The RS400 European Championships at Lake Garda is a perennial RS400 favourite, so it seems fitting in our 20th anniversary year that a record 45 boats made the biannual pilgrimage for the RS Eurocup, including 18 teams from Scotland, three from Canada and two from Cork.
RS400 Eurocup 2014
On Day One, and sailing on the easterly course, the race officer skilfully slotted in a great race in an almost Ora, and although he valiantly tried to get a second start off the dying breeze dictated that it made more sense to head for home and the free pasta / beer party laid on by Fraglia de la Vela Riva. Stars of the day were Jon Gorringe and Nicola Bass, with special mention to Neil McLellan and Oli MillingSmith discarding their perpetual under-achiever tag with a great fifth place. The party was followed by a live thunder and lightning very very frightening display, which included much scrambling around the dinghy park to secure boats that were getting blown around a bit.
Day Two dawned bright and the remnants of a light northerly Peler greeted the 45 teams keen for another great days racing.
The fleet got off cleanly and the difficult choice was between the cliffs for a lift or out to get more breeze, a mix of the two with a decent right hand shift at the first windward mark seemed to be the way to go. Back on form, the Oakeys were first around the windward mark and disappeared into the horizon with a huge lead. The chasing pack were following down a one sided run meaning there were minor place changes. The breeze started to die for the second lap and the chasing pack had a great race with plenty of place changes as boats chopped from left to right up the long shifty beat looking for the breeze. Instead of gybing off down the second run Carter and Einstein hit the cliffs and a header and good breeze and ghosted all the way down and a few boats began to follow. The boats in at the cliffs were looking very good but eventually the breeze filled in from the left and carried those boats down to the line. The '2 crews', Bedborough and Brown clinched a last minute second from David Rose and Ian Hefferman (who had made the long crusade from Cork), followed by Carter from the left, and the Metcalfes, Gorringe and the evergreen Robertsons in that order.
In true Garda fashion the wind then shutoff completely, and then flicked Ora-like through 180 degrees and steadily increased to F4-5 accompanied by a little rain. After much fast-pin adjusting and a very efficient course reset, a clean start and the fleet split up the first beat more or less evenly with boats either sailing off the biased port end or tacking straight off the committee boat and heading for the cliffs. After much close tacking up the cliffs, the boats who came out early did well but the ones who held on ended up overshooting the windward mark. In the end the boats that went left were the ones that gained and first around was Gorringe, then 'back on form' Howie Farbrother / Desperate Dan followed by Elaine Turner / Sijbrand Jimjams and the Robertsons. Turner and the Robertsons gybed early to overtake Howie / Gorringe and the Robertsons led up the second beat until the breeze began to die off. Gorringe then regained the lead and went into the last run in first, only to lose it again more or less on the line as the Robertsons found a magic puff to plane past for the bullet. Howie secured third with the Oakey’s sneaking into a significant fourth and Turner hanging on for fifth. Very close tight competitive racing right down the fleet with lots of places to be won in the shifty conditions, and even small mistakes being punished with several places lost.
So that’s the sailing bit, but much more importantly we already have a few Duckhams nominations :-
1) The Robertsons (yet again) faced transport and logistical challenges achieving the drive from Edinburgh to Riva with only one side light and no indicators on either car or trailer
2) Simon Grey receives a nomination for shouting at his crew when the kite jammed –only to find he’d left all his kids lifejackets stored under the foredeck
3) Dave Hardcore and his tent. He pitched in a hurry, hit the pub in a hurry, came back several hours later in less of a hurry only to discover the inner tent was back to front and he couldn’t figure out why his tent door had disappeared.
4) A quote was overheard in a thick Irish accent as the breeze disappeared and the rain was lashing 'this wasn’t in the Garda brochure'……
With an 11am start setup for tomorrow and the aim to get 3 races in the fleet hopes for an end to the rain and a return to classic Garda conditions! On the social and family front we have daily kiddies’ movie nights, Ladies night, Australian night, Scottish night and several RS parties all to squeeze in. It’s not all about the sailing!
Day Four - Gorringe / Bass continue to dominate in a Classic Ora.
Despite the rumours circulating the dinghy park that the 'Ora' was simply a myth, Thursday delivered in style with the fleet launching in a light northerly at 11am only to be greeted at 12pm by a drop followed by 180 degree swing to the south and steady increase to a perfect F4-5. The days racing on the cliff course was tight and exhilarating with right generally paying up the beats, and the cliffs sometimes paying downwind so plenty of options to gain places. Jon Gorringe and Nikki Bass continued to stamp their authority on the regatta with a very consistent first and fourth. Jim Downer saw a return to form with a convincing bullet in the second race, and the Oakey Coakeys and Howie / Desperate Dan both secured useful seconds in the breezy conditions to pull themselves up the leaderboard. So overall Jon was clear at the top on 11 points – Stewart Robertson close behind on 16 points, and with just two points separating the next four places it’s all to play for. Elsewhere in the fleet there was incredibly close racing with several duckhams-esque events being noted (e.g. Neil McLellan double backflip) as issue-ettes became problems in the breezy conditions.
