Each year, the K6 class holds a European event on mainland Europe, last year is was the Netherlands but in alternate years, the fleet always comes to Fraglia del Garda. This year had the biggest spread of countries with teams from France, Germany, Czech Republic and the UK all making their way to Lake Garda for the this year’s Eurocup.
With very unlike Garda weather the first day was spent doing some fast and furious practice races combined with a an unofficial mini-series. After four races, Team Hall won the day with a 5,2,1,2.
The first day of the championship properly dawned and it looked like it was going to be a classic Garda day. However the previous days weather had brought snow on the high mountains and the wind decided it would stay from the north. Race one and it was a battle between the teams of Kirkby, Fulcher, Smithwhite and Hall. Team Kirkby lead into the final run only to be taken on the line by Team Hall. Race 2 once again started in the breeze from the north which looked like building.
At the front of the fleet it was the usual suspects but just as the leaders approached the last windward mark the wind inverted and the race was abandoned. After a long wait while, a weak Ora finally filled in and the restart finally got away. Breaking all the Garda rules Robin and Charlotte Richardson took the lead from the middle of the lake. They held it all the way to just before the finish where team Kirkby piped them at the post.
Day two and Garda delivered, an early wind set in with a good 22 knots plus with even more by the cliffs. With the stronger wind it brought a number of the heavier crews to the front. Team Fulcher started off the day with a first but it was the Smithwhite team that was able to take advantage of the breeze and ended the day with a 2,1,1 to take the overall lead. Team Kirkby – one of the lighter teams held on to second while another heavy weight team Calascione pulled up to third with a display of heavy weather sailing. After a disappointing first day another of the heavyweights team Jones had an excellent day with a consistent 3,2,2.
Lake Garda was a little kinder for day three. The southerly breeze came at 12 -15 knots providing exiting racing and fun sailing. Team Smithwhite won every race of the day, however not without challenges from team Fulcher and team Calascione. Team Kirkby now slipped from their second place allowing Team Fulcher and Calascione to to leap frog them. Going into the last day baring disaster the top two places of Smithwhite and Fulcher were taken, however with three races to go places third to sixth were still wide open. After the long day on the water the fleet enjoyed an evening at the new refurbished restaurant next to the club. Fun speeches and prizes were handed out to those who had achieved exceptional performances – not necessarily relating to their race position.
With snow on the mountains around the lake and racing starting for the last day in the morning it was an early cold start for the fleet. While Team Smithwhite continued their winning form the battle for third was hard fought. With four teams in the running it was team Hall who had one of their best days and pulled up to the third slot overhauling team both team Kirkby and Calascione. Team Cook were also in the running and had a good day but not quite enough to improve their position.
So the 2013 K6 Eurocup winner by a large margin is the team of David Smithwhite, Martin Wedge and Riki Aydeni.
A big thank you goes to Fraglia del Riva for their hospitality and incredibly efficient race team who in the mixture of conditions got all the races in.
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by K6 Class
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7:07 PM Mon 8 Jul 2013GMT
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