The K6 Eurocup started in great style on Monday 26 June at Fraglia vela Riva, Lake Garda, with bright sunshine and a warm Ora wind. Neil Fulcher and Dave Hall showed us all their heels, but there’s still 10 races to go in this 5 day regatta…
The fleet and their families are certainly making the most of the wonderful town of Riva del Garda.
A difficult day for competitors on Lake Garda.
Overcast sky and rain precluded the famous Ora wind developing on the lake.
After some delay the Race Officer started the two fleets well down lake on the light northerly breeze but after just one round it was abandoned for both classes. A new start area was established but the light breeze never settled or strengthened and the fleet were eventually all towed back to the harbour.
Another difficult day for the PRO is expected today (Wednesday) with rain and thunder forecast.
Today was biblical. There are RIB drivers who have been working in Riva for 30+ years who say they have never seen anything like it. A Ponale wind (straight down the mountain) came out of nowhere accompanied by forked lightning and hailstones the size of golf balls. Those who were nearest to the line of wind didn’t have time to drop sails, but those who have been to Garda before knew to get in the water, capsized or turtled if possible.
Once we were all in and starting to tell our tales over a reviving beer, the 3rd storm (70+knots) came in. Southerly this time – the Ora. Epic.
Unbelievably, apart from some cuts and bruises and a few tattered sails, there were no injuries or damage. Respect to the seamanship and courage of the sailors, and respect for the boats. Those of us who were there will never forget this day.
The Ponale wind doesn’t last long but behind it came the strong Northerly wind (Peler) making the slow sail back in extremely difficult. It’s interesting how people cope with things like this. All respect to the Australian boats who sailed into the lee of the cliff right next to a café and, once assured that there would be no more racing(!), sent one of their team swimming to shore to get the ‘dark & stormies’.
Nick Jones and his team moored themselves to a mark in the centre of the lake to sit it out. On return Twinkie said once they were settled down, her Dad and Steve decided they were hungry and had their lunch in 50+ knots. ‘It’s the strangest picnic I’ve ever had. Awesome, my brother will be so jealous!’
After 2 days of abandoned races it was good for the fleet to get out and blow the cob webs away. The past two days have been somewhat crazy with epic storms and wind, there will be many a tail for many years as teams recall how the drama unfolded when the 50 knot storm crossed the fleet. All was well with only a few damaged sails – with some boats even making it to the windward shore for a beer at the café while they waited for it to pass.
So finally, the fleet got away with a stiff but somewhat cool breeze from the south kicking in.
Neil Fulcher with Oliver and Harry led the charge followed by Dave Hall with Bryan and Graham. They had a tussle all the way round until the final drop when Neil’s team just caught the spinnaker in the water allowing Dave to slip through.
The second race in an increasing wind saw Daves team lead the way followed by team Nick Jones. This stayed the same until the final drop when Team Jones spinnaker went trawling allowing team Trueman through to second. One more day left and we will see what Garda has to throw at us for the final day.
Going into the last day the number one spot was between Neil Fulcher with Oliver & Harry and Dave Hall with Graham & Bryan. Neils team need to win both of the last two races while Dave’s team had to win one.
Both boats hit the line together charging off in the now familiar Garda Breeze. It was neck and neck at the first mark with Dave just taking the lead. Neil split the gybes and at the leeward mark there was only a boat length between them.
Dave extended the gap up wind and just held off Neil to take the win and the overall championship.
|1||GBR 220||Dave Hall, Bryan Sargeny, Graham Hoy||-2||1||2||1||1||1||1||7|
|2||GBR 222||Neil Fulcher, Oliver Boosey, Harry Clarke||1||2||1||2||(dns)||2||2||10|
|3||GBR 213||Nick Jones, Twinkle Jones, Steve Dewherry||3||3||3||3||-5||3||4||19|
|4||GBR 208||Martin Wedge, Scott Allen||-8||5||5||4||3||4||(dns)||29|
|5||GBR 22||Jeff Vander Borght, Dave Guthrie, Hugh Duncan||10||7||(dns)||6||4||5||5||38|
|6||AUT 146||George Blating, Guenter Blating, Valentina Blating||4||6||8||(dns)||dns||6||3||39|
|7||GBR 172||Mike Truman, Martin Gibson, Tim Williams||5||-10||7||5||2||(dns)||(dns)||41|
|8||GBR 216||Peter Kirkby, Richard Barker, Heather Chipperfield||6||4||4||(dns)||dns||dns||dns||50|
|9||GBR 195||Steve Bales, Jon Rigby, Jon Smith||7||9||6||(dns)||dns||dns||dns||58|
|10||GBR 135||Phil Waterfall, Chris Corner, Malcolm Hull||(dns)||8||9||dns||dns||7||(dns)||60|
|11||GBR 122||John Tabor, Chris Burrows, Richard Kidd||9||11||10||(dns)||dns||8||dns||62|