An important part of the day is the après sail sun downer beers and free pasta on the sailing club balcony where tall stories and broken limbs can be compared. Subsequently the Gill 'Boom of Doom' party in the Yachting Bar was very well attended by the 400s, mostly trying to force as many pints down Gorringe’s throat as possible. Special mention must go to the resident RS Band 'Steel Strum' who performed brilliantly with their unique combination of a steel drum, guitar, bass drums and percussion performing everything from 60s classics to current chart toppers. Everyone eagerly awaits the final day showdown and with the forecast looking good it will hopefully be 'more of the same please'
The final day of the Gill RS400 Eurocup dawned bright with a few hazy heads and minor bicycle-related injuries after the fantastic Thursday social with live entertainment from resident live band 'Steel Strum'. It was very tight at the top of the leaderboard and conditions looked very promising with a light northerly breeze and clear skies suggesting classic Ora conditions.
The fleet got off cleanly and split evenly between the cliffs and middle. Again it was Elaine Turner / Sijbrand Jimjams who came out best and were first to the windward – closely followed by Bedborough then Downer who all gybed back into the middle. The following pack sailed onto to the cliffs and hit hard right and it wasn’t clear which side would get most pressure. At the leeward Downer rounded first, followed by Turner – and then Gorringe won the charge from the right to round ahead of Robertson who just sneaked inside of Bedborough. Bedborough / Brown had a great second beat playing the shifts up the middle to arrive at the windward in a significant first which they held to the finish, followed by Gorringe, Robertsons and Turner.
Gorringe having the event already in the bag headed for home leaving the rest to scrap it out. Port end biased then a tack onto a long port leg. The leg was further enhanced by the presence of 2 large ferries and an attendant Polizia RIB which parked up in the middle of the course. Downer hit hard right and gained the advantage to be first at the mark, closely followed by the Robertsons and Howie / desperado Danno with Bedborough / Brown in close pursuit. Bedborough brought an end to proceeding with an impromptu hull inspection at the spreader gybe. Downer sparkled off into a convincing lead, followed by Robertson and Howie.
This left Jon Gorringe and Nikki Bass as very worthy Eurocup champions, with current national champions Robertsons Senior taking runners up and 'the 2 crews' Bedborough / Brown just squeezing onto the third podium position ahead of Paul and Mark Oakey.
Overall everyone agreed the 45 teams have had an amazing week. The Fraglia de la Vela race organisation as always was first class, owed in no small part we suspect to the amount of red wine consumed on the committee boat. And many agreed that the mix of light and breezy conditions made it a much more interesting regatta than the customary 'bang the cliffs' conditions which we sometimes experience. The weather has made it a little challenging for many of the shore crews who have had to keep families amused on the damp days – however one of the beauties of Garda as a destination is that there are so many other things to do in and around Riva.
gar14d4-130 - RS400 Eurocup 2014
1gar14d4-1967 - RS400 Eurocup 2014
|1||GBR 1414||Jon Gorringe, Nicola Bass, Parkstone YC||17,0||1||(6)||2||3||3||1||1||4||2||(dnf)|
|2||GBR 1319||Stewart Robertson, Sarah Robertson, Royal Forth YC||21,0||4||(7)||1||1||4||3||3||(6)||3||2|
|3||GBR 1432||Keith Bedborough, Richard Brown, Dalgety Bay SC||35,0||8||2||(11)||9||1||2||7||5||1||(dnf)|
|4||GBR 1384||Paul Oakey, Mark Oakey, Portchester SC||36,0||(32)||1||4||8||2||(9)||2||8||5||6|
|5||GBR 1385||James Downer, Jon Price, Royal Victoria YC||38,0||2||8||7||(12)||8||4||(dnf)||1||7||1|
|6||GBR 1215||Josh Metcalfe, Patrick Metcalfe, Y Felinheli||40,0||3||5||(10)||(dnf)||6||5||4||3||10||4|
|7||GBR 1418||Howard Farbrother, Desperate Dan Martin, Queen Mary SC||44,0||(17)||(21)||3||2||5||6||6||2||17||3|
