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Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup at Fraglia Vela Riva - Day 3

by Steve Watson & Will Loy 3 Jul 11:48 BST 30 June - 3 July 2018

The mobile cracked into life with the latest reports from Lake Garda. Though the body ached like hell, the underlying training kicked in and the phone was retrieved from its location one and a half feet from the bed. The sound of pain echoed around the Italian dormitory, it had indeed been a strength sapping regatta and that after only two days.

The sweet aroma of maple trees caressed the nostrils and thoughts turned towards day 3 and the conditions that would await. Maybe a victory was on it's way, crowds would cheer, Italian fathers would offer their daughters, Cumbley, Law et al would be left broken, shaking their heads in disbelief at my supreme sailing performance. Chris Brown's fantasy* was abruptly brought down to earth as the generously proportioned nurse, faint moustache accentuating her roman nose, delivered a bed bath sponge to his nether region. Yep, Mr Brown was still man down in the impressive "Osbedale", awaiting removal of gall stones. There seems no end to what sailors will do to gain an advantage, RYA Technical have been alerted to this new form of internal weight distribution, though I doubt it will catch on.

I received a text message from Steve Watson at 7.45am GMT saying he was on the water! At first I presumed he was recovering from a skinful, dilution of the Prosecco infused evening a standard "go to" if a full English breakfast is not on the menu. Further texts revealed that it was a 10am start local time and Solos were already rigging up! The Italian race team, who obviously glean information from weather stations up and down the lake had determined that it would be 40 knots at lunchtime, possibly just north of the upper range for the Solo rig, worse with the sail up.

In reality it remained pleasant all day with around 10 knots from the south and some small waves, a welcome relief for many of the competitors. 46 competitors converged on the race area and with the Melges 24s off the water, room to relax and fantasise* before the start.

Race 6

5744 Iain McGregor is OCS and stays that way. The Salcombe-based sailor seems to like the feel of heading the fleet and my memory of him starting a good minute early at last years National Championship, only looking over his shoulder as he got to the layline will live long in my list of cock ups.

Tim Law 5743, Charlie Cumbley 5705 and Peerke Kortekaas 617 are at the 1st mark and clear of the pack. It's neck and neck down the run with our bib carriers now out in front. The battle continues to the last leeward mark with plenty of tactical gybing to get the inside line. The boats finish in perfect event leaders order just 5 sec between them, Cumbley, Law and Davenport. Oliver Davenport's father is racing at the event but a plethora of DNSs signals to me that he is having more fun sipping Peronii (plural?) and reflecting on his talented son's success. Peerke in fourth is really pushing the dutch fleet forward with Gilles de Combe, Ted Bakker and Hans Duetz just a few of the big improvers. It would be great to see some of these sailors at the Magic Marine Nationals in three weeks.

Race 7

Double sausage which is something Chris Brown can only dream of, such is the standard continental breakfast on offer at Hotel Osbedale.

A clear start and Andy Tunnicliffe enjoyed 1st mark honours. The fleet is close down the run but our event leaders are more predictable than the wind and pull clear with the finish giving Davenport another win over Cumbley, Law, Tunnicliffe and the ever humble Graham Cranford Smith.

Ziggy aka Claar van der Does is in the top 2 thirds and showing the NED fleet a thing or two! The discard kicks in and Law and Davenport are level.

Race 8

Race 8 is another double sausage, rubbing salt into Brown's wounds and gives us our first general recall of the regatta. A clear second start under the U flag.

First mark is in bib order and remains that way to the finish. Cumbley a minute ahead. Kortekaas gets his second 4th of the day, I can hear his celebratory scream from the Isle of Wight. The fleet enjoy a healthy plane to the finish line, slaloming across the waves that roll down the lake like snakes across the Arizona Desert.

Provisional results give the event to an unassailable and impressive Charlie Cumbley but all to play for the other prize places.

The evening provided a platform for the Dutch to really show the UK fleet how to lay on a social event with a fusion of Italian food and dutch wit. Personally I would have been happy with a satay sauce fondue, the standard Dutch gastronomy. A talking stick was introduced, the holder would have the floor and there were plenty of takers. Chairman Norbert Zonneveld was humorous and sincere as ever after a short introduction from UK Vice President Doug Latta who, in the spirit of unity, invited any of the Dutch members to our National Championship at Hayling Island 21-27 July at a reduced entry fee of £100, thanks to the vision and generosity of Nick Peters, Commodore of HISC. The NSCA will also cover the social package though it will be hard to follow this night.

I have it on good authority from Steve that this morning has dawned with light cloud enveloping the sunshine, azure blue skies are peaking through and the Pela has already given way to the Ora from the south.

The boat park is largely empty with just a speckle of human activity. Cumbley is here, looking relaxed though the strong stride of Saturday has been replaced with legs that are clearly knackered.

Results so far can be found here [PDF]

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