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Javelin European Championships at Travemunder Woche

by Ian Winterburn 2 Aug 2002 14:33 BST

This year the Javelin European Championships were held at one of Europe’s premier sailing events. Eight British boats joined the 35 strong Javelin fleet and around 1800 other boats in 30 classes mid July on the Baltic. The carnival atmosphere of Travemunder week provided some of the most testing conditions for many years with winds varying from F4/5 to a boat breaking F7/8

The first day sailing was abandoned due to predicted thunderstorms, most of the fleet having already departed for the sailing area to check the course and tune the boats.

The second days sailing started with a forecast for very strong winds, which proved accurate! Winds reached F7/8 and started to break boats throughout the area. Racing was abandoned yet again after a gust was measured at 47knts! Boats of all classes found themselves struggling back with infamous Baltic waves breaking over them. Two days gone, no races and three broken masts, what a way to start a regatta.

Racing finally began on day three with Brian and David Earl in GBR558 starting the British Campaign with a win. They could only follow up with 5,3 in the next two races. Dutch boat NED120, helmed by Jan Pessers with Brit Simon Hughes, showed that old boats could still make waves by taking a 4,1,4. It was clear though that Jan & Jens Schlittenhard, the three times champions, were not going to give their title away easily with a 2,7,2, pushed hard by NED 554, Ter Stege and Ten Hoeve, who managed 3,2,1. Although a forth race was started it was soon abandoned due to a threat of an electrical storm. Controversy met the sailors on return to shore when it became apparent that a number of Dutch and German boats had been disqualified by the international jury for failure to show black bands on mast and boom.

Three races were planned for the forth day but with winds blowing 5 gusting 6 it never seemed likely. Only one race took place and was won by the Schlittenhards GER426 closely followed by GBR559 Brian Dixon and Kathryn Partington, the current British Champions. Close rivals the Earls managed third. Gavin Johnson and 14 year old son Nick got their moment of glory as they led by ten boat lengths at the windward mark. They held it together to post their highest ever European position of sixth.

The wind continued to blow F5/6 but by the end of day five only two boats were left with a chance of winning. Ter Stege in NED 554 counting 1,4,1 and the Schlittenhards keeping on the pressure with 4,1,2. Another German boat 388, Thomas Broker, showed it’s strength with 2,2,7. Third places were shared evenly by GER 550, GBR 559 and NED 120. Another mast was to go but that was due to a Trias (a keel boat not unlike a Dragon) sailing to windward of GBR 561Nick Faulkner/John Meachen. A severe gust caused them to heel dramatically slicing the top off Nicks mast .

The final day started with a lull in the winds to a F4/5, making the three races more tactical. Ter Stege showed his ambitions with a 2,7,1. Jan Pessers sailing Ned 120, one of the oldest boats in the fleet, came in with a strong finish scoring 6,2,2 to tie up third place overall. It was left to the Shlittenhards to show why they are still the team to beat with a superb 1,1,3 to take their forth European Championship in as many years.

The presentation was on the main stage. Jan and Jens were no sooner presented with their trophies than they were carried aloft for the ceremonial dunking off the jetty.

It was a probably the most memorable event for many a year. Reluctantly we said our goodbyes to the Dutch and German fleets and look forward to meeting up again next year in England.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoBoat NamePts
1stJan SchlittenhardJens SchlittenhardGER426Jolly Jumper13
2ndJan Ter StegeJan Ten HoeveNED554Lightning Javelin15
3rdJan PessersSimon HughesNED120Keizan27
4thBrian EarlDavid EarlGBR558Snow Leopard32
5thBrian DixonKathryn PartingtonGBR559Mighty White34
6thThomas BrökerSven OfftGER388Machtnix40
Lady Helm (27th)Katrin DeinhardtOlav SchluterGBR510Blue Chip214
Mixed crew (5th)Brian DixonKathryn PartingtonGBR559Mighty White34
Other British boats
8thMike PicklesRichard FisherGBR543Curved Air60
10thIan WinterburnCliff SagarGBR508Truebrit93
12thGavin JohnsonNick JohnsonGBR522Oystercatcher96
14thRichard SmithIan WilliamsGBR529Goldrush117
27thKatrin DeinhardtOlav SchluterGBR510Blue Chip214
28thNick FaulknerJohn MeachenGBR561Eminence Grise232

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