Event report 2014


Itchenor Schools Week returned once again this year with 99 entries and another fantastic week of competitive youth sailing.

The Schools Championships at Itchenor Sailing Club started in 1953 and this year was the 62nd running of the event.

The Championships ran from the 23 to 27 June, with the RS FEVA XL racing on Monday and Tuesday, featuring 39 boats from 16 schools. The FEVA event was open to students from years 8 to 10 and was won by Hayling College’s Henry Jameson and Ben Todd.

The Fireflies and 420s had an official training day on Wednesday, with racing on Thursday and Friday. The Fireflies and 420s were open to all secondary school students, but focused on years 10, 11 and Sixth Form students. There were 60 entries from 24 schools over both fleets.

The Firefly class was won by Ransom Everglades’ Shawn Harvey and Jax Malloy from Miami, Florida.

Helm Shawn Harvey, 15, said: “It was really difficult as we are not used to sailing with tides and we only started sailing Fireflies three days ago.

“It was all about staying on top of everybody, catching every shift and staying in the right position with the current.”

Surbiton High School Twins Kate and Izzy Davies won the 420s, winning seven out of 10 races.

Kate Davies commented: “Although the results say differently, the rest of the fleet did sail really well but it is always nice to win, especially when you are racing against your friends.”

This year there were separate courses for the 420s and Fireflies to allow each class to enjoy their racing without interfering with the other. Mike Wigmore ran the 420s and Alastair Shaw the Fireflies. The training day this year was run by World No 2 Nacra 17 sailor Ben Saxton from Team GB and fellow club members Izzy Fitzgerald and Arthur Henderson, funded by the National Firefly Class Association and the British International 420 Class Association.

Sponsor for the last seven years, Mind The Gap Year (MTGY), were the main sponsor for the event, with JDX Consultancy sponsoring the FEVA XL class.

 

Fireflies Report:

Itchenor Schools Week, supported by Mind The Gap Year, came to a close with the Firefly class on Thursday and Friday. 43 boats contested this part of the event.

The competition was won by Shawn Harvey and Jax Malloy from Ransom Everglades School, Miami, Florida who dominated the competition with four wins out of ten races.

Helm Shawn Harvey, 15, said: “It was really difficult as we are not used to sailing with tides and we only started sailing Fireflies three days ago.

“It was all about staying on top of everybody, catching every shift and staying in the right position with the current.”

Crew Jax Malloy said: “It’s been really strange for me as we usually sail 420s and I have only been sailing for less than a year.”

Thursday marked the start of competitive racing for the Fireflies and 420s with some much stronger winds for the sailors to deal with and with conditions perfect the racing started on time.

The first race of the Fireflies was thoroughly entertaining but confusing for spectators. After an initial cluster to the first mark, in which Magdalen’s Owen Hallett and Daisy Baxter were in front, the fleet were split onto the North and South sides of the channel as they headed downwind for the America’s Cup style gate.

This lead to confusion concerning who was in front, as boats were challenging from either side of the harbour, but Sevenoaks’ Ben Moveley Smith and Robbie Edwards began to pull away.

Sevenoaks and Magdalen continued to battle from either sides of the harbour and it was indeed Sevenoaks who claimed victory with Magdalen in second and Ransom Everglades’ Tucker Weed and Vera Mariani third.

In the second race, the Ransom Everglades boats of Shawn Harvey and Jack Malloy, and once again Weed and Mariani were fastest out of the gates and were ahead of the fleet at the first mark, with Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and RGS Guildford hot in pursuit.

However Harvey and Malloy extended their lead on the second lap and eased to victory ahead of RGS Guildford’s Patrick Croghan and James Dickinson, up from fifth, and Sevenoaks’ Moveley Smith and Edwards.

The third race was completely dominated by the Americans of Ransom Everglades.

The Miami school had the first four boats round the first mark and it was a question of which pair would win the race with three boats in contention.

Alex Swerdlow and Dylan Denman, Tucker Weed and Vera Mariani, and Shawn Harvey and Jack Malloy were all tied for the lead at the halfway point, but the pairs of Swerdlow and Denman and Harvey and Malloy broke away.

Swerdlow and Denman pipped their counterparts to the line, and Weed and Mariani finished third to complete a Ransom Everglades clean sweep.

Race four provided an opportunity for the rest of the field, with the Americans split throughout the fleet.

However, Harvey and Malloy pulled away from the fleet and it was essentially a battle for second place Sevenoaks’ Ed Hughes and Issy Gordon and Millfield’s Campbell Manzoni and Octavia Greig.

Sevenoaks picked up their third podium finish of the day claiming second in front of the Millfield boat.

