The 66th annual Schools Championships were hosted by Itchenor Sailing Club from June 25th to 29th. 334 young competitors came from around the UK to take part. The event was rated a huge success by those who took part.
With Chichester Harbour at its most beautiful at high tide and the weather providing perfect sailing conditions the ingredients were there for a perfect event. As so it turned out to be.
The Feva regatta was held over Monday and Tuesday with 108 boats taking part. It became clear from the first beat of the first race that those crews who mastered the challenges of a Spring tides would prosper. The leaders calculated the tide correctly to hit the windward mark without the large over-stands that the others experienced. Race Officer Andy Penman set a series of classic windward/leeward courses.
Over the six races sailed the experience of last year's winner Will Pank of Norwich School with a new crew Seb Gotto proved the difference between them and the second placed New Hall School team of Ben Hutton-Penman and Charlie Corbet, but there was only one point in it. It would not be a Feva event without a Hayling College boat and a Jameson on the podium and this year it was the turn of Rupert with his helm Kuba Staite to take third place.
The Fireflies had an excellent training day on Wednesday when a number of crews had their first experience of the unique surroundings of the Harbour. Thursday saw a variety of courses set by veteran race officer Alastair Shaw, himself a former Schools Week competitor, that conveniently paused near East Head at lunch time!
After day one's six races it was clear that last year's winner Ben Childerley from Sherborne was not to get his own way as the Rugby School team of Fung and Jacklin notched up four wins. The Rugby pair also scored two more wins on Friday to secure the title ahead of Childerely and Last with Cokethorpe's pair of Gray and Wilson taking a third place in the final race to secure their podium spot.
Overall Results: (top three)
Fevas (6 races)
1st Norwich, W Pank & S Gotto, 8pts
2nd New Hall, B Hutton-Penman & C Corbet, 9pts
3rd Hayling, K Staite & R Jameson, 16pts
Fireflies (10 races)
1st Rugby, J Fung & W Jacklin, 12pts
2nd Sherborne, B Childerley & F Last, 28pts
3rd Cokethorpe, B Gray & A Wilson, 45pts