Right from the off 18-22 knots on the first day, Wednesday, with the forecast not set to change until Saturday at the International 14 European Championship. The water was a black mess, rippling with the small wavelets you get on top of the rolling waves, that you only get when it's nuclear.
Clearly we thought our German friends would call it off... I'm so glad that they didn't though! What a day. Each race was scheduled to be three laps, 30 minute races.
Right from race 1, Archie/Damian ducked the fleet on port aiming for the one tack beat option, learning a trick from the extreme 40s. This proved decisive. Although some port tackers later crossed on the starboard lay, Archie/Damian rounded first and were never challenged, in fact sitting in on each run! Those behind who chased too hard often found themselves in the drink as the wave state was chronic with the occasional vertical backs. Definitely a day to back off a bit. Race 2 went a similar way, with a few more joining in on the port start fun. Dan/Chris sailed a clean 2,2 for the day to sit comfortably second overall.
Race three and four were sailed on the SAP course and the races were even shorter. The spoils went evenly to Glen/Sam and Archie/Damian with a 1,2 each. Again the port tack start proving decisive in each race. Katie/Nigel got a solid third in the first race.
Race five and six were again sailed on the SAP course with live coverage on the big screens. This was because the 505s deemed the SAP course unsuitable for their Nationals, (even though SAP is their principle sponsor), and SAP preferred the adrenaline fuelled 14s. Douglas/Mark came to fore with a 1,2 and Glen/Sam had another solid day with a 4,1. The four was a result of their in-boom sheeting getting stuck. Meanwhile Archie/Damian had a shocker with a 4,10, resulting from a kite-wrap and capsize respectively. The Germans Georg/Eike had an improved day with a 2,3 using their second mast of the week.
So it all came down to the last day with Archie/Damian ahead by four points of Glen/Sam and a further two ahead of Dan/Chris. However the wind was significantly lighter around the 10 knot mark and so it was certainly not a done deal.
In the first race, Glen sailed off to a substantial lead followed by the Peckolt brothers (bronze 49er medallists from Beijing), then Douglas/Tait. Archie/Damian followed in fourth. This meant that whoever won the last race between the top two would win the European Championships.
So... in a touch more wind, the two lead protagonists got off to a clean start, Glen/Sam just failing to roll Archie/Damian coming into the starboard lay line on port. However, they were able to sail around the top mark in first with Douglas/Tait sneaking in between in second. It was looking like race over. But on the reaching legs to the gybe mark, Archie/Damian laid the gybe mark without dropping and then proceeded to extend away from Glen/Sam into the bottom mark. However the race ain't over until the fat lady sings. Glen/Sam put down the throttle and again led at the top mark from Archie/Damian by two boat lengths. Glen/Sam were able to get the first gybe back towards the finish and with the race win were crowned European Champions.
|1||GBR 1543||Truswell Glen||15|
|2||GBR 1519||Massey Archie||Itchenor Sailing Club||16|
|3||GBR 1544||Pattison Douglas||SC||25|
|4||GBR 153||Holman Daniel||Bough Beech||29|
|5||GER 28||Georg BORKENSTEIN||WSCW||32|
|6||GBR 1520||Nurton Katie||Itchenor SC||46|
|7||GER 91||Voss Oliver||KYC||50|
|8||GER 221||Heim Stephan||PBYC||60|
|9||GER 78||WITTE Jan||SSC||61|
|10||GER 12||Dirk ROTHER||SVWakenitz||68|
|11||GER 81||Holste Carmen||WSCW||77|
|12||GBR 1546||Duchesne Charles||Itchenor Sailing Club||81|
|13||GER 53||Jan PECKOLT||YCL||86|
|14||GER 23||Henning UCK||MIYC||88|
|15||GER 02||Merkel Tobias||FYC||103|
|16||GER 90||Stefan LAHMER||ASVZR||118|
|17||GER 218||Bjoern FRASCH||SVW||131|
|18||GER 230||Axel REINSCH||SVST||141|
|19||GER 96||Möller Bettina||SSvH||180|
|20||GER 11||Kai KAHM||svw||197|
|21||GBR 1508||Smith Colin||Itchenor SC||197|
|22||GER 180||Meyer Anke||WSCW||200|
|23||GER 8||Denninger Miriam||STSG||204|
|24||GER 88||Roocks Peter||SVW||144|
|25||GER 244||Robert BAUTZ||ASVZR||162|
|26||GER 20||Kienzler Michael||SVS||180|
|27||GER 44||Schafft David||SVSS||181|
|28||GER 14||Bartel Sarah||184|
|29||GBR 1486||Werner Franziska||ASV z.R.||185|
|30||GER 154||Preuhsler Thomas||WSCW||186|
|31||GER 95||Petersen Erik||WSCW||192|
Congratulations to Glen and Sam for sailing a superb series and really showing the fleet how fast a 14 can be made to go.