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RS Vareo European Championship at the Dutch Open Skiff Trophy

by Nick Crickmore 11 Oct 2017 08:12 BST 7-8 October 2017

Three UK RS Vareos joined 3 Dutch sailors at La Bruinisse in the Netherlands to compete for the title of RS Vareo European Champion over the weekend of 7-8 October 2017.

The race took place within a mixed class of PY>950 in the SkiffBenelux series and, new for this year, we also competed with the D-One Class for the Silvercup - open to all non-trapeze single-hander asymmetrics in our race.

The club have on site accommodation and secure boat storage for early arrivals, and the opportunity for practice racing leading up to the two day event on Saturday and Sunday. This is always a major event for the European skiff fleets often numbering over 50 entrants across numerous classes.

Despite an adverse forecast this year, the PY<950 fleet comprised of Isos, Altos, 4000s, Buzzes and an RS Aero as well as RS Vareos and D Ones.

Racing on Saturday was delayed slightly while the PRO assessed the conditions. Most of the fleet launched into what could be described as quite challenging conditions and is always the case returned with survival smiles, but unfortunately no races were completed due to a deterioration of visibility. There was much to discuss at the Saturday evening meal organised at the nearby Sailor's Inn.

On Sunday the day started with glorious sunshine and a light breeze, perfect for rigging and launching for the 43 strong fleet across all 3 classes.

In the PY<950 fleet some RS Vareos were unaware that the first start had been advanced to play catch up on the series and were a little late for the first start.

In Race 1 Arwin Bos used his local knowledge to get ahead and had a good tussle with Mark Smith which allowed Nick Crickmore to catch up from the most tardy start and get between them just on the finish: Mark first, then Nick then Arwin.

The wind had shifted right and following a slight course adjustment we started race two in building wind to finish on a blast.

The wind then changed 180 degrees and we followed the race team to the opposite side of the lake when the sun came fully out to give us about an hour's lunch break in no wind. Several sailors moored to the committee boat to share their hospitality.

When the wind returned there was another super efficient course reset and things settled to allow two more races back to back in a sunny Force 3 - 4.

In race three Nick found some pressure upwind to the right to get away from Mark and Richard who had opted to go left. The other RS Vareos took advantage of this to close up for some really tight racing right up to the finish with Rian Pulles just failing to pass Mark on the final reach to the line, closely followed by newcomer Hans Van Dijk, with Richard Holme's consistency keeping him in contention for third overall.

In race four Nick was gifted the win when the majority of the fleet chose to finish a lap early with the RS500s.

Vanessa Weedon Jones in the D One performed well on handicap in the first two races managing to plane earlier but the tables were turned in the later races when the wind dropped which seemed to favour the RS Vareos. It was interesting to compare the two boats over the whole event and we all hope to build on this competition next year.

Overall Results:

RS Vareo Europeans
1st Nick Crickmore V150, 2, 1, 1, 1, 5pts
2nd Mark Smith V572, 1, 2, 2, 7, 12pts
3rd Rian Pulles V421, 5, 4, 3, 7, 19pts
4th Richard Holmes V164, 4, 3, 5, 7, 19pts
5th Arwin Bos V540, 3, 5, 6, 7, 21pts
6th Hans Van Dijk V341, 7, 6, 4, 7, 24pts

Silvercup Results
1st Nick Crickmore V150, 2, 1, 1, 1, 5pts
2nd Mark Smith V572, 1, 2, 2, 8, 13pts
3rd Richard Holmes V164, 5, 3, 5, 8, 21pts
4th Vanessa Weedon Jones D-One, 3, 4, 7, 8, 22pts
5th Rian Pulles V421, 6, 5, 3, 8, 22pts
6th Arwin Bos V540, 4, 6, 6, 8, 24pts
7th Hans Van Dijk V341, 8, 7, 4, 8, 27pts

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