From one Europeans and on to another. I’m now in Kiel, helping out the Star team of Percy and Simpson in the week leading up to their Europeans so it is a good time to reflect on the Moth Europeans just gone. It is quite funny going from flying around in a Moth the other week to a spot of Star helming and crewing! I’ve always loved the Star, but at 30-40kg underweight I think I’ll stick to the coachboat watching them for the moment!
So the Euros didn’t go so well for me, but more about that later.
In what is quickly becoming Moth tradition, we had a big case of ‘it’s not normally like this!’ 7-14knots during practice became 20/25knots with a nice chop.
Arnoud won, but it couldn’t have been any closer between him and Simon, all coming down to the final race after countback couldn’t break them. They were a class apart from the rest of the field, sharing all the race wins between them. Arnos regatta didn’t start very well when some rigging let go just a boatlength or two after launching for race 1. Fortunately the Swiss support team was quick to respond and he was back on the water after a quick re-rig, only to be back in again soon after with a wand issue. Ultimately I think Arnoud just started a fraction better than Simon, and Simon was on the back foot a little more. Third was Eelco Boers in a Bladerider VRX. Hadn’t really seen him before the event, and he kept a low profile on the race course (lots of black Bladeriders looking similar!) but good pace upwind in the breeze kept the results coming. Fourth was Mike Lennon. Always up there, but never quite able to challenge the top three. Fifth was Mike Cooke. A superb regatta from him in his new Ninja. Solid pace kept him in consistent results. Sixth: Rod Harris – A bit down before the regatta (“why spoil a good day with racing!”), Rod persevered with his wand set-up to ultimately find some good pace and control in the breeze and sailed a very solid regatta to keep chipping away good results.
Katherine and ‘Carbon Footprint’ had a great event to be first female competitor, and to get round in all four of the races on the last day, while many decided not to sail, or headed in early.
The Mini rig did her proud and once we’d tweaked the wand system to account for her lighter weight ‘The Print’ was much more controllable, with Katherine joining the 20 knot club with a 20.7 knot max. Quote of the day was; “When I die and I see the video of my life – those bear-aways will be in it!”
Unfortunately my regatta didn’t go so well. I’d done a few set-up changes before that were definitely better, and a few ride height tweaks just before racing helped again, but ultimately I was too set up for more moderate conditions and flat water. Too much sailing in Weymouth and no waves caught me out when we had breeze and waves come in, and I didn’t get the set-up changed enough to survive the downwinds, and did a fair bit of pitchpoling. The tramp ripping in half under me as I righted the boat on launching for the first race wasn’t a great way to start though! A 5th in race 2 was okay, but then a cam came off the mast in between races. So I capsized to go and try and get it back on, only for all the other ones to come off. Race three with no cams in was tricky.. Race 4 I struggled for control in the breeze downwind. More of the same on the last day until the gantry decided it had enough of the demands of me trying to survive the downwinds and left the program. It is not a nice sight still having a tiller extension in your hand but looking back at you gantry and rudder a few lengths behind you! The gantry is now back in better shape than before, and I’ll do a few wand tweaks when I get back. Slightly frustrating when I know I can fly early and had found new pace in the medium stuff. That will teach me for expecting a light wind regatta – where have we heard that before.... Ironically just down the coast in Kiel now we’ve only had one day of breeze over 10 knots all week. (Perfect Star sailing weather for me (well the under 5 knot day was anyway!)
Last day with the Star guys today then finish the drive home. Great week in Kiel, but that is a subject for another posting...