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Boss Eurocup at Lake Garda

by Steve Murray & John Shelton 20 Aug 2003 15:41 BST 4-8 August 2003

Three British Bosses made the round trip to Lake Garda for the Eurocup, held concurrently with the ISO and Buzz fleets, putting 35 boats on the water. The event was held by the Fraglia Vela club in Malcesine, from 4-8 August, in crazy temperatures averaging around 38 degrees. With the Bosses now sporting big masthead kites and twin spreader rigs, a lot of local interest was generated.

In the first race, held in a 2-3, Steve and Nick Murray were first to the windward mark followed by Peter Bennett and John Shelton, the Swiss team of Dieter Kuhn and Roger Naf, and Colin and Rob Clark. Kuhn and Naf dropped their kite into the water allowing the Clarks through into 3rd. On the final beat, the Murrays capsized on a tack, but managed to keep the lead, so to make sure, Steve Murray fell overboard allowing Bennett and Shelton through to take the gun.

In race two, held back to back, Bennett and Shelton were away first, and maintained the lead to the finish, followed by the Murrays and the Swiss.

The next day, the Murrays got a port flier at the start but in the light and shifting breeze it was Bennett and Shelton who got to the windward mark first, closely followed by the Murrays. This order continued until the final run, when a brief dual resulted in Bennett and Shelton gybing off and sailing into a huge hole in the disappearing breeze, letting Murray and Kuhn take the first two places by a street.

Kuhn and Naf built up a small lead in the 4th scheduled race before it was abandoned as the wind died. All racing on Wednesday was cancelled due to lack of wind, unusual for Garda but caused by the exceptional temperatures. The racing was rescheduled for Thursday morning to use the reliable Garda overnight northerly.

The competitors crawled out of bed early to be greeted by a stiff force 5 with 1.25 metre swell making for exciting and tricky conditions for the fourth race, which started at 8am! The heavies Bennett and Shelton showed their heavy weather skills and led throughout. The Murrays in pursuit performed the pitchpole of the week under spinnaker just before the leeward mark allowing Kuhn through into second, finishing well behind Bennett.

The wind moderated slightly to a force 4 for the next race but again it was Bennett who got away best. After a short luffing match under spinnaker followed by Bennett tripping over a wave on the gybe, the Murrays got through into first. The last beat proved exciting, with Bennett wearing away the Murray to take the gun by a boatlength.

In race 6, Kuhn and Naf were first away followed by Bennett and Shelton, both crews electing to go inshore to take advantage of the better breeze. On the downwind leg all crews went inshore but it was the Murrays who took it furthest, gybing on a few yards from the beach, allegedly nothing to do with the beach babes. As a result they were able to lay the leeward mark, and held the lead until the finish.

Following a very close start, racing continued with frequent changes of position but eventually it was Bennett and Shelton and the Murrays who opened up a small lead. The Murrays continued to challenge but were unable to pass and Bennett and Shelton covered closely up the last beat to take pole.

With another early start on Friday to make up for postponed races, all boats converged on the windward mark simultaneously with the Murrays trying to squeeze inside, and hitting the mark, letting the others through on the re-round. Bennett and Shelton were first with their kite up, followed very closely by Kuhn and Naf, who were using a masthead kite on a single spreader rig with good success. Despite some very close racing Kuhn couldn’t catch Bennett who took first place, thus tying up the series.

Racing continued in a Force 2, with a very close windward leg putting the Murrays in 1st place followed by Kuhn and Naf, both crews electing to sail inshore on the downwind leg. In an attempt to make up their deficit Bennett and Shelton gybed and sailed out into the middle of the lake, where the scenery was much better, handing the race to Murray, followed by Kuhn

In the final race, Bennett and Shelton opened up a sizeable lead with Kuhn and Naf in second. A tacking dual up the second beat resulted in the Murrays getting through to second. On the second downwind leg, Bennett and Shelton had a contretemps with an ISO, and promptly capsized after gybing into the path of the Murrays piling down on starboard. This also allowed Kuhn and Naf through into second, which they held until the finish.

Despite the challenges of the weather, the FVM organisation was excellent, with the race officer making fast positive decisions , to ensure no time-wasting. The Brits all agreed the long drive was well worth it, and look forward to getting back to Garda in the future!

Overall Results:

PosBoat TypeSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubPts
1st Boss GBR812 Fat Man in the Bathtub with the Blues Peter Bennett John Shelton Shoreham SC 11 
2nd Boss GBR796 Red Oktober Steve Murray Nick Murray Datchet Water SC 12 
3rd Boss SUI725  Dieter Kuhn Roger Naf S. Gallischer SC 19 
4th Boss GBR757 Roadshow Colin Clark Rob Clark Datchet Water SC 36 

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