Filling a niche for youth sailing
Published on September 5th, 2022
Ike Schutz (age 15) and Avery Peterson (14) from Sachem’s Head Yacht Club (Guilford, CT) were the lone USA team at the 2022 RS Feva World Championship held in England at the 2012 Olympic Sailing venue. Here’s an excerpt from a report by Whitney Peterson for WindCheck:
Currently, there are about 700 Fevas spread across fleets, clubs and community sailing centers in North America. According to Todd Riccardi, the RS North American representative, there are approximately 250 Fevas on Long Island Sound, fifty in New Jersey, forty in Florida, forty in the Great Lakes area, 100 in Canada, fifty on the West Coast, and other small fleets around the USA.
On Long Island Sound, most of these Fevas are leased from Scott Hardy, owner of The Boat Locker in Bridgeport, CT.
Sachem’s Head Yacht Club, where Ike and Avery sail, leases six Fevas from The Boat Locker and they are used daily in the club’s popular Tween Adventure Sailing programs and Tween/Teen Racing programs. At most clubs on Long Island Sound, the Fevas are being used recreationally and doing a great job of keeping kids 10 to 14 years old involved in the sport through fun doublehanded sailing and local-level racing.
RS Fevas are definitely meeting a need at many clubs, and they are a terrific bridge boat for kids that don’t want to race Optimists, but find they are too small for the other boats at their club or sailing center.
Interestingly, with this many Fevas in the USA, there is very little regional or national training or racing taking place, which is a stark difference to what is happening internationally. I believe there is opportunity for Fevas to be used in the USA for both recreational sailing and as a development boat for those interested in higher-level racing.
We learned at the Worlds that many other countries including New Zealand, Italy, Netherlands, England, Germany, and Lithuania have regional and national Feva training squads, dedicated elite Feva coaches, organized Feva training camps, and frequent major regattas attended by 100 competitive teams who are traveling across international borders. – Full report