The Finn Senior and Junior European Championship got off to a slow start in La Rochelle, France on Monday with no races sailed. After three starts were attempted for the first race, it was eventually abandoned half way up the first leg and cancelled for the day, later in the afternoon.
After weeks of good wind, it wasn't the start that everyone hoped for. The fleet set out for a scheduled 11.00 start and finally got off the line on the third attempt. Two of the starts were under black flag with 11 boats pulled out including a lot of big players. The world champion Jorge Zarif (BRA) and world and European runner up from last year Ed Wright (GBR), were among the boats having to sit out race 1.
By the time the race got under way the wind had dropped from a promising 7-9 knots to 4-5 knots and half way up the first beat it had dropped to three knots and shifted 30 degrees to the right. Michal Jodlowski (POL) had taken the right side was had a huge lead when the race was finally abandoned before he reached the top mark. By the time the fleet got back to the start line, the wind was almost gone and after half an hour waiting on a mirror like sea, the fleet was sent ashore to await further instructions, and enjoy the pasta that was supposed to be welcoming them back after two races.
The sailors waited round the club until just after 16.00 when PRO raised AP over H to signal the end of racing for the day. The expected wind just didn't have the courtesy to turn up. The intention is to hold three races on Tuesday, at a start time of 11.00. The forecast is more optimistic, though some precipitation is on the cards.
Included within the 101 sailors competing for the Senior European title, there are 25 sailors competing for the Junior title. So 25 per cent of the fleet here is under the age of 22. The defending champion Peter McCoy (GBR) is up against the likes of world champion Zarif and Junior world and European silver medallist Jake Lilley (AUS) who were both black flagged today.
Racing continues Tuesday at 11.00.