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Volvo RS700 European Championship at Aquavitesse, Netherlands

by Ian Nolan 8 Jul 2014 16:48 BST 13-15 June 2014
RS700 Europeans at Aquavitesse © Martina Barnetova / www.mbphotos.vz

The 2014 Volvo RS700 European Championship was held recently at the Aquavitesse centre at Bruinisse in the Netherlands. Competitors came from across Europe travelling from France in the West and the Czech Republic in the East, joining the regular contingent from the UK.

Day 1 brought a solid Force 4 in the Northerly area with some great little waves building as a bit of thermal effect cut in for the afternoon. Jerry Wales looked to be taking a firm hold of the first race until gear failure saw him fall by the wayside. Milan Hajek took on the leaders mantle but unfortunately chose to go round for an additional lap, ceding the victory to Ian Nolan.

Race 2 saw Ian initially pull out a good lead but with a recovering Jerry hounding him around the course. Jerry finally got past on the final spreader leg but chose not to cover down the run. Ian gybed off and found some extra pressure on the east side of the course to pull back and sneak inside at the leeward mark to take the win by half a boat length. The final race was Jerry's with Ian in second and Simon Letten in his third 3rd place of the day.

Day 2 was a much more challenging day with some heavy gusts rolling in from the North. Arky and the Love Boat initially took us to the previous days location but after the first race we clashed with a pre-arranged cruiser race and had to move to a southern location.

Jerry showed his class with a 1,1,1 to take the lead into the last day, mastering the conditions and at times disappearing into the distance. Probably the most interesting moment of the day was when a cruiser decided to pull across the finish line at the last moment completely blocking Ian Nolan who was haring down under spinnaker and trapeze. As a last minute gybe would have seen him go into the side of our committee boat, the only real option was a capsize which was fortunately achieved close enough to the line that he finished by drifting gently downwind.

Saturday night saw the host Nation beating Spain 5:1 in the World cup resulting in a night of celebration throughout the town. The sailors were of course very sensible, avoiding any beer and going to bed in good time as usual.

Another set of challenging conditions greeted us on the final day with a lot of variation in wind direction and strength seeing the fleet split across the course area.

In the first race, Jerry again suffered from gear failure which saw the kicker rope jam down the side of a block. Unfortunately he was unable to repair this in time for the second start, losing the championship and taking an early bath. The rest of the fleet were enjoying a great game of snakes and ladders with first one side and then the other paying handsomely. Milan Hajek finished on a high by taking the last race, making up for the frustration of almost winning race 1. However it was Simon Letten who played the game of averages best which combined with good speed at all times allowed him to post a 1,1,2 taking the championship in the last race.

Our thanks go to Aquavitesse for being excellent hosts, to Arky for showing us how good race management can get and of course to the event sponsors Volvo. Congratulations go to Simon Letten whose consistency at the top of fleet across a number of conditions secured a worthy victory.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoClubHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1st1040Hayling Island SCSimon Letten‑3332‑5211214
2nd1023Snettisham Beach SCIan Nolan1123‑734‑6519
3rd1018YCLPDavid Krizek2‑6‑642662325
4th1027Snettisham Beach SCColin Dacey444‑6‑10433426
5th1034YCLPMilan Hajek‑105974(DNC)24132
6th1022Hayling Island SCIan Swann6‑87‑83755639
7th1030WindsportJerry Wales(DNC)21111(DNC)DNCDNC44
8th1019Hayling Island SCDavid Smithwhite575565(DNC)(DNC)DNC52
9th944 James Bayliss‑119898109‑11760
10th959 Jakub Kosvica710‑13(DNC)997101264
11th1033CVMLMathieu Guihot8‑1210‑12128117965
12th737 Richard Kennedy91114(DNF)13(DNC)108873
13th914Queen Mary SCGraham Blake12131110‑14(DNC)891073
14th733Yachting Club Du LuxumbourgAndre Friederich141415(DNC)11(DNC)12131190
15th823YC PardubiceRadek Dlouhy1515161115(DNC)1312(DNC)97
16th1031Queen Mary SCHamish Griffiths131612(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC117
17thtbc Christian Brandt(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC133

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