|8||NED 864||Elaine Turner, Sijbrand Jongejans, Braasemermeer||59,0||9||(10)||5||5||(14)||10||8||9||4||9|
|9||GBR 922||Roger Carter, Ian Robertson, Wormit Boating Club||70,0||11||4||15||7||9||(16)||10||(38)||6||8|
|10||IRL 1339||Emmet Ryan, Jay Stacy||76,0||6||9||6||6||(23)||(20)||9||13||9||18|
|11||GBR 1172||Barrie Thornton, Alex Oyston||86,0||7||18||8||20||(ocs)||7||5||7||(ocs)||14|
|12||IRL 1179||David Rose, Ian Heffernan, Royal Cork YC||89,0||(28)||3||16||15||10||13||11||(22)||14||7|
|13||GBR 1342||Jack Holden, Ollie Miller, Arun YC||94,0||14||12||14||4||17||8||13||12||(ocs)||(dnf)|
|14||GBR 1161||Ben Robertson, Hannah Robertson||98,0||(18)||14||17||10||15||(24)||14||10||8||10|
|15||GBR 1326||Nick Martin, Ben George, Lee on Solent SC||102,0||13||(24)||12||11||7||15||(18)||16||15||13|
|16||GBR 1394||Mark Tucker, Julie Tucker, Lee on Solent SC||107,0||12||19||9||(28)||(ocs)||12||16||14||20||5|
|17||GBR 1290||David Brown, Rebecca Witt, Queen Mary SC||107,0||(29)||(22)||13||13||11||17||12||11||13||17|
|18||GBR 1049||Neil McLellan, Ollie Milling-Smith, East Lothian YC||117,0||5||11||20||18||13||11||(ocs)||(dnf)||19||20|
|19||GBR 1294||John MacKenzie, Andy Box, West Lothian SC||134,0||(33)||16||(21)||16||18||14||17||21||21||11|
|20||GBR 1196||Peter Snowdon, Teresa Miolla, Scaling Dam SC||140,0||10||15||25||(29)||12||(26)||19||20||16||23|
|21||GBR 1123||Nev Herbert, Steve Penfold, Royal Lymington YC||149,0||15||(28)||22||21||25||21||15||18||(ocs)||12|
|22||GBR 1199||Graham Child, Will Perrett, Lee on Solent SC||149,0||19||17||18||14||20||(27)||21||19||(ocs)||21|
|23||GBR 1393||Nick Zammit, Nick Zammit, Locks SC||152,0||20||25||19||19||(28)||(28)||20||15||12||22|
|24||GBR 1018||Richard Bolton, Martin Booth, East Lothian YC||173,0||16||26||23||17||(41)||18||23||26||(31)||24|
|25||GBR 564||Jacob Ainsworth, Kayleigh Roberts, Derwent Reservoir||182,0||24||31||27||22||19||19||22||(32)||18||(33)|
|26||CAN 8||Allan Measor, Darren Monster, Water Rats SC||185,0||22||(29)||26||23||27||(36)||27||24||11||25|
|27||GBR 979||Oliver George-Taylor, Toria Burton, Locks SC||188,0||34||20||24||30||16||23||24||17||(dnf)||(dnf)|
|28||GBR 1097||Aaron White, Niall White, Scaling Dam SC||199,0||26||(42)||(dnf)||24||24||25||29||33||22||16|
|29||GBR 1051||Matt Sheahan, Ellie Sheahan, Netley SC||202,0||25||(dnf)||(40)||26||29||22||32||23||30||15|
|30||GBR 440||Robert Yeamans, Nadia McMinn, Aberdeen & Stonehaven YC||216,0||30||30||28||(32)||(31)||29||28||27||25||19|
|31||GBR 1162||Martin Slack, Scott Macbeth, Royal Findhorn YC||217,0||27||(32)||30||25||21||31||26||(35)||27||30|
|32||GBR 1||David Harcourt, Christine Short, RYA||234,0||31||33||29||34||22||35||25||25||(ocs)||(dnf)|
|33||GBR 1067||James Logan, Philippa Logan, Nottinghamshire County SC||235,0||(36)||13||36||27||32||(41)||35||34||26||32|
|34||GBR 1129||David Webley, Fraser Mulford, Wormti Boating Club||236,0||21||35||32||(42)||33||33||31||(37)||23||28|
|35||GBR 1168||Oli Harris, Ed Deacon, Alton Water SC||238,0||(43)||(34)||33||33||30||30||30||31||24||27|
|36||GBR 1233||Nick Francis, Simon Edwards, Queen Mary SC||243,0||(41)||23||37||31||26||(38)||37||29||29||31|
|37||GBR 1164||Roy Cowie, Garry Rendall, Findhorn SC||261,0||(39)||27||(41)||36||38||37||36||28||33||26|
|38||GBR 786||Bruce Murdoch, Steve Wilson, Aberdeen & Stonehaven YC||269,0||(40)||39||31||37||39||32||(40)||30||32||29|
|39||GBR 475||Chris Dowie, Nicole Tinmurth, Aberdeen & Stonehaven YC||278,0||35||38||35||(39)||35||39||33||(41)||28||35|
|40||GBR 1198||Simon Grey, Pollyanna Grey, Chanonry SC||283,0||(38)||37||34||35||34||34||38||(40)||37||34|
|41||GBR 1240||Paul Engelmann, Katy Engelmann, Silverwing SC||300,0||23||36||42||(dnf)||37||40||34||42||(dnf)||dnf|
|42||GBR 768||Colin Davies, Naomi Moran||308,0||37||40||(dnf)||38||36||42||41||39||35||(dnf)|
|43||GBR 981||Roly Wilson, Tom Joyce, RNSA||313,0||42||(43)||39||41||(43)||43||42||36||34||36|
|44||GBR 894||John Perry, Gary Aylmer||322,0||44||41||38||40||40||44||39||(dnf)||36||(dnf)|
|45||GBR 494||Stephen MacGillivray, Simon MacGillivray, Royal Findhorn YC||341,0||(dns)||44||(dnf)||43||42||45||dnf||dnf||38||37|