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French 420 Nationals- Final Day - A French sailing lesson

by Rob Burn on 21 Jul 2013
Race 3 of the Final Day of the French 420 Nationals Rob Burn

Rob Burn Reports from the final day of the French 420 National Championships

Bonjour all

Finally great sailing, the Froggies save the best to last....

Brilliant sunshine, nice breeze, only one course change but still some challenging shifts, our three crews had some great races today and was exactly what was needed for the World's in Valencia to come.

All sailors had a French lesson today, two French girls, Jennifer and Lucie, blew the competition away to win the French Nationals at Plenuef Val Andre on only 6 points after dropping a 4th. Never has this humble writer seen a boat sail so quick, winning four of the 6 races, the other was a second, obviously optimum conditions for them at 8 knots building to 10-12, then dropped slightly in the last race.

Taylor and Henry beat them in one race and felt very happy with themselves.

The Kiwi Team experienced Triumph and Tragedy. Eliza and Sam could only sail until 2pm before packing their boat up and heading for the Train and plane to Valencia. They were in a different flight to the other two NZL crews. First race was a good ninth, second race was a fabulous close 2nd, and the third ....they lead all the way and crossed the line first .....but Black Flagged and disqualified. We heard the call on the VHF in French but they wouldn't have known ..great practice race and a great day for Eliza and Sam as Worlds practice anyway.

The other two crews of Taylor and Henry and Taylor and Sam battled it out over four races. For most of the races both crews were in the first 5-8 places around most of the courses but either gaining or losing places in the last leg.

Taylor Balogh and Sam Lee started with a 14th, a ninth in the second race, 13th in the third and the final race was a 17th, just beating Taylor Burn and Henry Gibbs on the line. Taylor Burn and Henry Gibbs started well with a seventh, then a fourth, a hard fought 2nd, and somehow managed to sail themselves from a good seventh losing 11 places to 18th. This race gave the Brits the trophy for the top 'Foreign' boat, our boys in second place.

The final results for the Kiwis were Taylor and Henry 11th, Taylor and Sam 18th, Eliza and Sam 44th... but they did miss one race and had to carry a DNS.

The Regatta was really good even though sailing was limited to 6 races. Our crews had some great racing and training from the home of 420's and we met some wonderful people who worked hard to make the event a success.

We presented our Queen Charlotte Yacht Club Burgee, got invited to the Volunteers social drinks and had to kiss an awful lot of wonderful French women ..and a couple of men ....plus learn the Val Andre 'Haka'. Blair had to explain that the 'Haka' was a challenge ...the Val Andre one was about eating and drinking ....and he was up for it!

The usual frantic pack up and load ...the thought of driving 1400 kms tomorrow and not remembering how the boats fitted on the trailer, life isn't that easy on the road in Europe.

Many thanks to the wonderful hospitality from the CNPVA club, Brittany, a fabulous place and one we will look forward to coming back to.

Valencia calls...
Bon soir, Mes Amis
Rob

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