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4000 class European Championships at Vela Club Campione del Garda

by Geoff & Bernice Holden 17 Jul 2014 15:40 BST 9-12 July 2014

The 4000 European Championships took place at Campione del Garda on the western side of Lake Garda. It was attended this year by a 14 British, 7 Italian and 3 French boats - a total of 24 entries which is the largest attendance for many years and reflects the recent increase in numbers seen in the UK.

In addition to a great turn out a number of boats were sporting the new sails, new logo and other mods which were initially presented at the Dinghy Show earlier this year. Following testing and development the mainsail has been toned back a little from the initial revamp design and has a less aggressive square top and a more modern material. Testing and a few events has so far shown the new sail to be on a level par with the existing sails whilst being cheaper and providing an up to date image, which was the initial goal. Thanks to Rooster for all the work put in to get these sails ready in time for this event.

Day 1 of the championship greeted the competitors with strong 30 knot breeze from the north with relatively large waves – not ideal conditions to start an event in. Due to the lack of wind the previous day, courtesy of an unusual weather pattern including lots of thunderstorms, some entrants felt the need for a practice sail.

However, the conditions took its toll on boats with some repairs being required for some of the boats before racing. The fleet was initially held ashore until the wind moderated. Race 1 was a resounding victory for UK's Steve and Sarah Cockerill who led from start to finish.

The wind was once again built as Race 2 started and it was Italian 4011 sailed by Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva who took an impressive victory, over 2nd place Michael Duflos and Nicolas Sailard and 3rd place David Marchant and Charlotte Heffernan. Race 3 had a shifty and dropping breeze which Michael Duflos and Nicolas Sailard enjoying taking a 1st place with the reigning European champions from the UK, John Reynolds and Fran Howell, produced their best result so far with a 3rd place. Great racing saw day 1 produce 3 winners from 3 countries and left Michael Duflos and Nicolas Sailard from France as the overnight leader.

Day 2 was more business as usual for Garda with southerly force 2-3 Ora wind setting in about midday. Despite some carnage at a number of the marks produced by the tight racing, race 4 winners were Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva who beat 2nd place Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri from Italy.

Unfortunately, Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva broke their mast during race 5 meaning their sailing was over for the day. Race 5 was won by team Cockerill with some impressive tactical downwind manoeuvring. Race 6 brought the championships another race winner, Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri, who had taken the lead from UK's Neil Heffernan and Jo Morrison who eventually finished in 2nd place.

Going into the midpoint of the event the overall lead changed to Steve and Sarah Cockerill.

Day 2 was rounded out with a fleet meal organised by the Italian's and hosted in the club. Thanks goes to them for a great night and also to Alex Cramp for stepping in at the last minute and providing the entertainment playing the piano when the organised pianist shut a car door on his hand!

Following a fabulous meal some further entertainment was provided by a 'GoPro Bloopers Reel' of the days racing. Perhaps the less said the better!

Day 3 and race 7 was delayed due to light southerly breeze, the lightest we had had so far. When the race got underway it proved perfect conditions for Fran Howell and John Reynolds who produced a perfect race and led from start to finish.

Race 8 was more of the same light southerly winds and was eventually won by Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri who appeared uncatchable in the light breezes. Richard de Fleury and Dave Baxter started to get it together and produced their best result so far with a well-deserved 3rd place to John Reynolds and Fran Howell in 2nd.

Race 9 was accompanied by thunder and lightening and a slight increase wind strength that once again was won by Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva, who had managed to borrow both a mast and sail after previous day's problems.

By the end of the day Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri had established a small lead; a 3rd overnight leader in as many days, showing just how competitive the racing was.

Going into the 4th and final day there was 4 potential winners with different mathematical permutations. Last day madness led to the first general recall of the event and multiple pile ups as the majority of the fleet arrived at the leeward mark together. However, Race 10 was won by Steve and Sarah Cockerill in impressive form, who had now taken the initiative and meant it was all to play for.

Anna Ferrari and Andre Cavaglieri were determined not to be runners up again this year battled it out to win the last 2 races ahead of Steve and Sarah Cockerill, meaning the European Championship title was theirs. Steve and Sarah Cockerill maintained overall 2nd Place and 3rd place went to Italians Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva despite losing 2 races to a broken mast!

Many thanks for the excellent organisation by the club and especially the race committee who set great courses and kept the hanging around to a minimum.

For another point of view of the event see Steve Cockerill's event blog here, and for more photos see our Facebook page.

Overall Results:

PositionHelmCrewNationality Boat NoR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Pts
1Anna FerrariAndrea CavaglieriITA4538(8)(8)22(6)141241118
2Steve CockerillSarah CockerillGBR41901(6)(12)413(10)4312221
3Ambrogio BeccariaGiovanni LivaITA401112161(DNF)(DNC)5212(DNF)535
4John ReynoldsFran HowellGBR46826(12)33541(7)(9)64638
5Michael DuflosNicolas SailardFRA4616921(12)8(DSQ)28(15)123954
6David MarchantCharlotte HerffernanGBR4568337(13)298(10)(13)1010759
7Tim LittHarry LittGBR4546295(14)125(17)66(21)61061
8Jannick Jean Rene GaboriaudOlivier BathanyFRA4591478637(14)(16)(17)1151162
9Geoff HoldenBernce HoldenGBR42665448711797(DNC)(DNC)(DNC)62
10Romain GarrigueEmmanuel MalaretFRA460810101113461912589366
11Lorenzo RadiceDell'oro MauroITA4337(11)(17)10109835(DSQ)78868
12Richard de FleuryDave BaxterGBR457213(16)(14)1111(15)1131237475
13Neil HeffernanJo MorrisonGBR434315595102(DNF)(DNC)(DNC)17111892
14Antonio Mirabile Massimo CaneseITA4580715132316109154(DNF)(DNF)(DNF)112
15Alex CrampBob ReedGBR4600(DNC)(DNC)(DNC)7131661710191512115
16Laura Giorgia StrommerMarco GiottiITA45771411(15)914(18)1514(16)141313117
17Mark DomailleNicolas NocheGBR450617(DNS)(18)16(19)1316111451415121
18Marco GarofaliNicola LocatelliITA4598(18)1417(22)1712(18)1311161714131
19Trevor PeirceAdrien PeirceGBR445219(DNS)191515(20)121881512(20)133
20Paul ChampionLisa SouchGBR413720131617(23)1413(21)(22)91821141
21Hamish StewartMatthew BarkerGBR4588(21)1820212019(22)(DNS)18181616166
22Marco RoccaSimone SpensieriITA4597(DNS)(DNS)(DNS)191821202019131919168
23Marco ValerioLorenzo BianchiITA446316(DNS)(21)20(21)17211920202017170
24Martin BurgessTom BurgessGBR4467(DNS)(DNS)(DNS)24222223222122BFDBFD206

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