Our brave lads at the Europeans

At the recent European championships, plagued by high/low wind/waves, Team GBR (Adam May, Oscar Lindley-Smith, Tom Phipps, and adopted Brit, Paul Larsen) acquitted themselves admirably in Warnemunde. Adam finished 11th, Paul 14th, Oscar 37th and Tom 77th, but who suffered a major rudder fixing malfunction in race two and ended his regatta. He'd got a good 26th in his first and only 'A' Cat race. 87 sailed.

Only 2 days of sailing, and 5 races in total over the week though, although we were sure more races could have been run if the race committee had been more enlightened. Earlier starts and using the spare day would have certainly benefitted the competitors, many of whom had travelled thousands of miles to sail. Instead, after getting the required minimum of 5 races for a championship, the Friday racing was finally cancelled after the wave/wave combination in the official designated race area, some 2+ nm from the beach, were too high but not before all the competitors had sailed all the way out to the line. The SIs said racing on the final day was not to start later than 14.00, so it was ended. However, as usual in these things, by 15.00 and closer inshore there were champaign sailing conditions, but rules are rules. Why the spare day (Saturday) wasn't utilised remains a mystery to us, other than as a series had been achieved, so we all go home. Lessons learned for the future here. I know weather and waves can't be helped, but it did seem that flexibility wasn't really in the plan it seems.

However, on the actual races that did happen were pretty action packed. On race 3, the final race of the first day, it is thought that almost 40% of the fleet went over at some point. Regatta champion, Glenn Ashby put his boat in twice, once after discovering his foils work best in water and not fresh air.

At the venue, the launch beach was nice and sandy. However, as we were across the river from the main centre where all the social action and more importantly, the feeding and watering stations were, our fleet was in the grounds of a luxury hotel and condo/marina complex. No cafe, other than the 4* hotel bar, no shops, in fact an expensive desert really. The free after sailing beers provided after the actual sailing started hardly compensated, but we did all have free ferry passes. Again, lessons learned.

Overall, it was a rather frustrating event all things considered. Warnemunde is a lovely place, a sort of German Weymouth-like town. The sun shone mostly, the football was on the tellies in the quayside bars, the people were friendly and in the most part helpful, but to sail for less time that we did at the UK Nats was not too good. The German A Cat Assn (DACA) did as much as they could and no criticism lies with them, in fact they were rather dropped in it by events that happened a few months ago, it is thanks to Matthias Dietz and Guido Schultz that anything happened at all and all their members were as welcoming and friendly as we expected. Also, we all got to meet a few sailing superstars and see our heroes in action, so what's not to like there? We shall thankfully take this valuable experience forward to WPNSA in 2019, where we would expect to have flat water and bacon cobs at least.

We must remember that a bad day's sailing is still better than a good day in the office!

Full results - http://www.a-cat.eu/en/ergebnisse/

Gallery - http://www.guppypix.com/p678269653

Regatta Winner - Glenn Ashby AUS

European Champion - Manual Calavia ESP

Runner up - Maciej Zarnowski POL

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