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British team report from Contender European Championships at Lake Attersee, Austria

by Rob Smith 12 Sep 2022 15:05 BST

A couple of weeks have allowed the British travelling Contender circus to recover from the road miles after they had headed off from various ports in a menagerie of vans to congregate at Lake Attersee in Austria for the European Championships.

Chris Boshier was even good enough to do weeks of internal conversion work on his new van, but selflessly strip it all out prior to leaving to make sure that his travelling companions Stuart and James did not feel out of place in the luxury.

Although arrival for the ever vigilant and prepared Gary and Helen was a lot later than scheduled after the most stressful and costly fuel stop, everyone made it to the beautiful lakeside. Electrics duly daisy chained into the nearest tree mounted safety hazard in the random characterful camp 'field', and all good to go.

However - 'Go' was not a popular phrase when talking about launching!

For those who had entered the pre-Euro Austrian Nationals, as well as having the joy of hearing the first attempt at weather positivity from the OD, and the full lecture on the importance of the trackers, they went on to enjoy just two very light random direction races out of the scheduled eight over three days. No Austrian champion yet (to be decided from Euro's), and for passing note only - Stuart Jones was first Brit in fifth from 47, with Chris Boshier sixth and Tom Hooton eighth.

For the record, although Ed was quizzed in detail at least three times, he didn't enter....or at least didn't pay, so despite their best efforts, could not be persuaded to collect his tracker for it just to show the route to the bar.

As I think the two races above took place on Thursday, a few days then ensued which included loosing track of which day it was, trying to translate and try all the club food and drinks on their stunning frontage overlooking the lake, free beer from the Zipfer bar, and measurement!

The latter is always memorable, but this version was remarkable only for it's relative efficiency and the random choice of national boats for a full check. As nearly the largest overseas contingent at 15, we had a few names up, and Gary had to be foolishly trusting to delegate his vessel strip search to myself and others - while he and Helen got drenched on a mountain day trip - yes - the rain arrived just in time for measurement.

John McClean was also on the 'list', but eventually struck a deal thanks to entering two boat numbers. However - as he became an honorary GB, we witnessed the fastest lowering of an Aussie flag from the club poles.

Sunday arrived, theoretically first racing day, and the AP went up after the 9am briefing, followed by much coffee, chat and Attersee wind app looking. Feeling woefully unprepared, we were hastily sent out late afternoon when 17knts appeared from nowhere. It looked good, but looks are not everything, and while the early launchers careered around at random angles and in different levels of pressure, those later off barely made it through the pontoons before it switched off.

15 mins later - we were sent in, which took a while. Free beer time.

Monday, briefing put back to 10am due to such poor attendance previously given the obvious lack of steady zephyr, and the OD was getting into his un-enviable stride of describing how every bit of the lake was giving different or no readings. AP back up to hang next to the also limp Austrian red and white. No racing today.

Tuesday, AP back in place, sun fully back out, some dubious rules not adhered to in a paddle board relay dangerously close to some of the expensive looking long tall lake boats (perhaps a clue to normal conditions!), and more sitting around. The next big clue to expectations was the free bar being opened for an hour at 11am!

However - with unfortunately too much speed for Steve Emby (who was on other side of lake seeing something other than the bar), the AP came down at 17.15 when some thermal stuff arrived, and finally we were off for race 1.

In a nice 14knts, Tom pulled off a stunning port start and crossed everyone, but those who hung out further left came in to mark 1 looking better, and Rob Smith rounded first in close company with Max Billerbeck, Stuart, Tom, Soren Andreason, Marcus Meisenbacker and Ed Presley not far behind.

Rob held this slender lead on the reaches, beat 2, and the run, with the chasing bunch being led mainly by Max, however at the bottom of the run Jesper Armbrust followed Rob round the right hand buoy and tacked immediately as the wind had gone further left. Rob held out too far left and paid the price by losing out to Jesper for the win, but just holding off Max, with Stuart a close fourth and Ed ninth.

One race in the bag after a 7.30pm finish on day 3, all the talk at the open air bar and later at the pizza house - will Wednesday be big enough to get a championship?

Wednesday, obviously AP back in place, but with a slightly more favourable forecast this time only until up till midday when some ripples appeared and no-one was surprised who we were sent out, taking lots of water and snacks.

Please excuse the lack of detail, as all four races that were squeezed into Wednesday afternoon/evening were busy, light, shifty, tricky and for your author, generally disappointing after some promising starts and positions. It seemed most people found them challenging, however a few notable names kept putting in good counters.

Race 2 was won by Stuart who led for the majority of it, with Gary Langdown third, split by German Joerg Gosche and with Jesper backing up his win yesterday with a fifth.

Race 3 was notable by British absences in the top ten barring Gary in tenth, with Adrian Smith not far back in thirteenth, and Stuart having a forgettable discard right down in the 40s. The honours were taken by Joerg first, and another lightweight - Italys Bruno Orfino in second.

Race 4 - after some following the committee boat, was started in worryingly light conditions but continued as the others, i.e. with some in-boat crunching and some high wiring. This time Stuart placed highest Brit in tenth with Bil Hooton thirteenth, another German - Gernot Goetz won this one with popular third place for Joachim Happrecht, and Jesper banking another fifth.

With things able to go many ways at the top, and Stuart still in the hunt, the race team surprised a few by fitting in another race to allow a discard. Adrian had been getting closer and was top Brit in sixth, with Stuart ninth, and Tom tenth. Although won again by Gernot, crucially Antonio Lambertini kept his best from a string of top ten counters to come third, and Jesper eighth.

