitspatrick and John Drury Lough Ree YC 10th, Lewis Eickholt and Billy Griffin HYC 12th, Mark Condy and Andrew Harris HYC, Michael Craig and Nick McCarthy RIYC/RstGYC 24th, Jane and Vikki Cudmore RCYC 25th, Ruth Foy and Orla Lawn LRYC 28th and Ronan Walsh / Conor Deegan HYC 43rd.
The World Championship had been won by a pair who were consistant in all airs despite their obvious youth. Still only 13 years old, Tim Gratton was predicted to be quick having achieved second place in the GB Nationals and 34th in the Optimist Europeans this year. What seemed clear was that the RYA and Tims local clubs decision to encourage cross fleet sailing and cross fleet coaching between the Optimist and Feva has its merits – shifts are shifts tacticts are tactics no matter what the boat.
Richards 10th in the Europeans last year had him well marked by the competition as being one to watch, and no doubt he is already planning for next years Europeans in Lake Garda where he will be hard to beat. The rest of the RCYC fleet clearly benefitted from club racing at home, getting out of the blocks well despite the large fleet experience, new to most of them. No matter what the wind the RCYC sailors wanted more – full credit to Fernando for getting them out in the fresher conditions a few weeks before as it certianly helped them all on the confidence front. The RCYC boats were not short of boat speed, but clearly mark roundings under pressure do need some work, but lots was learnt , fun was had and new friends made in what has proved to be a truly great class to be sailing in!
Gottskar is certainly a spot to think about for a cruise, 21 degrees in the water all week meant RCYC kids rarely left it – Oscar and Grattan jnr doing bombs from an amazing public diving platform near the sailing area, lots of islands all spic and span, cuisine hard to beat, and what appeared to be superb marina facilities.
RCYC sailors have since headed 600km North to Ostersjo to chill out – you might find them at N59 49.948 E019 04.781 if you would dare to drop in!