by Andy Greager
Grand Veteran Woman Champion Gill Waiting mastering the conditions off Waitangi - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
Bringing the Global Veteran Cup to New Zealand has renewed local interest in the International Europe Dinghy Class which since its days as Olympic single-handed dinghy for women has been sailed mostly on the South Island.
The First Global Veteran Cup that was held outside Europe attracted a mixed fleet of 17 Veterans representing four countries and three continents. As usual, the hosting team was the largest, followed by Germany who had sent a container from Hamburg with six boats.
Bay of Islands Yacht Club Commodore Andy Greager opened the 2012 Global Veteran Cup announcing that the Europe Dinghy Association New Zealand had sponsored the new trophy for the winner, as the original cup had been lost. Another special point was the opening of the sunshine bottle which competitor David Brown had brought from Palmerston North, where the hottest and sunniest Christmas in 40 years has been recorded in 2011.
Consequently, the weather was mostly fine during the series with the only rain occurring in the evenings – and after the last race when everyone was packing up their boats. Wind conditions were challenging with everything from light airs to gusts of 20 knots in the mix.
Close racing in wonderful conditions - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
In the lighter airs, Anja Fiedler from Germany showed great performance with Melissa Rossaak from Auckland making huge gains due to her superior speed. Antje Muller from the host club had better speed when the breeze got up a bit.
World-class OK Dinghy sailor Greg Wilcox could always be seen around the front of the fleet proving that sailing skills are more important than being within the recommended weight for the boat. Originally from Wellington, Greg lives in Germany now where he runs the Quantum sails loft in Potsdam together with fellow competitor Juliane Hofmann. Their sails were placed first, third, fourth and fifth in this series. Juliane made an equally smooth transition from the OK Dinghies winning two of the eight races.
BOIYC Commodore Andy Greager pouring out the sunshine - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
Racing was always very close and exciting with placings often decided on the finish line. The friendly and supportive atmosphere is illustrated by competitors lending out their equipment and helping repair or improve the boats of fellow sailors.
The wind conditions were mixed and so were many of the results. The Veterans appreciated very much that there were only two short races each day with enough time to socialise and recover.
After four days and eight races, regatta organiser Antje Muller came out in front to be the first to put her name on the newly dedicated New Zealand Trophy for the Global Veteran Cup. Anja Fiedler finished in close second. The best Grand Veteran was Greg Wilcox in third place. David Brown came fourth only two points behind him and one point ahead of Juliane Hofmann. Fifth place getter was Tom Arthur, the first Very Grand Veteran. The honour of first Grand Veteran Woman went to Gill Waiting from Napier.
To allow younger competitors to join the racing, the event doubled as the Open South Pacific Championships. This event was won by the only non-veteran in the fleet Joshua Weeks with Antje Muller in second and Anja Fiedler in third place. Based on this great performance, the Europe Dinghy Association New Zealand has decided to nominate Joshua to represent New Zealand at the World Championships this year.
More details on the event are published on http://www.boiyachtclub.co.nz/news2011.php.
If you would like to find out more about the International Europe Dinghies in New Zealand, contact Peter Reay firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lineup at the start - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
Joint effort: Locals and competitors working together for the Hangi - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
Four nations and three continents were represented at the Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
A different type of sailing for the competitors on the free afternoon - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
David Brown enjoying the ride - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup
Anja Fiedler from Germany showing the fleet how it's done in medium winds - 2012 Europe Dinghy Global Veteran Cup