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Europe open visitors dominate

Congratulations to Richard Eagleton, Ellen Clancy and Andy Harris for their masterclass in Europe sailing on Saturday.  We were blessed with sunshine and fresh Easterly breeze, although too fresh for some at times.  Race 1 saw all 8 boats make it to the starting area, but with a capsize prior to the start, Andy Reeves decided it was time for a early shower and first dibs on the galley.  Smart move!  For the rest, it was nip and tuck on the first beat to mark 7, but shortly after, the natural order was established with Richard Eagleton taking a dominant lead.  The lake provided the full variety of wind strength from becalmed to a refreshing force 5, which made sure that everyone was kept on their toes and heads out of their boats.  Positions changed in the mid fleet, especially in the lee of the trees after mark 6, where those who took a lower line were able to keep their boats moving.  Race 2 was a shorter course, featuring a beam reach that allowed the Europe to demonstrate its dramatic acceleration in the gusts, with a couple of the helms nearly falling out of the back of their boats when not holding on!

Richard kindly shared some of his secrets at lunchtime with the young 'uns, obviously thinking that the trophy was "in the bag".  Race 3 was the longest course, including two long beats, and more wind!  Ali Wallace, the only junior in the fleet, had his best race and was lying second when he lost his tiller extension whilst on a full blooded plane -  despite the obvious disappointment he managed to fix tiller and continue the race, although overtaken by most of the fleet.  Thrills and spills are well documented in Dave Whittle's excellent photo gallery.  Richard secured his third win, however the three laps of this long course took its toll, reducing the fleet to only 4 for the final race.  Hannah Reeves, Richard and Ali all headed for a well earned rest and hot shower!

The race officer took pity and set a much shorter and simpler course for the final race, and Ellen took her first win of the day after a decent battle with Andy Harris and Liz Macdonald.

Final points were:

Rank SailNo HelmName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett
1st 377 Richard Eagleton Bexhill SC 1.0 1.0 1.0 (9.0 DNC) 12.0 3.0
2nd 379 Ellen Clancy Cotswold SC 2.0 2.0 (4.0) 1.0 9.0 5.0
3rd 397 Andy Harris Chew Valley Lake SC (3.0) 3.0 2.0 2.0 10.0 7.0
4th 321 Elizabeth Macdonald South Cerney SC (5.0) 5.0 3.0 3.0 16.0 11.0
5th 175 Ali Wallace South Cerney SC 4.0 4.0 5.0 (9.0 DNC) 22.0 13.0
6th 340 Catriona Wallace South Cerney SC (6.0) 6.0 6.0 4.0 22.0 16.0
7th 77 Hannah Reeves South Cerney SC 7.0 7.0 7.0 (9.0 DNC) 30.0 21.0
8th 375 Andy Reeves South Cerney SC (9.0 DNS) 9.0 DNC 9.0 DNC 9.0 DNC 36.0 27.0

2015 South Cerney Europe Open and North and Midlands Traveller Series Champion: Richard Eagleton

First South Cerney boat: Liz Macdonald

First Junior: Ali Wallace

Overall a great day's racing, and excellent to see the Europe open back on the South Cerney calendar after an absence since 2006.

Andrew Wallace

Copyright © 2015 South Cerney Sailing Club Limited