The last weekend in August saw the next open meeting event for the UK Europe fleet. Thirteen visitors joined a local boat at Lee-on-the-Solent Sailing Club.
The fleet launched with 15 knots, which quickly built during the afternoon. A trapezoid course was set and the fleet got away at the first attempt. The downwind legs were an exciting ride, with a number of sailors doing an unplanned inspection of the bottom of their boats and a few taking the wise decision to tack around rather than risking a gybe. By the bottom of the 2nd round, Malcom Morley had taken the lead, followed by Emma Pearson who miraculously saved what appeared to be a kamikaze gybe at the leeward mark to take 2nd place with Olly Harris in 3rd.
With the breeze building a few decided to go ashore, but ten Europes lined up for the 2nd start, only to discover at the top of the beat that there had been a general recall! Another sleighride downwind back to the committee boat where the race team wisely decided to call it a day due to the increasing breeze. The fleet made it ashore, thanks go to the LOSSC members who help everyone safely ashore, the rest of the afternoon was spent catching up and a fish & chip supper and a few beers served up by the club in the evening.
Sunday dawned with sunshine and 10 knots, perfect conditions. Race 1 got under way with a long beat up the shore against the tide, Lucy Boreham made the dash out to the windward mark first whilst the rest of the fleet opted to continue inshore, the early tack out into the tide paid off, Lucy building a 100m lead which was maintained throughout, the chasing fleet had a close battle with Emma taking 2nd and Malcom 3rd.
A bit more wind for race 2 and another close race, Emma & George Cramond leading the way around the course until the final run, Fiona Taylor Bullmore showed some impressive downwind speed charging past George & Malcom to take 2nd place.
The 3rd and final race of the day started in the most wind. Jon Tweedle led around the windward mark, Lucy & Emma made the most of the waves downwind to have a close battle all the way to the finish as the breeze reduced with Emma taking the win in the 3rd race and the win overall. Kathy Sheeratt managed to create a bit of space for herself for 3rd with 4th to 8th finishing all within seconds of each other.
With 2 race wins Emma Pearson took overall 1st place, Lucy & Malcom tied on 7 points, with Lucy taking 2nd on count back and Fiona in 4th. Lee on Solent excelled with great racing on the water, very friendly welcome to the visitors, lovely cakes and some Rooster prizes.
The fleet packed up in the sunshine all with big smiles and much talk about looking forward to the Inlands at Oxford SC on the 21/22nd September and 5 intrepid Europe sailors are making their way to Belgium for the Belgium Nationals next weekend.