Ben Hutton-Penman, a Year 10 student at New Hall School, Chelmsford, took part in the RS Feva World Championships sailing competition in Medemblik, Holland during the summer, with his crew, Lucy. As British National Champions, the pair went into the event as one of the favoured crews, but sailing is a tough sport and things can go wrong!
The event is one of the largest double-handed junior events in the world sailing calendar and over 180 boats from all over the world were competing. The event used six qualifying races to split the boats into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets, based on their position in the qualifiers. Conditions were mixed, with light and shifty winds on some days, and strong to gale force winds on others.
The pair managed to sail consistently in both the qualifying and final series, but had to overcome a series of problems, which affected some of their results. They certainly learned some lessons on the difficulties that can be experienced in the sport, but eventually finished in an outstanding 6th place!
Ben and Lucy’s fantastic partnership, which in less than a year has seen them gain a place in the 9 boat RYA National Squad Team, win the UK National Championships against 115 boats, and now attain 6th place in the World Championships! Ben and his new crew, Abi, have recently been very successful at their local sailing club regatta, winning the RS Feva class by a considerably margin. They now focus their winter training on the next World Championships, which will take place in April 2018 in Florida, and look to retain the National Championship title in May.
Alongside a successful academic programme, New Hall School provides excellent facilities and training for budding sports stars and fantastic music and performing arts provision. The boarding and day school for students aged 3-18 has a Catholic foundation and ethos, which welcomes those of all backgrounds. The strong pastoral care structure at the school supports students in their endeavours, allowing them to achieve success in a wide variety of fields.