“The best weeks racing the class has probably had” seemed to be the consensus amongst the 20 boats who made the trip to Gravedona on Lake Como. The sun shone, the breeze blew, the race management was spot on, the club super welcoming and there was a Laser cockpit full of cold beer thanks to legend Philip Waterfall when you came ashore each day. If you weren’t sailing, the club even provided wine tasting and pasta making lessons. Life doesn’t get much better!
Brothers Steve and Ross Birbeck won the week with a couple of races to spare. They had an uncanny ability to dig themselves out of trouble when not at the front of the pack, and almost always seemed to be able to pick the right side of the course for each leg. And the right side of the course never seemed to be what it was on the previous lap! This goes some way to explaining why 9 of the 20 boats had 1st or 2nd places in at least one of the races. Special mention goes to John Adcroft and Steve Dewbury from Aldeburgh who we think became the first Aldeburgh boat to win a race in the Europeans, and led for the the whole of race 6, going right up the first beat when everyone else went left. Steve didn’t loose the grin for the rest of the week.
Those mentioned in despatches included:
- Fraser Elms for being caught with a racing rules book at evening dinner;
- Steve Drewbury and Hugh Duncan for both managing to end-up in the water;
- Austrian brothers George and Gunter Blatnig as best dressed crew, not only on the water but also off with matching crew gear for every occasion;
- Martin Wedge for managing to mistake the finishing marks as the leeward gate twice in the same day and causing Steve Drewbury’s swim at the same time – should have gone to SpecSavers;
- Dylan Wells and Harry Clarke for showing even young blokes can multitask, helping pull every boat out of the water and up the ramp, beer in hand!