RS Feva North American Championship

Published on August 4th, 2017

The 2017 RS Feva North American Championship was held August 3 to 4 at Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, CT. Twenty-three boats attended the second annual event which was more than double last year’s inaugural event. This is due to the fleet growth in the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound which now has nearly 50 RS Fevas and New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay fleet of around 20 RS Fevas.

Day one started off with competitors’ briefing followed by a tuning talk from Todd Riccardi of RS Sailing North America. Sailors were eager to learn how to improve their tuning and sailing of this new class of boat, so much so that there was a run on the only available Loos Gauge to re-tune rigs prior to launching.

The wind looked promising as boats launched on time only for the wind to die as soon as they got to the course. After an hour or so of postponement the wind filled and kept filling through the day to allow 5 good races to be sailed in an average of 5 knots. After racing the sailors were fed a dinner consisting of all the perfect post race comfort food you can think of.

After the first day, Declan Quirke and Kyle Simandl (American Yacht Club) had the best scoreline but an OCS left them in a distant third behind Owen Carolan and Andrew Abeal (Metedeconk River Yacht Club). This left James Owen and Alejandro Amezcua (Larchmont Yacht Club) sitting in the first place position overnight, but they were well aware that after just one more race there would be a discard and a battle to keep first place. This set the stage for a friendly rivalry as these teams are from neighboring yacht clubs and often practice together.

Competitors arrived Friday morning (Aug 4) expecting a sunny day with 10+ knot winds, only to be surprised by thunderstorms rolling over the sound. The weather report showed the storms passing over and as soon as they were gone the competitors launched. Like the day before, it took an hour or so for the wind to fill. With the travel of the competitors in mind, the Race Committee only ran two races in 5-7 knots. Of course the breeze built slightly stronger for the best wind of the event on the sail in!

The first race Owen/Amezcua sailed strong, putting 3 points in between them and their rivals. Now just one point in the lead, it came down to the final race. Quirke/Simandl set up near the pin and pushed to the favored left side of the course. Owen/Amezcua started mid line and tacked to sail up the middle of the course, at the first mark they found themselves a couple boats behind their rivals, with limited options they chose split from their rivals by jibing onto the right side of the course again.

In the meantime Quirke/ Simandl sailed the perfect race and continued to extend their lead and at the finish there were just enough boats between the two teams for them to come away with the North American Championship win, just one point ahead of their rivals Owen/Amezcua.

2017 RS Feva North Americans Final Results
1) Declan Quirke and Kyle Simandl, 11 Points
2) James Own and Alejandro Amezcua, 12 Points
3) Own Carolan and Andrew Abeal, 21 Points

Full results here: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=4072

The RS Feva has seen growth in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, California, Hawaii, Vancouver, Toronto, more. As new areas catch on, the fleets have often doubled in just one year due to the boat filling the demand for a transitional boat specifically for sailors between ages 10 and 15. The RS Feva has the great ability to retain sailors in this age range which otherwise would have been lost due to not fitting in another boat, not being able to sail with a friend, not sailing an exciting boat, and many more reasons.

Additionally, girl sailors of this age tend to prefer to sail with other girls, this boat allows them to do so on a fun, exciting, yet manageable and safe platform. Numerous parents at this event were so excited to see their children racing at this level but more importantly made it clear that the RS Feva had “Saved their child” from leaving sailing all together.

The “RS Feva USA Winter Series” have just been announced with class participation in 3 major events, the US Sailing Junior Olympics at the US Sailing Center of Martin County, the 2017 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, and the 2018 RS Feva World Championships in Clearwater, Florida where 100 boats are expected for the class’s World Championships have been held outside of Europe which normally draw nearly 200 boats.

Full press release on the “RS Feva USA Winter Series” here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17153311/Fevawinterusapresser.pdf

Source: Todd Riccardi

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