So, thanks to a season of Optimist sailing in little or no wind, I was on the look-out for breeze and speed and as luck would have it, the windiest events I competed in turned out to be RS Feva ones.
You may remember from my last blog - Confessions of an Optimist sailor
- that I was getting totally and utterly fed up of light winds. Well, the season's racing continued to largely depend on catching zephyrs, and so my Optimist friend Tas Green and I decided to inject a little excitement into our summer sailing by jumping into an RS Feva.
With way more optimism than experience we hit the water with no training for the RS Feva Nationals and then the RS Feva Europeans at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
All I can say is that the wind gods evidently have a sense of humour. Suddenly we had full-on breeze plus three sails, lots of ropes and not a clue what to do with them. It was a steep learning curve with lots of swimming but we had heaps of fun, including the Europeans in the silver fleet, when we took three bullets almost in a row, a black flag in between, and managed to sail to the wrong mark in all the excitement during a race we were leading.
It was an unforgettable summer and after getting into the RS Feva RYA National Squad with another Optimist friend Katherine Burgess, the learning continues, and thanks to lots of squad training and events at my home club Draycote Water SC, I've managed to get on the water every weekend.
Getting to grips with a new boat is hard work and I'm often out of my comfort zone but I'd really recommend it. It's a whole new set of challenges which I'm loving and the RS Feva fleet is great fun. Hopefully, it will also be a good stepping stone from Optimists into the youth classes. Watch this space!
Photo Credit: Mark Jardine