We just made it ashore before the last of the breeze went back to the mountains at 7.30pm.

When the counting was done, this left only 5 points separating the top four with Jesper retaining his European title, Antonio a very popular second, Soren with similarly consistent top ten results in third, and Stuart flying our flag again in fourth counting a 1st, 4th, 9th and 10th. Other Brits in the top 20 were Gary in 12th, Adrian 13th, Rob 17th and Tom 19th, with the others being listed on the full results below.

My brother and I tried to ignore the beautiful force 3-5 for most of the un-used Thursday reserve day, while we packed up! Attersee won't be remembered for that, but may be for good hospitality, a lovely club, and an OD who did his absolute best and retained his dry humour.

Nice place to go, but perhaps leave the Contender at home.

Overall Results:

PosNatSail NoHelm / ClubCategoryR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1DEN2352Jesper Armbrust / ASC 15‑155819
2ITA2561Antonio Lambertini / AVALMaster647‑12320
3DEN1Soren Dulong Andreasen / HSKMaster774‑27422
4GBR2706Stuart Jones / DWSCMaster41‑4610924
5GER2556Joerg Gosche / CKAGrandmaster‑482171626
6GER2390Gernot Goetz / SCUMaster2414(DNF)1140
7GER2400Thomas Wieting / WVH 16‑441221141
8AUT72Günther Wendl / UYCAsGrandmaster18998(DNF)44
9GER2612Joachim Harpprecht / TSSGrandmaster‑3561432245
10NED26Enno Kramer / RZVGMaster1515‑3214246
11GER2438Markus Maisenbacher / WVHMaster520‑2761849
12GBR2484Gary Langdown / HSCMaster‑25310211751
13GBR2730Adrian Smith / HSCCMaster141913‑20652
14ITA21Albino Carlo Accatino / CVS 830‑5241254
15GER2553Daniel Härtel / SCU 23103‑262662
16GER2780Max Billerbeck / WSVK 3172122‑2563
17GBR2449Rob Smith / CCSCMaster2‑3330231570
18AUT2505Melanie Wendl / SCATT ‑39161792971
19GBR678Thomas Hooton / RYA 202120‑411071
20FRA100Laurent Mallay / SNLPMaster31135‑402776
21AUT23Klaus Costadedoi / SCATTMaster29406‑43580
22GER2366Lars Kruse / BSVMaster12292218(DNF)81
23GER2693Max Ulreich / DSC ‑491126252082
24BEL2724Roel Peerlinck / HZCMaster(DNC)1216243385
25GER2418Tobias Hanke / SLRV 19‑5318441495
26GBR2708Ed Presley / CCSC 92534‑373098
27GBR2702Chris Boshier / TBYCMaster1342‑55301398
28ITA19Bruno Orfino / AVALMaster2123253(DNF)99
29AUT1101Martin Rieckh / UYCWöGrandmaster468‑491632102
30AUT33Martin Mayrhofer / UYCAsMaster37‑47251921102
31SUI98Damian Strittmatter / SCP 34(DNF)421123110
32NED2Mark Thorborg / HSMaster‑474124397111
33GBR666William Hooton / BSCMaster41‑46191341114
34NED3Bart Thorborg / WVBMaster22‑54361739114
35GER2738Dirk Müller / SKWBMaster10343933‑44116
36DEN2772Olga Henneberg / HSK 28‑57233240123
37CAN2525Stephanie Mah / OHCC 531838‑5719128
38GBR1652Nick Noble / CCSCMaster11‑49433146131
39SUI91Erich Ott / SVMMaster‑4327353634132
40GER23Ludwig Schmalhofer / ESCMaster264840‑5224138
41GBR2710James Daniels / OSCYouth322848‑5431139
42GBR2263Richard Batten / HSC 274344‑4728142
43GER2587Sebastian Mühlbauer / ESC ‑5624284943144
44SUI2762Uwe Hoffmann / SCHMaster50(DSQ)371547149
45GER2692Sven Sanitz / BSCFMaster36373145‑50149
46NED1Rik Thorborg / BMGrandmaster30‑52413845154
47GER2425Ralf Mahnke / SGJMaster40‑51512936156
48AUT26Marlen Hotwagner / UYCAs 57358‑6557157
49FRA2740Francois Gerbier / CVBGrandmaster‑5845293449157
50GBR712Rodger White / KGSCGrandmaster‑6139335037159
51AUT24Julia Pesendorfer / SCE 55381156(DNF)160
52GBR2420Simon Mussell / HSC 17266360(DNC)166
53GBR2707John McLean / YSMGrandmaster38‑59593535167
54AUT40Christian Jenner / SCTWVMaster52‑60582838176
55NED2630Pim Langendijk / WVBMaster443154‑5956185
56DEN2742Frank Hinsch / HSK 3358‑614848187
57DEN2771Jon Mogelhoj / SSK 42‑64475152192
58GER483Martin Kaufhold / SSCKMaster51‑55504651198
59GBR696Tony Cook / DSCGrandmaster‑6032575853200
60AUT42Katharina Widerin / SYC 545045‑6355204
61AUT12Michael Kellner / SVW‑YSGrandmaster(DNC)366442DNF210
62ITA42Nicola Passeri / CVS 45‑63626142210
63GBR2683Stephen Emby / BSCMaster(DNC)225666DNF212
64GER440Reinhart Schwarz / BSCGrandmaster‑5956535554218
65SUI2501Gudrun Belbe / SCHMaster‑6361606259242
66GER24Reinhart Opitz / YCATGrandmaster6262‑656458246
67FRA2671Denis DuQuesnel / YCGCMaster(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC272

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