GBR 420 fleet at Flanders Regatta at Nieuwpoort
With 20 GBR 420's and 2 coaches it was hoped that there would be plenty of good sailing in Nieuwpoort. When it came to rigging and getting ready on the first day Matt Foskett won muppet of the event award when it was discovered he had left his sailing kit at home. Luckily there are plenty of people there with spare kit and he was soon dressed and ready to sail.
After the first two races the two GBR ISAF boats led the GBR fleet with Craig Dibb and Charlie Cox in 3rd and Annabel Vose and Kirstie Urwin in 6th. Jonny McGovern and Neil Marsden had a busy evening sorting out protests after they found that 5 out of 6 protests involved GBR boats! Some won some lost but lessons were learned.
On day 2 the sailors awoke to plenty of wind and they launched hoping for 3 good races. Unfortunately Kirstie had been hit by another boat in race 2 and decided that she should not sail for the rest of the regatta in order to be fighting fit for the ISAF’s, so Annabel took to the water with a replacement Spanish crew, Marina. However the wind picked up and after a lot of hanging around only one race was done and they were brought ashore.
The sailors awoke to sunny conditions on Day 3 and the British boats moved up the placings. Craig and Charlie moved into 2nd place with Annabel, now taking Spanish citizenship, first vrouw in 4th. Next GBR boats were Toby Morsley and Matt Wallis in 5th, followed by Callum Airlie and Joe Butterworth in 6th. Lots of new skills were learned by Luke Burywood, who has moved across to the 420 fleet from the 29er. After only a few hours of trying to fall in love with his spinnaker pole he has done really well in this experienced fleet.
Day 4 started with Mr Forgetful, Matt Foskett being unable to find his car keys where all his and Chris Taylor’s kit was. Perhaps it was deliberate as our heavy airs boys had seen the light wind forecast! However after retracing steps from the previous night they were finally located and everyone took to the water. Everyone that is except Craig and Charlie, who had left the event early with an expectation of slipping down the leader board. However after 4 hours drifting around no racing took place.
After another few hours attempting to race on the final day Craig and Charlie still found themselves in 2nd even though they were not even there! The final results stood as at the end of play on Day 3. A very enjoyable few days but unfortunately not as much racing as hoped.
Good luck to the ISAF team going to Dun Loaghaire and all the others going to France, Austria and Lake Garda over the next few weeks.