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2.4mR Antwerp City Cup at Royal Yacht Club van België

by Megan Pascoe 1 Nov 2017 06:54 GMT 26-29 October 2017

Eight British 2.4mR sailors joined the Dutch, Germans, Czechs and Belgiums for the 7th edition of the Antwerp City Cup. Some say we go for the sailing, but for most it is meeting up with some old and new friends in an amazing city at a great yacht club and the bonus of Belgium beer.

The small waters of the Galgenweel situated just the other side of the Schelde is challenging, especially with the northern wind direction, due to a rather large set of flats on that side of the lake. The best result this year was that we had wind for all 13 races and although the fleet was small the big names were still there.

It was Dirk Jan Broertjes from the Netherlands, who although he has ordered a new boat, was making his old one go fast with a win in the first race. The next 3 races saw all 3 Germans going fast with Ulli Libor taking the lead into the evening's happy hour. I had a slow start but finding my feet even if I just lost the match race to Ulli in the last race. It was great to see the Belgium entry of Jean Paul Alexander improving over the year.

The rest of the British contingent had a mixed second day with extreme shifts meaning snakes and ladders was the name of the game, with pile ups at the windward marks common. It was great to see Brian Harding and Andrew Millband from Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club back in 2.4s, although I think Brian kept missing his XOD crew, but it meant Andrew got some much needed Oppy parent practice.

Day 3 with 8 races in brought a slightly steadier breeze. As I spent the morning fixing my rudder the other Brits had found their speed and were looking after the front of the fleet. Martin Whittingham Jones (West Kirby SC) had every result inside the top 4, showing why he has been at the top of the British fleet for many years. Andrew, after a quick sail number change due to his old set falling apart, was planting himself firmly inside the top 5 while taking the lead a few times, but it was Nev Millard (Queen Mary SC) who come happy hour couldn't stop smiling like the Cheshire Cat after a 3rd and 4th in the afternoon moving himself firmly up the leader board.

The scoreboard was set for two races on Sunday with a storm set for Saturday night. It was still windy come the morning but it was only generally the gusts that were large. Some decided that the large shifts and gusts were too much. Unfortunately Keith and Martin came together overnight leaving Keith with a rather large gelcoat repair. It was a couple of hard races, especially going from 25 knots at the bottom of the course to nothing at the top. Kate Hedley (Frensham Pond SC) finished off her regatta with a 6th in the last race, especially impressive due to the strong winds.

Ultimately the top 4 were close at the top with the Dutchman Jan ten Hoeve and German Eberhard Bieberitz battling for 3rd and 4th with Biebe just taking it. Ulli was close on my heels and I was sticking close to him around the course which gave me enough to take my 6th title. It is never an easy event to win and to be racing against some sailing legends is a privilege.

David and his team at the Royal Yacht Club of Belgium do a marvellous job and they achieve a higher standard year on year. It's a great way to end the season amongst great friends and to see so many British boats travelling and to see more boats in the North of the country is a positive move.

Overall Results:

1st GBR Megan Pascoe (FPSC/CCSC)
2nd GER Ulli Libor (NRV/SC Bosen)
3rd GER Eberhard Bieberitz (SYC)
5th GBR Martin Whittingham Jones (West Kirby SC)
8th GBR Andrew Millband (Cowes Corinthian YC)
10th GBR Nev Millard (Queen Mary SC)
12th GBR Kate Hedley (Frensham Pond SC)
14th GBR Keith Gordon (Tewkesbury Cruising and Sailing Club)
15th GBR Michael Coates (Whitby YC)
16th GBR Brian Harding (Cowes Corinthian YC)