K6 Euro Cup 2024

June 24th - June 28th 2024 , Lake Como, Italy

It had been a COVID delayed return to glorious Lake Como for the K6 fleet, competing over five days for the EuroCup trophy, hosted by the delightful and efficient team at AVAL-CDV, Gravedona ed Uniti.

Monday and the 14 K6s entered had what was scheduled to be a relaxed afternoon start for two races. Contrary to predictions the thermal wind came in strongly giving competitors a challenging racing with quite a swell down the Lake. As the fleet gathered for the first start Lawrence and Luka Crispin (K6 222) suffered a jib sheet block breakage and did not start. The remainder of the fleet raced over a long windward/leeward course with Neil Fulcher/Jim Hunt (K6 201) coming home in first place following in by Mike Trueman/James Bennett/Paul Owen (K6 172) and Toby and Mark Woodings (K6 165) in third.

For race two the Italian race officer slightly shortened the course to keep within the 45 minute race time. Clean start by the fleet, which now included Lawrence and Luka. It didn’t take them long to make their mark coming home in 1st, closely followed by Neil and Jim in second and Steve Bales, Jon Rigby and Samuel Webb (K6 195) in third. Close racing is the hallmark of K6 racing and never more so between George Barker and Martin Gibson (K6 209) and Peter Kirkby and Richard Barker (K6 216) with George and Martin coming home seventh by a very short head. Ian Robson and  Sandy Johnson (K6 162) suffered new kite failure, which knocked them down the fleet. Thankfully, they were able to find a local repairer who overnight stitched the tear together.

Tuesday saw a change in the weather, humid and cloudy conditions with a forecast of a storm late in the day. Whilst the fleet waited in hope for some wind and racing, it came as no surprise that racing was eventually cancelled for the day. The forecast for Wednesday was similarly poor and despite some brighter weather, the wind failed to materialise and by 3pm racing was cancelled. Two days onshore so lots of time for that all important boat maintenance, adjustments and tuning, not forgetting the occasional informal get together over a beer at the Club bar.

Making up for lost racing, four races were arranged for Thursday in bright sunshine and lightish wind. Different course, off the Lake’s eastern shore opposite the Club, saw a short but challenging beat and downwind, with clear advantage in short tacking up and gybing down the shoreline between the windward and leeward marks. Lawrence and Luka came home in first place followed by Neil and Jim in hot pursuit. Third home was Ian and Sandy. Quick turnaround for race two, George and Martin and John Tabor and Nico Perzo (K6 122) were both deemed over the line at the start. Same course, same challenges, same top three. The third race saw a change in order with Ian and Sandy in first place followed in by Toby and Mark and the improving George and Martin in third. Final race of the day, still in good weather, had Lawrence and Luka back in first place, Toby and Mark second and George and Martin third.

Thursday evening and a wonderful Championship diner at the Club. Openair, in true Italian style, catering so ably for everyone.

Friday, final days racing, good forecast with a building breeze and sunshine, perfect conditions! Overnight Lawrence and Luka held a slim lead from Neil and Jim, with Ian and Sandy having a battle for third with George and Martin. Another regatta was being held on the western side of the Lake, so a course on the opposite side was laid in the bay offshore from Dorio village. It was clear that the left side of the beat held advantage in the first of three races scheduled with a tack onto port towards the windward mark. In their battle for third overall George and Martin started well coming home in first place pushing Lawrence and Luka into second and Ian and Sandy in third. Things became tighter at the top with Neil and Jim winning the second race of the day from Mike, James and Paul in second and Lawrence and Luka third; George and Martin managed fourth. Final race of the Championship, did Lawrence and Luka have enough to maintain top spot? Yes they did, coming home in first place chased in by Neil and Jim with George and Martin third and Ian and Sandy fourth, just enough to retain their third place overall and left George and Martin rooing their earlier over the line start.

Notables in the fleet were the team of Mike Deane, Mark Fernley and Eddie Waring (K6 119) who had travelled from South Windermere to attend. It was also great to see Michel Guglieri, Morgane Besoli and Yann Guglieri (K6 194) from their base on the French Mediterranean. 

Great credit for the success of the event must go to the Club and race team for succeeding in challenging conditions and making the right call to cancel racing on the Tuesday well before the storm came in. The Club was so very welcoming, it was a real delight. As for the location, well it is not often you can sail in bright warm sunshine set against a backdrop of snow on the not so distant Alps, it is a real treat, can’t wait to return.

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