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Laser Masters Europeans at Grup d'Esports Nautics Roses, Spain

by Stephen Cockerill 8 Oct 2012 10:55 BST 29 September - 5 October 2012

Having just completed the Laser® Masters Europeans in Roses I have a few moments to contemplate what a fantastic venue Roses - just north east of Barcelona is.

With wind gradient forecasts for the week looking more than doggy, the wind in Roses Bay was like a machine. By 2 o Clock on every day bar one - we had a good thermal wind of 8 - 12 knots for 3 days - and one day of 15 - 20.

I had sailed at Roses 5 years earlier at the Masters World Championships. The venue delivered again then, but I was sceptical that so late in the season that the Roses thermal might not occur. How wrong was I. So many sailors dream of sailing at Garda and yet I have had so many disappointing experiences there that my money would be on Roses. The flights, accommodation and boat transport were cheap. The local restaurants superb and the sailing assured. What more could a fleet of Europeans want? Funny thought the fleet was not just Europeans. After Roses reputation we had boats from USA, Brazil, Argentina, Australia - making it a truly international affair.

I had to pinch myself as a year earlier I was in hospital with a mystery illness which I would like to say that I had finally dispatched in the spring but for auto immune responses that plagued my earlier fitness drive. The doctors had said "you were not knocked for six - but almost for ten" they gave me the idea that it would take some 12 months to get back to normal health. So feeling a little shakey I had entered the regatta with a view to support Rooster Sailing's new Spanish Dealer. My fitness drive had taken me onto road bikes at every opportunity to slowly ease the body into fitness and I was ready for the challenge.

Knowing the Masters sailors' determination to attend these regattas, I was sure someone had a better story to tell - and mine was quickly beaten by a German Great Grand Master sailor (over 65) who had died three times a year earlier! His rehabilitation involved a pacemaker to be fitted. However, he was disappointed that he could not train as hard as he would like, so he went back to his doctor and said that he was not feeling energetic enough. His words were - he would rather be dead than feel so tired. So the doctor agreed to 're map' his pacemaker to give him some extra energy. He told me this with a big smile - "I felt great - ready for more sailing and training on my bike."

Sailing in this regatta was hard. Each start had at least two categories taking part - so my racing was with the apprentice Radial and Masters Radial - some 85 sailors on one start line - in relatively light winds - at 77Kg (still not as light as I would like to be) and with the rule avoidance of some Italian and French sailors that on occasions were like car driving in the Italian Job. Thank goodness for my downwind speed that regularly took me from outside the top ten to first in the two long downwind legs. Might sell a few more Downwind DVD's on the back of them!

The British fleet did themselves proud under the circumstances and are looking forward to many more regattas in Roses Bay in the future.

Overall results for each fleet can be found here.

Loads of photos on the GEN Roses Facebook page.

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