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Javelin European Championships at Travemunde, Germany

by Brian Earl 2 Aug 2011 06:42 BST 25-29 July 2011

The 2011 Javelin Europeans were held during the last week of July as part of the 122nd Travemunder Woche. Racing was combined with the Lasar 2 World Championships, in an area over 4 miles from the harbour. The cold, wet and windy weather gave way on Monday to a variable force 3 for the 18 competitors for the first race, consisting of one triangle and sausage.

Brian & David Earl led from the biased pin end, but were overhauled after the first round by Jens & Jan Schlittenhard and Richard & Kathryn Smith. Mike Pickles & Richard Fisher were 4th. In race 2 it paid to go right and Smith had a good lead at the first mark, which he increased by the end. Earl recovered on the last beat to take 2nd, ahead of Schlittenhard and Gavin & Rosie Johnson. Earl led the last race of the day from start to finish, but was glad it was shortened, in the failing wind, as he was chased hard by Schlittenhard and Malte Reisner & Volkmar Prehn. It had been a long 10 hour day on the water; finally landing at 8pm. Earl & Schlittenhard were tied on points, which continued until Friday!

Two good races in force 3 were possible on Tuesday afternoon as the sea breeze filled in. Pickles had an excellent start from Schlittenhard and would have won, but for a jammed spinnaker on the leeward mark. Chris Davies had a similar problem, when lying second. Reisner and Earl were close behind. Kath Fox & Tom Doy led on the first beat in race 2, but over stood, finishing 4th. Earl won a tight battle with Schlittenhard and Reisener.

Wednesday was similar, with a delay for the sea breeze. Shifts were only minor though. Earl had a big lead after the first beat in race 1 and was never threatened. Schlittenhard pulled through to second ahead of Pickles and Smith. Race 2 was a much closer affair with little difference in boat speed. Schlittenhard edged ahead and won from Earl, Pickles and Smith.

There was little delay on Thursday and 3 races in a steady force 3 were possible. Even some warm sunshine was included! With good start lines, racing was very close. Schlittenhard was a few lengths ahead in race 1, but mistook the windward mark on the second beat, allowing Earl through to win. Pickles and Reisner were close behind. On the final short beat in race 2 the wind died and with Schlittenhard clear, Reisner, Earl & Pickles crept across the line a few feet apart. The rest of the fleet struggled to finish against the weak tide. The breeze filled in again for the last race, which was led from start to finish by Pickles from Earl, Schlittenhard and Johnson. Earl & Schlittenhard were still tied on points, well clear of Pickles in third, with one day remaining.

There was time on Friday for 2 final races. The wind had increased to force 5/6 with good length waves. Reisner, in Prehn’s new boat, revelled in the conditions, flew off the start line and was never headed. Schlittenhard had to return for a premature start, but Earl, who was very close, mistakenly went back too. They recovered to 3rd & 4th in the fantastic conditions. Smith’s superior speed resulted in a safe 2nd. Earl needed to win the last race to take the title, but despite a good start, could not match the speed of Reisner, or Smith. Reisner had a problem at the leeward mark and Smith swept past for a fine win. Reisner was 2nd ahead of Schlittenhard and Thomas Broker & John Meachen. Schlittenhard was a worthy winner, discarding a 3rd from 11 races, 3 points ahead of Earl. Reisner pipped Pickles by 2 points.

Overall Results: (top six)

1st GER 570, Jens & Jan Schlittenhard (BSV) 21pts
2nd GBR 558, Brian & David Earl (Chichester YC) 24pts
3rd GER 571, Malte Reisner & Volkmar Prehn (MSV/SSCB) 40pts
4th GBR 562, Mike Pickles & Richard Fisher (Southwold SC) 42pts
5th GBR 568, Richard & Kathryn Smith/Jane Partington (Southwold SC) 47pts
6th GBR 565, Gavin & Rosie Johnson (Alton Water SC) 64pts

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