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Czech RS Vareo National Championship in Brno, Czech Republic

by Nick Crickmore 1 Oct 14:44 BST 21 September 2019
RS Vareo Czech Nationals fleet © Nick Crickmore

The fleet at Brno in the Czech Republic has grown steadily over the last three years with many sailors popping over to the UK to grab RS Vareo bargains as they come up. They also have the advantage of a perfect size lake for the boat and enthusiast repairer with a workshop on site.

The event officially started on Saturday 21 September at 1000hrs with speeches and raising of the Czech flag to join those of visitors from Slovakia and the UK. But first it was local sailor Marek Pavlovsky's birthday weekend, so those celebrations started with a party on Friday after the practice racing.

On to Saturday. Registration at 0900hrs. £20 entry with a free toilet roll for each competitor- still not sure why they just said for luck!

Before the opening ceremony the sailors were gathered to meet one another, say hello and pass around the rum bottle!

After the ceremony we had a short postponement with the wind expected for 11 and at 11 it arrived. Course for the event was windward to leeward gate, two laps, 30 min races, up to five races each day. There was a moderate breeze for Race One, which started under black flag after one recall.

The wind gradually eased through the day and with quick turnarounds and an efficient 3 2 1 go start system we got four races in before the wind became too fickle.

We were warned that blowing from the city the wind could be a little unstable and that was certainly the case, but it was comforting to see the locals playing snakes and ladders just as much as the visitors.

So to shore and in the changing room - another bottle of rum!

In the evening there was a meal included with one free beer from the bar, but not to worry, another bottle of rum appeared and after that there was a keg of beer sponsored by the local micro brewery and a carrier bag full of a local delicacy 'skvarky' - similar to soft pork scratchings to share.

Sunday started with a buffet breakfast included, with beer if you like, then on to the racing. Four more races same format but the wind increased to 14 gusting 25. Lots of thrills - weather the gusts upwind and ride them down. There were some interesting moments at the gate as you would expect but no serious collisions.

The challenge from UK sailor Nick Crickmore ended abruptly in race seven with a boom tack casting failure as he searched for upwind advantage using the 'Guns' method.

At the close the clear winner with five wins out of eight races was Josef Pavlovsky, followed by Jan Danek, then Miroslav Fanta.

Ashore while waiting for the results we had another carrier bag of local delicacies, this time a smoked fish each and then of course shots to toast the winners.

This is a regular annual event on the third weekend in September and follows the Moravian skiff regatta at nearby Nove Mlyny the week before, so it can make a great double header. Get it in your 2020 diary now! I can recommend the bungalow rooms at Hotel Rakovecká opposite which are very reasonably priced (like everything else in Czech Republic) and with a great view over the club of the lake at breakfast.

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