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Gill Europe class Inland Championships at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Gareth Tweedle 17 May 2023 09:53 UTC 13-14 May 2023
Gill Europe class Inland Championships at Grafham Water © Paul Sanwell / OPP

On 13th/14th May the Europe class assembled at an unseasonably chilly Grafham Water SC for our Inland Championships, sponsored by Gill. The plan was for three races each day, but with Sunday's forecast looking very light PRO Peter Curtis made the wise call to pull an additional race forward to the Saturday, so four races back-to-back.

Race 1

With a shifty (and chilly) breeze of around 10 knots, we were sharing a trapezoid course with the RS600s, whilst the Flying Fifteens sailed a windward/leeward course.

One of the joys of Europe racing is how close it all is, with very little difference in speed despite sailor weights ranging from 55 to 85+kg. This was apparent in race 1 when most of the 26 entries arrived at the first mark pretty much together, two boats coming in just off the port lay-line.

Adam managed to thread his boat through the eye of a needle and come out in pretty good shape, whilst the other one didn't (and my cheeks are still slightly pink with embarrassment).

Steve C, Sue, Adam and Hector, in what was to become quite a familiar sight, led the fleet home in that order.

Race 2

Race 2 got under way in similarly light and shifty conditions, with a second hoot and individual recall signalled. I thought it was either Adam at the pin end or me in the middle of the line that had 'Started Too Well', but we both plugged on regardless. It was me.

Adam and Steve C had a close battle for the first lap, with Adam nailing the shifts up the second beat to pull away for a big win, followed by Hector and Sue.

Simon Jones, as he did in every race, showed some great speed in his new boat.

Race 3

With a right hand shift just before the start, the boat end was keenly fought for. I wasn't close enough to see the carnage, and barely even the committee boat once said carnage unfolded, but apparently as Joe pulled the trigger to start he found another boat between his boom and himself, thus spinning him into a tack of sorts and pinning another boat or two against the committee boat, all whilst obscuring the RO's view of anyone else on the line. General recall.

The RO re-set the startline, rather generously giving us the tallest electricity pylon in Cambridgeshire as a transit. With a nice square line it felt like pretty much everyone got a good start.

Richard E, sailing his new Synergy boat, along with Brian C-B in his lovingly restored and now immaculate 30+ year old Winner were very much in the mix all the way round, with Steve C first, followed by Adam, Hector, Richard, then Brian.

Race 4

Going into the final race Steve was leading, but a race win for Adam could give him the title.

Steve W and George Crammond came flying out of the blocks to push the leaders all the way round. Steve C took the win, and the event, followed by Sue, George and Mike W, returning to fleet after 6 years and getting quicker and quicker with every race.

With a forecast of no wind for Sunday, and the camping area now feeling very cold indeed, a number of sailors headed home on Saturday evening. Those of us that stayed enjoyed a meal at the club followed by a very cold night.

Sunday dawned with, as forecast, no wind, but at least it had warmed up a bit. A pleasant couple of hours of chilling and catching up with friends before the racing was cancelled for the day.

So Steve Cockerill regained the Inlands title, with Adam Catlow second and first youth, and Sue Ogg third and first lady.

Our thanks go to PRO Peter Curtis and his team of volunteers at GWSC for a great event that ran like clockwork.

Next Event

The fleet heads to Plymouth next for the Nationals June 1st-4th, followed by Staunton Harold SC 15th-16th July for what is always a great event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelms_NameSailing_ClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st417Steve CockerillStokes Bay Sailing Club1‑2113
2nd392Adam CatlowLeigh & Lowton Sailing Club312‑66
3rd381Sue OggNetley Sailing Club24‑728
4th415Hector CisnerosDatchet Water Sailing Club433‑910
5th369Mike WallisGrafham Water Sailing Club‑1366416
6th418Gareth TweedleEmsworth Sailing Club5(OCS)8518
7th425Richard EagletonBexhill Sailing Club‑18104822
8th403George CrammondStaunton Harold‑15911323
9th388Mandy HortonGrafham Water Sailing Club95‑141024
10th266Simon JonesWPNSA789‑2124
11th389John ReesHayling Island Sailing Club8712‑1327
12th351Richard MajorGrafham Water Sailing Club101110‑1231
13th172Steve WhitbyGYGSC1114‑19732
14th319Jonathan TweedleCastle Cove Sailing Club/RAFSA613‑151433
15th305Brian Campbell‑BottomsHayling Island Sailing Club‑201751537
16th900Nigel ThomasHill Head Sailing Club1415‑181140
17th240Joe Penhaul SmithStaunton Harold Sailing Club121616‑1744
18th8Natalie CampbellHayling Island Sailing Club17‑18131848
19th122Giles HortonHawley Lake‑2220171653
20th377Alan RobinsonSevern Sailing Club1612(DNC)DNC55
21st95Clare GilesGunfleet Sailing Club1919‑202058
22nd372Martyn CatlowLeigh & Lowton Sailing Club‑2121211961
23rd248George CormackDale Yacht Club232222(DNC)67
24th400Ellie ClarkOvery Staithe SC/Chichester YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC81
24th411Lucy BorehamChichester Yacht CLub(DNC)DNCDNCDNC81
24th354Angela WallisGrafham Water Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNC81

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