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Plas Menai 2015

RS Vareos at Dutch Open Skiff, La Bruinisee, the Netherlands

by Nick Crickmore on 13 Oct 2016 8-9 October 2016
RS Vareos at the Dutch Open Skiff, La Bruinisee © Hans van Dijk

Six Vareos attended this year's Dutch event: two locals, two from Germany and two from UK. We raced in open class 2. This was a fleet of 22 including 8 Isos, 3 D ones, 2 4000s, 2 Aero 7s and 1 Alto. There was also a large fleet of RS500s who had their own start first and a super fast fleet of 49ers, Musto etc starting third in sequence. So it was over 50 boats in total.

On day one, following a brief fleet tune-up session, we sailed out to the start line in bright sunshine and the expected moderate breeze.

The RS500s started race 1 in a steady force 3-4 as forecast, but within minutes the wind dropped and switched 90 degrees forcing abandonment and resetting of the course.

After this brief hitch we all got underway properly. 3 races were completed in generally less wind than forecast.

Race 1 saw Joost Knotnerus take the right hand of the first beat to establish a good lead over all the other RS Vareos for nearly the whole race. He was half way down the last run looking a sure bet for the win, then a significant shift in favour of Nick Crickmore on the opposite side of the run put him back to second for the finish.

Race 2 saw Nick lead from the start with Joost never far behind finishing second again.

In Race 3 Richard Holmes pulled off a port flyer staying that side of the fleet to be well placed at the first windward mark. He used good offwind speed to get his best result of the day as second RS Vareo. Joost suffered from a poor start being busy discussing dinner arrangement with Jan with only a minute to go so he finished 4th RS Vareo after Nick, Richard and Michael Plum.

At the end of Day 1 the RS Vareos had a very respectable 4 of the top 10 places in our group. Our hosts Aquavitesse organised a much appreciated meal at the nearby Sailors Rest pub that evening.

Day two started again on schedule, but a tad early for some of the previous nights party goers, so there were a number of late arrivals / absences from Race 4. However the wind failed briefly at the top end of the course allowing those who started late to catch up and in some cases do very well in what had now become light and shifty.

The breeze held just enough to complete Race 5, and give us an RS Vareo race win to add to the impressive overall RS Vareo results in the group. After this we had a 20 minute postponement hoping that wind spotted a couple of miles up the lake approaching us would arrive. This was not long enough for a repeat of last year's water frolics, but the committee boat did oblige some thirsty sailors – "Refreshes the parts others don't reach".

The wind did not return so we headed for shore. 5 races of 6 completed in testing conditions thanks to super efficient race management, with the bonus of Summer weather in October. We all enjoyed the event. The house management provide great facilities on site at Bruinisse. This year there was the addition of a multi-point boat wash station on exiting the beach. All involved are looking forward to next year's event and also the prospect of a big Central Euro event with the other RS fleets in the summer and the chance to compete against RS Vareos from further across the continent.

Overall Results:

Pos (out of 22)RS Vareo PosHelmSail NoR1R2R3R4R5Pts
21Nick CrickmoreGBR 165832319
82Joost Knotnerus NED 22694781128
103Richard HolmesGBR 33371275111235
124Michael Plum GER 5501366DNS1439
175Arwin Bos NED 54011151813DNS57
206Jan Rheindorf GER 590201419DNSDNS76

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