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K1 Open at Gavermeer Zeilclub, Belgium

by Mike Deane 22 Oct 2012 17:02 BST 20-21 October 2012
The first European K1 open takes place at Gavermeer Zeilclub in Belgium © Paul Handley

The first European K1 Open event took place this weekend (20-21st October) at Gavermeer SC. The UK was represented by Mike Deane (South Windermere SC) and Peter French (Olton Mere SC).

Saturday racing had to be postponed, due to lack of wind. Gavermeer showed the English how to wait for the wind, opening the bar and serving the local brew. All agreed that if there can't be racing, Belgian beer is an excellent second.

After racing was eventually abandoned, hospitality was extended to the local town of Kortrijk, where an excellent meal was had.

Sunday brought the wind and three races where held before lunch, with Mike Deane making an early breakaway to win the first race, closely followed by locals Ivan Ellegeert and Christophe Benoit. Race two was taken by Ivan, with Mike second, and Christophe third. These results where to be repeated in race three.

Zeilclub Gavermeer laid on the hospitality again over the lunch break with a barbecue - local sausages were enjoyed by all, as were the local beers. After lunch, Mike lead the boats in race four, with Peter French in second for several legs, until he was beaten to second by Ivan. This meant that the result would go down to the wire.

Mike set about match racing with Ivan to the windward mark of race 5, allowing Christophe to get a big lead. Rounding the mark a couple of boat lengths ahead of Ivan, Mike showed good downwind speed to extend the lead over Ivan, in a move that proved decisive. Mike then chased Christophe, but his lead at that stage was too great, and race 5 was won by Christophe, with Mike second, Ivan third and Peter fourth.

This close result meant Mike Deane was the winner of the first open event for the K1 held on continental Europe. There was much local interest in the K1, which is building a presence now both in the UK and abroad.

Mike thanked the Gavermeer club for their hospitality, and said how much he was looking forward to a rematch next year.

Overall Results:

1st Mike Deane (South Windermere Sailing Club)
2nd Ivan Ellegeert (Zielclub Gavermeer)
3rd Christophe Benoit (Zielclub Gavermeer)
4th Peter French (Olton Mere Sailing Club)

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