European Championships 2018 crowns Manuel Calavia European Champ in a disappointing last day.

Manuel Calavia was today crowned the 2019 European ‘A’ Class Champion, without having to sail another race.  Glenn Ashby was the Regatta Champion, with 4 bullets and a 3rd.

On a windy, and above all wavy morning, the race was delayed for one hour until 11am as the sea state was above the limits set out in the Championship Rules.  1.5 – 2 m waves were rolling in from the Noreast driven by a brisk 18kt wind, with some 23kts gusts hidden within it.  But by 11am, the PRO deemed it suitable to let everyone off the beach.  Probably ¾ of the fleet launched, with some of the more cautious sailors, seeing the amount of breakages taking place on a previous day, decided discretionwas the better part of valor.

They needn’t of worried, as no sooner than most of the fleet had assembled in the race start area, a good 30 min hard sail away, they were all sent back to the shore again.  Questions were asked as to why on earth the officials insisted on strictly sticking to the designated regatta area after most of the other fleets had gone home two days before beats me.  Far better to have the race area much closer inshore, where the sea was flatter and the winds less gusty is something that the organisers need to address with all seriousness.  We shall reflect more upon this, and other issues, in a later piece.

As the fleet sailed home, past our spectacular spectator/press boat, a beautiful Catana 47 Catamaran, which was offered to us by a keen armchair ‘A’ Cat fan, Detlef Andreovits, president of the German Catamaran Association, who read between the lines of a previous report an jumped to our rescue. Something that we are all grateful for. A few passing boats started to hotdog shamelessly around us, particularly Mischa Heemskerk what has an unnatural ability, for a male, to do the splits on trapeze.

In the end, racing was cancelled as because the Sis said that 3pm was the last start time for the final day.  This was a great pity, because, as expected, the sun then shone and a few sailors went out to experience a fantastic sailing period.  Think what would have happened if that rule had been altered?  They would have got possibly a couple more races in, with the discards that would have brought too, as Saturday was scheduled to be the last day and a spare in case there wasn’t a championship (5 races) Rules rules rules.  It is often not fair to blame people for events for which little control is available, but in this case, it was generally felt that the Race Committee let the sailors down badly, losing the best sailing afternoon of the regatta by their rigid rule adherence.  Many people travelled many hundreds, if not thousands of miles to this event, and in their spare time is valuable.  They came to sail, at least give them the opportunity to do so by being flexible, rather than worrying about someone possibly protesting them on some technicality.

Top woman was Katrin Brunner.  Junior champ was Robin Maeder.  Classic champ was Marek Zebrowski.  3rdFoiling Maciej Zarnowski, 2ndFoiling Manuel Calavia, 1stFoiling Glenn Ashby.

The next major European event is the 2019 Worlds at WPNSA, Weymouth.  This place is a flat water foiling paradise and is very rarely unsailable.  Fingers crossed!

All photos can be seen here -