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Home / Junior Sailing / National Schools Championships / Schools Week
Home / Junior Sailing / National Schools Championships / Schools Week

National Schools Championships / Schools Week

We are sad to announce that Itchenor SC has had to make the difficult decision to cancel Schools Week 2021. The decision has been taken after careful review of the announcement by the Government to continue to operate Covid Stage 3 restrictions into July. The residential nature of the event, is but one of the considerations that the flag officers and the organisers of the Firefly and Feva events have taken into account in reaching this conclusion.   This is the second year that this popular event has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid outbreak. We recognise that this will be disappointing news for all the sailors who were planning to join us at Itchenor SC this year. We will be planning to hold Schools Week in 2022 and look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible at this popular event.    More announcements about our plans for 2022 will follow.

The National Schools Championships, now in its 68th year, is one of the only such events in the country.

Promoting inter-school sailing and encouraging participation in the sport, the 2019 event saw 92 RS Fevas from 34 different schools and 51 Fireflies from 16 different schools from across the country taking part, with some 300 competitors in total. Previous sailors included World Champions and Olympic medallists!

RS Fevas are typically raced by Year 7 - 9 students (aged 13) with a maximum age limit of Year 10.

Fireflies are raced by Sixth Formers, Years 11 and 10 (aged 14 and above) and some experienced Year 9 students.

Useful Information NOR to Follow

Please contact Ryan, our Sailing Manager, if you would like any additional information.

Previous Championships

Event Reports


Winners Feva

Winners - Firefly




Eggars School: Ralph Nevile (H) & Tom Stratton-Brown (C)

Norwich School: Will Pank (H) & Seb Grotto (C)




Norwich School: Will Pank (H) & Seb Grotto (C)

Rugby School: J. Fung (H) & W. Jacklin (C)




Norwich School: Will Pank (H) & Seb Grotto (C)

Sherborne: Ben Childerley (H) & Ollie Croft (C)




Portsmouth Grammar: Henry Chandler (H) & Louis Johnson (C)

RGS Guildford: Patrick Croghan (H) & James Dickinson (C)

*All events at the Club are subject to change due to the current coronavirus pandemic. Please contact the office for enquiries.


The Itchenor Schools Championships began in 1953 as The Public Schools Firefly Invitation Championships. The aim was to promote inter-schools sailing competition and the encouragement of young sailors. Fireflies had been raced in the 1948 Olympic Games and were a highly popular choice for aspiring sailors. The event very quickly became a big hit, in just its second year, 1954, there were 40 entries.

Initially there was a very attractive winning school prize of a complete Fairey Firefly 12ft dinghy; probably a first of such a large scale prize in the UK. This was a pioneering idea of Colin Chichester-Smith and Charles Currey both of the dinghy manufacturing company Fairey Marine. They both sailed International 14s at that time from Itchenor and asked the Club to run the event which soon became a prestigious UK match.

Fairey Marine went on to present the winners with a Firefly until 1971, some 19 years! In later years Ratsey & Lapthorne, the sail makers, presented the sails. In 1972, the prize became the engraved plate The Sir Richard Fairey Challenge Trophy that is still awarded today.

Over the years more than 90 different schools from all over the UK have participated in the event.

Our members have always been very supportive of the National Schools Championships. In the early days before the schools purchased boats, they loaned their own Fireflies to competitors and many also kindly accommodated sailors and sailing masters in their private homes.

Originally it was compulsory that the crew and helmsman positions alternate for each race. Also, schools were only allowed one entry each. In a bid to encourage female sailors to enter, The Astral Trophy was presented for the leading all-girl crew in the competition.

In 1985, to encourage the development and fun for the schools we changed the boat from Firefly to International 420 with sailors using a spinnaker and trapeze.

Teams from USA schools also participated in late 1990's and early 2000's. They were over in the UK participating in other international school/university events.

In 2000 we decided to include two days of training prior to the event. This proved popular and produced a higher standard and closer racing throughout the fleet of significantly varying school abilities.

We now have one day of training followed by two days of fleet racing with Fireflies and Fevas. The race format is adjusted year by year to best fit the aims of the schools each year, but typically comprises a number of back-to-back races to encourage good boat handling and fast learning for less experienced sailors whilst maintaining a high standard of competition at the top of the fleet.

Previous winners have included double Olympic Gold medallist and Silver medallist Rodney Pattisson, double Silver medallist Ian Walker and international sailor Phil Crebbin.

With special thanks to our wonderful sponsors and supporters: MPI Brokers & JDX


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Last updated 16:24 on 5 August 2021

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