Fantastic young sailors from Fowey Gallants Sailing Club (FGSC) have, for the fifth year running, won the RYA OnBoard Feva Frenzy inter-club team racing competition, which took place at Stithians Lake Watersports Centre on Sunday (14 October).
The Fowey Flounders beat their own team mates, the Gallants Gladiators, who were runners up.
Forty Cornish sailors aged between 10 and 16 came from five different sailing clubs to compete in this end-of-season event, which was a two-boat team racing contest for youngsters who had learned to sail through the RYA OnBoard scheme that introduces children of all backgrounds and abilities to sailing and windsurfing.
Winning all of their first round races, the Gallants Gladiators and the Fowey Flounders went head to head in the final.
As OnBoard Development Officer Mark Belshaw describes, this race was very close: “The contest for the grand final went to the wire, all level with one win each going into the final race, with the boats closely bunched as they approached the final turning mark to the finish. It was still anybody’s race. In the hectic final mark rounding a slip led to a quick swim for Gladiators sailors Callum Pritchard and April Halls. As they floundered back into their boat, their team mates Charlie Nunn and Amelia Luck could only look on as the real life Flounders - Paddy Scullion & Adam Cocks and Edward Stables & Jake Penprase - snuck away to take the race win and with it the title.”
This means that the event has been won by a team from FGSC on every occasion since its inception five years ago. The other teams in the competition were from Penzance Sailing Club, St Mawes Sailing Club, Stithians WAVES Club and Camel Estuary Youth Sailing.
Mark added: “Well done to Fowey Gallants for retaining their title - they sailed very well against some stiff competition. Team racing is a very different discipline to the fleet racing we generally practice throughout the season. It gives a good opportunity for a bit of inter-club rivalry, and generates a great team spirit.
“A big thanks to Stithians Lake for hosting the event, and to all the parents, volunteers and helpers who assisted on and off the water during the day. I’m sure Fowey Gallants will be back guns blazing next year to defend their title, but I’m equally sure that the teams from the other clubs will be just as keen to snatch a victory and take the trophy back to their home club.”
Run by the RYA, OnBoard is a grass roots programme which introduces sailing and windsurfing to young people aged 8 to 18, through schools, youth groups and training centres.
Over a ten year period OnBoard aims to introduce a minimum of 500,000 children to sailing and windsurfing in the UK, converting over 10% of them into regular participants. So far it’s nicely on track.