by Rob Burn
- 420 Junior Europeans
A day is a long time in a Sailing Regatta as well as politics, and takes as much Spin Doctoring to turn a bad day into something positive.
The wind had almost come in by the time the 420s launched around noon. I had the job of Trolley Dolly, helping maintain order on the launching ramp, the concept of 'wait and things will be faster and more efficient' is lost on some of the cultures represented here, shove your way through and stuff the rest is the norm.
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Today was the first of six races of the Final series to decide the European Junior Champion (under 19) from the Gold Fleet. High stakes for most including Taylor and Oscar who going into today were poised towards the front of the pack.
The breeze duly came in and as each race sailed, I watched their podium chances get slimmer and slimmer. They remained consistent around the 23rd position, sometimes they had got into the mid teens but couldn't hold it. Their breeze too, building as the day went on. As I write, and to add insult to injury, they are in a protest now which they may well lose and get disqualified.
Worse of all, the Race Committee decided on three races today, two tomorrow with one left on the last day to match the 'Medal Race' that only the 470's have, the first 10 race off for double points.
Unhappy sailors make mistakes and so the day has not ended well. Before the results of the protest are known, the boys are in 20th position (from 113), still good for their lack of experience in the Class, but well short of their high standards.
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I am not alone in questioning the concept of a day off mid regatta. It is seen as a chance to rest and refocus but some sailors do let loose knowing they have a day to recover, others just loose their momentum altogether.
There is a move to do away with the Lay day next year as it is estimated it adds 20% to the regatta costs. Imagine all the Officials being wined, dined and accommodated, let alone sailors and coaches accommodation, daily rates etc.
In saying that, we had a nice day off. Taylor and one of the Brits ran up to a little Chapel high above the town, then climbed to the mountain peak. I met them at the chapel and that was enough for me, the track up was one to put a smile on a mountain goat.
For the blow by blow reporting and latest pictures, make sure you visit the Championship website www.420sailing.org/junior europeans
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Tomorrow will be a better day. We have been on the road awhile and sometimes the sailors just need Mum's roast and their own beds.
As always, a huge thank you to all our supporters and sponsors, we couldn't do any of this without you.