Europe news continues to dominate the headlines, though neither Theresa nor Jeremy nor Nigel appeared at the Overy Staithe open meeting on 18th and 19th May. The event was shared with the wonderful 12sq.m. Sharpies, who joined in the Euro-fun with some Dutch sail numbers.
Sailing (as they do at Overy) on spring tides, which appear late in the evening and early in the morning, the racing was scheduled for the slightly unsociable times of 1700 on Saturday and 0700 on Sunday. Nevertheless an eager group of Europes prepared on the hard, waiting for the water and wind to arrive. The water was on schedule, but the wind was a tad reluctant, as forecast.
Race one got off to a good start, and racing was close, short-tacking against the tide up the Scolt Head shore. It was a case of how close dare you go before risking the final tack out to the windward mark in the teeth of the tide. Once you got round, it was a sleigh-ride down tide and big gaps opened up. The locals were generous in telling the visitors which way to go, but there was no holding the local hero Alex Scoles who went both fast and in the right direction. Richard Eagleton was close for a while but second time round saw Alex disappear in the distance, and the bulk of the fleet lost touch with Richard who was a comfortable second.
In the second race both Richard and Debs Crissell were too eager at the start. Alex and Ellie Clark led the pack, with strategy changing slightly as the tide turned and the wind weakened. Ellie was going well in a borrowed boat (having discovered earlier just how sharp a Sharpie is in a t-bone situation). Alex took the win again, and Jon “Slimline” Tweedle did well to get a third in the light conditions. Richard was working his way up the fleet until someone deposited a sunken island in the way which definitely wasn’t there on the previous lap!
Sunday dawn brought a heavy mist, which was not entirely due to the bacon rolls which appeared at 5:45 thanks to host Malcolm Morley! The mist did clear, but that was due less to the arrival of any wind, and more to the hot air arising from discussions on burning topics of the day, including the machinations of the Olympics and World Sailing. Finally at 7:30am the Race Officer wisely pulled the plug and gave everyone the day off.
So disappointingly we ended up with a two-race no-discard scorecard, which gave Alex a well-deserved win, Richard a barely-deserved second, and the others wondering what might have been. Malcolm just enjoyed it, as did we all.
The Europes didn’t quite manage the usual 50/50 gender split that we take pride in. But with the Europe’s flexible and adjustable rig, we did get even racing in fairly light conditions with sailors ranging from under 55 to over 80 kg. Match that!
Race 1 Race 2 Total
1st Alex Scoles 1 1 2
2nd Richard Eagleton 2 5 7
3rd Debs Crissell 4 4 8
4th Jon Tweedle 6 3 9
5th Ellie Clark dns 9 2 11
6th Simon Turner 3 8 11
7th Rose Edmonds 5 6 11
8th Malcolm Morley 7 7 14