by Rob Burn
Prize table - 2012 420 Junior Europeans
The final days racing was scheduled for an early start to get the final two races in for the 420 Gold Fleet and three races for the Silver and Bronze Fleet.
With the high humidity and lots of cloud, again the wind refused to do what it so consistently does here. Finally well after lunch the hooter went, the flags changed and the Fleets were sent out into a very light breeze, every one hoped was going to build. The breeze filled in to around 12-14 knots, very sailable but also very shifty, with some big swings across the course.
Taylor and Oscar won the first start, shot off the pin but again became exposed on the wrong side. At least they weren't alone. They finished 24th and a little disappointed.
The second and final race was better, the front runners had a good lead but the bunch behind was very tight including Taylor and Oscar. They came in 18th, one place behind the soon to be crowned Champions, Guillaume and Valentin of France. The difficulty of the days course was graphically shown by Taylors USA mate, Wade. Wade won the first race by nearly a minute, but was almost last in the next. The boys made a small gain on their final position finishing 23rd overall.
Pack up was next. A scramble up the ramp, strip the boat down, take all our gear off it and hand it back to the Charterer to get our bond back. 400 sailors, another couple of hundred coaches, supporters etc frantically working to get loaded and ready for Prizegiving and the all important After party. Throw in huge semi trailers into the mix, plus forklifts, plus more trucks unloading Optimists for the following regatta...Italian chaos at its' best.
The Prizegiving was great, the winners won, the others didn't. A glittering array of trophies and sails given as prizes. New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Hong Kong all got a mention and thanks for coming. Our Chilean friends won a full sets of sails, E1000 and free entry into next years event.
Taylor and Oscar, like so many other teams, were left to reflect on what might have been. Our coach, Christoph, put the boys performance into perspective by saying just to make the Gold Fleet was a huge achievement, considering that most of the Teams are bordering on professional.
His own Austrian team fell at the back of the Bronze Fleet, even with a dedicated 420 specialist assistant coach, months of training and plenty of funding. The full results, photos etc are on the official site www.420sailing.org then follow the links to the Junior European Champs.
The boys have learned a huge amount here and over the coming days and weeks, will fully get to grips with this campaign, the good bits and bad and were to from here.
Looking forward to getting home now.....
We can never say it enough, a huge thank you to all our sponsors and supporters, we hope you have enjoyed following this campaign and we look forward to you joining us next time.