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International Canoe Europa Cup at Deutsch-Britischer Yacht Club - Day 1

by Chris Hampe 24 Jul 2018 04:18 PDT 23-27 July 2018

A small but competitive fleet of canoes has gathered on the shores of the River Havel at the Deutsch Britischer Yacht Club to the south west of Berlin.

With the European heatwave in full force competitors were pleased to awake to see a much stronger breeze than the forecast had suggested. As boats launched for the 1PM start it was good to see sailors reaching out towards the end of their sliding seats. With a North Westerly wind, the race officer elected to set the start line near the beaches at Steglitz-Zehlendorf and the windward mark near the shores of Kladow.

In the first race, the British team showed some dominance and shared the lead between themselves as Chris Hampe took the pin end start and gained an early lead on the left-hand shore. Shaun Anderson then took over the lead only to make a mistake on the final beat to let current world champion Robin Wood steal the win. Axel Bierwagen finished fourth as the best placed German sailor whilst another Brit, Alisdair Alston came from behind to lead the One-Design fleet.

The start of race 2 saw several strong gusts descending down through the course, these came together with large holes and bigger shifts making difficult conditions and catching a few sailors out with some capsizes. Robin Wood was the best at mastering the tricky conditions and soon opened out a safe lead on the chasing pack. Shaun Anderson again finished in 2nd and it was Simon Beers who rounded out the podium. Alisdair Alston had a more comfortable race win in the one design fleet.

Race 3 provided some of the closest racing with the fleet holding starboard tack away from the line, holding your lane was essential. Robin Wood was able to edge his nose out in front where he would once again stay for the remainder of the race. The Germans were starting to find some form with Axel Bierwagen, Simon Beers, and Roger Regitz all challenging with Chris Hampe and Shaun Anderson. Axel would take the second place ahead clear of Shaun Anderson who led a tight pack from Chris Hampe, Simon Beers, and Roger Regitz.

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