Race five was again a very open affair, with the Ransom Everglades boats battling with Magdalen and Millfield. But, somewhat surprisingly, the two English boats managed to hold off the Americans with Magdalen’s Hallett and Baxter claiming top spot and Millfield’s Manzoni and Greig in second leaving a fight for third between the Americans which was won by Weed and Mariani.

The final race took place in some very gloomy conditions which seemed to provide a more open contest in a race back to the sailing club.

None of the Americans competed for the top places, leaving three Magdalen boats to fight it out with RGS Guildford and Winchester College.

Magdalen’s Will Ing and Adam Rathmell led from the early stages but Winchester’s Miles Jones and Tom Nottingham challenged them all the way to the line but to no avail with another Magdalen pair of Tom Simmons and Samay Mellor claiming third.
Ransom Everglades’ Harvey and Malloy had an overnight lead of eight points heading into Friday over Magdalen’s Owen Hallett and Daisy Baxter who were the only other pair who could realistically overturn the Miami outfit.

Harvey and Malloy got off to a perfect start in the first race of the day, race seven, with Sevenoaks’ Ed Hughes and Issy Gordon on their tails.

But the Americans fought off their English counterparts to claim first place ahead of Sevenoaks, with Tucker Weed and Vera Mariani also of Ransom Everglades claiming third place.

The American dominance continued in race eight, with the pairing of Alex Swerdlow and Dylan Denman roaring out of the starting gate, picking up an early lead.

Once again the leaders could not be caught but hot on their tails were the impressive Harvey and Malloy with Magdalen’s Ing and Daggitt in third place.

Ransom Everglades picked up their third victory of the day in the ninth race with Harvey and Malloy displaying their talent in the tidal conditions, which secured the competition victory.

RGS Guildford’s Patrick Croghan and James Dickinson did put pressure on the Americans claiming second, but could not compete with the pace of Harvey and Malloy. Ransom Everglade’s Swerdlow and Denman crossed the line in third place.

The final race was a race back to Itchenor which finally provided an English victory.
The boats set off from East Head and it was Magdalen’s Ing and Daggitt who took the early lead.

The Millfield pair of Campbell Manzioni and Octavia Greig chased them all the way back to shore, but with no marks to negotiate, the Magdalen pair maintained their lead. Another Magdalen pairing of Hallett and Baxter finished third to come second in the overall competition.

 

420s Report


The 420s competition at Itchenor Schools’ Week, supported by Mind The Gap Year, was a lesson in 420 sailing by Surbiton High School.

Twins Katie and Izzy Davies, 15, won seven out of the ten races over Thursday and Friday to win the title in a field of 17 entries.

Izzy said: “The reaches were really difficult, and the winds, especially this afternoon, didn’t make things easy.”

Katie said: “Although the results say differently, the rest of the fleet did sail really well but it is always nice to win, especially when you are racing against your friends.”

The Davies pairing led from the front in race one ahead of Guildford High School’s Ellie and Izzy Barker and Stamford’s James Leetch and Jemima Leedham.

Guildford High and Stamford could not deal with the pace of the Surbiton boat and it was clear at the halfway mark that the race was already won. Guilford High fought off Stamford to claim second.

The exact same result occurred in the second race with the others sailors unable to match the sheer pace of the Davies sisters.

The Barker sisters from Guildford High were in third for the first two laps but managed to overtake the Stamford pairing on the last lap to claim second position.
However Stamford made amends in the third race, finally amounting a challenge to the Surbiton boat.

Leetch and Leedham, 14, took the lead on the first lap and fought off Davies girls to record their first win of the day with James Allen Girls School sailors Lucy Mellers and Izzy Lewis crossing the line in third.

The Surbiton boat resumed their domination in the afternoon session and was way ahead in the first lap of race five, with Stamford and St Catherine’s in the chasing group.

Some boats struggled to turn round the second mark as the tide was pushing them onto the buoy, forcing some boats to jibe away before attempting to tack once more.

But the Davies sisters kept their distance from the rest of the fleet and cruised to victory. Stamford’s Leetch and Leedham and St Catherine’s’ Grace Yeoman and Mica Narroway finished second and third respectively.

The two all-girl pairings of Surbiton and Stamford fought it out in race five and were neck-and-neck during the first lap as the rest of the fleet battled with the tide.

But once again Katie and Isabel Davies pulled ahead after the first lap, with Leetch and Leedham just about holding on and there was a battle for third between James Allen Girls School and Sherborne’s Josh Croft and Harry Guy.

The Davies sisters extended their lead giving them a comfortable win ahead of Stamford with James Allen’s Mellers and Lewis holding off the Sherborne boys to take third.

