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18ft Skiff European Grand Prix Round 2 at Lake Balaton, Hungary

by Tom Hill on 25 May 18-21 May 2017

The second round of the European Grand Prix Series was held at Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet, Lake Balaton. Four days of racing were planned and 3 British boats made their way to the other end of Europe with the promise of sun, wind and beer!

Day 1

The first day of racing really showed off the sailing venue to those who hadn't sailed here before! It was a glamorous day racing on the big rigs.

ChameleonI came out as top of the UK boats with consistent results constantly challenging the top runners. LED saw themselves at the front a couple of times, but a couple of swims in the corners meant they didn't stay there for when it counted.

Rutland had their first day in their newly refurbished boat which had only just been put back together the night before. They had a better than expected first day and posted a second place in the race when they strung all the manoeuvres together.

Day 2

The second day was by far the longest day on the water. A long distance race was sailed first, followed by two normal races totalling over 5 hours on the water.

The long distance race took in the full width of the lake and introduced a headland for the fleet to sail around, timing the kite hoist right not to sail into the bank, but not lose out by waiting too long. Rutland led the fleet around most of the course, taking in the awesome scenery of Lake Balaton. However, they took their eye off the ball on the last leg to let ChameleonI through to win, with Be-Light only seconds behind.

After a short relaying of the course, the second race was back to the windward leeward race course. The race was won by Be-Light, picking the right shifts to lead LED and Rutland. The final race was the one that took its toll for Rutland who capsized in pre-start and never got back in touch with the fleet. ChameleonI and LED were keeping the European boats on their toes and LED were finally at the front when it mattered and took the bullet in the last race of the day.

Day 3

The third day was a windy one! The forecast suggested a sensible No.2 Rig day. However, with the sea state and breeze suggesting much more, a couple of the fleet launched with reefs in.

Only one race was sailed in very breezy conditions. The fleet were equally matched up to the top mark, all rounding amongst one another when they found a light patch in the breeze to get the bows away. ChameleonI blew out their mainsail after the bear away, ending their day on the water.

Rutland and LED were match gybing down the run until LED trawled a kite at the bottom mark, forcing Rutland into some interesting two sail gybes to avoid. Rutland and LED sailed on to come 3rd and 4th in the race. Once the signal for shore was called, Rutland headed back upwind to give their new boat a good burn downwind.

Day 4

Racing was called off for the final day due to even windier conditions, so the results at the end of Day 3 stood. Congratulations to the host team of Be-Light for taking the win. The highest placed British team were LED who came second and they also took home the prize for 'highest placed foreign boat'. The UK fleet would like to thank Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet for putting on such a great event and being so welcoming throughout the weekend.

The boats are now packed up and stored in Hungary. They will be travelling to the next event in Lake Garda (3rd to 8th July) where they will join even more British and European boats and a fleet of Southern Hemisphere boats to contest the biggest European Championships in years.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoTeamR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
1HUN 18Be Light1‑3121217
2GBR 43LED3‑54321413
3GER 91ChameleonI4231(DNF)3DNF13
4DEN 01Original Chia21‑5544216
5GBR 118Rutland‑542435318

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