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Tim Gratton and Chris Taylor win RS Feva Nationals Tim Gratton and Chris Taylor win RS Feva Nationals

Winning duo Tim and Chris do it again in style...

Allen, who design and produce all their precision engineered boat fittings in their Southminster factory, sponsor double winning Feva partnership Tim Gratton and Chris Taylor. Tim and Chris successfully defended their 2008 title to become RS Feva 2009 Nationals Champions at Weymouth over the Bank Holiday weekend 23-25 May. They were so comprehensively in the lead early on in the series that they were able to discard a first place before the division into gold and silver fleets, and despite being amongst the heavier pairings went on to win a predominantly light wind event with a first and a second place in the deciding races.

Enthusiastic 14 year old crew Chris (also a member of the Laser 4.7 Squad whilst helm Tim Gratton is a 420 Squad sailor), said: "There's always a great atmosphere at Feva events and it's great to have fun with our friends too, but we take our racing seriously as always and aim to do the best we can. Being sponsored by Allen is really cool and their dynamic blocks and ezi-ratchets have never let us down.

Here is Chris's report on the Event

We all arrived at WPNSA on Saturday morning to a warm sunny day and a gentle breeze. There was the normal buzz around the boat park with excited sailors wanting to get out on the water and racing. The first race was scheduled for 11:55 but was delayed slightly due to the light winds for the sail out to the race course.

The race officer managed to get three races completed on the first day in challenging conditions. Tim and I managed to win all three races with Will Lowes and Hugo Tucker closely in second carrying a first and a second, Debbie and Tommy Darling ended up third after also picking up a second and a first to count.

The entertainment for the evening was RC Car racing in the Hangar with the cars being provided by many of the sponsors. The slippy floor of the Hangar and powerful car made for some great carnage ad crashes with the cars. There was also a Nintendo Wii that was used all night for many tennis tournaments which all of the sailors enjoyed especially when beating their coaches.

The second morning saw a gradient breeze from the south east and another warm sunny day with the sailors looking at a 4 race day. The sailors launched on time but as we all sailed out to the race course the wind started to die. When we reached the race course the wind kept dropping and was starting to swing with 40 degree shifts. The first race was postponed and after a 1 hour race we were all sent ashore by the race officer. Once ashore the sailors soon turned to water fights in the hot sun of the south coast and some even went swimming in the freezing sea.

As the time got past 2pm the sailors started to think that they would not be racing that day as there was still no wind. However, at 4:15pm there was the call for the sailors to launch as there was wind out on the race course. It was going to be a challenging race as most people didnt want to race after spending 4 hours on the shore in the hot sun.

We reached the race course and the race officer quickly got the races underway. We had a terrible start with a boat sat on port on the line infringing a bunch of us. However, luckily for us Will and Hugo, and Debbie and Tommie also got relatively bad starts and so we thought that we still had a chance. We managed to get back upto 6th by the final windward mark with Debbie just infront of us and started the best run of our lives. We managed to stay in the breeze and got back to first by the bottom mark just in front of Owen Bowerman and Charlie Darling. The top three for that race were Tim and I in first, Owen and Charlie in second and Niall Houstan and Syd Mclean in third. The evening saw a great barbeque put on by the club and once again the carnage of the RC cars and the Wii.

The last day started with a perfect 15-20 knot breeze and the race officer planned for a possible 4 races after yesterdays disappointment but once again the excitement was short lived as the wind soon died within the space of about 45 minutes. The race was again postponed and the sailors started to raft up and go swimming in the water due to the heat of the day. We were once again all sent ashore and the water fights started up again for the second day in a row. There was a lot of pressure on the race officers as there were only two races to count for the final series, as well as the last launch time being 3pm. The sailors started to give up hope but a 2:15 there was the call to launch due to wind on the race course.

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