The final race really summed up the day with the Surbiton streaking ahead from the get-go, but the James Allen Girls did begin to close the gap during the second lap.
However, it was too little too late, as the Davies’s claimed their fifth victory of the day ahead of James Allen’s Mellers and Lewis and Stamford’s Leetch and Leedham.

On Friday Katie and Izzy carried on from where they left off and took the early lead in race seven.

Sherborne’s Josh Croft and Harry Guy were in second place and managed to slowly close the gap on the first lap.

However, the girls fought off the challenge and led going into the second lap followed by the Sherborne boat and Bishop Luffa’s Ben Townsend and Edward Richardson.

Surbiton High were streets ahead in front and it seemed as if it was a battle for second and third between Sherborne, Bishop Luffa and the emerging James Allen Girls School and Stamford.

A bad jibe and then a bad drop of spinnaker from the Sherborne boat cost them three or four places, putting them out of contention.

Stamford’s James Leetch and Jemima Leedham made a charge on the second lap along with James Allen’s Lucy Mellers and Izzy Lewis to claim second and third respectively.

Race eight appeared to be more open as the Surbiton High boat was over the start line and had to be recalled.

James Leetch and Jemima Leedham from Stamford, Guildford High’s Ellie and Izzy Barker and Sherborne battled for the lead as Surbiton slipped further back, capsizing after the first mark.

However, the Davies twins regrouped and got up to second on lap two behind the Stamford boat, which had extended its lead.

Sherborne’s Croft and Guy once again had problems, misreading the tide, and slipped into fourth place.

The Stamford boat comfortably crossed the line in first place, followed by Surbiton High and James Allen’s Mellers and Lewis.

The ninth race saw the Davies sisters once again take control. The fleet was split into the north and south sides of the harbour as the Surbiton boat took the early lead with Stamford and James Allen Girls School in hot pursuit.

However, the distance between the boats grew and Kate and Izzy Davies cruised the rest of the race, securing the overall victory for the competition.

The Davies twins took their foot off the gas in the final race which showed when they didn’t turn back after a false start.

This left the race open to Stamford and Guildford High who fought bravely for the lead with James Allen and Sherborne competing for third position.

It seemed that Stamford were to run away with a final victory, but Leetch and Leedham tacked too far from the lap gate after the first circuit, allowing Guildford High to close the gap.

The two boats tussled over the last lap and the Barker sisters from Guildford’s persistence paid off when they overtook Stamford on the last leg.

The James Allen girls fended off the Sherborne boat of Croft and Guy to take third.

 

RS FEVA Report

Day two of Itchenor Schools’ Week, sponsored by JDX Financial Consultancy, provided some more testing conditions, resulting in some exciting racing.

The RS FEVA XL class concluded after three excellent races with Hayling College’s Henry Jameson and Ben Todd the victors.

Crew Todd, 14, said: “We worked quite well as a team, communicating well. We’ve known each other a long time but this is first time we have actually sailed together.”
Helmsman Jamieson, 12, said: “It was tricky at times because the tide was ripping with massive holes all over the course.”

Although they have never sailed together, Todd and Jameson are clearly no strangers to racing with both in the national squads for FEVAs and Teras respectively.

The overnight score left the Hayling College boys just two points ahead of the Kingham Hill team of Henry Barker and Cameron Sweeny after four races.

The first race of the day, race five, finally got underway after a two hour delay after another morning of low winds, with the fleet racing at the third attempted start.

The wind had quickly picked up, resulting in a Portsmouth Grammar boat capsizing soon after the start.
But of course Hayling College were the team to beat, but they got the early lead and began to pull away.
However, the chasing pack of contenders Kingham Hill and a PGS boat were in hot pursuit of the Hayling sailors.

Parr and Curwen closed the gap but soon fell away, finishing third, handing Jamieson and Todd a crucial victory with Churcher’s College’s Birch Tomlinson and Ultan Wood claiming second place. The high winds continued in race six, and this time it was Churcher’s’ Tomlinson and Wood who came out of the starting blocks the fastest.

The rest of the fleet seemed to get stuck round the first mark, and it was now a three-horse race between the Churcher’s boat, with sailors from Portsmouth Grammar and Portsmouth High.
Similar to many of the races so far, the winners have been hard to catch with Tomlinson and Wood finishing well ahead of the rest of the fleet.

The final race was much delayed due to multiple capsizes and turn turtles but Kingham Hill were once again out of the traps quickly, chased by Farmors’ Will Spurway and Ed Cunlan, Portsmouth High’s Grace Summers and Isobel Clark.
Kingham Hill extended their lead throughout the three laps and won the race comfortably, and had to wait and see where the Hayling College boat would finish. Prior’s Field’s Alice Handley and Georgina Simm crossed the line in seconds but crucially Hayling College’s Jameson and Todd finished third, handing them the overall victory.