Garda 29er Eurocup
Huge mountains, early starts and lots of Pizza were just a few of the highlights of our recent trip to Garda.
After one of the longest drives I can ever remember, spanning 6 countries along the way, we finally arrived at Lake Garda late on Tuesday evening.
We woke on Wednesday morning, expecting to see clear blue skies with the sun kissing the tops of the mountain, how wrong we were. Instead we rose to pouring rain and grey clouds hanging overhead, but none the less we began to rig the boat as the rain eased up, the sun still refusing to show her face.
Nearly all of the GBR boats that were competing were in the RYA youth squad so we all launched for a late afternoon training sail in about 5 knots. As we gradually sailed out of the lee of the club the wind increased to 10,13,17,18 and finally hit around 20 knots. After a bumpy hour of blasting around we headed back to shore excited about the regatta starting tomorrow.
After a well needed lie in we headed to the club for the first day of racing. The first two days were to be flighted. We were in blue flight for the morning, starting after the yellows. As we watched their first start there was, as we'd been warned, a bit of a smash at the pin end. As our start went into sequence we considered our options, waiting at the pin end. We knew we wanted to go left, but there was a risk the fleet was going to pile in again. We decided it was a risk worth taking and managed to nail the pin end without much hassle, finding ourselves leading at the top mark which was a little surprising. In the end after another lap we finished 2nd :-).
The next few races of qualifying saw varied conditions, from super light to medium winds and varied results for a lot of the fleet. By the end of day two we had finished qualifying in 6th, and achieved our first aim of getting into gold fleet.
The first race of finals was a shock to the system as the long awaited 20 knots that usually goes with Garda came in hard. After a really tough morning we scored a 20th and a 19th, not what we planned. The afternoon was much lighter and we managed to get a 9th and a 10th after a few mistakes on the last runs, this put us 11th overall heading into the last day.
We launched into nearly the exact same conditions as the previous morning. The first race we sailed really well for the conditions and got a 12th which we were pleased with, then a 17th which was ok but not amazing. In the last race we finished 6th which was a great way to end the regatta, allowing us to hold on to 11th place overall, which was good for our first Eurocup event.
Massive Thanks to Bobby's parents for driving us out there.
We are now really looking forward to the inlands this weekend at Grafham and then knuckling down to some hard winter training.
29er GBR 2399
Harvey and Bobby