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Kit Guide

4.7 Europeans Workum, Holland/Moving on to the radial

By Rooster Sailing 30th September 2020
Day 1 After days of preparation, wind speeds of 27 knots meant that the race committee put up a 2 hour postponement. The forecast predicted the wind to drop to nothing and then fill in later in the afternoon. After a few last minute checks on the boat and the launch flag being lowered over 400 sailors took to the waters of Lake Ijsselmeer in less than 5 knots of wind. It took about an hour and a half to sail out to the race course. By the time of the first start a fairly strong breeze had filled in and the chop started to build. This was good for the radial sailors that had dropped down to do this 4.7 event. Some were using it as a warm up for La Rochelle. After a long day’s racing the fleets returned to shore. It was then a quick debrief from the coaches and back to the accommodation. Wish I’d brought my bike – this is the kind of place where it’s really handy. Day 2 The day started off with a light breeze and lots of sunshine. The fleet was launched on time but with many sailors in need of a tow to reach the starting area. Eventually the wind filled in to a nice 12 knots after a few postponed starts. The girls flights and boys yellow had returned to shore before the blue and red flights had started their last race. 22 black flags were recorded in the last race for the red flight. Day 3 Everyone thought after the long day on the water yesterday that the race committee would try and get in some quick races. A two hour AP was flown at 09:00 then at 11:00 an indefinite postponement was put up. The GBR team took full advantage of this time by playing cricket behind the marquee. It was finally decided at 16:20 that the wind wasn’t going to fill in so racing for the day was abandoned. Day 4 After no racing on Monday this was the last day of qualifying so everyone was desperate to get some good results today. The sailing instructions were changed so that 3 races were scheduled. With a 10-18 knot breeze the fleet launched and sailed to their course areas. Racing was started on time and 3 races were sailed as scheduled. Towards the end of the day the breeze increased to gusting 25 knots – this was more like it! However it did mean a challenging 80 minute beat back to the beach. That evening the fleets were split into gold and silver for the girls and gold, silver, bronze and emerald for the boys. Day 5 We were greeted with a 30 knot breeze this morning. After 4 hours of postponement it was decided that the girls silver and the boys bronze and emerald would not be going out today so it was abandoned for them. The boys gold and silver and the girls gold however were under an indefinite postponement, but the wind didn’t ease so it was decided that all racing for the day would be abandoned. The sailing instructions were changed and 3 races were scheduled for the next day with the first warning signal an hour earlier. Day 6 This was the final day of the event and no championship races yet so everyone was hoping for a steady wind. Unfortunately there was a big low pressure over the Netherlands so there was no wind just bright sunshine. This was not looking good for the sailors who had not had a great first half to the week. The wind didn’t fill in and all racing was abandoned. This meant an early pack up with many deciding to catch earlier ferries. Needless to say as we headed back to Calais the wind came in, but with such force I doubt we would have gone out. Moving on...... This was my last 4.7 event as I’m now going to concentrate on the radial. I’ve been switching between the two rigs over the last 18 months or so and have to say I prefer the radial. I’m certainly as heavy as many sailors 2 or 3 years my senior, but it’s not all about weight and I know I’m going to have to work on my strength and conditioning if I’m to succeed. So the 4.7 rig is consigned to the garage. But never say never...... I could go back in 4 years at the ripe old age of 18 and who knows? Some of those guys at the Europeans were BIG!

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