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18ft Skiffs European Championships - Hectic at the harbour

by Norbert Peter on 27 Jun 2013
2013 European Championships of the 18ft Skiffs in Carnac Thierry Martinez © http://www.thmartinez.com
18ft Skiffs European Championships - Increase of the weather forecast of 13knots led the fleet to decide whether it was big or small...

All teams decided for small and one hour before the start it was quite hectic at the harbour. Big riggs and sails laying around and everybody except two teams went onto the water. The British team Hyde were still preparing their stuff for San Francisco and Germany's Magic Marine's helm had to go to hospital due to some problems with the eyes.

The races in choppy waves and 17-18 knots with gusts to 23 knots showed a clear two Race win of Howard Hamlin, USA in front of 'Woody' John Winning. The Europeans are following on the places but we (as Europeans, of course) wait for their answer today. Stay tuned for more.

After the races have been cancelled on day two due to wave conditions, the fleet went out on day three for four races in 10 - 15 knots and bumpy conditions. All four top ranked teams shared the wins today and are therefore on top of the leader board. Howard Hamlin leads comfortably after six races with one discard on seven points, followed by the British team around Jarrod Simpson on 11, Australia's John Winning on 12 points and Miklos Ujhelyi-Gaspars Hungarians on 16 points. After those four teams there is already a gap to the fifth team, Germany's Friedrich Renner on 30 points.

After a layday the wind conditions today are light - very light conditions waited for the teams and on the water it was warm and nice but only three knots. However the weather forecast promised slightly increasing winds out of northern directions along the coastline and so after a short postponement the teams started of for the first race of the day. Soon it became obvious under the shoreline the wind shifts and puffs seemed to be slightly better than outside and the fleet split of in those trying it outside and the teams finding their way to the first mark near to the beach. CST with Howard, Scott and Peter managed this best and won the first race in tricky conditions. Anyway it was a good day for them with 1,2,1, and their Discard 4. Only the third race was bait windier with 12-14 knots this rest of the day was definitely light winds. the other two wins went to Black Dog with Jarrod, Nick and Adam that also a good day that brought them into second position over all just one point ahead of John 'Woody' , Jim and Andrew on Yandoo. Behind those 3 there was already a wide gap after ten races sailed with 2 to go until the fourth placed European Champion from 2010, Miklos with Zsombor and Levente on Liberty Sailing.

For the final day the weather forecast announced 15 knots in gusts 18 but dropping in the late afternoon, so the fleet was very unsure what to do. After all everybody went on small rigg and the wind dropped 45 Minutes before the start to a light breeze - the weather god seemed to be joking on the fleet. Ten minutes before the start (one hour earlier than usual) the wind increased again and everybody was satisfied. The first start attempt was a general recall and after principal race officer Tony O'Gorman displayed Black flag the boats went on their way to the top mark. Most of the fleet expected to find the best way along the shoreline as the wind was southerly along the shore but some boats tacked after the start to port and choose their way on the right side of the course. This paid and there were three boats from this side in the top five. However at the end of the race Woody and Howard shared the wins in the last two races and that brought Woody, Yandoo, AUS up on second place, passing Jarrod, Black Dog, GBR on the finishing line. The Hungarians stayed on fourth with no change. With a good performance in the pack behind, only 13 points separated fifth from ninth place Steve McLean jumped from seventh on the fifth place followed from the Denish around Flemming, Original Chia jumping from eighth to sixth place. This made the Germans around Friedrich Renner, EuroLink drop to seventh. The Germans from Magic Marine ended eighth, followed by the GBR-teams HydeSails,Awl Grip, Young&Reckless, English Braids and the Dutch Team Pandion. It was perfect week with some great des and a exciting finish

Reviewing this week it was again a very friendly week the club did its best to please the sailors and the work of the whole race committee was great, Tony O'Gorman did a great job being a superior chief in every second. The class would love to return.



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