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RS100 European Championships - Travemunder Woche

    Fabulous sunshine met the 230 RS sailors and their friends and families at Travemunder Woche .   Several of the UK travellers had truly horrendous travelling tales, such as 18 hours to go 5 miles approaching Dover port.  Our RS100 sailor from Australia had actually had a shorter travelling time than some!   Hats off to the guys who showed real character and perseverence through such horrible journeys.  Once here, everyone relaxed into the 30 degree sunshine and the amazing festival that is Travemunder Woche.  At the International party on Monday evening, National costumes, drinks and food were swapped and a represetative for all 16 nationals gave a short speech. My favourite was the bathtime tale from Sweden, the singing from the French, and Junior representing GBR and RS Sailing explained that as the event 'get you back on the water' guy - "If you Brexit, I fexit!" 


    Racing report below ...


    Heather Chipperfield




    Along with 4 other RS classes a small but international (and erfectly formed - ed) RS100 fleet visited Travemunde week for the 2016 European championships. While the class captain was delayed in the 15hour ferry traffic chaos at Dover, the rest of the fleet were treated to the best conditions of the week on with warm sunshine and a steady F4 seabreeze on Sunday. When he finally arrived at the RS boat park/ camp site on Sunday afternoon, Mark found his boat (almost) rigged and ready for him, courtesy of Giles and Greg. There followed the first of several fleet outings into Travemunde for food and wine……


    The first race day on Monday dawned hot and calm, and with thunderstorms forecast and no sign of a sea breeze, the fleets were held ashore until 3pm when racing was cancelled for the day. Giles was treated to a paddle boarding lesson, while the rest of the fleet bimbled and drank beer. Later, after the RS international party, it became necessary to sample the beer and food tents which, along with craft stalls and music arenas, make up the half mile stretch of shore side activities for the week


    Day 2 looked more promising, with 10 knots of westerly breeze for the sail out, but during the start sequence the wind dropped and shifted causing a postponement. The course was moved the fitful breeze was not steady enough to get a start in. After several hours, the course was moved inshore closer to the dinghy park and racing eventually started around 3pm. The course for the week was shared with the much larger Aero fleet, who started first and got away cleanly. On the 100 start, the wind picked up and moved right 55 degrees which resulted in a reaching course.   Mark was first to the windward mark followed closely by Australian Paul Tadich and Giles, but when Mark failed to gybe to get to the spreader the lead was gone. This looked like a course with no overtaking opportunities, but the second downwind leg was so tight that the spinnaker could not be held all the way and Mark passed Giles, then both overtook Paul to give Mark the win.

    With the wind now more settled, the course was set up again.  Showing lightning speed in the shifty conditions, Paul again led round the windward mark, but was overtaken by Mark and Giles, with Giles taking the win. In the final race of the day, Greg led the first lap with Paul dropping from second down the run to Giles. Greg was still leading down the last run but fell into a hole and watched Giles and Mark sail round to finish in that order.

    Newcomer Cindy Donnecke-Herz, sailing in her first regatta, did well to complete all 3 races in spite of several capsizes.

    The fleet finally made it to the shore after over 9 hours on the water, with Liz handing out welcome cold beers on the shore before a fleet visit to the curry tent.


    The tricky forecast meant a 10am start time on Wed. to take advantage of the force 2 to 3 gradient wind before the thermal wind cancelled it out.

    Race 4 saw Greg channel his disappointment with his poor start position into fantastic boat speed both up and down wind. This helped him recover to third at the windward mark lead by the end of the first lap and extend to a comfortable win from Mark and Giles with Paul fourth.

    Race 5

    Mark led for most of the race but Greg passed Giles on the short beat to the finish and had Mark worried as he came in from 50 metres behind on port tack, ducking Marks transom just before the line, with Gerrard Vos finishing in 4th behind Giles.

    Race 6

    Paul and Giles led round the windward mark but failed to gybe off into pressure, allowing Greg and Mark to roll over the top. Mark overtook Greg on the big shifts up wind and managed to hold on downwind for the win followed by Greg and Giles with Paul 4th just in front of Lars Wegner

    After racing some of the Aero fleet were involved in a demonstration race in the river, giving the 100 sailors yet another excuse to visit the beer tents, and enjoy the shore side atmosphere of Traveunde Woche from the spectator area.


    Thursday saw another early start, but the wind again failed to appear, and after two aborted Aero starts in three hours we were sent home to wait. A leisurely lunch was enjoyed in the café, watching the Aero fleet try to race in no wind on the media course immediately in front of the boat park. Then, unexpectedly, the race officer called the 100s back on to the water only to send them back after 45 minutes upwind sailing towards the course area as the breeze became unstable. So no results from the day, however the fleet took advantage of the opportunity for a practice race neatly staged off the end of the pier in full view of the crowd assembled to watch the Aeros.

    In the evening, the entire RS fleet of around 230 sailors was invited to a reception on the tall ship ‘Passat’ moored across the river from the town – the wine, beer and food were consumed with enthusiasm, and followed by a trip to the huge tented entertainment area, dubbed ‘sin city’ by Greg. Much beer was drunk……


    With the possibility of 4 races on the last day, and a second discard, all positions were up for grabs on Friday. This was the day that had been forecast to have wind, and it arrived as promised, as a force 3-4 across the course.

    Race 7 

    Mark made his intentions clear by leading from the first mark while Giles, who was suffering from the consequences of the night before, never recovered from a poor start. Greg was second all race, and had to give up chasing Mark to cover Paul, who was on the right of the last run in pressure and threatening to take second place, Keith Willis finished in fourth.

    Race 8

    Paul and Keith started at the pin end and picked up pressure on the left to lead round the windward mark with Greg hard on their heels, but Mark and Giles starting at the other end were left for dead.  On the second beat Paul again went left while Keith and Greg went to the right, with Greg tacking back to the middle to cover Giles. This left Keith on his own to pick up at massive lift into the windward mark way in front of everyone. He comfortably held this lead to the finish followed by Greg, and Giles, with Mark in fourth.


    Race 9 was always looking like the last race with the cut off time looming. A rough check on the points showed Mark well in front with Greg and Giles on equal points for second and third.  The start saw the two of them side by side at the pin end with Greg just managing to clear the pin slowly. The battle between them continued the whole race with Mark just staying in front to claim the European championships. On the last gybe of the event Giles gybed on to Greg who luffed him, resulting in Giles releasing the spinnaker halyard to avoid Greg and a capsize, handing second in the race and series to Greg. Giles was third overall, and Paul forth.


    Thanks to the race officers for giving us as much racing as was possible in the frustrating conditions and Heather for taking us to this fantastic venue.

    The next for the 100s is their Nationals at Exe with the RS 300s in September, with 26 100s already entered it should be a great event.


    Mark Harrison




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