RS Tera World Championships at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy
Nine nations and 123 competitors converged on Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy for the 2013 RS Tera Worlds. This is the first time the RS TeraWorlds have been held in the UK and the UK Class Association were determined to make it an event to remember for the competitors and their families.
Sunday and Monday morning saw all competitors in the hangar for scrutineering under the watchful eye of Ken Kershaw, application of sponsors, ferryto.com and Zhikstickers and the magnificent personalised country flags.
The practice race, scheduled for Monday afternoon, always looked risky with the forecast wind strengths and in the end the PRO, David Campbell-James decided that it would be 'postponed indefinitely' but a large group of hardy souls went out for some supported sailing to get used to the water and the conditions. Those who remained on shore hoped that Tuesday's weather would prove to be more suitable.
Prayers were answered, and after a short postponement the fleet enjoyed some fantastic racing out in the harbour. The PRO is well known for his ability to set fair lines and good courses and he and his great team proved their skills out on the water. Crispin Beaumont (GBR) took Race 1 in the Pro fleet, with Yann Bracegirdle (NZL) taking the second race of the day. Race 3 saw yet another continent getting involved with James Hellstrom (RSA) taking line honours for the final race of the day. In the Sport fleet the British team took line honours in all 3 races, with Jack Lewis claiming the first race, Ethan Miles leading race 2 and Freddie Peters leading race 3. Sailors came ashore to the pumping sound of 'Search for the Hero Inside Yourself' – the 'coming ashore' theme for the week.
Wednesday saw Sam Lombard (RSA) win race 4 in the Pro fleet, with Crispin bagging another bullet in race 5. Billy Vennis Ozanne (GBR) took the bullet for race 6. The Sport fleet saw Lewis take another bullet for race 4 but Georgou Divaris (RSA) had clearly had enough of posting seconds and moved up a gear to take line honours in races 5 and 6. By now he'd amassed a pretty strong score line and it was clear he was going to be the one to beat.
Thursday saw the fleet held ashore for a lengthy postponement whilst air sea rescue manoeuvres (thankfully practice sessions) took place right where the race team wanted to set the course. The fleet were anxious to get afloat and make the most of the wind, which was forecast to drop off in the afternoon. The racing programme was bang on schedule and this allowed the PRO to wisely keep racing to 2 starts and get the fleet back ashore as the wind died right off. Georgou got himself another bullet for race 7 with Hamish Beaumont (GBR) entering the frame with a bullet in race 8. In the Pro fleet Daniel Lewis took race 7 with Crispin heading the leader board with a bullet for race 8.
With just 2 races left, it was an early start on Friday and the fleet left shore bang on time for the 10am start. There were plenty of nerves around – whilst Crispin and Georgou were by now pretty unbeatable the places directly behind them were all still up for grabs and it was just about impossible to predict who would finish where. In the Pro fleet Crispin nailed race 9 and the event with Sam taking race 10 to hold second place overall. In the Sport fleet two new names featured – Harry Jones (GBR) winning race 9 and Tom Storey (GBR) winning race 10.
The week was about far more than just the racing however, and mention must be made of the wonderful evening events and food which the sailors and supporters enjoyed. This ranged from Hog Roasts to carveries, with a wonderful 'Tera's got Talent' evening, the Nations Cups and a presentation on the venue for the 2014 Worlds – Pine Lake Resort in South Africa. So many lovely friendships made, and such a wonderful atmosphere - a World Championship to remember!
Thanks have to go to the magnificent band of volunteers and staff from WPNSA, the Jury, the Race Management team, the Course Safety Team and event sponsors, Ferryto.com, Zhik, Funky Monkey, Selden, Stub Hub, Hyde Sails, Anglian Water and Hawk Marine Products.
Next event for the RS Tera fleet in the UK is the Inland Championships at Bewl Valley Sailing Club on 7th and 8th September, come on join the fun!