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Ocean Elements 2018

Squib inaugural European Cup at Lac de Cazaux, France

by Steve Warren-Smith 20 Sep 2016 08:22 BST 9-11 September 2016
Bryan and Jenny Riley win the Squib inaugural European Cup at Lac de Cazaux, France © CVCL

Fourteen Squibs made their way from all over the UK to Lac de Cazaux, near Bordeaux, for their inaugural European Cup over the weekend of 9-11 September, jointly hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club (RVYC) and the Cercle de Voile de Cazaux Lac (CVCL).

The journeys were of various lengths and levels of excitement but all were aided by the generous sponsorship of Brittany Ferries and Wightlink Isle of Wight Ferries, as the event doubled as the Squib South Coast Championships 2016.

The first day's racing was curtailed by what could only be described as a war at the local Air Force base early in the day, and a lack of wind later on, and only one race took place in light, shifting but not fluky winds.

After an early general recall, (a curious feature of the whole weekend involving tidal sailors on lake waters), Aquabat (Stu Rix and Steve Warren-Smith) took an early lead and held it to the end of a shortened race as the wind slowly died with Surprise (Duncan Grindley and Mike Probert) second and Guy Fawkes (Phil and Eddie Aspinall) third.

The next day saw more 30 degrees plus temperatures, and very little wind, until the sea breeze built late in the afternoon. After a great deal of beach volleyball (this being an Olympic year, we were all experts), swimming and a long lunch, the wind started stirring the surrounding pine trees mid-afternoon.

Being so close to the racing area and already rigged made it easy to get all 14 boats on the line quickly for what turned into a 4 race day on a beautiful evening, racing in shorts and T-shirts.

Showing the way in the short first race of the day was White Magic (David Wines and Keith Davies), with Squibbo (Ian and Matt Keely) and an ever improving Brimstone (Brian and Jenny Riley) filling the next two spots. We were now into the swing of it: General recall, black flag, clean start, windward leeward twice, finish, all ably run by local PRO Yves Léglise.

Race three saw the Rileys stamp their authority in the end, with Surprise and Aquabat not far behind. Race 4 was also close, and led by three different boats, but again the Rileys dominated, with White Magic and Squibbo taking the minor medals.

The final race saw Guy Fawkes come from the left side of the course to take the lead from Aquabat, who dropped another place to Surprise just before the end as the evening breeze lost some weight and direction.

The last day, Sunday, was again hot, sunny but calm, and with an early cut-off there was little chance of racing, so boats were recovered and the prize giving took place in a fantastically friendly, organised and professional club.

It was tight at the top, but the Rileys won it by a point from White Magic and Aquabat, the former breaking the tie with a second place. Then it was back into the lake, more local produce and a fantastic dinner before we all set off either back home, or for a prolonged holiday around France.

Our thanks go to Commodore Yves Léglise, President Hervé Duchesne-Ferchal and all at CVCL for making us so welcome and well catered for, and to organiser David Longford for putting it all together. This was our first foray into continental Europe, but hopefully won't be our last.

A photo gallery can be seen here

Overall Results:
See full results detail here

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1 73BRIMSTONE  7311510
2 828WHITE MAGIC  4152411
3 13AQUABAY  1634311
4 72GUY FAWKES  3445112
5 760SURPRISE  2928214
6 16SQUIBBO  6273617
7 153ALDEBARAN  5567823
8 853ECHO  9886729
9 640FIRECRACKER TOO  87109933
10 713VIPER  10119111141
11 678FESTINA LENTE  11101110DNF42
12 473GREENFLY  DNS1212121046
13 727MOSQUITO  121314141251
14 688LIZWHIZ  DNF1413131353

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