Postcard from Wales - Junior European 420 and 470 Champs, Pwllheli
by Rob Burn on 17 Aug 2013
Rob Burn sends this postcard from Wales - Registration, Measurement & first days racing, Junior European 420 and 470 Champs, Pwllheli
Opening Ceremony crowd Junior Euros Rob Burn
Bo re` da
Apologies to the Welsh, but I am told it is Good Morning (with phonetics)
Taylor Burn and Henry Gibbs have a mixed start to the Junior European 420 Championships, a 'midfleeter' followed by a good 'come from behind' win.
A fine, clear morning to wake up to, after yesterdays 20 knot plus Practice Race with big waves, rained out Opening Ceremony and cancellation of the traditional March past. Even most of the measurement the day before was in the rain, waiting to get into the Measurement tent, frantic drying of boat insides to satisfy the Chief Measurer, some sailors finding there bow numbers falling off today in the building breeze. The Welsh Lamb roast was worth the wait to conclude the Opening.
RAF fighter jets roaring overhead continually in the sunshine, a good back ground to the repeated General Recall hoots but with only two races scheduled for Yellow and Blue Flights, Race Officer Adrian soon sent everyone on their way.
Big starts, 96 420s divided into two flights, 48 per start, so a bun fight on the line. The 470s on the other course had it slightly easier with only 40 in one fleet.
The first race was very shifty again, as we have come to expect here. The Race Committee had scheduled a 2pm Start time to take account of the wind direction and time it would take to settle.
12 knots, nice sunshine and building waves, the Kiwi pair of Taylor Burn and Henry Gibbs had a good start, but similar to their start at the GBR Nationals, struggled with choices up the first beat, rounding in 16th. Our adopted cousins, the young Aussie crew of Xavier and Josh, now part of our coaching group, fared even worse.
The Kiwis got to 11th at the first downwind, looked good going up the beat until they slowed right down. Coach Sarah looked at the clumps of weed drifting down the course and said, 'there's the problem'..... An 18th Finish wasn't Taylor and Henry's ideal start.
Race two under a Black Flag was another chance. A great start, sixth around the Top mark closely followed by the Aussies, into fourth by the Wind Mark and chasing hard after the race leaders. second around the downwind gates, by the next upwind mark rounding, second behind the Italian girls, the USA leaders having fallen back. The boys past the Italians within a hundred metres of the last downwind mark rounding and were unstoppable on the final reach to the Finish, pulling away considerably. Mojo restored once more. Our Aussies didn't fare so well and dropped back to 17th ...hard to describe how tricky it can be and sometimes a fine line between success and disaster.
Forecast tomorrow is 25 knots gusting more so it could be an interesting day if we sail.
As always, a huge thank you to the sponsors, supporters and families back home. The messages of continual support are great for all of us, not just the sailors. We have been on the road awhile now, this is the last event and we are thinking of those affected by the latest quakes and other news of home.
With the news of Taylor's Formal being postponed ...he may yet make it to the ball.....
Hw lio Ha Piss
(That's Welsh for Happy Sailing, I'm not taking the proverbial....)